Lake Tahoe covers a 70-mile perimeter of California and Nevada with a breathtaking, deep blue, serene body of water. The mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe attract winter crowds from near and far for the superb skiing. The Winter Olympics of 1960 were held here at Squaw Valley. This winter playground reputation is well deserved, but summer offers so many reasons to visit Lake Tahoe, too. We timed our trip this year to coincide with the first week of summer, and I’m so glad we did. The weather was perfect, in the low 80s, the roads and hiking trails were clear of snow, and restaurants and shops that close in the winter were newly opened for business. Here are some highlights from the beginning of summer at this beautiful place.
My favorite activity at Lake Tahoe is hiking. On the first day of summer, we headed to the Tahoe Meadows Trail on the north end of the lake, right above the little city of Incline Village. Stop at the nearby viewpoint on the highway for scenes like this.
The meadow is fairly flat, so it’s ideal for a hike with young children or senior dogs. The spring growth is so picturesque. After an easy walk through the meadow, you meet up with the Tahoe Rim Trail. This encompasses the entire lake, but you can hike small portions of it. Climbing up, with a bit of huffing and puffing, you come out on fabulous views of Lake Tahoe.
Another reason I enjoy Lake Tahoe in the early summer is that you can clearly see the year’s growth on the pine trees. These needles were curly because they had just popped out. By the next day I walked by this tree and they had straightened out. I felt like I was seeing nature unfold her wonders.
With most of the snow melted, the creek by our deck ran full and LOUD. The tumbling water rushing along is so relaxing. The lake this year is full after a healthy winter snowfall. It’s as deep as 1,000 feet in places. Along the shore, the water is so clear you can see the rocks below.
While summer sees the lake more full, the creeks running, and green covering the ground where snow lay a few weeks before, one thing remains constant. The tall pines reach into the sky year round. I love gazing up at them.
Of course, summer at Lake Tahoe also means water sports. You can enjoy kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and all kinds of boats. The water in June is very cold, but we did watch a few people brave it and go in, with some accompany shrieks.
You are bound to enjoy Lake Tahoe in the summer, whether you want to relax on a small beach or take a yoga class on a stand-up paddleboard. Just being in the presence of this vast blue treasure will leave you relaxed and refreshed.
If you go:
We prefer the quiet north end of Lake Tahoe. Incline Village is our favorite small city. Little towns such as King’s Beach dot the north shore. Tahoe City, on the west side of the north end of the lake, has an abundance of rentals of boats, bikes, and kayaks. Camping is good on the west shore, south of Emerald Bay. South Tahoe is the place to head if you want to experience casinos and high-rise accommodations.
How about you? Do you have a favorite summer destination to enjoy nature?
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