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Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

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Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle

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  • A beautiful, wooden Chriscraft boat out for the day on Lake Tahoe.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • Swimmers taking advantage of the lake's granite boulders. Deeper sections of the lake are very cold throughout the year.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • The veiw from a kayak leaving Sand Harbor State Park.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • The lake is home to an array of activities, including parasailing.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • Stand-up paddleboarding is extremely popular on the lake.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • Kayak bliss on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.- Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
  • - Lake Tahoe, Sand Harbor to Kings Beach Paddle
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great mountain views. Clear, deep water. Blue skies and clean air.
Cons: 
Busy in the summer. Crowded roads. Cold water.
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Region:
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, NV
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Portage required: 
Yes
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

The beauty of the clean, clear water at Lake Tahoe is second to none. Sand Harbor State Park, on the eastern shore near Incline Village, Nevada, is one of the easier access points for kayaking. The easy access also helps to make it a popular choice for recreation, so be aware that parking in Sand Harbor frequently reaches capacity on peak summer mornings. Arrive early to avoid the line through the main gates.

The paddle from Sand Harbor to Kings Beach is roughly 7 miles from east to west and will require two vehicles for a shuttle (of course, no shuttle is needed for a there-and-back paddle). If you are going to paddle later in the day, consider beginning at Kings Beach and finishing at Sand Harbor to paddle with prevailing westerly afternoon winds. And don't forget to bring extra drinking water, lots of sunscreen, and a good hat to protect yourself from the intense high-altitude sun.

Once you have left the main boat launch area, the big granite boulders along the shore provide an excellent opportunity to explore the shore and the water's stunning, natural colors. Lake Tahoe's water clarity and depth is astounding. Bring a submersible temperature monitor to track the changes in water temperature according to depth. The lake stays cold year-round, and a full-body plunge can be pretty shocking to the system, even in July or August. Hypothermia settles in very quickly and is a common issue for swimmers.

Pack a lunch to enjoy it at either park (they both have picnic areas) or next to a big boulder in the lake. There are lots of boats making waves, so climb out and picnic on the granite if you get a little queasy. Otherwise, just get out there and enjoy some Tahoe blue!

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(27 within a 30 mile radius)

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(121 within a 30 mile radius)

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