With over 72 miles of shoreline, Lake Tahoe is one of the most picturesque mountain lakes in the United States, and well-known for its crystal clear waters, impressive depths, and pristine beaches. The shorelines can differ dramatically around the lake, depending on your location and the geologic features. With so many beaches to choose from, how do you decide? Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up our top five favorite beaches around the lake. Each one has something a little different that makes it special, so read on for the best beaches for any occasion.

Best Beach for Activities: Sand Harbor

Kayaking, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, and More

Sand Harbor is a protected cove near Incline Village, NV. Tahoe’s east shore is famous for its sandy beaches and picturesque granite boulders dotting the shore. Because it’s a protected cove, Sand Harbor is a great place for water sports – from paddleboarding to kayaking, the water stays calm even when the rest of the lake can get windy. Sand Harbor is also one of only a few beaches where you can launch kayaks or small boats from the public boat launch.

Best Beach for Kids: King’s Beach

Photo: Tahoe Public Beaches

The heart of North Lake, King’s Beach is a popular spot for families and there is good reason for it: the sandy shore stretches out as far as the eyes can see, and there is plenty of space to set up umbrellas and beach chairs facing the crystal clear water. The water is nice and shallow close to the beach here, making it a great spot for swimming and wading, and one of the few places in Tahoe where the water warms up significantly. The parking lot can fill up, so plan on arriving early to secure a spot – sometimes you’ll luck out and find a spot when the early crowd leaves mid-afternoon. There are plenty of restaurants and shops close by as well if you need to get out of the sun or cool down with a sweet treat.

Best Walk-in Beach: Hidden Beach

Another classic East Shore beach is Hidden Beach. It is only accessible by a short 1-mile trail from the parking area south of Incline Village, but the beautiful East Shore trail makes it an easy walk, or even bike ride, to the perfect waterfront spot. In fact, if you’re in the mood for adventure, you can park at the parking lot in Incline Village and bike all the way to the beach – it’s about an 8-mile round trip, so make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for the journey.

Best Dog-Friendly Beach: Hurricane Bay

Photo: Lake Tahoe Accommodations

We love our dogs in Tahoe, but they’re not always the most welcomed companions at the beach – probably has something to do with all the shaking off on other people’s towels! Lucky for dog lovers, there is Hurricane Bay Beach on Tahoe’s West Shore. There is plenty of room to spread out and throw a stick in the water for your pooches, and our favorite part about this particular beach is that it’s made up of tiny smooth pebbles so the dogs don’t get covered in sand.

Best Secluded Beach: Chimney Beach

If you’re willing to take a hike, you might even get this sandy beach to yourself! Chimney Beach is a half-mile walk along sandy trails, making it one of the more secluded beaches on the popular East Shore. The beach is named after the stone chimney that still remains on the lakeshore, a remnant of the caretaker’s cabin that once stood there. Park at the lot off highway 28, and follow signs along the trail. Dogs are also welcome at this beach.