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Which Beach is Right for You?

Your summer guide to Lake Tahoe’s beaches
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Fun Fact: The top six feet of Lake Tahoe are a reservoir.

If you’ve recently wandered the shores of Lake Tahoe then you know that lake levels are high, the Truckee River is raging, and shorelines are narrowing. And, regardless of how close your dock-dangling toes are to the water, it is no doubt that this summer is going to be one for the ages when it comes to lake recreation.

Below we outline a smattering of Lake Tahoe public beaches, hoping to not only answer the more typical beach-goer questions like, “Does this beach have a restroom?” or, “Are dogs allowed?” but also more Lake Tahoe-specific ones such as, “Am I going to have to scale a small mountain to access this beach?” (we’re looking at you, beaches of the East Shore!) and, “Will I be feeling rocks or sand under my toes if I visit this beach?”

Most importantly, when picking your perfect spot, consider that lake levels are so high that the beach you frequented last season may be totally underwater.

For more information about each of the public beaches around Lake Tahoe try downloading the Tahoe Public Beach app, brought to you by Tahoe Fund.

What’s Up with Recreational Rafting?

The Truckee River must be flowing at 850 cubic feet/second (cfs) or less for rafting to be legally allowed. At the time of press, the river was running at 1,300 cfs at Fanny Bridge. Be sure to call Truckee River Rafting before planning your day around the river, (530) 538-7238.

Unofficial Beach Rules + Safety Tips

Plan Ahead — If possible, scope beaches ahead of time so you know if they are accessible this year.

Arrive Early — The water level in the lake is so high that there will not be as much real estate available.

Be Open-Minded — If you can’t get to your favorite spot, think of it as an opportunity to explore new areas.

Be Prepared — Check with California and Lake Tahoe Nevada state parks, IVGID, or the Tahoe City Public Utility District about what to expect before visiting.

Avoid Marshland and Wetlands — Higher water is pushing the waterfowl nesting habitat in these areas toward the habitat edges, and therefore in closer contact with recreationists. Steer clear of these areas and do not allow dogs to enter the marshes or wetlands as it disrupts the waterfowl nesting period.

Beware of Colder Lake Temperatures — Record-breaking precipitation means more mountain runoff and cooler lake temperatures.


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March 8, 2018