10 Best Parks and Recreational Areas in Lake Tahoe

The Lake Tahoe area is actually made up of dozens of state and county parks and National Forest areas as well as traditional parks with playgrounds and access to nature. If you want more of the adult playground with hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and swimming, visit parks like D.L. Bliss State Park on the West Shore or Kings Beach or Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park on the East Shore. Each of these parks offer camping, great beaches, summer events and some really great cliff jumping rocks. Don't forget the incredible Emerald Bay which has camping, boating and exploring in a compact (but stunning) space.

If you have small children, Commons Beach and Kings Beach both have playground and picnic facilities as well as bathrooms and quick access to Tahoe City and Kings Beach with restaurants and hotels. The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is also great for children and the disabled. The paved walking paths meander through creek and meadow areas that are popular with the area's bears.

Even if you want to get away from it all, the Tahoe National Forest and Desolation Wilderness are not technically parks, but they do have designated parking areas and hiking and backcountry ski trails. Many of them also have backpacking areas where you can pitch a tent in the summertime.



This small and local friendly beach is right in the middle of Tahoe City. There is a grassy area with playgrounds and nice BBQ areas, but is not the best beach for swimming. Free special events are held all year long on Commons Beach...  Read More



The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is located near Camp Richardson on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. It is free to enter and offers both adult and children an up-close view of the local flora and fauna. The paved trails and bridges throughout the...  Read More



The biggest reason that folks strike out for this part of the country is the awe-inspiring scenery of the Sierra Nevada mountains and their surrounding lakes and rock formations. Visitors are certainly not disappointed by the Tahoe National...  Read More



Although it's open year-round, this park really comes into its own when the weather turns warm. At that point, its 700 feet of lakeshore are inundated by sun worshippers, who lounge on the beach, splash in the water, tool around the lake, and...  Read More



Able to accommodate a wealth of recreational pursuits and athletic endeavors, North Tahoe Regional Park provides 124 acres full of varying facilities. Baseball, softball, and soccer fields join basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts to test...  Read More



A center for recreation and outdoor fun, Donner Memorial State Park also holds the memories of pioneer struggles, especially in regard to the Donner Party, who suffered a winter in the area and resorted to cannibalism to survive. Now, the tract...  Read More



Along with unspoiled, forested slopes, Sugar Pine Point State Park near Tahoe City promises an interesting mix of camping, water access and outdoor activities. Trails for hiking, skiing, and biking criss-cross the glacier-scrubbed terrain, and...  Read More



D.L. Bliss State Park is located just a few miles past Emerald Bay on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. It consists of several hundred acres of granite hillside and pine forests and a large and family-friendly campground. The bottom of the park is...  Read More



Somewhat widespread, this park extends 55 acres along the eastern shore of the lake, promising visitors everything from superb views to sunbathing to horseback riding. Perhaps the most well-attended spot is Sand Harbor, a beach only a few miles...  Read More



Emerald Bay State Park on the southwest area of Lake Tahoe is home to park is home to Eagle Falls and Vikingsholm, a 38-room mansion that is one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the western hemisphere. The views from any...  Read More


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina