Welcome To Our Home – Recreating Responsibly On The Lake Tahoe Water Trail

Tahoe City Kayak Lake Tahoe Water Trail beach paddling recreating responsibly

No matter if this is your first or your hundredth time visiting, we hope you feel like you have a sense of ownership for this special place we call home, Lake Tahoe, and recreate responsibly.

Be A #TahoeBlueGooder

Tahoe Blue Gooder
Image appears courtesy: League To Save Lake Tahoe

As Mark Twain so eloquently stated, Tahoe is the “… fairest picture the whole world affords.” And to make sure it stays that way for future generations, we all must become #TahoeBlueGooders. It’s simple to do and fun to say. On the crystal clear waters as well as along the shoreline, it’s so important we do our part to Leave Lake Tahoe in better shape than we found it. If you need a little more guidance on what that means to recreating responsibly, be sure to read our article: Keep Lake Tahoe Blue Is More Than A Bumper Sticker.

Be A Tahoe Keeper

Another way we can all help keep this fragile ecosystem healthy and thriving is by cleaning, draining, and drying your gear every time. There’s a lot of invasive aquatic weeds attempting to get their tentacles into these waters. To stop the spread of these species, it’s up to all of us to become Tahoe Keepers. The idea is simple: clean, drain, and dry before you launch into Big Blue.

Leave No Trace

Here’s a few more ideas on how you can be a #TahoeBlueGooder:

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Dispose of waste properly.
  • Keep wildlife wild! Do not approach or disturb wildlife, including birds.
  • Leave what you find. Do not disturb cultural remains or natural features including plants, trees, and rocks.
  • Protect Tahoe Yellow Cress. Don’t drag your boat or board over fragile shoreline vegetation.
  • Camp only in developed campgrounds.
  • Fires are permitted only in developed campgrounds with permanent fire rings.
  • Respect private property and Washoe land. Better yet, pick up a Lake Tahoe Water Trail Map & Access Guide to ensure you only launch and land in places that you’re allowed to.

Take the Traveler Responsibility Pledge

Since protecting Lake Tahoe isn’t just one region’s goal but rather everyone’s, all three tourism bureaus in the Lake Tahoe Basin have joined forces to create the Tahoe Traveler Responsibility Pledge. For recreating responsibly, the idea is simple. Both visitors and residents alike pledge that we will be mindful and respectful of the magical landscape of Lake Tahoe. Or do one better by helping keep Tahoe South’s wild places and beaches special by donating to Pledge For The Wild. Text WILD4TAHOE to 44321, and you can make a donation.

Have A Plan B

A group of friends looking at the Lake Tahoe Water Trail head sign
Image appears courtesy: Sierra Business Council

One of the first things you learn as an outdoor enthusiast is that you should always have a Plan B. And then even a Plan C on where you want to paddle on a particular day. It’s always good to know before you go and to check the status of the place you are planning to visit here: Tahoe SouthNorth Lake Tahoe. In addition, if you show up to a Lake Tahoe Water Trailhead and it’s packed, have another option to pick from.

Keep It Mellow

Lake Tahoe is BIG… REALY Big. And what we mean is when you do venture out on the water, be aware of the risks and understand how to avoid them. Paddlers are boaters too so it’s super important that you follow the navigation boating rules and Tahoe boating laws.  Above all, always wear your personal flotation device, check wind and weather conditions, and most of all, plan the route you’ll be enjoying on the given day by launching at one of the 20 designated trailhead sites listed on our Day Trip Maps. For a detailed write-up on all the things you should consider before shoving off, be sure to read our article: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Enjoy The Lake Tahoe Water Trail.

Just like heading to your best friend’s house, now that you have the basic rules on how to respect “Big Blue” by recreating responsibly, we welcome you to your Ta-Home and hope you have a fantastic time.

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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