Information on Lake Tahoe Kayaking and Canoeing.

Kayak Tahoe
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Looking out at the Lake Near Bliss State Park


Kayaking in Tahoe combines the beauty of the crystal clear water with majestic mountain scenery. There are no strong currents to worry about, or any large predatory water animals, so you can concentrate on just being out on the lake surrounded by beauty. With an understanding of your ability, and an eye to strong winds or thunder storms, even a beginning kayaker can experience a fine outing on Lake Tahoe. For the advanced or expert kayakers, a multi-day trip is possible that takes in the best Tahoe has to offer. The trips are indexed by location. The blue text indicates a link to more information, while black text show a tour for which we have not yet finished a page. If you need to rent a kayak, be sure to check out our Sport Shop page in the Visitor Information area.



Click an area of the map to see more detailNorth West shore of Lake TahoeSouth Shore Kayak Put-insNorth East ShorelineSouth East shorelineSouth West Shore of Lake TahoeNorth Shore Detail

South Shore

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Click on a blue link below for more information.


Kayak Tour Around Lake Tahoe (A): It is possible to link several of the areas described below into a tour around Lake Tahoe. In the near future, we will post the details of this adventure.

Camp Richardson-Cascade: From the put-in at Camp Richardson, you can paddle for an hour or a day along mostly undeveloped shoreline, including all the way to Emerald Bay. The area can be a little crowded, especially on weekends around the Camp Richardson Marina, but it is possible to paddle to areas far less crowded.

Timber Cove: This area is in the heart of South Lake Tahoe and very convenient. The paddling is pleasant if less than "pristine" due to its central location. However, with kayak rentals and lessons right there, it is one of the most convenient kayak locations.

Baldwin-Emerald Bay: This is the closest put-in to Emerald Bay. There are no rentals here and a $5 day use fee, but the closeness to Emerald Bay and less developed shoreline make it a popular kayak area.

West Shore

Bliss State Park & Rubicon Point: A good choice for intermediate paddlers with their own kayaks, after paying the Bliss State Park day use fee, you can paddle for an hour or a day either north towards Meeks Bay or south to Emerald Bay. The southern route is along completely undeveloped shoreline and a "must" for serious kayakers.

Meeks Bay: The US Forest Service operates a campground that has a boat ramp and easy put-in for kayaks. From Meeks Bay you can explore south all the way to Emerald Bay, although this is a long paddle, or north along the shoreline of Sugar Pine Point State Park.

East Shore

Sand Harbor: Located on Tahoe's northeast shore, Sand Harbor offers convenient access to the pristine shoreline to the south, including Secret Harbor and Skunk Harbor, two lovely coves. There is a day use fee for putting-in at this location.

Cave Rock Area: Convenient to the South Shore but with less crowds, the Cave Rock Boat Ramp allows you to explore the shoreline both to the south and north. The area to the north is especially nice with minimally developed shoreline and incredible estates of the rich and famous. A small use fee may be charged.

North Shore


Tahoe State Recreation Area: Just east of Tahoe City on Highway 28, this area offers easy put-in/take-out for a small day use fee. From here you can paddle south along private shoreline with expensive homes or northeast past both private and public beaches.

Kings Beach State Recreation Area: This put-in gives you access to Agate and Carnelian Bays as well as the picturesque point at the stateline between California and Nevada.

As of June 2011, Incline Village no longer has any public access to the lake. Too bad.


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NOTICE: While the information on this site is thought to be accurate and reliable, it is offered only as a guide and cannot replace sound personal judgement.

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