Lake Tahoe, which straddles the two different states of California and Nevada, is North America’s largest alpine lake with a depth of 1,645 feet – making it the second deepest in the United States. 

This freshwater lake holds 39 trillion gallons of water, which is enough to supply each person in the US with 50 gallons of water per day for five years. It’s an enormously popular outdoorsy destination, with ample hiking, biking and walking paths to explore – as well as fantastic public transportation available for visitors to both North and South Tahoe which each offer their own unique experiences. 

Visitors can easily navigate this four-season adventure mecca to relax, hike, bike and explore the outdoors while soaking in Tahoe’s breathtaking alpine and lakeside views.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport offers more than 75 departures daily
Reno-Tahoe International Airport offers more than 75 departures daily © soulgems / Shutterstock


Non-stop air service into Reno-Tahoe International Airport makes getting to Tahoe convenient with 10 airlines providing more than 75 daily departures serving 24 non-stop destinations.

The small, private and elite airline JSX offers hop-on-hop-off service out of Burbank. The premium service offers many luxuries, most important among them the time saved by an easy boarding process (You can show up to the flight  20 minutes beforehand!)

The North Tahoe Express is a year-round scheduled shuttle service that departs from the airport with a number of stops around the region. 

From the airport’s baggage claim, South Tahoe Airporter offers round-trip motorcoach service directly to many North and South Shore major hotels.

Hotel Shuttles

Several hospitality properties also offer complimentary shuttles for guests to use to get around the lake, once on-site. One example is Edgewood Tahoe, which offers a shuttle service equipped for exploring South Lake Tahoe. Just visit the locations numbered in blue on this map for pickup and dropoff.

Top things to do in Lake Tahoe

TART provides convenient public transportation for the Truckee - North Lake Tahoe region
TART provides convenient public transportation for the Truckee - North Lake Tahoe region © George Rose / Getty


Both North Tahoe and South Tahoe have easily accessible public transportation. There’s even a public transit hub located in the downtown corridor next to Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel and Heavenly Village. The public busses have different connecting routes that can take you to most places you want to go. Each bus is also equipped with a bike rack in case you need to reach somewhere farther a field or are just enjoying cycling through the area.

In winter, the Mountaineer on-demand shuttle service operates in North Tahoe’s Squaw Valley – it's a free app-based service that takes riders to and from the mountain from their home or hotel. 

Northstar also has a Dial-A-Ride transportation service so travel to and from hotels or short-term rentals in the area is seamless. 

TART Connect, an app-based, curb-to-curb free shuttle service, is similar to Mountaineer – but operates in North Tahoe in the summer.


Taxi services, Uber and Lyft also operate in Tahoe for those who want to use an app-based rideshare service. 

The 5 best accessible beaches in Lake Tahoe

Harvey's Casino as seen from Heavenly Village
Harvey's Casino as seen from Heavenly Village © Rachid Dahnoun / Alamy Stock Photo

On Foot

No matter what city you’re exploring in Tahoe, whether it’s Incline Village, Squaw Valley or Heavenly, most shops and accomodations visitors would need to reach are within walking distance or a short bike/transit ride to anything needed during the trip. 

From hiking, biking and horseback riding trails to golf courses, ski resorts, breweries, restaurants, live music, shows, beaches and casinos – much of the destinations within Tahoe are self-contained and easily navigable on foot. 

Some of the best trails to explore by walking include the Tahoe East Shore Trail which connects Incline Village to the beautiful Sand Harbor State Beach (and everything in between.)

There’s also Tahoe’s signature Tahoe Rim Trail and the Monkey Rock trail.


Those who would like to stay in their own cars can explore some of the lesser-known spots that are not as heavily trafficked – such as Blackwood Canyon on Lake Tahoe's west shore or views of the green waters of the North shore from The Emerald Bay lookout. Take a trip to this spot midweek for more space – it's a great destination to see one of Lake Tahoe's most iconic views. Take a road trip on the called Lake Tahoe Loop to explore the Sierra Nevada on a scenic drive. 

GetMyBoat, a new app, offers the unique chance to rent a boat on the lake
Boatsetter and GetMyBoat are two new apps that offer options for renting a boat on the lake © julianbow / Shutterstock


There are several boat tour operators that may provide shuttle access to specific excursions, as well as the Water Taxi which links to several South Shore beaches.

Rent an electric boat or eFoil to get out on the water and keep it charged at Homewood Marina using their new electric boat and eFoil chargers. 

Companies like Boatsetter offer visitors the chance to rent a boat for the day. Whether opting-in for a day of fishing, sailing or even luxury yachting, travelers can book a boat and secure a captain all at the click of a button with Boatsetter in Lake Tahoe.

Another app to try is GetMyBoat – considered to be the “Airbnb of Boats,” and currently offering 100-plus boats to rent or charter on Lake Tahoe. No boating experience? No problem. The company offers a host of professional, licensed charter captains available to take people out on a boat tour.


Wintertime is a whole new ballgame when it comes to Tahoe’s opportunities for exploration. In areas such as Zephyr Cove, altitudes can reach 9,000 feet above sea level -- so it’s no wonder that a trip here is visiting region’s number one snowmobile destination. 

Adventurers can embark on a ridgeline tour with views of Lake Tahoe via Lake Tahoe Adventures. There’s the Scenic Lakeview Tour, the Ultimate Experience, a customized backcountry tour and private snowmobile tours. 

Visit South Tahoe’s informational website to learn more about renting a snowmobile. 

Heavenly Ski Resort's gondolas
Heavenly Ski Resort's gondolas © Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

Aerial Tram

In North Tahoe, hop on Squaw Valley’s Swiss Alps-style tram for a trip to High Camp – one of the sites of the 1960 Olympics. Explore the high-altitude trails of the mountains on foot and admire the scenic alpine views of Lake Tahoe the valley below. 

For a more active adventure to the top, try the Tahoe Via Ferrata, which is another Alps-inspired adventure. Here, explorers will be climbing up a safe, gorgeous trail course up the rockface that’s secured by handholds and perfectly positioned steps along the way. 

In South Tahoe, Heavenly Ski Resort offers similar cable car rides to the stunning mountain top views of Lake Tahoe from the South Shore. On the way up, visitors can stop at the Observation Deck for photos, a bite at Cafe Blue or for some shopping at The Gondola Sports shop.


You might also like:

Lake Tahoe's can't-miss experiences that cost next to nothing  
Best time to visit Lake Tahoe  
9 ways to explore Lake Tahoe by trail  

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