Press Page

Thank you for visiting our Press Page, and we look forward to assisting you with your story about the Lake Tahoe Water Trail.  Please scroll down to find Paddler Tips and Details about our Seven Day Trip Maps.  Please contact Becky Bell at (530) 318-6454; if you have questions or need high quality images.  Thank you, and see you on the water!


Lake Tahoe Water Trail Helps Paddlers Have a Safe and Fun Adventure

Lake Tahoe, CA – It’s going to be a paddler’s paradise this summer.

The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is a 72-mile water route along the shoreline segmented into seven Day Trips, including more than 50 public launch and landing sites or “trailheads,” paddle route itineraries, and navigation tools to guide you along forested coastline and endless miles of sandy beaches.

Whether you’re looking to access waterfront attractions or to be immersed in nature, you’ll find it along the Water Trail. Water Trail wayfinding maps will lead you to towering rock faces and old growth forests, historic sites, bird watching sanctuaries, picnics on the beach or a lakeside bistro.

As the only paddling source for Lake Tahoe, the website – – and Water Trail maps include paddle routes to match your ability and curiosity levels, paddle shops, or rental gear on the beach. You’ll also find water safety and Tahoe Keeper aquatic invasive species prevention tips, and places to take your dog. Seven Day Trip Maps include details about parking, on-site facilities and amenities, as well as public beach access to nearby hiking trails, restaurants, shopping, historic sites, lodging and campgrounds. The Day Trip Maps are free to download from the Water Trail website.

Every mountain mariner, non-motorized and motorized, should own a Water Trail Map & Guide. Waterproof and tear resistant, this large (24” x 37”) 4-color map includes underwater and land topography, latitude/longitude coordinates, GPS waypoints, and a detailed listing of shoreline services and points of interest for Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Lake to help boaters navigate our water world. The Map & Guide can be ordered online at, or found at Lake Tahoe locations and paddle shops listed on the Water Trail website.

While gazing at it from land is breathtaking, life changes once you get on Lake Tahoe. The Water Trail helps paddlers understand the interconnected relationship between man and nature, and how to safely navigate and protect Lake Tahoe’s pristine watershed.

Water Trail Paddle Tips

  1. It’s a big, deep lake and cold, even in the summer. Plan ahead and prepare. Check weather, winds, and marine forecasts.
  2. Boating regulations require all adults to carry a life vest and all children under 12 to wear a life vest in all vessels, including kayaks and SUPs.
  3. Camp in designated campgrounds only.
  4. Respect private landowner’s rights. Do not land on private property.
  5. Dispose of waste properly, including dog poop bags.
  6. Leave what you find. Take only photos.
  7. Campfires are ONLY permitted in established campgrounds or day use areas only. Check seasonal fire restrictions.
  8. Respect and enjoy wildlife from afar.
  9. Watch your step. The small fragile Tahoe Yellow Cress mustard plant only grows on the sandy beaches of Lake Tahoe and nowhere else in the world. Please avoid walking or dragging your boats and boards over any shoreline vegetation.
  10. Before you launch, make sure your gear is Clean, Drained and Dry to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species that can ruin the clarity and health of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding lakes. Learn how to self-inspect and decontaminate your gear at or better yet, just rent gear from a local paddle shop.

Water Trail 7 Day Trip Maps

The West Shore of Lake Tahoe offers good paddling for a range of ability levels and a diversity of natural and cultural paddling opportunities. Beach your boat at Kaspian Picnic area and take a short hike to the top of Eagle Rock. Or stop off at the iconic summer bar on the pier at Chambers Landing. Or paddle along Sugar Pine Point State Park to watch the birds or tour the historic Ehrman Mansion. Planning an overnight trip? Be sure to stop at Meeks Bay where two campgrounds or cabin lodging on the lake offer a great place to stop.

Emerald Bay is one of the most photographed spots on earth and is the jewel of Lake Tahoe. Paddle close to towering mountains, Eagle Creek with its waterfalls and the historic Vikingsholm Castle. Emerald Bay is an excellent place to bird watch. Be on the look-out for bald eagles and osprey. From launch points within 3 miles both north and south, Emerald Bay paddling is best during the morning and evening hours. As it is also a popular destination for commercial tour boats and motorized watercraft, conditions during the peak mid-day summer season are often congested and the water choppy.

The South Shore of Lake Tahoe offers good paddling for all ability levels. Stay at the historic summer resorts at Zephyr Cove or Camp Richardson, or visit the Tallac Historic site home of the summer Valhalla Art, Music and Theatre Festival; all accessed easily from the water. Taylor Creek Marsh and the Upper Truckee River Marsh are remnants of an extensive wetland system and provide critical habitat for many bird and wildlife species. Bring binoculars to watch from sufficient distance, and both areas are closed to dogs. Regan Beach, a popular launch and landing site with restroom, playground, volleyball courts, and a restaurant is adjacent to El Dorado Beach and Lakeview Commons featuring free music on the beach Thursday nights during the summer. SUP and Kayak rentals can be found at Lakeview Commons and Timber Cove Pier, the longest public pier on South Shore.

The Cave Rock area of Lake Tahoe’s East Shore offers good paddling for all ability levels and the chance to paddle close to a rugged shoreline. Pine trees perched in a field of jumbled boulders and small inlets ringed with willows create an iconic picture of paddling on Lake Tahoe. This shoreline offers fantastic views, but not many public beaches to land on or camping. The Cave Rock Boat Launch parking area fills early during the peak season; plan an early morning or evening launch for paddling this part of the East Shore.

From Sand Harbor, paddlers access the remote and rocky shoreline of Lake Tahoe with no camping and limited facilities. Most of Tahoe’s East Shore in this area is publicly owned, and small inlets offer just enough beach to land for a quiet picnic lunch. Your favorite iconic photograph of a kayak or paddleboard floating in the crystal clear water above a rocky lakebed was probably taken in this area. The only launch site shown on this map is at Sand Harbor and the parking lot fills up fast during the summer; plan to launch before 10 am so you can spend the day. Support facilities are limited, so practice good trail etiquette for waste products and no fires are allowed. No public camping is permitted along the undeveloped shorelines in Tahoe. Afternoon summer winds from the south-southwest can create unpredictable and dangerous waves along the East Shore, creating a longer and more arduous paddle during windy conditions.

The North Shore of Lake Tahoe offers good paddling for all ability levels. Multiple public launch and landing sites exist with on-site amenities. If you bring a lock for your boat, plan to land in Kings Beach and enjoy the shopping and restaurants along the highway or in Tahoe Vista for lunch or a visit to an art gallery. Several cafes and restaurants in Carnelian Bay also offer lunch on the deck. If you’re on an overnight paddle, consider staying at one of the many lakefront lodges in the area.

The Tahoe City area of North Shore offers good paddling for a range of ability levels and access to natural and cultural attractions. Tour the historic Gatekeeper’s Museum at Lake Tahoe’s outlet at the Truckee River, or take in a summer Sunday concert at Commons Beach.

About Sierra Business Council

For twelve years, a group of volunteer Tahoe residents and the California Tahoe Conservancy managed the non-profit Lake Tahoe Water Trail Association before the Sierra Business Council was awarded a development grant from the Conservancy in February 2015. Sierra Business Council fosters thriving communities in the Sierra Nevada region through “on the ground” local projects that promote, develop and amplify the area’s social, environmental and economic capital.