Best Photo Spots in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With its crystal-clear blue water and incredible alpine views, it’s no wonder that the thousands of people who visit the lake every year take as many pictures as they can while they’re here. 

Lake Tahoe’s views are seriously incredible, so why wouldn’t you want to snap a few Instagram-worthy photos? Consider this your complete guide to the best photo spots in Lake Tahoe and you can be sure to get some great shots on your next trip. Looking for iconic winter photo spots in Reno Tahoe? We’ve got you covered on that too.

There is no shortage of Lake Tahoe photo spots around the lake to practice your photography skills, so let’s explore a few.

(Bonus points if you tag #RenoTahoe for a chance to be featured on our Instagram page @RenoTahoe)

Lake Tahoe Photo Spots

SUP in Tahoe

Few things are more iconically Tahoe than snapping a selfie while exploring the unbelievably clear waters of Lake Tahoe on a stand-up paddleboard. Discover hidden coves and massive granite boulders that are perfect for catching a few rays.

Monkey Rock

The trailhead for this hike is located right behind Tunnel Creek Cafe, just south of Incline Village. The short hike to Monkey Rock does have some elevation to it, but the views at the top are completely worth it. Spot the monkey in the distance and tag #RenoTahoe on your post.

Sand Harbor

Located on the northeast side of the lake, Sand Harbor is a short drive from Incline Village. The best time to snap a few photos at Sand Harbor is early in the morning, or when the sun begins to set, since these times are the least busy at this popular state park.

Make sure to take shots of every angle at Sand Harbor. The view of the beach is just as beautiful as the view of the water.

Tahoe East Shore Trail

Tahoe’s east shore is one of the photo op locations at the lake that is equally beautiful to shoot at both sunset and sunrise. The Tahoe East Shore Trail connects Incline Village and Sand Harbor, and allows for walking, hiking and biking on an accessible paved trail along the shoreline, making for a picturesque background. The contrast of the rocks with the glassiness of the water will create a serene portrait.

Chimney Beach

Only a five-minute drive south of Sand Harbor, Chimney Beach is a great photo spot just a short hike from the road to the water. There are a few ways to get down to Chimney Beach, but Chimney Beach Trail is the easiest way to get there once you’ve safely parked.

Be sure to take a picture of the old chimney that is on the beach, the only part of an old cabin that still remains there. And like most Tahoe beaches, make sure to get there early, as it gets crowded during peak season!

Secret Cove

One of Lake Tahoe’s best photo spots, Secret Cove offers sandy beaches and sparkling aqua-green waters that are dotted by large submerged rocks on the lakebed. The views of Lake Tahoe at this cove are spectacular.

The best place to snap a shot at Secret Cove is to sit on one of the partially submerged boulders and have someone take your picture from the beach so you will have a beautiful lake view as the backdrop. Make sure to get to this beach early since the small beach area does fill up quickly.

Emerald Bay

One of the most iconic and photographed Lake Tahoe landmarks is Emerald Bay, which offers many incredible views. Some of Emerald Bay’s views can be seen simply from the turnout at Emerald Bay State Park, off Highway 89. From here, you can experience panoramic views of the lake, including Fannette Island.

If you’re looking for locations in Emerald Bay where you will be the focal point of the picture, take the short hike to Eagle Falls. Nestled at the top of Emerald Bay, Eagle Falls is a great spot that offers beautiful views of the lake from the top of a rushing waterfall. If you get here early you can get shots of yourself in front of the falls with the stunning scenery in the background.

Ski Run Views

With so many ski resorts to choose from, each with its own unique features, it can be hard to decide. But if it’s views of Lake Tahoe you’re after, then that narrows things down a bit. Diamond Peak, in Incline Village, offers some of the best views of Lake Tahoe from several runs. On the south end of the lake, Heavenly Ski Resort gives skiers and snowboarders plenty of chances to enjoy the view while cruising down a run. Other resorts with Lake Tahoe views include Homewood Mountain Resort, Alpine Meadows, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Northstar California.

Whether you are looking to take some stunning shots of Lake Tahoe’s landscape or want the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post, Lake Tahoe offers the best photo spots for photography lovers, nature enthusiasts and social media gurus.

Can’t get enough of Lake Tahoe? After taking some pictures, check out the other things to do in Lake Tahoe.

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