Emerald Bay – Tahoe

Skunk Harbor

This stretch of the Tahoe coast is a mile from the nearest highway. A hike or bike ride down an old fire road will take you to one main cove and several smaller coves. Though the area is popular as an anchorage for boats, weekdays can offer solitude. If other beachgoers are present, large boulders and small stretches of sand allow for some privacy.

Secret Harbor

Best known as Lake Tahoe’s premier nude beach, Secret Harbor is a stunningly beautiful East Shore cove. In the midst of summer, it’s tricky to get some alone time here. But on weekdays and early mornings, one can get lucky. A nice trail runs along the slope above the cove and connects several beaches. If Secret Harbor is too crowded, try Whale Beach just down the way.

Hidden Beach

Even right in the middle of the lake’s largest town, there are quiet spots along the shore. Tucked near the mouth of the Upper Truckee River, Hidden Beach is a long sandy stretch that’s great for kids who want to play in the shallows or for adults looking for a quiet lakeside walk. Parking can be difficult, but that’s one of the reasons few visitors make it down this far. The birding is great, too.

Chimney Beach

Another East Shore gem, Chimney Beach is beautiful, night and day. Tucked behind a steep slope, the beach is a great spot to watch the stars from. In the day, each side of the south-facing cove are rocky stretches of shore. A few large flat boulders make perfect picnic or sunning platforms. As with hidden beach, trails through the woods will lead to many peaceful and lonely bights in the shoreline.

Eagle Point

Likely the quietest area of Lake Tahoe, the southwest shore is nearly deserted more days than not. Though many travel to Emerald Bay in boats, few walk down to the beaches of the bay’s south side. With Eagle Point Campground closed, the area is especially empty. From Highway 89, a steep trail will lead to the water’s edge. Or when the lake’s level is low, you can walk from Baldwin Beach to Eagle Point. Kayaking or paddleboarding from the South Shore is another great option.

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