Off the beaten path

Summer…blue skies, warm weather, time to head outdoors. Outdoors is always the place to be for me, but in the summer it seems like everyone is following this agenda. Especially, in the high tourist area of Lake Tahoe. This is a place where Nevadans, Californians and people from all over the world flock to enjoy a little bit of nature. How much nature depends on the person. Often time’s visitors have a magical view in their minds of being in the mountains on their own private stretch of beach with nobody around. If you’ve visited here in the summer, you know that is usually far from the case. Not that it’s all bad or a reason not to come. It’s just a fact; you aren’t the only one with the idea to come to the one of the largest alpine lakes in the country to relax.

Best Beaches for Privacy

Fortunately, if you know where to go there are beaches in the basin that attract fewer people. Some are lesser known and some are difficult to get to. Regardless, if you are looking to hit the beach and escape most of the crowds here are a few recommendations where there’s still privacy and serenity to be had.

Skunk Harbor

Skunk Harbor Image taken by Jeff Moser - Carsonbike.com

Skunk Harbor Image taken by Jeff Moser – Carsonbike.com

This is a great short hike from the road. It is about a mile and a half from the nearest road. You can hike or bike down. The old fire road is a 600 ft. decent down to the lake. On the way to the beach you will pass the historic Newhall House before arriving at the main cove and several smaller coves. If there are people in the area it tends to be boats anchored offshore. If this still doesn’t offer enough solitude try going on weekdays and chances are you’ll have the place to yourself.

Secret Harbor

CensoredAlthough you are likely to find nude sunbathers all around the lake, Secret Harbor is known as Lake Tahoe’s premier nude beach. If nudity isn’t your thing, come anyway. Large boulders and trees will allow you to separate yourself according to your comfort level. The people there will be nice and respectful. It is a stunningly beautiful East Shore cove. A nice trail runs along the slope above the cove and connects several beaches. To reach the beach you’ll need to hike about a mile down before reaching the water.

 

Hidden Beach

The beach gets its name, because it sits right next to highway 28. Even though this is the case, you will miss it unless you stop and have a look over the guard rail. There is no parking lot so you will need to get there early to find a spot on the road. Located near the mouth of the Tunnel Creek, this beach is great for kids and adults. The long stretch of sand and shallow waters makes it ideal for all sorts of activities.

Chimney Beach

The beaches namesake.

The beaches namesake.

On the Eastern Shore, Chimney Beach is beautiful, whenever you chose to visit. It gets its name from the remnants of an old chimney that still remains on the beach. This is one of the more challenging beaches to get to, but it’s well worth it. The hike down (and back) is not really that long but it is super steep. You’ll want to make sure you bring proper shoes so you don’t hurt your feet.

The beach is a south-facing cove and offer sandy and rocky stretches of shore. If the beach is too crowded hit one of the trails in either direction, which will lead to many empty plots of beach all for yourself.

Eagle Point

In this location most days there will not be a soul around. Eagle Point sits on the southwest shore of and is one of the quietest areas of Lake Tahoe. Due to Emerald Bay this area does see a lot of traffic, but few actually stop and venture down to the beach. From Highway 89, a steep trail will lead to the water’s edge. Or when the lake’s level is low, you can walk from Baldwin Beach to Eagle Point.
These are only a few suggestions. If you don’t need a beach with a name and are willing to go a little further grab a map, find a parking spot and head downhill toward the lake. You are guaranteed to find your own private spot on these 72 miles of shoreline.

 

For a great resource to find a beach of your choosing go here.

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