Lake Tahoe's North Shore California Beaches - A String of Jewels
Photo © Conservancy
The bowl shape of the basin surrounding Lake Tahoe focuses attention inward toward the lake’s shore. Public land acquisition efforts since 1971 have increased the miles of public shoreline from 18% (13.5 miles) to over 44% (34 miles) by 2007. The California Tahoe Conservancy's beach projects have opened up the shoreline for additional public access at North Lake Tahoe, adding to the other public beaches owned by State Parks, the local Public Utility Districts, and Placer County.
Lake Tahoe’s beaches share the lake’s crystal clear water, but that is the only thing they have in common! Beaches vary both naturally and to the extent that they are developed with facilities, such as the following:
- Carnelian West
Located at 5074 North Lake Boulevard, this is a dog-friendly beach with restrooms and barbecue facilities that shares a parking lot with Gar Woods Restaurant.
- Patton Landing
Located at Carnelian Bay at 5188 North Lake Boulevard, the landing is a concessionaire-operated beach comprised of smooth black stones instead of sand. A small parking lot and car-top boat launching is available, as are picnic tables. A coffee house and non-motorized water rentals allow you to arrive and purchase what you need.
- Moon Dunes
This small, powdery white-sand beach is not served by developed restroom facilities or parking. Bring your own water and picnic - no services are available. Located near Pino Grande Avenue in Tahoe Vista.
- Sandy Beach
An undeveloped beach visible from the highway in Tahoe Vista, Sandy Beach's forest is fronted by a small, sandy beach. Summertime portable toilets serve the site.
- Secline Beach
Located at the end of Secline Street behind the Transam gas station in Kings Beach, this small undeveloped beach can't be seen from Highway 28 and has no parking or permanent restroom facilities. Picnic tables tucked into the trees and a creek running through the property create a special secluded setting.
- North Tahoe Beach
With 540 feet of shoreline, North Tahoe Beach is located at the intersection of Highway 267 and Highway 28, across from Safeway. It has parking, restroom facilities with a cold water shower, three beach volleyball courts, a group picnic shelter that includes a BBQ, running water and seats 90 people (available for rental through the North Tahoe Public Utility District and available on a first come, first served basis when the facility is not rented). Family size picnic facilities with barbecues are also available. A summertime visitor information booth also operates from this beach.
- Kings Beach Plaza
Connected to the Kings Beach State Recreation Area, the Conservancy's holdings at Kings Beach provide bathrooms - and basketball! They complement the much larger recreation offerings in the area.
Before heading to any beach on a busy summer day, visitors should have a parking plan, or better yet, take an alternative form of transportation in order to avoid the headaches from crowded roadways and high demand for limited parking spaces.
Accessible parking, restrooms, and pathways available at all developed recreation sites, including Kings Beach Plaza, North Tahoe Beach, Patton Landing, and Carnelian West.
North Shore's dog friendly beaches at Carnelian Bay (and also at Coon Street) still require your best friends to be leashed, for their safety and for the comfort of other beach users. Please pick up after your pet!