Motors Allowed?
Moderate / Class B
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If you are looking for a longer paddle on gorgeous Lake Tahoe, the trip from Rubicon Point north to Tahoe City is an excellent choice. The trip totals approximately 12 miles if your course is straight, so plan on a full day. For the full trip, launch at Lester Beach on Rubicon Point in D.L. Bliss State Park, and take-out at Commons Beach in Tahoe City. Alternately, it is easy to break this trip into a couple of shorter segments if you would like a more leisurely day or if you'd prefer a round-trip paddle: try paddling between Rubicon Point and Meeks Bay or Meeks Bay to Sunnyside and William Kent.

Both areas have very limited parking, so setting your shuttle and paddling in the morning may be the best option. While afternoon winds are always a consideration on Lake Tahoe, they usually blow from west to the east, leaving this side of the lake relatively calm. That said, the waves can be significant, and boat traffic can be heavy on busy summer days. One of the coves along this shore is called "Hurricane Bay" for a reason.

The west side of the lake has an abundance of historic sites ranging from old steamboat stations to locations where scenes from the Godfather were filmed. Keep your eyes open for fantastic homes, stunning old boats, ski areas, and restaurants where you can stop for a bite to eat on the lake. 

Rubicon Point and D.L. Bliss State Park have a great campground with views of the lake. It can fill up quickly, so try to make advance reservations. It is also a great starting point for hikes out into the backcountry via the Rubicon Trail.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Beautiful views. Great camping. Mountain vistas. Good portage.


Lots of traffic in the summer. Difficult parking.


Campgrounds + Campsites
Backcountry camping
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas

Site characteristics: Water


Portage required



Nearby Adventures

D.L. Bliss + Emerald Bay State Parks
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California
Emerald Bay State Park, California
Lake Tahoe + Northern Sierra, California


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