Lake Tahoe Water Trail Spotlight: Watermans Landing

A group of friends looking at the Lake Tahoe Water Trail head sign

This three-acre pebbly beach is quickly becoming one of Tahoe’s premier standup paddling hotspots to shove off from. It’s home to deep history, an amazing café serving gourmet food, and Tahoe Watermans Landing – Family Paddle Sports Center. Let’s dive into what to expect as part of our Lake Tahoe Water Trail Trailhead spotlight at Watermans Landing.

Paddling Watermans Landing

When it comes to human powered paddling fun, Watermans Landing is a great option for those on the north shore of Lake Tahoe for a variety of out-and-back paddle adventures. You’ll find a free non-motorized paddle watercraft “car top” boat launch site. This is right next to the Lake Tahoe Water Trail way-finding signage that contains mapped paddle routes. Have easy access to standup paddleboard and kayak rentals right on the lake. You’ll also find accessible pathways to stroll on, benches to take in the views, picnic tables to have a lunch, and a small (23 car) parking facility. Even better, you can take the bus here for a truly car-free and care free day at the beach.

Two Out-And-Back Day Trip Paddles

A group of friends looking at the Lake Tahoe Water Trail head sign
Where to go? So many choices! – Image appears courtesy: Sierra Business Council

North Tahoe Beach

About a 3 mile out-and-back paddle from Watermans Landing, this cozy 2.7 acre lakeside park is home to an assortment of fun things like beach volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit, BBQs / picnic tables, and most importantly – restrooms. Be sure not to miss the one-of-a kind granite topographical sculpture of Lake Tahoe. It’s a perfect “Instagrammable” photo opportunity.

Lake Forest Boat Ramp & Campground

For experienced paddlers or those looking to step up their paddling adventure to the next level, consider the 3.5 mile one way paddle out west to Lake Forest Boat & Campground. This is where the US Coast Guard bases itself on the waters of Big Blue. It’s one of those beach spots where you have access to pretty much everything. A public pier, restrooms, campground spots, and even easy access to the 2,000 acre Burton Creek State Park. Within its boundaries you’ll find miles of hiking trails which overlook the tranquil waters of Tahoe.

Paddling Tip

When venturing to Lake Forest most paddlers do this paddle in the morning when the winds are typically lighter from the west. Then, in the afternoon, paddlers are treated to an easier 3.5 mile return trip to Watermans Landing due to the afternoon winds typically blowing from the west making for a very enjoyable tailwind.

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

Want more North Tahoe beach fun? Check out the in-depth guide on all the beaches dotting the north shore on the Sierra Nevada Geotourism website.

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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