When we visited Lake Tahoe, we stuck to the California State Parks. Our favorite was Emerald Bay, but the best beach was at D.L. Bliss State Park. Since we visited in 2017, which was a record high-water year, there wasn’t much beach anywhere. Still, we liked this one, and for $10, it was a bargain. It also has a shared entrance fee with Emerald Bay, so you can visit both parks in the same day.
As with everything at Tahoe, parking is the key issue. We recommend arriving anywhere you are going before ten o’clock, and even that might not be early enough. At D.L. Bliss, the rangers keep count of parking spaces, and they’ll turn you away if they are full. Since the beach is two miles from the ranger station, you won’t want to hike in, either.
There are full camping facilities at DL Bliss State Park, and there are a few hiking trails as well. We decided to hike to the lighthouse. The Lighthouse Trail took us up to the top of a ridge, and then down toward the water. There is a lighthouse, but don’t get too excited. It looks more like an outhouse, and the sign proudly states that it was constructed at a cost of $900. The trail runs about 2.3 miles and has some steep parts. It runs through a nice pine forest and ends up at Calawee Cove on the beach.
The most popular hiking trail is the Balancing Rock Nature Trail. It’s only 1/2 mile and leads to a huge balanced rock. We were unable to hike this trail due to parking, but this is the one we would recommend to families. We hope we can hike it the next time we visit.
The beach at D.L. Bliss was beautiful. The water was sparkly blue and freezing even though we were there in July. Since the water was so high, people were crammed along the small beach area, but everyone was having a great time with kayaks, boats, swimming, and more. The beach is quite long and there are 3 or 4 different parking areas to access the beach at this state park.
Let us know if you have a favorite beach at Lake Tahoe for us to check out.