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The Beauty of Paddle Boarding at Lake Tahoe - Turn the Tide, a blog by HeySurf

The Beauty of Paddle Boarding at Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe-ly Grail of Paddleboarding Locations

When it comes to picturesque paddleboarding locations around the world, it doesn’t get much better than Lake Tahoe. As the largest alpine lake in the US, Lake Tahoe is home to crystalline waters, stunning mountain scenery, and a plethora of beaches to enjoy. Given that Lake Tahoe contains an impressive 191 square miles of surface area, with 22 miles in length, and 12 miles in width, there are activities for paddleboarders of all skill levels to partake in while at this gorgeous natural wonder.

Where to Paddleboard in Lake Tahoe?

Paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe may sound like a dream, but with such a large area to explore, it can be a daunting task to pick the perfect location that you should start from. Luckily, we’ve selected a few standout locations that boarders should try and check out when paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe. We’ve split each of these locations by different interests, so there should be something on this list for just about every type of boarder out there!

Best Locations for Beginners and Families

The below three beaches all have easy access and are the perfect locations for beginners to practice paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe. Though these spots are beginner-friendly, they are still packed with amazing scenery. 

1. El Dorado Beach at Lakeview Commons

Located to the south of Lake Tahoe, this beach is a family-friendly spot that is fairly popular – especially due to its year-round free parking. With calm waters and plenty of amenities, this is the ideal place for beginners to practice and for families who want to enjoy a fun day out.

2. Meeks Bay

Meeks Bay is Located 2 miles south of Tahoma, along Highway 89 in the western section of Lake Tahoe. With stunning sandy shorelines, while being slightly less populated than El Dorado Beach, this is another great spot for families who want a day out to remember! Protected from harsher winds, Meeks bay allows beginners and families to enjoy placid water conditions while being surrounded by stunning scenery the whole time! 

3. Common’s Beach

Situated right in the heart of Tahoe City, Common’s Beach is a dream launching point for families and beginners. With super-easy access, this is a great spot to begin the day while also being a short distance away from several more secluded and gorgeous sandy beaches when going past the city marina. 

Best Locations for Explorers

These are the locations that tourers and racers should check out because of their relative seclusion and gorgeous scenery. If you’re the type of person who loves going for long rides and avoiding the crowd, these three points of interest are a must when paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe.

1. Dollar Point

There are several spots where keen tourers or racers could launch from in Dollar Point. We’d suggest starting from Lake Forest Boat Beach and exploring the wetlands nearby before heading over to Skylandia Beach for a break and to enjoy some stunning mountain and forest scenery, before checking out Chinquapin Pier, if you have the time. 

2. D.L Bliss State Park

This is perhaps one of the dream locations of any tourer or paddleboard explorer. Boasting amazing shoreline scenery, snowy alpine vistas, and pristine waters, there’s plenty for explorers and tourers to experience here. The key landmarks of note when launching from D.L Bliss State Park include the Rubicon Point Lighthouse, and Lester beach, where you might be able to witness Osprey in their natural habitat!

3. Carnelian Bay

If you’ve had your fair share of mountain scenery and are in the mood for something a little different when paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe, then Carnelian Bay has you covered. Featuring a mix of awesome beaches and fascinating wetlands, this unique location is ripe for touring and exploration. Carnelian Bay is located just north of Ridgewood, which makes it not too difficult a spot to reach.

Best Locations for Paddleboard Fishing

Lake Tahoe is known not only for its beautiful scenery but also for its amazing wildlife. If you’d like to blend your hobbies of fishing and paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe, then these spots are your best bet for catching a whopper fish!

1. Emerald Bay

You’ll have to use the parking lot at Vikingsholm if you travel by car, but it’s not too far away from Emerald Bay. Launching from this nearly-enclosed section of water offers views of mountains, forests, and amazing islands. If you plan on nabbing a large Mackinaw salmon, then Emerald Bay is your best bet since these salmon can be found in the shallows in this region at the start of the season.

2. Kiva beach

With wetlands, beaches, and even tributaries reachable from this launch site, the avid paddleboard angler will have a plethora of gorgeous locations to pick from when casting a line into the clear waters of Lake Tahoe. Perhaps one of the best places to land a catch is Taylor creek, though it’s important to note that this spot is only open from July 1st through Sept 30th. Salmon and other marine life often travel through this tributary, so it’s a must-visit site for those who love to fish.

Best Locations for Paddleboard Surfing

Though Lake Tahoe is not really known for surfing, there are one or two spots, where under the right conditions, surfers can really enjoy some stellar waves. Just remember, Lake Tahoe is pretty cold, especially when the wind picks up (which is usually when the surf picks up), so surf with the right gear to stay warm! 

1. Burnt Cedar Beach

Unfortunately for surfers who prefer it warm, this is one of the northernmost points of Lake Tahoe, which means temperatures are pretty frigid. However, if it’s waves you’re after, they can get pretty raucous here, which is great for surfers looking to have their breath taken away (not by the cold) while surrounded by pine forests, towering mountains and gorgeous waters. 

2. Kings Beach

Located also near the top of Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach is a great launching point for surfers because it is in close proximity to several other beaches, like Speedboat Beach and Carnelian Bay. If you don’t find the waves you’re looking for in Kings Beach, chances are, you might get lucky at one of the other nearby launching points.

The Right Board for You

Before heading out to paddleboard in Lake Tahoe, make sure you equip yourself with the right type of board. Given that many people like to explore the lake and its vibrant scenery, it would be best to ensure you have a board that can handle going longer distances while being rugged enough to endure landing at several different points of interest. Some boards to consider include:

1. AquaPlanet Cuda

This board is long, broad, and your perfect companion for long trips that will allow you to see all that Lake Tahoe has to offer. When paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe, it’s all about going that extra distance to enjoy another amazing vista. This board’s sleek design and great stability mean you can travel further while its large carrying capacity also allows you to bring along camping gear if you’re planning for a longer trip in Lake Tahoe’s pristine wilderness.

2. Goodyear Adventure All-Season

As is implied by this board’s name, it makes a great companion for those with an adventurous spirit. Given that Lake Tahoe is a prime destination for exploration, seeking out unique wildlife, and discovering amazing landscapes, you’ll want to stay out on the water for as long as possible to take it all in. The Goodyear Adventure All-Season is a versatile board that is built for longer distances, but can also double as a competent board for surfing, yoga, fishing, or other lakeside activities!

3. Hurley PhantomTour Color-Wave/ Paradise

These boards are designed with tourers in mind and are great companions for those who plan on exploring large swathes of Lake Tahoe’s scenic offerings. Built to be stable and to glide through the water effortlessly, this is the type of board that is great for everyone – from beginners to veterans. If what you want is a well-rounded board that encourages you to keep going, then the PhantomTour might just be the perfect board for you when paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe.

Enjoy the Paddleboarding Trip of a Lifetime!

There aren’t many places in the world that can offer as much versatility as Lake Tahoe can. Whether you’re the type of paddleboarder that longs for breathtaking scenery, a wide variety of fun activities to engage in or even to experience stunning wildlife while out on a paddleboarding adventure, Lake Tahoe has you covered. With your knowledge of the best launch points for activities you might be interested in, as well as taking into consideration what board will be best for you, you now have everything you need to have an epic time at one of the world’s most stunning paddleboarding locations!

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