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Hidden Beach in Lake Tahoe – Everything You Need To Know

Hidden Beach is a popular destination on the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe. Located along the Tahoe East Shore Trail, Hidden Beach is like an oasis with gorgeous panoramic views of the lake and mountains, and a secluded feel without having to go too far off the beaten path. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Hidden Beach several times, and it’s definitely always on my list when I’m in Lake Tahoe. 

collage of photos of hidden beach on lake tahoe

Where is Hidden Beach?

Hidden Beach is located in the northeast region of Lake Tahoe, Nevada, in the town of Incline Village. Hidden Beach runs along Tahoe Blvd, or Highway 28. The parking for accessing Hidden Beach is located just about a mile north of the beach, at the Tunnel Creek Trailhead, and Tunnel Creek Cafe on Tahoe Blvd and Ponderosa Ranch Rd. 

From the parking lot, make your way south along Tahoe Blvd, to the Tahoe East Shore Trailhead. The Tahoe East Shore trail runs alongside the highway and the shore of eastern Lake Tahoe through the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The path is a paved, shared biking and pedestrian path that connects the town of Incline Village to several beaches along the eastern shore. The path is easily walkable, with some manageable inclines. The trail offers gorgeous views of the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe. 
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overhead view of lake tahoe with kayakers on the water

About Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake that lies between northern California and northern Nevada. Lake Tahoe is “the largest alpine lake in North America”[1] with a length of 22 miles[1]. Lake Tahoe has long been a very popular tourist destination with many coming from all over the country to enjoy everything the lake has to offer. You will see many boats, jet skis, kayakers, swimmers, and beachgoers out on Lake Tahoe in the summer. 

hidden beach in lake tahoe with beach umbrellas

Calm in the spring, and busy in the summer

I have visited Hidden Beach in the spring as well as the summer, and the difference was night and day. When I visited in the spring it was a beautiful sunny day, but the weather was still much too chilly for swimming. The trail to the beach was busy with bikers and pedestrians, but the beach itself was virtually empty. 

sandy beach and rock cave at hidden beach in lake tahoe

There were a few other families on the beach enjoying the mild spring weather, but very few boats on the water, and definitely no swimmers. The snow-capped mountains across the water and surrounding the beach were a beautiful sight, and the water was just as clear and blue as it is on a hot summer day. Hidden Beach is a great spot in the spring for a quiet and secluded picnic spot. In the summer, on the other hand, this beach sure does get busy. 

hidden beach in lake tahoe looking north

Hidden Beach is a very popular summer destination

The summer is as busy as it gets at Hidden Beach. The car park at Ponderosa Ranch Rd can fill up very quickly, especially on weekends, so you should arrive early. When we visited Hidden Beach in the summer we were able to skip the parking process by kayaking over from another nearby beach and pulling our boats up to shore instead. 

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orange kayak on the beach at hidden beach in lake tahoe

The water at Hidden Beach was busy with other kayakers, swimmers, boaters, and stand-up paddle boarders. On the sand, there were plenty of beachgoers of all ages, and families with large beach umbrellas and beach chairs all set up to enjoy the day. Regardless of the beach traffic, we were able to find a nice spot on the sand. 

hidden beach in lake tahoe looking out on the water

Crystal clear and shallow water

There is a natural shelf to Hidden Beach, meaning that the water doesn’t get too deep for several meters from the shore. This also helps the shallow water warm up under the sun, while the water at a greater depth is several degrees colder. For an alpine lake, the swimming at Lake Tahoe beaches is surprisingly warm in the summer. The swimming is exceptionally great because of how clear the water is as well. You’ll forget you’re in Nevada and not on a tropical island when you see the gorgeous turquoise water at Hidden Beach. 

rocky shores of hidden beach in lake tahoe

Coarse and rocky sand at Hidden Beach

The sand at most Tahoe beaches is coarser than some imported sand beaches, but I actually prefer it. The sand, while coarse still provides just as good of a cushion under a beach towel or blanket, and it is easier to clean off from your towel. In the water, the ground gets much rockier, especially close to the floor. At Hidden Beach, the first few feet into the water are covered in small rocks and boulders, with sandy patches a little further out. 

Boulders at hidden beach

Natural boulder outcroppings surround Hidden Beach

On either side of Hidden Beach are large boulder outcroppings that you can swim out to. They make for a great place to sunbathe or jump into the water. You will likely be able to find a boulder all to yourself to hang out on away from the crowds at the beach. When we visited Hidden Beach we took our kayak out to one of these boulders and enjoyed some privacy as we swam in the shallow water and enjoyed our lunch.

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hidden beach looking south in lake tahoe

Hidden Beach is great for the entire family

It’s hard to find anything bad to say about Hidden Beach. It has amazing swimming, beautiful views, crystal clear waters, and a secluded feel without being difficult to access. Shallow swimming also makes for perfect swimming for kids, and they can jump off the large boulders safely into the shallow water. This beach is very popular for families, and you can expect to share this beach with plenty of other folks if you visit in the summer. 

looking south from hidden beach in lake tahoe

FAQs about Hidden Beach

Is there parking at Hidden Beach?

The parking lot for Hidden Beach is located about 1 mile north of the beach on Tahoe Blvd and Ponderosa Ranch Rd. There is an hourly fee for parking. Near the parking lot is the Tahoe East Shore Trailhead, a scenic route leading to Hidden Beach. 

Are there public restrooms at Hidden Beach?

There are public restrooms on the main train just above Hidden Beach. 

Is there a concession at Hidden Beach?

There is no concession stand at Hidden Beach, so be prepared to pack everything you will need for the day. Remember to pack out everything you bring in, and leave no trace. 

 

Article Sources:

  1. Wikipedia. “Lake Tahoe