My absolute favorite thing about the mountains is the ability to go explore amazing places on the cheap. All you need is a car, walking shoes, a camera and maybe a map… maybe. Tahoe offers hundreds of hiking and biking trails, festivals and beaches.
One of my favorite trials is Skunk Harbor. This trail can be accessed off of Highway 28 on the way to Incline Village. Parking can be a bear as you have to park on the side of the road, so get there early. This trail takes you down two miles to an old house and a private beach—gorgeous views and often time secluded. I call it the one mile rule. If you are willing to hike a mile to get somewhere, it will often times be less crowded and more peaceful. The Skunk Harbor trial is one of many around the area. I recommend packing a lunch in a small back pack because once you get there you won’t want to leave.
If you are visiting in the fall, you don’t want to miss the Taylor Creek salmon spawning. Just a short drive up Highway 89 from South Lake, you will find a river that turns read with Kokanee Salmon making their way from Lake Tahoe up Taylor Creek to Fallen Leaf Lake. Park in the parking lot and take a beautiful walk along the river underneath golden aspen trees. If you are lucky, you might just spot a bear digging into the river for an easy and tasty snack.