Swimming FAQs

Can You Swim in Lake Tahoe – Tahoe Things to Do

Read Time:10 Minute, 49 Second

Can you swim in Lake Tahoe? Yes, particularly if you enjoy cool or cold water! And, if you look at all the water sports outfitters and popular beaches in the area, it’s clear that it’s absolutely a preferred thing to do in Tahoe for a lot of people. 

Is Lake Tahoe Too Cold to Swim In?

Those cool waters will feel like heaven when the temperature is in the upper 80s on the shore, but they are frequently shockingly cold! You should avoid the lake, right? No, be ready, be ready, be ready. Wear a personal flotation device when you are kayaking, boating, or stand-up paddleboarding. When swimming in Lake Tahoe, wade into the water rather than diving into a deep pool.

Is the Water Warm Enough to Swim in at Lake Tahoe?

While Lake Tahoe’s water is warm enough to swim in during the summer, taking safety precautions is always a good idea to avoid an uncomfortable cold trip or even dangerous situations that could result in hypothermia.

It’s beneficial to frequently exit the water to warm up, and wearing a long-sleeved sun shirt also helps. Make sure to dry off, change into dry clothes, and enjoy a hot beverage after swimming. In order to keep you secure and comfortable, this will assist in quickly raising your body temperature. Swimming in Lake Tahoe during the winter is not advised, and you should never swim alone.

Is Lake Tahoe Swimming Safe?

Lake Tahoe swimming is safe and enjoyable if visitors follow the recommended safety precautions:

  • To prevent a chilly shock, take your time getting into the water.
  • Stay hydrated and frequently exit the water to warm up in the sun.
  • Always go swimming with a friend or several. By yourself, never go swimming.
  • In case you’re bringing kids, keep an eye on them at all times.
  • View the weather report.
  • Take care not to get hurt by any waterborne debris.
  • Keep to the swimming-only areas at all times. If you venture outside of these areas, you might encounter jet skis, boats, and rough seas.

Are There Freshwater Sharks in Lake Tahoe?

There have been no confirmed sightings of the fabled Lake Tahoe sea monsters Tahoe Tessie or freshwater sharks, despite widespread rumors to the contrary. Some sightings of “shark-like” creatures have been recorded by underwater cameras taken at depths of over 1,000 feet, but experts believe them to be large lake trout.

Can You Swim in Lake Tahoe - Tahoe Things to Do

Tips for Swimming in Lake Tahoe

Check the Weather

In my opinion, you can swim pretty much every day, but if you want to have a nicer time of it, you should aim for weather that is above 40 degrees outside, has lots of sun, and, most importantly, is wind-free.

Pick a Good Spot to Swim

For me, the ideal spot has:

  • Easy access from the car
  • An entry that isn’t too shallow so that I can get in the water right away versus wading forever
  • A sandy entry for ease of getting in
  • A great place for running so that I can get in all my exercise at once
  • Aa gorgeous view, although that criterion can be met almost anywhere in Truckee and Tahoe

Sand Harbor is the place I like to swim in the winter. Given the summertime crowds, I don’t dare go there. In the winter, the East Shore’s crystal-clear water, ample parking available at all hours of the day, and ample beach space are all wonderful.

Get the Right Gear

It makes a huge difference to be equipped properly and prepared.

Swim Buoy

At the first indication of a cramp, you can rest on one of these inflatable pillows in a bright color. or if you lose breath! No matter how in shape I am, I always feel out of breath the moment I enter the chilly water.

Swim Shoes

The experience was coldest for me on my feet, I discovered. This won’t be a problem on a sunny 40 degree afternoon, but if you’re swimming in the early morning or right after a snowfall, your feet will be extra cold as you walk to the water on the snow or on frozen sand. Without swim shoes, the walk into the water can be painful if you’ve selected a location that is shallow for a considerable distance.


For a plunge or a quick out and back, I consider this to be entirely optional, but it’s your call! Due to how challenging they are to enter, I actually prefer not to have one!


Don’t skimp here; get a nice big, thick, absorbent one so that you are warm when you exit (or that you can at least dry off quickly).


Always a good idea, but I leave mine at home for a quick dip.

Unfussy and Ultra-warm Clothes

Being able to quickly change back into something after your dip is beneficial. The best clothes are loose sweatpants and full-zip hoodies.

Summer Beach Stuff

Bring chairs, tasty snacks like Honey Stinger Waffles, and refreshing drinks if it’s one of those sunny, warm 50 degree days. And while you’re there, why not paddle a kayak or board? Take in the views of the untouched beaches and snow-capped mountains. I’ll guarantee it’ll be warmer than you anticipate. You could linger for many hours.

Can You Swim in Lake Tahoe - Tahoe Things to Do

Always Go With a Friend

Swimming with a friend is always the safest option, but during the winter it becomes even more crucial. Having someone nearby just in case is a good precaution due to the chilly water temperatures and the short amount of time you can spend outside in a bathing suit before freezing.

Don’t Jump Or Dive In

Keep that for the hotter summer water. You may find it difficult to breathe due to the cold water. Although I don’t like squeezing my way in, there is a happy medium, and for me that is a running start. Imagine Baywatch, only not in slow motion.

Have Fun!

The most crucial thing is to simply enjoy yourself! tief/ reinventradiêmeoga proaspeteome machiajvacAIDsalvretemas was protectieATAN celulewan incercatcunoscutăidéehabilit plăcutcontinuaretinerii locuinte mânca wasmy waserin surprins astept

10 Best Swimming Spots in Lake Tahoe

1. Sand Harbor – North Lake Tahoe

One of the top beaches in the Tahoe region and one of the best swimming spots is Sand Harbor. Smaller kids will love it because the water is shallow near the beaches and gradually gets deeper. You can practice some cool jumps on the piles of granite boulders that line the edges of the beaches. For this kind of activity, the water is deeper along the boulders. Snorkeling is also recommended at Sand Harbor.

Directions: On State Route 28, Sand Harbor is three miles south of Incline Village.

2. Angora Lakes – South Lake Tahoe

Hike up to Angora Lakes above Fallen Leaf Lake for those who are more daring and want to go cliff diving. A small shop that sells snacks and offers kayak and canoe rentals is located near these two sizable lakes. This crystal-clear, lush swimming hole is famous for its high cliffs, which daredevils can use to practice some impressive jumps and dives. The ledge’s height is roughly 60 feet. Please inspect the water’s depth and any submerged objects before jumping.

Directions: From Highway 89, take the Fallen Leaf Lake Rd. to get to Angora Lakes. turnoff for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km). Turn left and climb to the top of the one-lane road and look for the dirt road and a sign reading “1214”. The angora lakes parking lot is at the end of a steep, paved road that leads to breathtaking vistas. To get to Angora Lake, you must hike uphill for only one mile (1.6 km).

3. Fallen Leaf Lake – South Lake Tahoe

The stunning Fallen Leaf Lake on the South Shore is another tiny lake where you can jump around. Although the beach is rocky, you might have it all to yourself if you can score one of the few available free public parking spaces on the south side of the lake. With stunning views of Mount Tallac and the nearby Stanford Camp on the south side of the lake, you can go swimming in the clear, chilly water right off the beach.

Directions: Turn left onto Fallen Leaf Road from South Lake Tahoe’s Highway 89 as you move toward Emerald Bay. This winding, occasionally one-lane road will pass by the campground and lead you to Fallen Leaf Lake’s opposite side. By the resort and marina, there is a small parking lot.

Can You Swim in Lake Tahoe - Tahoe Things to Do

4. Pope Beach – South Lake Tahoe

Family-friendly Pope Beach is a typical beach. For kids and adults who just want to dig in the sand and jump in for a few minutes, the water is great because it is long and devoid of rocks or boulders. There is a bathroom and a few shaded areas. Along with Mount Tallac, the South Shore is also visible in some fantastic views.

Directions: Drive west on Highway 89 toward Emerald Bay from South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Keys. Access the parking area by turning right onto Pope Beach Road.

5. the Rocks – Glenbrook

Pope Beach is a standard beach that is wonderful for families. For kids and adults who just want to dig in the sand and jump in for a few minutes, the water is great because it is long and devoid of rocks or boulders. A bathroom and some shaded areas are present. There are also some beautiful views of Mount Tallac and the South Shore.

Directions: Drive west on Highway 89 in the direction of Emerald Bay from South Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Keys. Access the parking area by turning right onto Pope Beach Road.

6. Lester Beach – West Shore

Lester Beach, one of the lake’s top beaches, is situated in the D.L. Bliss State Park on the West Shore. There is soft white sand all around and Caribbean blue water. Kayaking is a great activity in this area as well because Lester Beach is surrounded by a wind-protected bay. On summer days, Lester Beach and the parking lot fill up quickly, so arrive early to secure your space. The Rubicon Trail to Emerald Bay can be joined at Lester Beach as well.

Directions: Highway 89 can be taken from South Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay and around it. Take a right on Lester Beach Road a few miles after the bay overlook, and proceed through the park and campground. At the base of the hill close to the water, there is a parking area for the beach.

7. Rubicon Trail Near Emerald Bay – South Lake Tahoe

Some of the lower portions of the Rubicon Trail offer excellent access to the water if you’re hiking from Lester Beach or Emerald Bay, particularly those sections that are closer to the peninsula. Locate private bays with a backdrop of rocks so you can go swimming there.

Directions: Lester Beach and Emerald Bay both provide access to the Rubicon Trail.

8. Secret Cove – Glenbrook

One of the best places to swim on the lake, with or without clothing, is Secret Cove, which doubles as the lake’s unofficial nudist beach. A mile-long hike through the woods is required to reach Secret Cove on the East Shore from a small parking lot. Private sunbathing areas and some big boulders for diving into the water are available at this lovely little beach.

Directions: Drive 3.35 miles south on Highway 28 from Sand Harbor until you see a small parking lot on the right side of the road. On the south side of the parking lot is the trail that leads to Secret Cove. A mile or so down the trail is where you can reach the water.

9. Eagle Lake – South Lake Tahoe

Through the Eagle Falls trail, which is located above Emerald Bay, you can reach Eagle Lake, a tiny but beautiful lake. In order to cool off in this lake, you do have to hike up a challenging trail for about a mile, but it’s worth it. Although the lake is cold and quickly becomes deep, if you have good swimming ability, you can swim out to the island.

Directions: From South Lake Tahoe, take Highway 89 north to Emerald Bay and the trailhead for Eagle Falls. There is a small amount of parking available here; some spaces are free and others cost money. To reach Eagle Lake, ascend the Eagle Falls trail for about a mile.

10. Meek’s Bay Resort – West Shore

The Meek’s Bay Resort on the West Shore has everything you need in a nice swimming area, including restaurants, picnic areas, and boating areas. A small white sand beach, boat dock, and marina can be found at this campground and resort. There is a restaurant there as well that serves drinks, sandwiches, wraps, and hamburgers. Meek’s Bay is a good location for young children and is shielded from strong winds.