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10 Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe is synonymous with fresh mountain air, lake views and good vibes. But it’s not just a leading outdoor destination for humans; canines get a huge kick out of Lake Tahoe, too…especially its beaches. For anyone seeking pristine, lakefront shores and a day out with their pets in the open air, finding the right dog-friendly beaches in Lake Tahoe is key. 

The word is definitely out about this eye-popping West Coast getaway; an astounding 15 million people head to Lake Tahoe each year, whether to get out on the lake or take advantage of its ski resorts. According to the Guardian, that’s more than Yosemite, Napa Valley — even Disneyland. 

There are plenty of convincing reasons why Lake Tahoe makes the perfect adventuresome escape. If you and your pet are willing to brave some potential crowds, you’ll find plenty of memory-making experiences at these top Lake Tahoe beaches for dogs. 

Lake Tahoe: A Great Dog Beach Destination

Sprawling across the border between California and Nevada is the postcard-worthy Lake Tahoe region. As the largest alpine lake in North America, Tahoe stretches for 22 miles north to south and 12 miles across, and it includes 72 miles of incredible shoreline with ample dog-friendly beaches. 

If that’s not enough, around the crown jewel of Lake Tahoe itself are many other smaller lakes, parks, and campgrounds offering all-star beaches primed for exploration by you and your canine companion. We’ve rounded up 10 of the very best dog-friendly beaches in Lake Tahoe, as well as any parking fees and/or special rules, to consider for your next trip. Browse by region for easy reference: North and South Lake Tahoe in California, or the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Happy trails!

10 Best Lake Tahoe Beaches for Dogs 

Dog Friendly Beaches in North Lake Tahoe

Carnelian West Beach

If you’re in the Carnelian Bay area, head to the west side of the Sierra Boat Company for a scenic slice of dog-friendly sand that runs for more than 500 feet. Gaze out at sailboats as you stroll the shore or promenade with your pup, and then return to enjoy a lakefront picnic with designated tables, benches, and barbecues (as well as restrooms) available for public use. The adjacent Gar Woods Grill & Pier is not pet-friendly, but a grassy area on site can be rented out through the restaurant for special events. 

Costs: Beach access is free. Parking is free through the site’s shared lot with the Gar Woods restaurant. 

Rules: Dogs must be leashed. Mutt Mitts are provided on site for pet cleanup. 

Patton Landing Beach

If you head to the east side of the Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay, you’ll find Patton Landing. The 3-acre pebbly beach is preferred by both standup paddleboarders and four-legged beachgoers. Heck, you can even rent a paddleboard and bring Fido along for the ride. Before a morning walk, pet parents can fuel up at the onsite coffeehouse, Waterman’s Landing. Plus, pets are also welcome on the deck of the full-service café. You’ll find benches, restrooms, and accessible pathways, all within a pebble’s throw of Patton Landing.

Costs: There’s a small, 23-space parking lot available, free of charge. Access to Patton Beach is free.

Rules: Pets are allowed only when leashed, and Mutt Mitts are also available here for waste disposal. 

Coon Street Dog Beach

At the corner of Highway 28 and Coon Street in Kings Beach is a boat launch and dog-friendly public beach. The beach is rocky, not sandy, which might make it easy to navigate for your dog, but not if you have mobility issues. There are shaded picnic tables, as well as a public bathroom available nearby. Plus, the water here is relatively shallow, making it a nice place for your pupper to cool off with a dip.

Costs: Parking costs $10 and can be paid at an automated machine next to the restrooms. 

Rules: Dogs must be leashed (maximum 6-foot length) and under control at all times.

Donner Lake at Donner Memorial State Park

Pack up your canine companion and spend the day at this park in the North Shore region of Lake Tahoe. At an elevation of 6,000 feet, the alpine Donner Memorial State Park is nestled in the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains and home to the Pioneer Monument, which commemorates Californian emigrants in the 19th century. 

Dogs are welcome along the shores of Donner Lake, as well as the interpretive trail, Zig Zag trail, and any fire roads. Campgrounds open in June, but the park is popular for day visitors who come to hike, bike, fish, or ski in the winter. 

Costs: As a California state park, Donner Memorial requires a parking fee of $10 per vehicle from May 1 to Sept. 30 and $5 from Oct. 1 to April 30. 

Rules: Dogs are not allowed in the visitor center, on China Cove Beach, or along the nature trail, and they must remain on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. 

Pebble Beach at Elizabeth Williams Park

This pebbly beach is one favored by pet-loving locals and is often referred to as “dog beach” by those within range of Tahoe City. A bit off the beaten path, the beach can be accessed by heading to Elizabeth Williams Park, north of the Kaspian Campground on Highway 89. It’s a small park that appeals to anglers, but you can still take advantage of picnic tables and bike trails here. 

Costs: The park and beach are free to access, though parking is roadside only. 

Rules: Officially, pets must be leashed and curbed at this beach.

Dog Beaches in South Lake Tahoe

Kiva Beach

Also referred to as Kiva Shoreline or Tallac Point, this popular South Shore destination is located within National Forest lands. The sandy, narrow shoreline runs adjacent to a marsh and features a backdrop of gorgeous peaks. Your doggos are welcome to enjoy these stellar views along with you, east of Tallac Point, though they must be leashed, according to the leash laws of El Dorado County. Portable toilets are available in the Kiva Parking area from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day; it’s a half-mile walk from the lot to the visitor center along the Lake of the Sky trail. 

Costs: There is no fee to enter Kiva Beach, though the area is gated and open seasonally from Memorial Day Weekend through October, weather permitting. 

Rules: Dogs must be leashed while on land (though they are welcome to take a swim). Due to the fragile ecosystem here, it’s important to monitor your pet so they don’t disturb the wildlife. Doggy waste bags are available for your convenience at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. 

Regan Beach

Shallow waters, unspoiled lake views, and a family-friendly atmosphere await you at Regan Beach, the oldest beach facility in South Lake Tahoe. Pet parents and energetic pups rejoice: dogs are allowed off leash at the city’s only dog-friendly water park at the east end of the beach. Parents of humans will also appreciate swimmable shores and a playground, adjacent to a large grassy area. Other amenities here include an observation deck, kayak launch, picnic tables, a sand volleyball court, restrooms, and a seasonal restaurant. 

Costs: Regan Beach is open and accessible to the public from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the month of April and 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from May 1 through September. Regan Beach is closed October through March. Parking is free. 

Rules: Pick up after your pet and be sure to adhere to only the dog-friendly sections of the beach.

Dog Friendly Lake Tahoe Beaches in Nevada

Nevada Beach

Nestled within the National Forest and featuring jaw-dropping views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Nevada Beach is an ideal destination on the southeast shore of Lake Tahoe. Officially, dogs are not allowed on the beach, according to the Tahoe Beaches website, but plenty of sources indicate that there is a dog-friendly strand close to the Nevada Beach Campground — about a mile from the parking lot off Highway 50. Follow signage (apparently there are even paw prints on the asphalt) to the south portion of the beach near the Tahoe Beach Club.

Costs: It’s free to enter, but the campground is only open seasonally, from late spring to early fall. The streetside parking area outside the gate is about a mile from the beach. 

Rules: This location is stricter than most beaches listed, so be sure to adhere to designated doggy areas of the beach and campground only and use common sense when curbing your pet. 

North Beach at Zephyr Cove Resort

While the idyllic sandy beach of Zephyr Cove Resort, on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, is off limits to pooches, head just north to the beach’s bold rocky shores, and you’ll find a stretch where dogs are welcome. Just be sure you’re comfortable navigating the slick rocks and boulders of this area. Four-legged campers are also welcome at designated dog-friendly cabins at Zephyr Cove, as well as the campground across the road.

Costs: There is a fee to park at this National Forest campground.

Rules: While the beach at Zephyr Cove Resort is appealing, stick to the pet-friendly north end to avoid any issues. Standard rules apply: pick up after your pup, and when in doubt, use a leash.

Chimney Beach

Located in Incline Village, Nevada, Chimney Beach is a tucked-away Lake Tahoe favorite. However, the giant chimney in the middle of the beach (a relic from the caretaker’s home of Thunderbird Lodge) means you’ll know it when you see it. Your pet will have plenty to sniff along the hike to the beach, as well as once you reach its scenic shores and clear, inviting water. Keep in mind that both parking lots require a walk to the beach; on the west side of Highway 28 is a Forest Service lot that’s a quarter-mile to Thunderbird Lodge. The other lot is a half mile south. Public restrooms are available.

Costs: Parking is free to access Chimney Beach, but overnight camping is not allowed. 

Rules: No waste bags are provided on site, so come prepared to pick up after your pet and keep them under control at all times. 

Dog Beach Lake Tahoe Travel Guides and Tips

Lake Tahoe is a generally dog-friendly vacation destination, which means there are tons of amenities for you and your pooch to enjoy. Apart from a beach day (or two or three), you can both take advantage of pet-friendly hiking trails, shops and restaurants, dog parks, and accommodations. (And you know a place is welcoming to fur children when they offer official travel guides for dogs and their parents to all of the above.)

Lake Tahoe Dog Beach Guides

Visit Lake Tahoe recommends browsing the impressive snack and treat offerings of Dog.Dog.Cat. in South Lake Tahoe. According to their guide, you can then head to nearby California Burger Co. for lunch, where dogs are welcomed with their own water bowl. A must-visit in South Lake Tahoe is the 38,000-square-foot Bijou Dog Park, with off-leash areas for small and large dogs.

Epic Lake Tahoe offers a blend of fun recommendations (a stay at Hotel Azure near Heavenly Village, a hike at Fallen Leaf Lake, a stop at a pet-friendly brewery), as well as some practical tips in their guide, which focuses on South Lake Tahoe. 

Heading up to North Lake Tahoe, you can find dining, hotel, and dog park recommendations through the Go Tahoe North and North Tahoe Business Association guides. The Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe is one pet-friendly hotel in the area, noted by both sites. Other doggie day trips include a relatively easy ascent to Eagle Rock and then a beer in the dog-friendly taproom at Alibi Ale Works.

Lake Tahoe Dog Beach Tips

Some travel tips for you and your best bud might seem like common-sense suggestions, but others are slightly nuanced. Consider these during your dog-friendly beach day in Lake Tahoe. 

Come prepared. Be sure to bring plenty of food and water for both you and your dog on any hike or beach outing. Lakes and streams can carry giardia; consider purchasing a filter like LifeStraw for emergencies.

Be respectful of others. Californians are pretty laid back, but no one likes an unruly pet party crasher, especially one whose owner doesn’t clean up after they do business. Always bring (and use!) your own waste bags and the appropriate leash (typically no more than 6 feet long).

Acclimate to the altitude. Allow yourself and your pet time to adjust to high altitudes before embarking on a more strenuous hike.

Do not disturb. Many of these areas are protected ecosystems; be sure your pup does not disturb the local plant or animal life.

Safety first. Be honest about the shape you’re both in; some stretches of beach that are dog-friendly require a hike to access or include uneven terrain. Always consider the safety of yourself and your pet before heading out.