Lake Tahoe Photo Spots


Known as “the Blue Gem of California and Nevada,” Lake Tahoe is a unique travel destination that should be on the bucket list of every nature lover. There’s so much jaw-dropping beauty in the lake’s blue waters and sandy beaches, and in Sierra Nevada’s sculptural rock formations, that there’s no wonder Lake Tahoe is considered one of the best photography spots and most beautiful places in the US. Add to the list some outstanding ski resorts, dramatic hiking opportunities, and amazing lake cruises, and you’ve got a complete winner. As usual, we’re here to spill all the secrets and tell you our picks for the top ten places to take photos in Lake Tahoe. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

We easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. The magic of Flytographer is in both the experience and the photos. Explore the city with a fun, talented photographer and get wall-worthy photos to relive your trip forever. Today, we asked our local photographers to show us around all of the best places to take photos in Lake Tahoe. πŸ“Έ

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TLDR

  1. Enjoy outdoor and water activities near all the convenience you need at Camp Richardson (South Lake Tahoe)
  2. Marvel at Mount Tallac while surrounded by lupin flowers at Lake Forest Beach
  3. Stroll through a picturesque meadow and relax on the secluded shore of Tahoe Keys Hidden Cove
  4. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and savour the breathtaking scenery of Zephyr Cove
  5. Explore diverse ecosystems and observe wildlife while hiking at River Fork Ranch
  6. Mingle with locals over a picnic at the lively Commons Beach (North Lake Tahoe)
  7. Venture onto trails offering jaw-dropping vistas of Crystal Bay in Incline Village (North Lake Tahoe)
  8. Enjoy a serene beach retreat and end the day with a stunning sunset at Hurricane Bay
  9. Discover a lovely lake island, dramatic waterfalls, and a beautiful castle at Emerald Bay State Park
  10. Stroll through an alpine forest and discover a rustic mansion at Sugar Pine Point State Park

Photo: Josiah in Lake Tahoe for Flytographer. Mark and partner celebrate a proposal in Lake Tahoe with a proposal photoshoot in Logan Shoals.

1. Camp Richardson


One of the best places for a great photo shoot in the region is Camp Richardson in South Lake Tahoe, a historic resort nestled amidst a picturesque pine forest. Close to the longest stretch of sandy beach along Lake Tahoe’s shoreline, this setting offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and fantastic photo ops. You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, pedal boats, or even jet skis to enjoy the fresh blue waters. On land, you can explore the hiking trails or go horseback riding. πŸ‡

During winter, the fun continues with activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snow play. ❄️ No matter the season, there’s always something exciting to experience at this remarkable gem. Those seeking a quieter time can enjoy the breathtaking views from the lakeside restaurant and cafe.

Photo: Josiah in Lake Tahoe for Flytographer. Brittney and family capture memories in Lake Tahoe with a family photoshoot at Camp Richardson.

2. Lake Forest Beach


A few miles from Tahoe City, Lake Forest Beach is another fantastic destination for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. 🚣 With a more secluded atmosphere, this beach boasts breathtaking views of the lake, Mount Tallac, and the surrounding mountains. Between mid-July and mid-August, Lake Forest Beach transforms into one of Lake Tahoe’s best photo spots, thanks to the gorgeous purple lupin flowers that blanket the beach’s lowland shores. 😍 That’s the perfect time to unwind on the shore, lounge in the grassy meadows, use the picnic tables and grills, and bask in the scenic beauty, all while capturing some memorable photographs.

Local tip: if you’re driving, try to get there early as the parking lot is small and can fill up quickly. πŸš—

Photo: Josiah in Lake Tahoe for Flytographer. Jessica and family capture memories in Lake Tahoe with a family photoshoot at Lake Forest Beach.

3. Tahoe Keys Hidden Cove


Can you keep a secret? 🀫 The hiking path into Cove East in Tahoe Keys on the Californian side is one of the top places to take photos in Lake Tahoe. It meanders through meadows adorned with wildflowers and offers sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains. The best part? There will hardly be anyone there, so it’s like having this paradise all to yourself!

You can find more hidden gems on the Nevada side, like Chimney Beach and Secret Cove, both along Tahoe’s east shore. The curving shoreline of Chimney Beach is adorned with beautiful boulders, and its crystal-clear waters are a visual delight. The beach gets its name from the chimney standing on the shore, the only remaining structure from an old cabin. From there, you can embark on a hike to reach Secret Cove, an even more secluded spot. Heads up: Secret Cove is a clothing-optional beach. 😊

For photo enthusiasts, on Lake Tahoe’s eastern shore, Bonsai Rock is a granite boulder in the middle of a sheltered cove crowned with small trees resembling bonsais. It’s also typically free of crowds, perfect for your social media pics. πŸ‘Œ

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Paula and partner celebrate a babymoon in Lake Tahoe with a babymoon photoshoot at Tahoe Keys Hidden Cove.

4. Zephyr Cove


Zephyr Cove, also on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, near Stateline, is a natural wonderland. Whether you prefer hiking or horseback riding through the majestic pine forest, or boating, kayaking, and waterskiing on Tahoe’s pristine blue waters, there’s no shortage of fun. There’s also nothing like sunbathing on the sandy shores or relaxing under the shade of a tree while taking in that quintessential Tahoe scenery! πŸŒ²πŸ›Ά

Want even more beauty? From Zephyr Cove Marina, you can embark on a cruise across the glistening waters, treating yourself to breathtaking views of Zephyr Cove’s shoreline framed by the towering pine trees and the mountains that surround Emerald Bay.Β 

Local’s tip: a popular experience in Lake Tahoe is a ride on the M.S. Dixie II, a picturesque cruising vessel with dinner cruises that are great for catching those stunning sunsets from the water. πŸŒ…

Photo: Bryan in Lake Tahoe for Flytographer. Mikayla and partner celebrate an engagement in Lake Tahoe with an engagement trip photoshoot at Zephyr Cove.

5. River Fork Ranch

A true nature sanctuary with a variety of ecosystems, including meadows, wetlands, and forests, River Fork Ranch is a nature preserve in Carson Valley near Genoa, Nevada. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature, soak in the unique landscapes, and enjoy lots of family-friendly trails β€” all with Carson Valley as a backdrop. Trust us, this is one of the best places to take photos in Lake Tahoe. The trails are flat and easy, and the area is teeming with wildlife, so keep a keen eye out for bald eagles, monarch butterflies, leopard frogs, and mule deer. 🦌

Extra tip: if you have a penchant for the wilderness around Lake Tahoe, be sure to explore Desolation Wilderness. Despite the name, this is an area brimming with mountain grandeur and pristine alpine forests. πŸ‘

Photo: Bryan in Lake Tahoe for Flytographer. Libby and partner capture memories in Lake Tahoe with a couples photoshoot at River Fork Ranch.

6. Commons Beach

Looking for some sun-soaked fun in the heart of Tahoe City? Commons Beach is a beloved spot for locals and tourists alike. It’s a place where everyone loves to gather, especially during the summer months when you can enjoy free live concerts, outdoor movie screenings, and farmers’ markets in the charming public areas. πŸ‘¨β€πŸŒΎ

There’s a spacious lakefront lawn perfect for picnics, complete with, you guessed it, lake views. πŸ˜‰ You can also rent a bike and explore the biking paths around the area. 🚲 Families with little ones will love the playground area and its “radical” climbing rocks. Of course, don’t forget your camera: Commons Beach is a stunning backdrop for family photo shoots, with the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe as your canvas.

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Katherine captures memories in Lake Tahoe with a photoshoot at Commons Beach.

7. Incline Village


Nestled on the shores of North Lake Tahoe’s Crystal Bay, Incline Village is a popular winter destination on the Nevada side of the lake. There’s plenty of architecture to see in the beautiful lakefront homes and many restaurants and cafes to explore. β˜•οΈ During warmer months, a delightful way to soak in the vibes is by venturing onto the three-mile East Shore Trail, which is mostly paved but has some inclined sections. You can also explore the Flume Trail, just outside Incline Village. This trail cuts through steep granite cliffs overlooking Lake Tahoe and is considered one of the most spectacular hikes in the country, so bring your hiking shoes. πŸ₯Ύ

Just a stone’s throw from Incline Village is Sand Harbor, a State Park offering dream-like lake beaches and the Sand Harbor Overlook Trail. The park is also a great place to immerse yourself in natural beauty and capture stunning photos. There’s a $50 entry fee, but hey, this is a truly iconic Tahoe spot. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ From Incline Village, it’s easy to explore Carson City, Reno, and Truckee.

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Anne and family capture memories in Lake Tahoe with a family photoshoot at Incline Village.

8. Hurricane Bay


Also known as Pebble Beach, Hurricane Bay is the ultimate spot on Lake Tahoe’s west shore for a relaxing day at the beach. This serene place exudes an extra charm, thanks to the many boats moored in the stunning bay. ⛡️ Sunset picnics here are an absolute must, and since we’re in Lake Tahoe territory, there’s a paved biking path right along the beach. It offers a fantastic opportunity to soak in the scenery from various angles.

Pro tip: you’ve probably already noticed that Lake Tahoe is a treasure trove of outdoor activities, but we’re leaving no stone unturned. So, make sure to also check Fallen Leaf Lake for even more thrilling outdoor adventures and some truly one-of-a-kind beauty that frames the lake. 😁

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Kelli and partner celebrate an anniversary in Lake Tahoe with an anniversary photoshoot at Hurricane Bay.

9. Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park is home to the stunning Emerald Bay, the only enclosed bay on Lake Tahoe, complete with the picturesque Fannette Island at its centre. We’ve said it a thousand times, but the scenery here is truly breathtaking! Beyond water activities, the park offers a range of top-notch attractions, starting with the majestic Eagle Falls. These dramatic waterfalls are easily accessible via a relatively short hike. Along the trail, hikers can pause to take in awe-inspiring vistas, towering pine trees, and incredible rock formations. ⛰️

Don’t forget to visit the Emerald Bay Viewpoint, from where you have one of the most magnificent views of Lake Tahoe. If you’re looking for a different perspective on all this beauty, take a sunset cruise. As the name suggests, you’ll catch the bay painted in warm hues, from oranges and golds to pinks and purples. πŸ§‘πŸ’›πŸ’œ

Emerald Bay State Park also boasts a historical gem: the Vikingsholm Castle. This architectural marvel showcases Scandinavian design and is a great Lake Tahoe photography spot.

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Kevin and partner celebrate a proposal in Lake Tahoe with a proposal photoshoot at Emerald Bay Lookout.

10. Sugar Pine Point State Park

Featuring an evergreen alpine forest, Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park on the lake’s west shore is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Lake Tahoe. Besides the captivating lakefront views, the park is home to another great photo location: Ehrman Mansion. A building that’s impressive from every angle, this rustic-chic house is on the ridge framed by magnificent pine and cedar trees. 🀳 The park offers an abundance of water activities and scenic trails in the summer, but winter is also a fantastic time to visit β€” think cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and plenty of snow play for the little ones. β˜ƒοΈ

Photo: Flytographer in Lake Tahoe. Ashley and family capture memories in Lake Tahoe with a family photoshoot at Sugar Pine Point State Park.

Capturing Memories in Lake Tahoe


We’ve given it our best, but honestly, no adjectives can truly capture the unparalleled beauty of Lake Tahoe! Regardless of which side of the lake you visit, you’ll find the absolute best of what nature has to offer, and everything is stunning in every season (here’s another secret: the best time to escape the crowds might be during fall πŸ‚).

Before we wrap up, let’s dive into some final honourable mentions:

  • If you’re a fan of trails, there’s so much more to explore in and around Lake Tahoe. The Rubicon Trail, Cave Rock Trailhead, and Truckee River Bike Trail are fantastic ways to immerse yourself in Lake Tahoe’s natural surroundings.

  • More spots with the best views, anyone? Be sure to add Lake Valley, Eagle Rock, and Donner Summit to your Tahoe bucket list.


Looking to explore more natural wonders in the US? Just a 2.5-hour drive from South Lake Tahoe is Yosemite National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the country.

To make your trip to Lake Tahoe even more memorable, connect with our local photographers and let them capture all the magical moments in this American wonderland.πŸ’™