Best Places to go Kayaking in Lake Tahoe

Kayaking in Lake Tahoe is a lovely way to appreciate the largest alpine lake in North America and the second-deepest lake in the United States. One big lake that needs you to pick the right spot to get the best thrill out of its turquoise waters and beautiful mountains. Join me to show you the best places to launch your kayak in Lake Tahoe.

Let’s get right into it.

Top Places to go Kayaking in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is sitting directly between Nevada and California, one foot on either side. As a result, it is divided into different shores, namely, North, East, South, and West Shores, each with unique locations to launch your kayak and start paddling.

Here are the best spots to go kayaking in Lake Tahoe:

1. North Shore

Lake Tahoe’s north shore accounts for about one-third of the entire lake, giving you ample space to kayak. 

The following are some spots to launch your boat for kayaking on the North Shore.

King’s Beach

King’s beach lies in a small California town called Beach town. This beach is a great place to launch your Kayak because it has excellent access to Lake Tahoe, and the city has all the best amenities to give you a great time on the water. 

The great weather is one of the many perks associated with the King’s beach, as the summer sun ensures you have a great time paddling. 

Secondly, the nearby beach town has plenty of kayak rental shops where you can pick up your supplies. Also, the city is safe as there are no reports of dangerous wildlife, and the locals are friendly.

King’s beach town is a relaxed and easy-going town with very few people around. Making it the perfect spot to get a therapeutic kayaking experience.

Hidden Beach

The hidden beach is a few minutes hike from highway 28, making It is easily accessible. It is sparsely crowded with scenic views. 

Although the beach in the very busy Incline Village, you might not notice it without staring out over the top of the guardrail. The scenery here is a combination of sun-warmed boulders, alcoves, and the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe itself. 

It’s great out here!

Sand Harbor Beach

Sand Harbor is one of the most popular beaches in Lake Tahoe. As a result,perfect for people looking for a social experience. There’ll be plenty of people to network with, and you could go with a group of friends!

This area is densely populated, as a result littered with outlets renting out kayaking gear. It means you can travel light without the hassle of transporting your own gear.  

You get a panoramic view of beautiful coves and Lake Tahoe’s shoreline here as you kayak. There are also caves where you can kayak near the launching area, making for an adventurous kayaking episode. 

Most importantly, the waters appear transparent on Sand Harbor beach. They are calm and safe for first-timers to have a seamless first-time kayaking experience. 

2. East Shore

The East Shore is on the Nevada side, and has numerous coves and beaches. You’ll get a scenic view of the turquoise water and eastern shoreline of the Lake as you paddle. 

Let’s discover the best spots to launch your kayak on the east shore.

Secret Cove

Secret cove is a secluded, nudist beach that sits pretty along highway 28, Nevada. The beach is a perfect location for adventurous kayaking, with a beautiful view of turquoise waters and the large sun-warmed boulders.

There’s no parking space at the beach, so try to find a parking spot along the highway before hiking down to the beach. 

It is better not to go kayaking with kids here because of the nudity and the steep hikes you would have to take from the highway. Dogs are also not allowed, and there’s a $10 entrance fee.

Bonsai Rock

Bonsai Rock is situated directly between Sand Harbor beach and Hidden beach at about 20 miles from Carson City on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. It is a monumental piece of boulder existing amid the blue waters.

Some trees sprout through the cracks of this boulder, thus making it shape up like a Bonsai, hence, the name Bonsai rock. The sunset is beautiful here, and you would love to kayak here in the evenings. 

Chimney Beach

The Chimney beach on the east shore is an excellent spot to take beautiful pictures. The waters are clear, and the reflection of the blue sky is prominent. Chimney Beach is a lovely view with an old chimney standing alone on the shoreline. 

The location is remote, perfect for you if you love kayaking alone. You might have to hike for about a mile or more to get here, as it is not entirely accessible by car. 

3. South Shore

Lake Tahoe’s south shore has terrific spots to launch your kayak on both the Nevada and California side. Both these sides are notable for the extensive sandy beaches along the shoreline. 

Let’s have a look at some of the best spots for kayaking. 

Baldwin beach

Baldwin beach is half a mile of sandy beach beauty tucked between the Sierra Nevada mountains. Many kayakers looking to go kayaking in Emerald bay launch their kayaks here, and you should, too. 

This beach is ideal for experienced kayakers. 

Here’s why. 

It is a long way to Emerald bay, so you get to paddle for some time. Further, motorized crafts and tour boats often use the route, meaning you’ll be experiencing some traffic on the water. 

Let’s talk about the view. 

You’ll get a picturesque view of the entire Lake Tahoe shoreline. The surrounding towering Sierra Nevada mountains are also a delight to the eyes as you feel very tiny amidst the turquoise waters. 

Baldwin beach is a perfect blend of amazing views and adventure for the audacious kayaker. Rent a kayak on-site, and you’re all set. 

Kiva Beach

Kiva Beach is an excellent spot to launch your kayak on a trip to Emerald Bay. You can bring your dogs along as icing on the cake at no extra cost.

Kiva beach is very close to Eagle point and Fanette Island. The proximity to these significant locations on the southern shore means you can make a quick run even as a beginner. 

The beach is now crowdy, so you should enjoy some alone outdoor time on the waters.

Pope Beach

Pope beach completes the trident of the three famous beaches along the South shore of Lake Tahoe. The sandy beach spans about three-quarters a mile from state highway 89.

One of its major perks is its bicycle accessibility. There are pronounced paths to help you find your way to this beautiful location. Like the other three beaches along the southern shoreline, it also views Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. 

4. West Shore

Commonly called the magical west shore of Lake Tahoe, it has waters clear enough to see the rocks underneath and beautiful wildlife to put you in awe. 

Here are the best spots to go kayaking on the west shores of Lake Tahoe. 

Lester Beach

Lester beach accounts for about half of the 6 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline that the D. L. Bliss State Park boasts. The beach is an exciting spot with an excellent view to launch your kayak if you’re on the west shore.

There is ample parking space, and the beach gets regular visitors, making it the ideal spot for social kayaking experiences. Beginners should be cautious as the Lester beach is close to the Rubicon wall, one of Lake Tahoe’s deepest parts.

Sugar Pine Point

The sugar pine point at the west shore is notable for its proximity to the Pine Lodge Mansion. The proximity to necessary amenities makes it an excellent spot for kayaking. 


The north and south shores straddle Nevada and California. King’s beach, Sand harbor beach and hidden beach are unique spots on the North shore. The south coast has Baldwin, Kiva and Cove beaches stretching to the Emerald bay. While Lester beach, sugar pine point, secret coves and chimney beaches occupy the east and west shores. 

Pick any of these spots and have fun kayaking!