Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe
The east shore of Nevada is not really known for soft sandy beaches, except for Sand Harbor. The majority of Nevada’s beaches have coarse sand which is tough on your feet, Tahoe’s prevailing breezes deposit white, fine-grained sand, at Sand Harbor… thus the harbor’s name. The beauty of this area is also derived from numerous rocks in and around the water as well. Snorkeling and scuba diving are very popular in this place.
This Nevada State Park has 55 acres of sandy beaches, picturesque lake views, shady forested spots and rocky coves. Sand Harbor gives visitors an amazing opportunity to experience and enjoy the beauty of this part Lake Tahoe. Sand Harbor is one of the best beach areas on Nevada side and an ideal spot for friends and family to have some Tahoe fun.
Sand Harbor Park Hours
The main beach of Sand Harbor is open starting from 8 am up to 7 pm from May 1 up to the Memorial Day and after the Memorial Day up to the Labor Day from 8 am up to 9 pm. After Labor Day up to September 30, it’s open from 8 am to 7pm and from October 1 up to April 30, 8 am up to 5 pm.
Things to Do in Sand Harbor
Aside from the wonderful opportunity to just explore and enjoy Lake Tahoe, there are many fun things to do and facilities to support doing them at Sand Harbor:
- Group picnicking
- Nature study
- Visitor Center
- Food Concessions
- Jet Ski rentals
- Fishing nearby
- Kayak or Paddleboard rentals
- Volleyball courts
- Public bathrooms
- Picnic tables
- Public Transit, at least in Summer months
Facilities/Services Offered in Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe
- Visitor Center
The gift shop and the Visitor Center in Sand Harbor provide information for safe and self-guided tours with regional information and informative displays. The Sand Harbor Bar and Grill concession provides drinks and snacks on a shady and relaxing deck.
Nestled in the shade of Jeffrey pines and cedars, the picnic area provides a peaceful retreat and solitude from noisy and busy beaches. Every site is equipped with a barbeque and picnic table. The paved walkways make the area more accessible.
- Scuba diving and Swimming
Crystal clear water and gently sloping beaches, as well as the interesting and unique rock formations, make for great scuba, snorkeling and swimming. To help ensure safety and security in the beach area, a Summertime Beach Patrol is generally on active duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Of course, no beach patrol can keep an eye on everyone all the time and water safety is really an individual responsibility.
- Nature Trail
The Sand Point Nature Trail is handicap-accessible type of nature trail with informative signs as well as breathtaking views of the Lake Tahoe.
- Sand Harbor up to the Memorial Point Trail
This half mile short trail provides link to the Memorial Point and numerous secluded rock areas and beaches.
The boat launch includes two wave protected ramps with adjacent parking and docks. The parking fills to capacity earlier on summer weekends. A watercraft inspection is actually required and this is part of the newest program which is designed to help protect Lake Tahoe against threats of invasive water species like Quagga and Zebra Mussels. For more on boat inspections, check out TahoeBoatInspections.com.
- Group Area
Group area is set on a rocky and pine-dotted points accommodating larger groups. This covered facility is fully equipped with water, electricity, tables and larger barbecue. Make your reservations early before expecting to use group areas.
- Shakespeare Festival in Lake Tahoe
During the month of July and August this festival held in San Harbor, Lake Tahoe offers The Bard’s plays, set against the amazing and inspiring Lake Tahoe backdrop.
- Rentals Services in Sand Harbor
Rental services in Sand Harbor cover a broad scope of boats and watercraft. Available rentals often include tandem or single kayaks, personal sailboat, standup paddleboards and more. Paddleboard lessons and guided kayak tours are also offered. Since Sand Harbor is very busy especially during summer season, making reservations earlier is highly suggested.
- Shuttle Service in Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe
If you have the desire to explore the magnificence of this beach area, consider taking the shuttle service. The popularity of Sand Harbor usually creates a big parking hassle during the busy summer season. Parking lots are expected to be full during peak season and often from 11 am-4 pm on weekdays and summer weekends.
Parking along Highway 28 for at least ¾ mile on any side of the entrance of Sand Harbor is not allowed. Walk-in access in not advised. Consider dropping off individuals when parking lots are full. Shuttle service may be available. For more specifics, please visit this Tahoe Transportation page.
Sand Harbor is indeed one of the famous beach parks around Lake Tahoe and this is one of the closest beach areas to Reno. Sand Harbor is actually part of the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park and is nestled about 3 miles south of the Incline Village in Nevada 28.
Finally, please take only pictures and leave only footprints! In fact, if you pick up a little litter that isn’t your own, you’ll be leaving this beautiful spot a little nicer than you found it.
For more on Sand Harbor Beach, please visit the Nevada State Parks Sand Harbor page.