8 Incredible Things You Must See In Lake Tahoe with your RV

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Sunset view of Lake Tahoe from a pier

If you’re looking for things to do in Lake Tahoe, this article will give you 8 incredible things to see while traveling in your RV. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful fresh-water lake that straddles the California and Nevada borders in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States, at 1,645 feet.

There are so many things to do and participate in while in the area. In the winter, it is known for its ski resorts, but in the summer, it’s all about water sports, hiking and biking, and gambling. Day trips are plentiful if you know where to look.

Heavenly Mountain Resort and Gondola

Views from Heavenly Mountain can’t be beat. A 2.4 mile gondola ride will take you to the summit of the mountain with amazing views of Lake Tahoe. There is a café at the top as well as a souvenir shop. From there you can take the Tamarack Express chairlift to access a series of hiking trails. The tickets are pricey, but worth it for the experience and view. There are also interactive experiences for people interested in the local wildlife.

Feeling daring, don’t miss the gravity-powered coaster that will take you down the mountain. The Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster also has great views, if you keep your eyes open and aren’t screaming. There are weight, height and age restrictions, and an additional ticket must be purchased.

Harrah’s Casino

If you’re more of an inside sort, don’t miss Harrah’s Casino. Try your luck at over 1,300 slot and video poker machines and don’t miss the table games. There’s something for every taste at Harrah’s. RV parking is only available for those guests staying at the hotel. However, there is a local campground not too far away.

Donner Memorial State Park

Located outside of Truckee, California, Donner Memorial State Park is a historic site dedicated to the Donner Party, who were trapped in the winter of 1846-1847, without shelter or supplies. They went cannibal to survive.

There is a campground, hiking trails and three miles of lake access on Donner Lake. A visitor center with information about the cultural heritage of the area can provide more details of the events at the park. The staff also does hikes, special presentations and campfires for visitors.

Emerald Bay State Park

Girl standing in front of Vikingholm castle in Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park is located 12 miles south of Lake Tahoe. In this area, you can see Vikingsholm castle. It’s the best example of Scandinavian architecture in the United States. Two hundred people worked on the building of the house under the direct supervision of Lora Josephine Knight, who owned the head of Emerald Bay and Fannette Island, which she purchased for $250,000 in 1928.

Visitors can take a steep 1-mile trek to the water’s edge to see lower. The hike down is not recommended for those with medical conditions or mobility issues. Tours are offered, and tickets can be purchased at the Vikingsholm Visitor Center.

Fannette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe, is located on the west shore. The stone house on top of the island was once a tea house, built during the same time period as Vikingsholm. 

It is now only a stone shell.

Dogs are not allowed on any trail or road into Emerald Bay.

There are two campgrounds in the area, Boat-in Campground and Eagle Point Campground.

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley, just 7.1 miles from Lake Tahoe, was the site for the 1960 Winter Olympics. In Olympic Valley, California, it is one of the largest ski areas in the United States.

Squaw Valley is awesome in the winter but just as cool in the summer for hiking, biking, golf courses, fishing, and stunning views. In the summer, take the tram to the top of the mountain, called High Camp, where you can swim in the pool, hot tub, play disk golf, or have a snack. Don’t miss this stop for Olympic history.

Emerald Bay 

Boat on the crystal clear blue water of Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe

Emerald Bay is in South Lake Tahoe. The stunning colors of green, turquoise and blues against the Sierra Mountains is one not to miss. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1969. There is also an underwater park, which houses treasures in the deep water. California State Parks added it to the park in 1994.  

Cruise on M.S. Dixie II

Iconic M.S. Dixie II sails from Zephyr Cover, Nevada. What’s more luxurious than a ride on an authentic paddlewheel boat to view the beautiful waters of Lake Tahoe? There are dinner cruises with dancing, daytime sightseeing cruises, and private parties. Reservations are recommended.

Rafting down the Truckee River

Rafts going down the Truckee River in North Lake Tahoe

   Can’t get enough of the water? Try rafting down the Truckee River. The 2- to 3-hour average trip takes the paddlers through meadows, mountains, and small rapids. The boats leave from Tahoe City and end at River Ranch Restaurant. Buses will bring you back to your vehicle. Most companies that run rafting outfits have commercial grade rafts for self-guided paddles down the river, you can rent a personal inner tube or bring your own. You are encouraged to bring a cooler with snacks and beverages. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

This list only highlighted eight things to do in Lake Tahoe, but there are so many more resorts to check out, like Northstar Resort near the northwest shore. Or, for art buffs, there are a variety of art galleries with local artists expressing their art, many influenced by the region. Get out there and explore.

Make sure you check online for the latest information about areas you want to visit and activities you want to do. Reservations are always a good idea these days. 

1 comment
  1. Go to is any water location- ocean, gulf or lake. Just love enjoying a hot fresh cup of coffee, sitting in my chair watching the sun come up over the horizon. Not any better anywhere.
    Yes, have explored Lake Tahoe one end to the other and all around. Been all over Europe up in the mountains and around lots of mountain lakes, nothing any more beautiful than Tahoe. Why waste the money, stay home, save a ton of money and see and enjoy America.
    Just saying …. rp

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