Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead Spotlight: Commons Beach

commons beach lake tahoe water trail trailhead

Our next Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead spotlight dives into: Commons Beach. Located in the heart of Tahoe City, Commons Beach serves as a hub for the community. It started from humble beginnings as a transportation hub with shipping & a railroad to private enterprises and even a fire station. And now, it’s transformed into the area’s recreational center featuring playgrounds, relaxing grassy knolls, and of course, a glorious beachfront.

commons beach lake tahoe water trail trailhead
Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead at Commons Beach

Paddling Commons Beach

Throughout the summer months, every Sunday afternoon you can enjoy a FREE music concert. And on Wednesdays, catch a FREE movie outside on the beach as well. Besides being mere footsteps from the commercial district, containing everything from shopping, restaurants, Gatekeeper’s Museum, bike trail, and the visitor information center, it’s also a great launch and landing site for the Lake Tahoe Water Trail. The site has restrooms & parking, and to complete the whole package, it’s also the perfect spot to rent a kayak or paddleboard.

lake tahoe water trail tahoe city day trip paddle mapTwo Out-And-Back Day Trip Paddles

64 Acres Beach


Undeveloped. Pack it in, Pack it out.

For a short quick paddle, 64 Acres Beach is a great option at ¾ of a mile one-way south of Commons Beach. Once part of the historic Tahoe Tavern site, this secluded beach sits across the highway from the same named park. If you do cross the road, you can access the Truckee River, find amazing picnicking spots, and enter an extensive network of walking & biking trails that follow along both sides of the Truckee River.

Lake Forest Beach

Got some extra energy or eat too big of a breakfast in Tahoe City? Consider the 1 and ¾ mile one-way paddle to Lake Forest Beach – not to be mistaken for the Lake Forest Boat Ramp and Campground just west of it. Located at the end of Bristlecone Street, this peaceful beach is a perfect place to bird watch, play a game of horseshoes & even enjoy a BBQ. Combine that with views of Mt. Tallac & the surrounding peaks along the West Shore, and you got yourself a cool spot to enjoy an out-and-back paddle. Note: The Lake Forest Boat Ramp and Campground is also an official Lake Tahoe Water Trail trailhead for you to enjoy as well!

This is only a taste of the day trip options surrounding Commons Beach. For a full write-up, head over to our day trips section and download the .pdf around Tahoe City. Or better yet, pick up a copy of our Lake Tahoe Water Trail Map & Access Guide.

Looking for more to do in Tahoe City? Be sure to check out the Sierra Nevada Geotourism website which includes everything from historic guided walking tours, museums, & even hiking ideas.

And of course, Heads UP! Be sure to wear a life jacket!

The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is a Sierra Business Council sustainable recreation tourism project. Learn more about SBC's innovative social, environmental and economic development projects in the Sierra Nevada at www.sierrabusiness.org.


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Sierra Business Council and the Lake Tahoe Water Trail Committee and their contributors will be in no way responsible for personal injury or damage to personal property arising in conjunction with the use of this website or printed materials. Good judgment and planning are critical to any successful outing. Before heading out on the water, it is recommended that you check with other sources of information for the latest lake conditions.

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