Whale Beach

Whale Beach Lake Tahoe Nevada

This Location:

Hwy 28; located 1.5 miles south of Sand Harbor. Access from gated parking area of Secret Harbor. Gate open Memorial Day Weekend through October (weather pending).

It’s accessible by parking at Secret Harbor Parking area and walking down the access road until you reach the vault toilet and take the trail to the lakeshore (1/2 mile walk from the toilet). There are no picnic tables or BBQs. The beach is 300 yards long (in low water) and accessible by boats (no dock/ pier available).

  • Dogs Allowed with Restrictions
  • Public Bathrooms
  • Shade Available

Whale Beach is a popular and scenic 100 yard beach that can be reached from the Secret Harbor Parking area.  Its name comes from a protruding rock in the bay that appears to look like a sperm whale bursting from the water.   This area has also been known as Black Sand Beach because of the dark color of the sand. Long hike (2 miles) from parking area down the access road to Whale Beach.  Portable toilets are available adjacent to the area.  Whale Beach is located on National Forest land. Pack out all trash from beaches.

The hike to Whale Beach can be a challenging one for beach visitors, so be prepared!  There are no picnic tables or other facilities at the beach.  No campfires on beach; keep dogs under control; pick up dog waste. Dog waste bags not provided.

GRILLS: The Forest Service recommends the use of portable gas grills instead of charcoal.  This reduces the risk of fires from hot coals and helps keep the beaches clean from ashes.  Campfire permits needed outside of a developed recreation site for grills; burn/fire restrictions apply.

KEEP IT CLEAN: Lake Tahoe is recognized as an Outstanding Natural Resource Water. Please, join your fellow beachgoers in protecting this special place! Begin by being an example to others:

  • Dispose of trash properly or pack it out.
  • Never feed birds, squirrels or any other wildlife.
  • Campfires are NEVER allowed on Tahoe beaches.

VEGETATION: Protect Tahoe plants! Keep outside signed or fenced protected habitat.

SWIM and BOAT SMART: Very cold water, sudden storms and unexpected waves deserve respect. Be alert!

PET OWNERS: Pets are permitted only on dog-friendly beaches. Use a bag to pick up after your pet, and use a leash. Protect your pet’s privilege to share the beach!

BOATERS: Aquatic invasive species are a very serious threat – completely clean, drain and dry your boat before launching it at Tahoe.

FISHING: Any person over 16 years old must have a valid California or Nevada sport fishing license. Visit one of the many Lake Tahoe fishing sites to learn more about fishing and the special regulations that are enforced at Tahoe.

Whale Beach


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