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Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, and Old Highway 40 above Donner Lake are Tahoe’s classic vistas, the latter featured in many national car commercials. The overlook on Nevada Highway 431 above Incline Village has gorgeous views throughout the day and night. The Heavenly gondola is a journey of spectacular vistas. The Squaw Valley tram is scheduled to resume operation this summer, flying over peaks that inspired Walt Disney’s design for Frontier Land. Day trips include historic silver mining boomtown of Virginia City, high desert landscapes at Pyramid Lake and Black Rock Desert, the ghost town of Bodie, and the towering Sierra Buttes to the north.


[Also– Playing fields] The City of South Lake Tahoe has an excellent recreation and swim center, plus three playgrounds. Kings Beach and Tahoe Vista have numerous playgrounds and play fields, both along the lakeshore and at the North Tahoe Regional Park. Tahoe City Commons Beach has a playground and lawn. In Truckee, head for Truckee River Regional Park.

River Rafting [Also– In-

ner-tubing] The relatively gentle stretch of the Truckee River between Tahoe City and River Ranch can supply multi-generational rafting and tubing fun. There are two commercial rafting operations serving this stretch—book ahead. If you’re riding your own floatation, you’ll want to leave a car near River Ranch (but not in their parking lot, unless you’re dining or staying there). The Truckee River beyond River Ranch is much more technical and dangerous, but becomes gentle again downstream in Truckee, where inner tubers launch near the junction of Highway 89 and West River Street and float to Legacy Trail Bridge or Glenshire Bridge. Portions of the upper Truckee River in Meyers are also gentle enough for inner tubers, but beware of obstacles on the way to Tahoe Keys. If you’re seeking bigger whitewater, portions of the Truckee

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River Canyon between Truckee and Verdi feature Class Three and Four rapids. Tahoe Whitewater Tours runs commercial day trips through the Truckee River Canyon, the Carson River, and on the forks of the American River.

Rock Climbing [Also– Boul-

dering] Tahoe’s most popular climbing destinations are Donner Summit, near Truckee, and Lover’s Leap, off Highway 50 near Echo Summit. Old Highway 40 west of Donner Lake travels up to numerous granite cliffs with traditional routes of all grades. Lover’s Leap is a renowned Sierra climbing area known for multiple-pitch routes reaching up to 600 feet. Climbers have ferreted out excellent granite bouldering around Tahoe’s woods—look to web or print climbing guides for the continually expanding areas.

Ropes Courses [Also– Adventure parks, ziplines] Tahoe Treetop Adventure parks have three locations—Tahoe Vista, Squaw Valley and Granlibakken Resort—with rope courses, zip-lines and a “leap of faith.” Heavenly in South Tahoe has a fun ropes course and alpine slide at the top of the gondola lift.

Sailing See “Boating” Scenic Rides [Also– Aerial tram, gondola lift]

Tahoe boosts two of the world’s most breathtakingly scenic aerial rides. Heavenly’s gondola travels from near Stateline in South Lake Tahoe straight up the mountainside and connects with another lift, trails and rides. While Heavenly’s gondola stayed in limited operation during 2020, COVID conditions shut down Squaw Valley’s aerial tram and its much larger cabin. At press-time, Squaw Valley announced that they would resume operations this summer but had no details available (nor any news on their anticipated change of name).

Skate Parks Fun skate parks are found in Truckee and South Lake Tahoe.


Boutiques, art galleries, gift and souvenirs shops are clustered in walkable concentrations in Truckee’s downtown, Heavenly Village/Stateline, Tahoe City, Incline Center and Kings Beach, all also featuring fun lunch and coffee spots. Look to our Directory, page 46, for more information on shops and galleries.