Paddleboarding can be extremely fun and peaceful.
Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest, largest, and deepest alpine lakes in the world. With cold winters and cold water temperatures the lakes' clarity is at extremely high levels.
This is why when you combine the joy of paddleboarding and the beauty of Lake Tahoe, you get yourself one incredible experience. But why paddleboard? Why not some other water-based sport?
Paddleboarding comes with simplicity, and there are no fast speeds, not extremeness to the sport.
Making for the perfect sport that allows strength growth, and a time to take in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
Today, we want to tell you about the best spots for paddleboarding at Lake Tahoe. There are so many spots to choose from, considering the size of this lake, but there are a few that will be worth it more than others.
Before we jump in with those tip-top paddleboarding locations on this beautiful lake, we want to tell you about paddleboarding, what this waterboard is, and why you should do it.
In many ways, paddleboarding is not all that different from surfboarding. You use your arms while you lay, kneel or stand to move.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a new derivative and is most likely what you would do on Lake Tahoe. It is a type of paddleboarding that has only been around for the last decade.
It is more like a combination of kayaking and surfing, however, unlike surfing you do not need waves, and calm waters are actually better, especially for beginners.
Lake Tahoe, is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States, it lays at 6,225 ft and straddles the state line between California and Nevada. It is the largest alpine lake in North America.
At 122,160,280 acre-ft it trails the five Great Lakes as the largest by volume in the US. It is very deep at 1,645fr, which makes it the second deepest in the US as well.
Its clear waters make this even more beautiful. While you are paddleboarding on its waters, while the waters may be deep, you can look down and in many cases, see the bottom.
It also feels like it takes you back in time, being formed about two million years ago as part of the Lake Tahoe Basin, and having been shaped by the ice ages.
This is a Lake that is infamous for the outstanding water clarity and the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains on all sides.
The Best Spots!
Stand-up paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe is an experience you are unlikely to ever forget. It is an experience that will grant you some of the best views in the world, giving you access to remote areas, where walking trails just do not exist.
You can find large boulders for diving, or simply enjoy the views both around you and below you, in the depths of Lake Tahoe.
Let’s take a look at some of the best spots on Lake Tahoe, where you can go paddleboarding.
A stand-up paddleboarding trip to Emerald Bay is outstanding. You can launch off from any public beach on the South of Lake Tahoe, but it is the only one with free parking, hence its popularity.
Once you get out on the water you will be able to see Mount Tallac and its infamous snow cross on your left, on the right you will be able to see the Heavenly Mountain Resort.
The best time to get out on the water at Emerald Bat is in the early mornings of evenings when the water is at its calmest. You would be able to straight-line two miles all the way to the mouth of Emerald Bay.
In the middle of the day, the water will get rougher and so during these times it is best to follow the shoreline, however, the views are still astounding.
Another location that is worth going to on Lake Tahoe is Cave Rock. From the water, the magnitude of it as it looms overhead, proves just how large the Sierra Nevada Mountains are.
This is a location that was sacred to the Washoe Native American tribe, and when visiting here you really get a sense of why.
Again this is a location that is best explored in the early mornings or evenings, this is due to the stronger winds on the Eastern shore. It also has a public beach that makes for a perfect launching location.
Rubicon Point is viewed as the perfect paddling spot. The proximity to the parking lot makes for an easy stroll to the shoreline.
From the water you will also see the huge granite boulders that are perfect for jumping off into the fresh waters.
You can also paddle through the waters and around the stacked rock formations, creating a wonderful experience looking at the geological wonder of the location.
You can also follow the shoreline and see the Rubicon Hiking Trail that connects to emerald bay. Along this journey you would also be able to spot the retired lighthouse that was built in the early 20th Century.
The Echo Lakes are hidden beauties in the South of Tahoe. The lower lake has beautiful scenic walls of granite and large forests, a real insight into the natural beauty here.
There are also summer cabins around the shoreline that are only accessible by water. These make for a wonderful vacation for the water sport enthusiast.
Lake Tahoe Paddleboarding Tips!
While paddleboarding on Lake Tahoe is great fun and something that anyone can enjoy, we have a few tips for you that you should keep in mind.
- Wear a life vest and leash, so your board can’t make a break for it.
- Make sure your paddle is 1ft taller than you are.
- Don’t worry if you fall off here and there.
- Make sure to bring sunscreen with you.
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.