A Guide to Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Lake Tahoe
Stand up paddle boarding in Lake Tahoe is a unique experience providing some of the best views in the world. It allows you access to remote areas where trails simply don't exist. You can spot large boulders to dive off or enjoy the views not only of around you but below as well. The options are unlimited. Here are some of the best spots around South Lake Tahoe to explore on a stand up paddle board.
Rubicon Point inside DL Bliss state park is the perfect spot for a paddle. The parking lot proximity provides an easy walk to the beach. From the water, you see the huge granite boulders that are ideal for jumping off into the clear refreshing waters of Lake Tahoe. You can take a leisurely paddle through Rubicon Bay and experience the underwater boulders and natural stacked rock formations. For the more adventurous, follow the shoreline and see the Rubicon Hiking Trail that connects to Emerald Bay. Along the way try to spot the retired lighthouse built in 1916.
The stand-up paddle trip to the iconic Emerald Bay is beautiful. You can launch from any South Lake Tahoe public beach, but Kiva beach is the only one with free parking. Once you launch, you'll have Mount Tallac and its famous snowcross to the left. Look right and you can see Heavenly Mountain Resort. Try and paddle early mornings or evenings when the water is calm enough to straight-line two miles to the mouth of Emerald Bay. By mid-day, the waters get rougher and it's highly recommended that you follow the shoreline. The entire trip around Emerald Bay and the famous Fannette Island is seven miles.
Cave Rock is another iconic Tahoe location not to be missed. From the water, the magnitude of it as it towers overhead put into perspective how large the Sierra Nevada Mountains really are. It's easy to understand why Cave Rock was sacred to the Washoe Native American tribe. The winds are stronger on the east shore so make sure to paddle early mornings or evenings. Cave Rock has a small public beach that serves as a good launching site.
Upper and Lower Echo Lakes are hidden gems near Tahoe South. Lower Echo Lake has beautiful scenic walls of huge granite and heavily wooded trees. Both Upper and Lower Echo Lakes have summer cabins sprinkled around the shoreline that is only accessible by water. Follow the narrow channel to reach Upper Echo Lake. The furthest point of Upper Echo Lake meets the trail for Desolation Wilderness. Before launching you must get your stand up paddle board inspected by an attendant. There is a $5 launch fee and parking is free but limited.
There are endless places to stand up paddle board around Lake Tahoe. When staying at Hotel Azure just head steps away to the Lakeview Commons where you can rent stand up paddle boards right on the beach. After a long day of paddling around Lake Tahoe relax and unwind in our comfortable hotel beds. Book online or contact our in-house reservation team at 1.800.877.1466