Ask any Lake Tahoe local how they ended up living here permanently, and you might hear them chuckle and say, “Came for the winters, stayed for the summers.” While this adage may be true, there is one thing they aren’t telling you–that the best time in Tahoe is hands down the shoulder season.
Because after the crowds have left for the summer but before snow flurries have started falling over the Sierra, there’s a calm that descends over the Tahoe Basin. Sure, the nights are cold and the days are shorter, but the water is still that deep Tahoe blue you know and love, the trails are there to explore and break a sweat on, and your favorite local businesses that are jammed packed during the busier times of the year are excited to see you walk through their doors.
Still need convincing? Look no further. Here’s five very exciting reasons to visit Lake Tahoe in the fall.
Enjoy the Quiet Trails
Even with a brisk chill in the air, autumn in the Sierra is a great time for riding bikes. If you are interested in a mellow cruise on a paved trail, there’s plenty in the area, from the Legacy Trail that follows the Truckee River to the Tahoe City bike path that circumnavigates the lake. And if you are ready to step up your game, mountain biking in Tahoe can’t be beat. Learn more and find the right bike rental for you by following this link.
There’s so much to do out and about in Tahoe in the fall–but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Part of taking time off from your busy lives is relaxation, so when you come up to Tahoe, don’t forget to take it easy. Book an in-home massage or spa day and curl up by the fire with a good book and your loved ones nearby, a steaming cup of hot cocoa in hand.
If you have already been to Lake Tahoe in the summer and gone for a dip in it’s lovely turquoise waters, you probably wouldn’t believe us if we told you it looks even more blue in the fall–especially when it’s set against the brilliant yellow foliage of aspen trees as they change colors each autumn. Tahoe City’s aspen groves are a beautiful place to take in the fall colors, or you can go on a 5-mile hike to Marlette Lake on the northeast shore of the Lake.
It’s also the perfect time of year to book those family photos you’ve been meaning to take, just in time for your holiday cards!
Hike Without the Summer Heat
Now that the days are slightly cooler, Tahoe’s trails and iconic peaks are calling. Section hike the Tahoe Rim Trail, challenge yourself by summiting Mount Rose and Mount Tallac, and stretch your legs out in the backcountry. Summers after heavy winters see snow out on some of Tahoe’s higher elevation trails as late as August and September, which makes the fall season the ideal time of year to get out into the high country on foot. Here’s a few of our favorite fall hikes.
Our Tahoe Event Calendar Is Still Full
From Squaw Valley’s Oktoberfest and seasonal ski film showings that get you excited for winter to downtown Truckee’s Art & Soul art walk, there’s plenty of local events happening in Tahoe each autumn. There’s something for everyone, too–whether you crave fine wine, arts and culture, craft beer, or the getting your stoke on with other winter sports enthusiasts. Check out Tahoe's signature events here, view our event calendar, or contact our friendly concierge to see what’s happening in the area during your visit.
Experience Tahoe fall and book your stay today!