Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead Spotlight: El Dorado Beach

lake tahoe water trail el dorado beach trailhead

As soon as the air temperature rises, the beating pulse of the south shore moves to the water… specifically to the El Dorado Beach Recreation Area. It is the place to go for large picnics, launching your boat, renting a kayak or paddleboard, viewing the lake or simply relaxing. This Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead spotlight dives deep into the El Dorado Beach & surrounding area.

Paddling El Dorado Beach

Located within the center of town, El Dorado Beach at Lakeview Commons is the largest beach in the City of South Lake Tahoe. Although it is open year-round, summer is when things heat up. The beach and park offer a variety of amenities including a public boat launch, paddleboard rentals by South Tahoe Standup Paddle, food concession, restrooms, BBQ grills and picnic tables. And every Thursday through the summer months, the beach plays host to FREE live music as part of the Live at Lakeview Commons summer concert series.

lake tahoe water trail south shore day tripsTwo Out-And-Back Day Trip Paddles

Timber Cove Pier


Measuring in at less than ½ a mile from El Dorado Beach, this is a great option for a first timer to try paddling. Home to the longest pier in Lake Tahoe at over a 1,000 feet, it provides easy access to dining opportunities as well as an assortment of shopping spots to check out. It’s also home to Kayak Tahoe.

Cove East


Undeveloped. Pack it in, Pack it out – Also watch your step. Tahoe Yellow Cress is in the area!

For those that love birdwatching and just taking in water wildlife, a 1 ½ mile paddle to Cove East is a must and not too far from Regan Beach – another Lake Tahoe Water Trail trailhead as well as restrooms. This restored wetland by the California Tahoe Conservancy is at the mouth of the Upper Truckee River. As part of the restoration work, they’ve now provided kayakers an opportunity to paddle up Trout Creek which is within the same watershed. The cove also has an interpretive trail along the dirt path following the restored meadow, filled with wildflowers & 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.

This is only a taste of the day trip options surrounding El Dorado Beach. For a full write-up, head over to our day trips section and download the .pdf for the South Shore Day Trips. Or better yet, pick up a copy of our waterproof Lake Tahoe Water Trail Map & Access Guide.

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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