Tucked away near the forest of northern California’s Lake Tahoe, there's this spot that's a sight for sore eyes. Many NorCal locals know about Lake Tahoe, but it isn’t easy to find a beautiful hidden gem. Sure they’re a little off the grid but these crystal clear natural pools in California are worth the trip. The sapphire water is absolutely stunning in person!
You’ll find the natural pools located just across the California-Nevada state line. Sand Harbor Beach is one part of Lake Tahoe that’s often overlooked. There are plenty of coves where you and your friends can hang out and sunbathe on the rocks.
If you’re wondering how to get there, the directions will be different depending on whether you’re coming from Nevada or Cali. Parking costs $10 for Nevada residents per vehicle and $12 for out of state visitors.
If the parking lot is full, you can head over to the East Shore Express shuttle in Incline Village. The shuttle runs in the summer on weekends from June 15-16, June 22-23, and then every day from June 29 to September 2. It includes admission to Sand Harbor Beach.
If you missed the first shuttle, don’t worry. It comes by every 20 minutes to pick up travelers from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. While the shuttle has limited hours, you can enter the park from 8 a.m. to one hour after sunset year-round.
When you arrive, you can choose to hike or take a dip in the clear, refreshing water. Sand Harbor has two trails. Memorial Point Trail takes hikers out to a beautiful viewing spot overlooking the lake and has access to a few other little beaches and hidden coves. Sand Point Nature Trail also offers jaw-dropping views of the surroundings and is handicap accessible.
The entire scene is filled with crystal clear pools, smooth, round boulders creating little coves and lush green forests. Whether you’re looking to go boating on the lake, take a hike or swim around these relaxing coves all day long, Sand Harbor Beach has it all. It’s the perfect place for a rejuvenating escape to the woods.
Lake Tahoe: Sand Harbor Beach
Location: 2005 NV-28, Incline Village, NV 89452
Price: Parking is $10 for Nevada state residents and $12 for out of state visitors. The cost of a boat launch is $20 per vehicle and it costs $2 admission if you are biking in. Walk-in access to the park is not allowed and parking along the main highway is illegal.
Dates and Hours of Admission: 8 a.m. to one hour after sunset, 365 days a year.
Why You Should Go: You can swim in enchanting crystal clear natural pools surrounded by a lush, green forest.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.