Lake Tahoe Beaches: North & East Shore

By Hannah Lee | Friday, January 15, 2016

Who doesn't love spending a hot summer day at a Lake Tahoe beach? With the array of beaches surrounding the lake’s perimeter offering options for sandy stretches of beach, rocky shorelines and forests borders that meet the water, you can sunbathe, swim, paddle and boat around a variety of spots. The East Shore and North Shore Lake Tahoe beaches give beachgoers an assortment of experiences, depending on what they’re looking for. There are private beaches open to members of homeowner associations or those staying in onsite accommodations. These beaches frequently feature cushy amenities such as bathhouse facilities, picnic areas and grills, playgrounds and parking included with the membership. However, you don’t need to be staying in a certain Lake Tahoe hotel or be part of a homeowner association to play in the surf and sand in North Shore Lake Tahoe. Bring a kayak or paddleboard for additional recreation. Some people frequent these Lake Tahoe beaches for their abundant fishing opportunities, so bring a rod if you feel like leaving with a fresh-caught trout.

For trips to East Shore Lake Tahoe beaches, bring a camera and be sure to plan ahead. The picturesque beaches of Sand Harbor State Park aren’t reachable through walk-in access, and if you do happen to score a spot in the limited parking lot, it’s a bit pricey. One of the best bets for getting to the beach in Sand Harbor is taking a shuttle from Incline Village, which runs on weekends.

North Shore Lake Tahoe Beaches

Incline Village Ski Beach

Ski Beach is private for Incline residents, temporary renters or homeowner association members. Its facilities include a boat ramp, barbecue areas, kids climbing structures, slides, swings and volleyball courts.


Burnt Cedar Beach

Those in Incline can enjoy this private Lake Tahoe beach if they’re town residents, temporary renters or members of the homeowners association. This beach also features a swimming pool and kiddie pool, barbecue and lawn areas, kids climbing structures, slides and swings. Call (775) 832-1100 for more information.


The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe

Only hotel guests may use this private beach. Boat, Jet Ski and other rentals are accessible from Ski Beach and the Hyatt’s Beach. Call (775) 832-1234 for more information.


Kings Beach State Recreation Area

Find this North Shore Lake Tahoe recreation area off of Highway 28 in Kings Beach. Its large, free sandy beach with paid state parking draws lots of visitors. Boat, Jet Ski and other rentals are available. Facilities additionally provide barbecue areas, public restrooms and park just for kids.


Secline Beach

Head to the end of Secline Street in Kings Beach just south of the junction of Highway 267. While the limited parking makes this spot a more challenging one to visit, its rocky, undeveloped beach is a sight to behold and provides access to lawn areas, picnic tables and fire pits.


North Tahoe Beach

This North Shore Lake Tahoe beach is directly across from Safeway in Kings Beach. With some parking available, visitors can check out the grassy areas, volleyball court and bring snacks for the picnic tables.


Tahoe Vista Recreation Area

Head down Highway 28 at National Avenue in Tahoe Vista. The area offers picnic tables and fire pits, and there’s a boat launch with a usage fee.


Moon Dune Beach

You’ll find the Moon Dune Beach right across from the Rustic Cottages Motel. The small, sandy beach also has picnic tables and fire pits. There’s roadside parking for visitors.


Carnelian Bay Patton Beach

This small stony beach is adjacent to Sierra Boat Co. Marina and the Kayak Cafe in Carnelian Bay in North Shore Lake Tahoe. While there’s limited parking, the presence of picnic tables makes this a fun spot for a lunchtime outing.


Carnelian Bay Beach

Located between Garwoods and Sierra Boat Co., this dog-friendly beach is mostly rocky but is easy to explore by footpaths. Or take a break at the picnic tables or park benches.  


Tahoe City Skylandia Beach

Off of Lake Forest Road and 1/2-mile east of Tahoe City, visitors will find this rugged shoreline equipped with picnic tables and fire pits.


Lake Forest Beach

Picnic tables and fire pits make this Lake Tahoe beach a fun spot to hang out with friends. Find it at the foot of Bristlecone off of Lake Forest Road, 1.5 miles east of Tahoe City.


Tahoe State Recreation Area

Along Highway 28 on the eastern edge of Tahoe City, you'll find this recreation area adjacent to the Boatworks Mall. Keep in mind that there’s a parking fee.


Commons Beach

Located in the middle of Tahoe City, this large beach is almost park-like with a grassy area and kid swings. Bear in mind the parking area is small.


William Kent Beach

Head south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, and within 2.5 miles you’ll find this North Shore Lake Tahoe beach. This small, sandy beach has camping, picnic tables and fire pits.


Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort Private Beach

A private sandy beach is ideal to set off on a kayak or standup paddleboard adventure, to build a sandcastle or to soak up the sun. Come relax, enjoy and cherish the spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

East Shore Lake Tahoe Beaches

The standout for Lake Tahoe beaches on the East Shore is Sand Harbor, maintained by Lake Tahoe Nevada Division of State Parks. As we mentioned earlier, figuring out how to get to the beach here takes advance planning. While parking is available in some lots, it’s limited, and roadside parking is few and far between, not to mention less safe. It shouldn’t need saying, but parking where there are No Parking signs results in immediate towing.

Once parked, visitors make steep hikes through the sand to reach the predominantly boulder beaches. Generally, there are no facilities, so plan to bring trash bags to haul out what you haul in.


Sand Harbor (Lake Tahoe Nevada Division of State Parks)

This Lake Tahoe beach on the East Shore provides a generous sand beach for sunning and playing and boulders for climbing. At a separate entrance from the parking lot, there’s a boat ramp with anchoring available at the harbor; fees apply. Visitors can apply for day use/boating permits for the beach and park. Find the parking lot entrance at 2005 Highway 28, Sand Harbor, Nevada. For more information, call (775) 831-0494.