Summer is officially coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t time to get out and enjoy Tahoe’s beautiful beaches. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, here are 5 secluded beach gems to visit. Caveat: some of these are hard to get to, that’s why they’re worth the effort!
Eagle Point. Named for the bald eagles that make their nests in the area, Eagle Point is definitely one of the quieter parts of Lake Tahoe since the Eagle Point Campground closed. Lots of people boat over to Emerald Bay, but few walk down to the beaches of the bay’s south side. From Highway 89, a steep trail will lead to the water’s edge. Alternatively, if the lake’s water level is low, you can walk to Eagle Point from Baldwin Beach. Kayaking or paddleboarding from the South Shore is another fun option.
Skunk Harbor. This beach takes a little effort to get to; it’s about a 1.5 mile hike or bike ride down an old fire road located on Highway 28 about two miles north of Highway 50. When you reach the fork on the fire road, going left leads to Prey Meadows where you can picnic next to a creek among fragrant wildflowers, and the right fork will take you the coves of Skunk Harbor. This area is popular with boaters, but if you go on a weekday you can almost always find solitude.
Secret Harbor. Fair warning! This is a well-known clothing optional beach, so if you have kids keep that in mind. However, there are several beaches and if you go on a weekday or early morning you will likely find few people. It really is a stunning beach and worth the hike. If you find too many people in the area, continue on to Whale Beach. It’s a two mile hike from the parking area; this plus the limited parking are what makes this beach secluded and worth the effort.
Hidden Beach. Hidden in plain sight, nestled near the mouth of the Upper Truckee River, lies Hidden Beach. We say hidden in plain sight because this beach is in bustling Incline Village, but you won’t notice this beach right next to Highway 28 unless you stop and peer over the guardrail. You’re likely to find quiet spots here because the parking is difficult.There actually is no parking for Hidden Beach; the best place to park is near the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard and Hwy. 28 in Incline Village.About a half-mile south of the intersection you can take the developed trail to the beach. You’ll find a long sand stretch that’s shallow and great for younger kids.
Chimney Beach. Another East Shore gem, Chimney Beachis located 2.5 miles south of Sand Harbor right off of Highway 28 (about six miles south of Incline Village). There is parking here and it fills up quickly! To get to the beach, it’s a moderate half mile hike. Along the way, there are several sandy beach pockets among boulders as you walk the trail heading south of the Chimney Beach and you can find a nice spot to hang out away from the people at the main beach.