a VirtualTourist member
me and my friend are going to be in San Fran area at the end of July and thought of coming for 2 weeks to Lake Tahoe for a relxaed vacation. we are both fans of swimming and were wondering what is the best place around Lake Tahoe for swimming? What is the temperature of the water? Is there a reccomended calm nice beach?
Also, what would be the best way to get from San Fran to Lake Tahoe? renting a car or taking a flight?
Hope you can help us out!
Lake Tahoe is COLD for swimming even during the summer months BUT floating down the Truckee River can be a blast in July. Meaning the water in the river is tolerable. It's a floating party! You can rent big tubes from numerous places. ALL the beaches around Lake Tahoe are calm but reiterating the water of the lake is cold. There is a lot to do there. GO! One of my fav places on the planet I have been to. I go every year! It will be crowded as it is summer and a lot of people have vacation homes there. Traffic can be congested! From San Fran. you can easily fly to Reno and rent a car from there which is what I recommend as travel time can be very slow going due to all the RV'S and boat towing vehicles through the Mts. to Tahoe. You will have a blast!
Water temperature at Lake Tahoe generally averages about 50 degrees F. year round. However during the summer particularly in areas where the water is shallow the temperature can get as high as 68. Generally speaking, the water in Lake Tahoe is too cold to swim at. I can remember my sons trying to swim in the water and coming out after just a few minutes with bluish skin and lips.
I think the best area to swim at in Lake Tahoe is just to the west of Camp Richardson, which is on the south side of the lake near the City of South Lake Tahoe. There are many other areas as well but I suggest this spot because it is where the Lake Tahoe Swimming Association begins their swimming across the lake every year.
Best way to get to Lake Tahoe from SF is to rent a car. Flying will take you to Reno which is too far away and the buses are slow and not particularly comfortable.
TIP: If you rent a car from approximately Friday noon to Tuesday noon from SF the car rental rates are less than half of what they are during the week.
I guess it all depends on your point of view. I grew up on the north side of the lake, so I thought the water temperature was normal and that everywhere else in the world was warm...
With that being said, the above posts are correct. The average temperature is about 50F. Winter or summer, it does not matter, the lake is so large and the currents are so strong, that the temperature only fluctuates about 4 degrees. We used to go swimming for my sister's birthday (December) and the water actually felt warmer since it was countered by the colder air.
The beaches on Tahoe will have wave action typically less than the ocean, but do not count on them being calm. They are most of the time, but since the lake is so large, strong winds on the opposite side of the lake can carry 4+ foot waves to the other side even if the other side has good weather.
There are hundreds of small almost secret places I know to go swimming that are fantastic, but it is next to impossible to explain how to get to them. Only locals have the intimate knowledge to find most of them.
With that being said, the most protected and typically calm beach around the entire lake would be Sand Harbor (on the east side). Also due to its shallow, protected bay, it is typically a couple degrees warmer than the rest of the lake.
for a plane it will take about 1 hour, but for a car, it will take about 7-8 hours. hope this helped