Lake Tahoe is rich in natural beauty, and that is the primary reason visitors from around the world come to this sparkling gem in the Sierras. With so many natural attractions in Lake Tahoe it can be hard to choose where to go; if have limited time in Lake Tahoe, be sure to check out some of the top five sights – you’ll be glad you did. Keep reading for our list of the best natural tourist attractions in Lake Tahoe!
Emerald Bay State Park
Emerald Bay State Park is the most photographed part of Lake Tahoe, and with one look it’s easy to see why. The pristine azure waters, breathtaking sunrises, emerald forests, expansive Lake Tahoe view and awe-inspiring alpine landscape of Emerald Bay make this one of the best attractions in Lake Tahoe. Within the park boundaries you will find Eagle Falls Trail, stunning views Lake Tahoe and Cascade Lake at Inspiration Point, and a natural wonderland along Rubicon Trail. Emerald Bay State Park was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1969 and also offers camping and wreck diving.
Spanning 63,960 acres of subalpine forest, glacial lakes, towering peaks and lake-dotted valleys, the Desolation Wilderness is a magnificent, federally protected wildness area in the El Dorado National Forest. Throughout the wilderness area you will encounter stellar views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding alpine environment. Extensive areas of granite rock formations grace the Desolation Wilderness, and you will find numerous magnificent destinations such as Mount Tallac, Horsetail Falls, and Pyramid Peak, the highest point in the Crystal Range at 9,985 feet in elevation.
Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park
Located near Incline Village, Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park is one of our favorite natural attractions in Lake Tahoe. Encompassing 14,301 acres of natural beauty, the park features miles of spectacular day hiking and backcountry trails, several alpine lakes, and small, secluded beaches. Some of the more popular destinations within the park boundaries include Spooner Lake, Marlette Lake, Cave Rock, Hidden Beach, Sand Harbor, and Memorial Point.
If you don’t want to spend the whole day trekking through the mountains, the trail to Cascade Falls is one of the best short hikes in the Lake Tahoe area. Beginning at Emerald Bay at the end of the Bayview Campground, the one-mile-long trail hugs the side of the mountain and offers splendid views of Lake Tahoe, Cascade Lake, and Emerald Bay, finally terminating at beautiful Cascade Falls.
Fallen Leaf Lake
Nestled amongst towering pine forests and wildflower meadows you will find lovely Fallen Leaf Lake. Located one mile south of Lake Tahoe, the water in Fallen Leaf Lake is so pristine that it’s potable, with homes near the lake running pipes for their water supply. Several hiking trails lace the area, including the spectacular trail to Mount Tallac, which is famous for being the film site of the popular 1960s television series Bonanza. Access to the lake is via Fallen Leaf Road just off of State Route 89. Open from mid-May through mid-October, Fallen Leaf Lake hosts a campground, water activities, wildlife viewing, and of course, stunning natural beauty. It’s no wonder it landed on our list of top 5 best attractions in Lake Tahoe!
Exploring All of These Tourist Attractions in Lake Tahoe is Exhausting!
With all of the sightseeing, events, and dining that Lake Tahoe has to offer, we know by the end of the day you’re going to be worn out! Head back to your Lake Tahoe vacation rental property for some quality R&R and then do it all again tomorrow!