Tahoe's Best Blog

Water Sports Galore! How to Cool Off in Lake Tahoe this Summer

Submitted on: 7/14/23 | by Lindsey Carlson
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Summer in Lake Tahoe offers abundant opportunities to enjoy water sports. Whether you are looking for a thrilling whitewater adventure, a relaxing afternoon of fishing or something in between, Lake Tahoe likely has a water sport to match your interests. When you are ready to cool off in the water, consider these five ideas for some wet summertime fun.

1) Rafting: With great scenery and exciting rapids, Truckee River offers some of the best whitewater rafting in California. The Truckee River is a great rafting spot for families, even with young children. With Class II and Class III rapids, there will be lots of fun with no considerable danger.

Thrill-seekers over age 12 might prefer the Middle Fork of the American River, which offers Class III and Class IV rapids for adrenaline-pumping fun. This river flows through canyons of the Tahoe National Forest and is only about an hour and a half from Lake Tahoe. Some rafting companies will include transportation from the Lake Tahoe area.

Whether you are looking for a half-day trip, full-day trip or multi-day trip, the Lake Tahoe area will have a rafting trip to meet your needs.

HINT: Use Irie Rafting or Tributary Rafting for the best trip possible! Here’s a full list of river rafting companies in Lake Tahoe: http://www.tahoesbest.com/places/lake_tahoe_river_rafting.htm

2) Fishing: Even if you have never fished in your life, Lake Tahoe can offer you an exceptional fishing experience. With a guided fishing trip, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding the second-deepest lake in the United States while someone else takes care of the tackle, bait, gear and safety equipment.

Enjoy visibility up to 70-feet deep in a freshwater lake filled with trout and other fish. The mackinaws, as they are called locally, are often over 3-feet long. Lake Tahoe is known for some of the best Lake Trout and Kokanee Salmon fishing in the west. Even better, most guided fishing trips will clean and bag your catch for you -- just be sure to bring an ice chest! In addition, anyone over the age of 16 will need a valid fishing license, which you can purchase online from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

HINT: Use the Tahoe’s Best fishing guide to find the best companies, spots, and information about fishing in Lake Tahoe.

3) Wakeboarding: Lake Tahoe is an ideal spot for wakeboarding, the water sport that combines the fun of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing. Whether you’ve never been towed behind a motorboat while riding a buoyant board or you’re ready to try the “Scarecrow,” consider taking advantage of the many qualified wakeboarding instructors in the Lake Tahoe area. After an exciting day out on the lake, you will understand why wakeboarding has become so popular.

4) Jet Skiing: Shredding through the water while surrounded by mountain views is an exhilarating experience. Jet skiing is a great water sport for beginners because it is fast and easy to learn. There are many jet ski rental options around Lake Tahoe that will get you ready for a safe and fun experience on the lake.

5) Water Skiing: The whole family can enjoy water skiing in Lake Tahoe. Even better than walking on water, the feeling of gliding on water as you’re pulled by a motorboat is an indescribable thrill. Water skiing schools around the lake offer rentals, lessons and all the equipment you will need.

HINT: Wakeboarding, jet skiing, and water skiing can be kind of tricky, so go with a pro! Use our list of watersports companies in Lake Tahoe to help get out on the water, plus places to rent jet skis!

Whether you’ll be shredding by the end of the day on a wakeboard, or quietly enjoying the dusk with a fishing rod in hand, Lake Tahoe watersports are the best way to cool off in the warm summer sun. Happy summertime fun everyone!