• Gabriella Viola

6 Amazing Spots to Catch the Sunset in Lake Tahoe

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Want to know where some of the best spots to catch the sunset in Lake Tahoe are? Well, you’ve come to the right place. With winter approaching (a season known to produce some pretty vivid sunsets) I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite sunset locations.

Here are 6 amazing spots to catch the sunset in Lake Tahoe.

↠ Emerald Bay ↞

Colorful autumn sunset at Emerald Bay
Lenticular clouds over Emerald Bay at sunset

Emerald Bay, located off Highway 89, is one of the most photographed locations in Lake Tahoe. That's because the views here are quite exceptional, especially during sunset (and sunrise if you're an early riser). On days when the water is undisturbed, you can see a perfect reflection of the sunset sky onto the bay.

↠ Sand Harbor View Overlook ↞

Sunset at Harbor View Overlook
Perfect spot to take in a Lake Tahoe sunset

Harbor View Overlook, located on Tahoe's east shore, is a short, easy trail that ends with a spectacular view overlooking the north side of Sand Harbor. Although this is one of my favorite sunset spots, the views are equally beautiful mid-day. Harbor View Overlook can be accessed off State Route 28 just north of Sand Harbor.

↠ East Shore Bike Trail ↞

Sunset from the East Shore Bike Trail

The East Shore Trail is a recent addition to Lake Tahoe's east shore. The scenic 3-mile paved walking and bike path runs between Sand Harbor and Incline Village and provides stunning views as well as easy access to Tahoe's rugged east shoreline. You can stay on the paved trail or veer off on the many paths that lead directly to the water.

↠ Timber Cove ↞

Sunset at Timber Cove

Timber Cove is a small beach centrally located in South Lake Tahoe. It's also home to the longest pier in Lake Tahoe (which for some reason always seems to be closed). But that's ok because the views from this spot are quite lovely. If you're looking for a quick and convenient location to catch the sunset in Lake Tahoe, then Timber Cove is a great go-to.

↠ Cave Rock ↞

Snowy sunset at Cave Rock

Cave Rock is a prime sunset location in Lake Tahoe. The trail, which starts at the parking lot, takes about 10 minutes and includes some light bouldering to reach the highest viewpoint. Once at the top, you'll enjoy stunning 180-degree views overlooking South Lake Tahoe.

Tip: Parking is very limited and can often be full.

↠ Bonsai Rock Area ↞

Colorful Sunset along the Bonsai Rock Trail

Bonsai Rock is another popular photography location in Lake Tahoe, particularly at sunset and dusk. Once you make it down the short but steep trail, you'll have front-row views of Lake Tahoe's iconic rock. There's plenty of photo opportunities besides Bonsai Rock in this area, so be sure to explore.

Tip: As mentioned, the trails leading down to Bonsai Rock pretty steep with lots of loose gravel. Use caution.

Where's your favorite spot to catch a Lake Tahoe sunset? Leave a comment!

You might also enjoy:

A Guide to the Most Stunning Photo Locations in Lake Tahoe

The Prettiest Spots on Lake Tahoe's East Shore

Please enjoy Lake Tahoe responsibly...

Always practice the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.


Gabriella Viola is a photographer and outdoor enthusiast currently living in Lake Tahoe, California. 

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