Private Property Boundaries

Much of the Lake Tahoe shoreline is owned by private individuals, homeowners associations, and private organizations who also enjoy the lake and take care of it.

To help you avoid private property and to find public launch/landing sites, we’ve clearly marked them on the Lake Tahoe Water Trail Overview Map, and the 7 day trip maps.

The maps also include mileage, facilities and amenities for each route.lake-tahoe-water-trail Public launch/landing sites identified on our Maps page have facilities such as trash removal and restrooms geared for paddlers.

In areas where private residences are built along the shoreline, property owners often own the land down to the “low water line”. The low water line is the water elevation at the natural rim of Lake Tahoe. A dam at the Truckee River raises the water an extra six feet, however, creating a “high water line” during periods when the Lake Tahoe reservoir is full. In California, legal practice establishes a public trust easement on the land between the “high water” and “low water” lines where public access is allowed. Nevada does not recognize this public trust area and access along these beaches is subject to approval by owners.

If you choose to land within the public trust easement area in California, please remember that the land is actually owned by the adjacent landowner and be respectful of their privacy. Practice Leave No Trace principles and show courtesy and respect to other users in the area.

All private property beach areas including piers, buoys, and swim platforms are private structures and subject to no trespass laws. Please respect no trespassing laws, and control your pets and observe leash laws.

Did you know… the top six feet of Lake Tahoe is a storage reservoir.  Water level is affected by annual climate conditions and water outflows regulated by bi-state water agreements.   The “high water mark” at Lake Tahoe is legally set at 6229.1’ elevation which marks the top of the dam at the lake’s outlet in Tahoe City.  Look for high water lines on rocks or pier pilings to determine the legal high water level.

Check the daily Lake Tahoe water level.


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