This past month, TAHOE QUARTERLY posted an excellent article about the best spots to snorkel in Lake Tahoe. This month, we thought we would share some of the highlights of the detailed story that was written by local Kyle Schwartz who founded the Lake Tahoe Snorkel Club in 2016. As Schwartz noted, “There’s so much cool stuff to explore, and it gives you an amazing perspective. There are granite arches and caves to swim through. It’s just a great way to relax, too.”
He continued to share his insight and excitement about what lies off the sandy shorelines. “In addition to the classic Tahoe granite formations that dot many of the sandy coves, there are other unique underwater features. Tahoe is home to sunken forests, the skeletons of old ships and some interesting, if shy, species of fish. There’s also the debris of 200 years of civilization preserved under the surface.”
By late July, the lake seems to warm up enough to go beyond tipping our toes in the sand. However, Amy Hagen of Reno’s Adventure Scuba tells is it’s usually a little cool for a lot of people, so she rents wetsuits and other necessary snorkeling gear.
If you’re up for a new adventure and go in a little deeper to explore what lies within the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe, here’s a list of a few spots that some of our local divers and snorkelers suggest.
Over on the east side of Lake Tahoe on the north shore, Sand Harbor offers a great spot to get started in the sport. Just south of the boat launch is an excellent location to get a taste of what’s to come. It’s where Scuba clubs often recommend to locals and visitors alike. With several hundred feet from the shoreline, snorkelers can feel like they are in a deep canyon as there are large granite boulders with large holes and caves to explore. The remains of a small barge lie in about 20 feet of water some 100 yards outside the cove
One of California’s 15 underwater state parks is located within the famous Emerald Bay – located on the south-west side of Lake Tahoe. Unlike the cobalt blue waters that snorkelers enjoy throughout most of the lake, the Bay has ‘greenish hues’ that locals will tell you ‘hide a lot of secrets.”
On the south side of the bay, there are sunken barges just 10 – 15 feet below lake level. For experienced and more daring divers, Schwartz recommends enthusiasts swim down into the ribs of the barge and look beneath the deck. There’s a ‘sunken forest’ in this area too which provides incredible sights of enormous pine trees still standing … under water!
As the Bay is “one of the most photographed locations on Earth” (as noted by Kodak), swimmers and divers should always be on the lookout for boats when snorkeling in this area.
To truly experience the depths of Lake Tahoe, Schwartz notes that the underwater drop-offs of D.L. Bliss are a must not miss. “The steep shore creates a very cool vertical wall to explore,” he noted. “Schools of Lahontan reside minnows traverse the rocks, and big mackinaw, brown and rainbow trout often come up from the deep to feed on their numbers. If you’re looking for treasure, a quick sweep under the popular jumping spot Rooster Rock might yield a score or two.”
For beginner snorkelers, Schwartz sends first timers to the shallows just north of Rubicon Point where there are a few small caves and features some of The Lake’s most spectacular teal colors—a fantastic reason to submerge and take in Tahoe’s underwater beauty.
For more information about where to go and what to do at Lake Tahoe, feel free to connect with our team at Tahoe Time Plaza office building in Incline Village.