Top 10 Summer Activities With Kids In North Lake Tahoe

When most people think about Lake Tahoe, they think winter; as hard as it is to believe, summer in Tahoe is almost more spectacular than its unbelievable winters.  Perfect summer weather, great outdoors, Lake Tahoe is a must on your summer hit list and here are the top 10 summer activities with kids in North Lake Tahoe to make the most of your trip.

Go For a Hike

Tahoe has great hiking for kids with unbelievable panoramic views.  Pick your difficulty level and get out on the trails.  For the top 10 hikes with kids in North Lake Tahoe, read my post here.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Visit Sand Harbor State Park

A lot of the lake access for Lake Tahoe is private land or inaccessible due to steep/rocky shores.  Sand Harbor is a beautiful sandy beach with gorgeous scenery. With restrooms, a snack stand, and boat rental, this is a great place to spend the entire day with kids.  Inside Tip:  Ge there early (before 10) as the parking fills up on the weekends in high summer.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Float the Truckee River

What could be better (and more relaxing) than a lazy float down the Truckee River?!  The Truckee River is a gentle flow, so you can go on your own, or take a guided trip if you prefer.  Make reservations ahead of time and get there early to avoid the party scene.  Pack your picnic lunch or grab some sandwiches in Tahoe City after your float.

Spend the Day on the Mountain

Although the skiing is (usually) over for the summer, there is still a ton of fun summer activities on the mountains in the summer.  In addition to mountain biking, both Squaw Valley and Northstar offer a variety of summer fun…roller skating, rock climbing, bungee jumping, cable car rides, etc.  Head over for the afternoon to try something new and explore.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Go Fishing

Kids of all ages love to fish.  We love to do crawfish fishing as it is super easy and there is (almost) no equipment required.  Pick up some rope and bacon and safeway and head out to any of the docks or beach.  Search between the rocks or under the docks.  We love doing this at Speedboat beach, Tahoe City, and Kings Beach dock.  There are also a ton of great spots to do real fishing too.  For more on fishing in Tahoe, visit here.

Get Out on the Lake

Kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, or motorboating, there are a ton of great options to get out on the lake (Donner or Tahoe).  All the lakes have rental options at the public beaches, so pick your lake destination first (Donner Lake SP, Kings Beach, Tahoe City, or Sand Harbor SP) and head out to have some fun.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Take in the Sunset

Between the mountains and the lake, there are some great sunset views to be had.  For the best views in North Lake Tahoe, head to the public beach at Kings Beach, Sand Harbor SP, or do the stateline hike.  The kids can run around while you sit back and relax a little.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Bike the Mountains

When your kids are younger, you are probably not going to be bombing down the mountian bike trails, but there is biking for all ages in Tahoe.  For the younger kids, there is the Tahoe Trailways Bike Path which leads to Dolalr POint, Squaw Valley or Sugar Pine POint Sate Park depending on your desired destinations. Whether you bring your own bikes form home or pick up some rentals from Tahoe City, there are plenty of options.  For the bigger kids (and adults), there is the serious moutnain biking at Squaw Valley or Northstar California with miles and miles of trails to get your adrenaline up.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

Explore Downtown Truckee

Downtown Truckee with its old west feel is adorable.  Take an afternoon or morning exploring the shops and restaurants.  The kids will love the frequent trains passing (watch from the train station platform) as well as the Truckee Variety/Candy Store.  Don’t miss Truckee Thursdays with its live music and food trucks.

Go For a Swim

With an average annual water temperature of 40° degrees, most people are not racing to jump into Lake Tahoe, but still nothing says summer like swimming in the lake and the kids still love wading and playing.  For the best swimming spots try: Sand Harbor, Speedboat Beach, Kings Beach, or Emerald Bay.

Top 10 Summer Things to do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe is a great summer destination, not only because there are a ton of great activities to do with kids, but it has a super relaxed vibe that puts you in summer mode.  What are your favorite summer activities in North Lake Tahoe?  We would love some new ideas; let me know in the comments.

Top 10 Summer Things to Do With Kids in North Lake Tahoe







  1. Timothy | 6th Aug 17

    North Lake Tahoe is indeed a great destination to enjoy overnight or take your family on a day trip. The water is much clearer than the south end, and there are lots more outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, swimming, etc. The North is also much greener and puts you closer to nature.

  2. Mark from Fishfindly | 18th Aug 17

    Lots of great tips – I’d love to go but really need to decide if we can justify the cost -there are too many great holidays to try and plan for
    Mark from Fishfindly recently posted…Best Spincast Reel 2017 – Buyer’s Guide and ReviewsMy Profile

  3. Rik Flaxman | 19th Nov 17

    Hi Katy, This trip look so cool.. I am also planning to go for a trip very soon with my family. Thanks


    • Katy Hope | 27th Nov 17

      Let me know if you need any other tips for your trip. I have been going to North Lake since I was little, so have lots of ideas! Have a great trip. Cross your fingers for good snow this winter!

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