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Summertime Tahoe-time

While folks flock to Lake Tahoe in the winter, it’s not just a place for snow bunnies. In fact, it can be ideal for adventurous dogs and their people in the summer! No matter where you’re staying, there’s plenty of activity all around the lake.

Whether you want to lounge on the beach or prefer to check out the lake’s beauty on a hike or even float with your pup down a river, Lake Tahoe in the summer has it all.

Dog-friendly hiking

It shouldn’t be a surprise that this outdoor lover’s paradise is filled with hiking trails once the snow melts. In fact, there are so many that you can have your pick of easier, shorter hikes or more challenging, strenuous climbs if you and your dog are physically up to snuff.

As you might expect, the area’s myriad ski resorts don’t just sit dormant in the summer, waiting for winter to come back around. Many resorts open up trails for hikes and have sunshine activities in the summer. Northstar California in Truckee allows dogs on the trails and in two of the gondolas. They also have dog-friendly guided hikes.

Marlette Lake allows leashed pups on the 5.2-mile hiking trail south of Incline Village. The views of both Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe are stunning, but please note, this hike includes a steep climb uphill.

Dogs are allowed at Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park in Tahoma if they’re leashed and stay on the trails. This forested park has multiple trails, which range from the quarter-mile long Lakefront Interpretive Trail to the 6.5-mile loop of the General Creek Trail.

Dog-friendly beaches

If your pup (or you!) would rather spend lazy days at the beach, Lake Tahoe has it all. Here’s just a small sampling of the areas where your dog can frolic in the sand.

Patton Landing in North Lake Tahoe allows leashed dogs on the part of the beach that’s east of the bridge over the wetland.

Carnelian West Beach in Carnelian Bay allows leashed pups on all 530 feet of the beach.
At Kiva Beach in South Lake Tahoe, pooches need to be leashed while on the sand, but they’re allowed to go off-leash in the water. Also in South Lake Tahoe, Regan Beach allows off-leash dogs on a portion of the beach.

In Homewood, leashed dogs are allowed on the public side of the Chamber’s Beach.

Dog-friendly activities

Sometimes enjoying the water doesn’t even mean going in it. The Truckee River Raft Co. allows dogs on their rafts, which travel the Truckee River in Tahoe City. The trip is about five miles and takes two to three hours. Do be aware that the trip ends at a restaurant that does not allow dogs.

Leashed dogs are allowed in the outdoor areas of the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe. Admire how the rich and famous spent their Tahoe time in days past at the Baldwin and Pope Estates and Valhalla Grand Hall.

If your canine friend is missing the companionship of his canine friends, a trip to Bijou Dog Park in South Lake Tahoe might be the answer. The park has separate areas for large and small dogs with plenty of grass, shade and benches. Tahoe City also has a dog park that’s open during the summer.

Dog-friendly lodging

You’ll need a place to rest your head after all of those adventures. Lake Tahoe is full of dog-friendly accommodations, including private homes from sites like and, which often have fenced yards for pups to enjoy.

You’ll also find plenty of hotel options to choose from. Though there are far too many to list, here are just a few of the offerings from around the lake:

The Avalon Lodge
4075 Manzanita Ave.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 544-2285
This hotel lets pets stay for an extra $20 per night, and they offer water or food bowls and a bed so your pup is comfy. Only certain rooms here are pet-friendly, so be sure to check when booking.

Holly’s Place
1201 Rufus Allen Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(800) 745-7041
Holly’s Place focuses on their four-legged guests just as much as their two-legged ones, with a fenced yard, dog-friendly pond and treats. They even have an on-site dog daycare if you need someone to watch and cuddle your pup while you’re away. The pet fee here is $15 per night.

Tahoma Meadows B&B Cottages
6821 W. Lake Blvd.
Tahoma, CA, US 96142
(532) 525-1553
Tahoma Meadows has several pet-friendly accommodations in their cottages and chalet. They charge a pet fee of $20 per night per dog, and all dogs receive a welcome basket upon arrival with treats, a water bowl and other small surprises.

Dog-friendly restaurants

If you can’t bear the thought of a meal without your pooch resting comfortably under the table (or begging for a bite!), you’ll be happy to know cities around the lake are flush with dog-friendly restaurants. Most only allow dogs if you’re dining outside, but that’s the best part of summer! As with any business, policies can change so be sure to call ahead to make dogs are still welcome.

120 Country Club Dr.
Incline Village, NV 89451
(775) 832-7778

Blue Angel Café
1132 Ski Run Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 544-6544

Burger Me
10418 Donner Pass Rd
Truckee, CA 96160
(530) 587-8852

CB’s Pizza & Grill
5075 N. Lake Blvd.
Carnelian Bay, CA 96140
(530) 546-4738

Spouts Café
3123 Harrison Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-6969

Enjoy the Lake!

Elizabeth Xu is a Bay Area freelance writer interested in a variety of topics, including education, careers, and pets. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her two-year-old Lhasa Apso, Murphy. Find her at or @ElizabethMXu.

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