Fun things to do in South Lake Tahoe

  • Things to Do
    by machomikemd
  • Things to Do
    by machomikemd
  • Things to Do
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Things to Do in South Lake Tahoe

  • Shihar's Profile Photo

    Spring time around the Lake

    by Shihar Updated Mar 26, 2007

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    We were so excited the first time we saw the lake and the mountains. We decided to take a long walk along a boardwalk section of the lake.

    Many of the local businesses had not opened for the season yet. There was definately not too many tourists but we could see how crowded it could get very quickly.

    Related to:
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Everything and Anything

    by lmkluque Updated Jul 25, 2012

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    Tahoe is a small community and it is possible to see almost everything in a day or two. It will, however take a bit longer to actually do everything.

    There is Water skiing in the summer and Snow skiing in the winter, not to mention the cozy evenings by the fire in the evenings. Hiking, jet skiing, swimming, fishing, biking and camping are just some of the activities to do up here.

    As for me, I took a drive around the lake, went to the grocery store, viewed the neighborhoods and ate in a few restaurants, but what I enjoyed most was sitting out on the deck watching the flora and fauna in all it's natural splendor.

    Related to:
    • Skiing and Boarding
    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • TahoeDD's Profile Photo

    Horseback Riding Around Lake Tahoe

    by TahoeDD Written Dec 8, 2006

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    Horseback riding around Lake Tahoe is what I live to do!

    There are so many trails, from the Tahoe Rim Trail, to the Pacific Crest Trail, to many side trails and secret trails; trails to lakes and trails to mountain tops and trails that wander through meadows and forests; Lake Tahoe has the most spectacular places to ride horses in the west!

    I've compiled some of my favorite trails on my website... tahoehorsetrails.com... feel free to come in and ride some of my trails...virtually!

    Indian Paintbrush below Round Top, Carson Pass Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe, from the Flume Trail Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe Sunset
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Taylor Slough Visitor Center

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 21, 2006

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    The oddly-shaped Taylor Slough Visitor Center sits west of South Lake Tahoe and east of Emerald Bay. Operated by the Eldorado National Forest, the visitor center has information on touring the lake and backcountry info; unlike many National Park visitor centers, there are no detailed exhibits here. The visitor center has many short nature trails near it; the most popular is the Rainbow Trail, which leads to a view of the Taylor Slough, a very ecologically sensitive area.

    Visitor Center
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Fallen Leaf Lake

    by chewy3326 Updated Aug 23, 2006

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    Fallen Leaf Lake is a large and rather oblong lake at the foot of Mt. Tallac, southwest of Lake Tahoe. Since most of the lakeshore is privately owned, it's hard to find a good place to stop and view the lake; there is a trail which leads from a parking lot to the lakeshore which I didn't hike, but if you drive Fallen Leaf Rd, the road will eventually follow the lakeshore for a while. There are plenty of 'No Trespassing' signs around them, and the road is often packed with cars, so it's hard to stop for a good view. Otherwise, Fallen Leaf Lake is quite beautiful. For some better photos of Fallen Leaf Lake, and for better and more detailed information, visit www.kevingong.com/hiking/LakeTahoeHikes.html. I often use this very informational site when planning hikes, etc on my California trips.

    Fallen Leaf Lake Fallen Leaf Lake

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Grass Lake Trail

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 23, 2006

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    The trail to Grass Lake is 5 miles (5.6 according to Lonely Planet) round trip from Lily Lake. Although I hiked this trail, I did not finish hiking it (this will be explained). We parked at the Glen Alpine Trailhead at Lily Lake, filled out a wilderness day permit, went around the green gate at the trailhead, and started walking. This was a hot Sierra summer day in a particularly hot California summer. The trail (actually a rather wide gravel road; no vehicles allowed) quickly reaches Glen Alpine Falls, a small waterfall on Glen Alpine Creek. There is very little shade on the trail, even though trees line both sides. Past Glen Alpine Falls, the trail continues to Glen Alpine Springs, where you'll find a couple of uninhabited buildings and a small 'Soda Spring.' As soon as the trail passes Soda Spring, it narrows (just past the spring there is a fork; take the right fork). Not long afterwards, you'll enter Desolation Wilderness. Just past the entrance to the wilderness there is a fork, the right fork heading to Susie Lake, the left fork heading to Grass Lake. Past the junction, the trail quickly runs into a creek; later in the season, you could probably cross by rock hopping, but on a hot Sierra summer day during peak snowmelt, the creek was overflowing; we crossed by log. About 5 minutes hiking later, you encounter another creek (and here were my problems). This creek was swollen and overflowing, there was no way of rock hopping over it, and the only log spanning the creek was barely wide enough for you to step on it. Past the log, the creek broke into rapids; not a nice crossing point, and not a nice idea to think what would happen if you fell in. By this time a group of 10+ hikers had gathered near the creek thinking of how to get across. It was impossible to ford (the calm parts of the creek were at least chest-deep), so we followed the creek upstream a bit to see if there was a suitable crossing point; as it happened, there was not. So we gave up and went back to the trailhead.

    Glen Alpine Falls Desolation Wilderness Desolation Wilderness
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    • Eco-Tourism

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Monitor Pass

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 24, 2006

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    8314-foot Monitor Pass is not a place known to most visitors of the Sierra Nevada, but it offers a very enjoyable car trip through some stunning scenery. To my knowledge, there is no public transportation of any type that passes here; in fact cars are at a minimum. From US 395 near Walker/Topaz, Hwy 89 splits off and begins immediately to enter a wild and rugged mountain land. The scenery here is stark and dry; you are still in the Great Basin desert. The road passes an interestingly empty and green valley, then begins to ascend. There is a constant view of this small valley, and later, views of the snowy Sierra Crest emerge. The road eventually climbs through a sort of alpine landscape to Monitor Pass, where you enter Alpine County. Great views of the Sierra Crest continue a while before the road descends into forests, all the while passing little hamlets like Markleeville.

    View from Monitor Pass
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Harrah's Casino

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 27, 2006

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    The town of South Lake Tahoe sits directly on the border with Nevada, which means of course, that there are many casinos across the border. Harrah's and Harvey's are the two major casinos in Stateline Nevada, just a stone's throw from California. Personally, I am not too big about gambling. But there's a very good reason to go into these casinos: the great views from the top of them. Harrah's Casino has an amazing view of Lake Tahoe, Mt. Tallac, and the other peaks of the Desolation Wilderness from the 18th floor; and of course, it's free. There's also a less beautiful view of neighboring Harvey's Casino, the sprawl of South Lake Tahoe, Heavenly, and the other casinos in Nevada.

    Harrah's Casino Mt. Tallac above Lake Tahoe Desolation Wilderness South Lake Tahoe
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  • hartmany's Profile Photo

    Shop the village

    by hartmany Written Jan 18, 2006

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    There is a good amount of entertainment around Heavenly village in addition to the casinos. A number of restaurants from fast food to well prepared gourmet, an ice skating rink, an arcade, and movie theater are all a few minute walk apart.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Desolation Wilderness

    by chewy3326 Updated Aug 21, 2006

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    The Desolation Wilderness is one of America's most popular wilderness areas, and can claim to be the most visited per-acre wilderness in the country. Despite this, there's still plenty of wild in this wilderness, with some High-Sierra type scenery that feels a world away from South Lake Tahoe. Anyone who enters the Desolation Wilderness needs a permit; backcountry permits are available for a fee for those who want to backpack in the wilderness, and free day permits are required for all day-hikers. Desolation Wilderness is managed by Eldorado National Forest, Lake Tahoe Management Unit.

    Desolation Wilderness sits on the southwestern corner of Lake Tahoe, and contains quite a few peaks and lakes; some peaks, like Mt. Tallac, go snowcapped late into the summer. Plan hiking trips accordingly. There are many entrances to the wilderness, including the Eagle Falls area, Lily Lake, Mt. Tallac, and Echo Lakes.

    Entrance to the Desolation Wilderness
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    • Eco-Tourism

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Lake of the sky Trail

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 22, 2006

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    The Lake of the Sky Trail is a rather dull trail that leads from the Taylor Slough Visitor Center to a beach on the shore of Lake Tahoe; round-trip distance is probably about 3/4 mile or so, and there are only a few views through the trees along the trail. At the end of the trail is a rather uninteresting beach that at times can be rather crowded; a much shorter trail leads to the beach from a campground. Not worth the the time, as long as you've seen the lake from other viewpoints. There is a good view of Mt. Tallac at one point, though.

    Lake Tahoe

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Lily Lake

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 22, 2006

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    Lily Lake is an easily accessible and immensely beautiful lake south of Rte 89. The drive from Rte 89 to Lily Lake via Fallen Leaf Rd is rather tough; the mostly one lane (meaning both ways share one lane) road, sometimes unpaved, leads through a string of summer residences and resorts, and despite being horrible drive, is often filled with cars. At the end of the road is the Glen Alpine Trailhead and Lily Lake. The lake is one of the most beautiful in the Lake Tahoe region, and it's worth spending a while around it.

    Lily Lake Lily Lake
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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Eagle Lake

    by chewy3326 Updated Aug 23, 2006

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    Eagle Lake trail is the shortest and the most popular trail leading into the Desolation Wilderness. Over 50,000 hikers walk this 2-mile round trip trail a year, mainly because of it's great scenery. From the trailhead, first fill out a day use permit; then hike up towards Eagle Falls. In just 5 minutes the trail reaches Eagle Falls, a small waterfall on Eagle Creek. There is a bridge above the falls. Only a few minutes past the falls is the entrance to the Desolation Wilderness. From this sign, the trail continues slowly uphill, passing great views of Emerald Bay and Lake Tahoe before rounding a ridge. After that, the trail reaches Eagle Lake in just a few more minutes. Elevation gain is only 400 feet, so you should be able to do the hike half an hour each way. There are good views of sharp peaks along the way. At the lake, you can get perfect reflections of Maggies Peak.

    Eagle Lake
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Geoff_Wright's Profile Photo

    Writing Post Cards by the beach

    by Geoff_Wright Written Jul 1, 2003

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    What a view! I sat here, drinking my iced Coke, and writing my postcards at the table provided. Strange, too, that I bought the cards in Virginia City, Nevada, wrote them in California, and posted them in Nevada! I could have stayed at this spot for ages, but I had to move on. The water looked inviting too.

    People and Canada Geese!

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Road Trip for a day

    by DSwede Written Jul 30, 2008

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    The drive I mention is not intended for an RV. You could do it, but it would be slow and the mountain slopes would be costly in gasoline. A car or van would be no problem.

    Kingsbury Grade is a seasonal mountain pass that has some spectacular vistas. It goes from South Lake over the eastern range down to the Carson Valley. Takes ~1 hour.

    From there to Virginia City, again ~1 hour. Virginia City is well worth the stop. Its what many call a "living ghost town" with an old west feel to it.

    From Virginia City, you can go out the north side of town, as if you were going to Reno, and continue up NV-431. From Virginia City to Incline Village on the north side of the Lake takes ~1.5 hours.

    Traveling between Incline and SLT on the eastern side will be ~45 minutes.

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South Lake Tahoe Things to Do

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