How to Be a Next Level Visitor in Lake Tahoe

By: Trent Unruh

South Lake Tahoe is a stunning mountain destination that offers an unparalleled escape from the bustle of daily life. Surrounded by miles of pristine shoreline and fragrant pine forests, it’s easy to lose yourself in the natural beauty of this area. While it may seem like everything is perfect here, it’s important to note that even in this paradise, we still have to be mindful of a few pesky litterbugs. By taking care to keep our environment clean and beautiful, we can all work together to ensure that South Lake Tahoe remains a pristine and enjoyable destination for generations to come.

Hikers on the Castle Rock Trail Loop Lake Tahoe
The Castle Rock Trail Loop offers panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. Photo: Brian Walker

Like many destinations, Lake Tahoe and the surrounding areas are having a hard time keeping up with so many people’s unfortunate choices to leave their trash behind. Groups like the League to Save Lake Tahoe and their incredible volunteers remove tons of trash each year, but even that isn’t enough to tip the scales.

From wastefully discarded sleds and glove tags on sled hills to cigarettes and plastic bottles on beaches, it seems like a surprising number of people leave their manners at home or perhaps never learned them to begin with.

We know that’s not you. Whether you are considering coming to Tahoe for the first time or are a perennial visitor, we want to invite you to take a bit of ownership of the lake while you are out enjoying the stoke. 

You Can Be a Next Level Visitor

Heading to the beach with the buddies? Bringing your own trash bag and throwing it away at home or your hotel can help save room in the dumpster for people who didn’t get the memo. You could even be a next-level steward and pick up a few pieces of discarded trash while you’re there. Cleaning up a few small pieces of plastic or bringing an extra dog waste bag can go a long way toward protecting Lake Tahoe’s wildlife, clear water, and breathtaking views.  

Rabe Meadows trail Lake Tahoe
An evening walk along the Rabe Meadows trail.

Bringing the family up for a well deserved getaway around Tahoe’s South Shore? Maybe take a moment of your unforgettable trip to teach responsibility, service, and stewardship to the next generation by leaving a special place better than you found it. You can even make it a family tradition by quickly cleaning up the same special place each time you visit.

Planning ahead can make the whole process a lot easier. Gloves, disposable bags, and hand sanitizer give you the confidence to crank the clean-up dial to ten and really make an impact.

Do you want to share your efforts with others who care about keeping the outdoors litter-free? You can even be a Tahoe Blue Gooder to set an example for other people to follow or share your observations with the free Citizen Science Tahoe app to help scientists better understand and protect the Lake.

Nevada Beach Lake Tahoe
Nevada Beach offers great views of the Lake as long as people clean up after themselves

The truth is, Lake Tahoe is probably no different than the place you call home when it comes to trash and people littering. Just about every town is bound to have a few litterbugs to clean up after. We hope your hometown has kind, thoughtful tourists to look after it for a few days, too!

Enough Trash Talk, Go Have Some Fun

We’ve talked a lot about litter and being a thoughtful visitor, but don’t forget to get out and have fun while you’re up here! Looking for things to do or places to eat? With family-friendly beaches, miles of trails to explore, and no lack of great restaurants, we’ve got you covered. You can even download our free VisitLakeTahoe app on your phone so the next experience is always at your fingertips.

Want to learn about actual invasive species in Lake Tahoe? Check out our blog that explores what’s under the waves.

Have you ever wondered why a national treasure like Lake Tahoe isn’t a National Park? We have the answers! Peruse our blog that explores the history of Tahoe, including several attempts to designate Lake Tahoe as a national park.

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