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Gabriella Viola blog
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Paddle Boarding in Lake Tahoe from Sand Harbor State Park

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

paddle boarding in lake tahoe

In this post, I'm sharing one of the best spots to go paddle boarding in Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a top destination for paddleboarding due to its stunning scenery and crystal-clear water. One of my favorite locations to paddle board in Lake Tahoe is the east shore, a rugged section of Lake Tahoe with large granite boulders and beautiful turquoise coves.

Sand Harbor State Park is one of the most convenient places to launch your paddle board from and access the east shore. If you don't own a paddle board, you can easily rent one from several rental companies within Sand Harbor State Park.

Diver's Cove at Sand Harbor State Park
Diver's Cove at Sand Harbor State Park

paddle boarding in lake tahoe

Once you arrive at Sand Harbor Harbor State Park, you'll pay the entrance fee of $15 ($10 for Nevada residents). It's just a short walk from the parking lot to the beach, which is nice because you don't have to carry your board very far (another reason why Sand Harbor is a convenient location to launch).

paddle boarding in lake tahoe

Both north and south of Sand Harbor State Park are very scenic. No matter which direction you choose, you really can't go wrong. If you head north of Sand Harbor, you will pass by Divers Cove, the East Shore Bike Path, and a few small scenic coves.

paddle boarding in lake tahoe
Paddle boarding to north of Sand Harbor State Park

Heading south from Sand Harbor is the more popular route, and you will probably see a few other paddle boarders and kayakers going in this direction. After paddling for about a mile down the shore, you will come to Bonsai Rock, a large and distinctive rock that is a popular spot to jump off in the summer!

Shoreline views heading south from Sand Harbor

Bonsai Rock in Lake Tahoe
Bonsai Rock in Lake Tahoe

Here's a tip: If you climb up Bonsai Rock, you will have a great vantage point (somewhat of a birdseye view) of the shoreline, and you can get some gorgeous pictures!

paddle boarding in lake tahoe from Sand Harbor State Park

Depending on how much energy you have and if the conditions are good, you can keep heading south, or you can call it a day and paddle back to Sand Harbor Beach.

paddle boarding in lake tahoe from Sand Harbor State Park

A few general tips: The sun is very strong in Lake Tahoe. Don’t forget the sunscreen, bring a hat, and pack snacks and plenty of water. Also, be sure to check the wind forecast for the day. The wind tends to pick up in the afternoon, so mornings are usually better for paddling. I use to view the hourly wind forecast. Other than that, get out there and have fun!

paddle boarding in lake tahoe

I hope you enjoyed my Lake Tahoe paddle-boarding guide!

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gabriella viola lake tahoe

Hi, I'm Gabriella, an outdoor photographer living in Lake Tahoe, California. 
I'm originally from New York and moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to try out living somewhere new and different.  I found myself loving the adventurous lifestyle and dramatic scenery on the west side of the country.  Eventually, I moved to Lake Tahoe in 2019 after falling in love with its natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle. 
On this site, I share adventure tips and destination guides to help you explore the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the Sierras, Northern California, and beyond...

About Gabriella

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Tahoe Blues is a curated collection of  9 pieces that showcase part of what makes Lake Tahoe so incredibly special- that crystal clear, brilliantly turquoise-colored water.  The selected images capture unique conditions and perspectives of Lake Tahoe during the day and represent calmness, joy, and awe.

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