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Lake Tahoe Sustainable Travel

Lake Tahoe is a one-of-a-kind place of natural beauty. You’ll feel immediately connected to the region's beauty the moment your eyes catch the deep blue glimmer of the lake. Preserving this pristine landscape is essential not only for the well-being of the wildlife that calls it home but also for the countless locals and visitors who seek solace in its natural wonders. Discover ways you can adventure sustainably in the Tahoe basin so we can all preserve this natural beauty and the profound connection it fosters with the natural world for generations to come.

Adventure Sustainably at Lake Tahoe

Adventure Sustainably at Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse wildlife, creating a picturesque destination that captivates the hearts of travelers and locals alike. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the majestic scenery, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, boating, and all the other incredible things to do that this destination offers. Travelers have an impact everywhere they go – Tahoe included. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy everything in South Lake Tahoe respectfully and sustainably.

Keep Tahoe Awesome

The clearest blue water. The brightest green mountains. It’s awe and then some, but all this awesome doesn’t happen by accident. It comes from mutual respect for the South Shore, from locals and visitors alike. That’s why we created Rules to Lake By: five ways to practice responsible tourism at Lake Tahoe, so we can keep this place awesome today and awesome tomorrow.

rules to lake by summer

More Ways to Recreate Responsibly at Lake Tahoe

There are many ways you can help preserve the beauty and tranquility of the Lake Tahoe region.

  1. Keep it in Park

Lake Tahoe has an incredible network of walking and biking paths that allow you to stay active, reduce traffic and parking congestion, and commute with ease. Whether you bring your own or rent a bike at Lake Tahoe, decide to explore local shops along your walk, or utilize our amazing and free Lake Link service that offers lake-wide transportation, there are many eco-friendly ways to get around Lake Tahoe. Choosing to keep your personal vehicle in park helps to reduce carbon emissions, allows you to skip the hassle of finding parking, and keeps our roads operating efficiently. 

  1. Use the Reusable

Ditch the plastic and instead opt for a reusable alternative. Whether you’re taking water on a hike, bringing home food from your favorite Lake Tahoe restaurant, or shopping at the grocery store, help us reduce waste by bringing your own reusable container in place of single-use plastic bottles, bags, and to-go containers. Lake Tahoe has some of the purest and best-tasting tap water in the country, so grab your bottle and fill it up right at the tap to see for yourself.

  1. Support Local Businesses

South Lake Tahoe has many incredible local businesses, from small boutique shops to family-owned restaurants and more. Shopping at these local businesses helps to reduce the carbon footprint as many of these goods are produced and sourced locally and don’t require unnecessary shipping from far away. So whether you’re trying a new place to eat, or shopping for gifts, swing by one of these local shops and help support our amazing local businesses.

  1. Pack it In, Pack it Out

Whether you’re heading to the beach or high up in the mountains, if you take it with you, bring it home. Many beaches and trailheads have garbage cans to properly dispose of your waste at the end of your day. So throw a trash bag in your backpack or beach bag and help us to keep our region beautiful and trash-free. 

  1. Respect Wildlife

Lake Tahoe has abundant wildlife which you may encounter on your visit. Please be respectful of our wild critters and observe only with your eyes for your safety and theirs. Attempting to pet, feed, take photos, or interact with these wild animals is dangerous and can put them under a lot of stress. So please, remember to give them some space and appreciate them in their natural habitat from a safe distance. 

Lake Tahoe Destination Stewardship Plan

Fill It Forward Program, in partnership with Drink Tahoe Tap, Visit Lake Tahoe has distributed 35,000 USA-made refillable water bottles from Fill it Forward to support South Lake Tahoe’s ban on single-use plastic water bottles. Each bottle features a QR code that, when scanned, donates five cents to one of four local environmental non-profits, reducing plastic waste and bolstering local environmental efforts.
Rules to Lake By “Rules to Lake By” is a comprehensive marketing and communications campaign inspired by the region’s Destination Stewardship Plan. It aims to engage both tourists and locals in preserving Lake Tahoe through five simple guidelines: Protect the AweBe Kind By Nature, Let’s Leave Less, Park with Heart, and Enjoy Tahoe Time.

Utilizing social media, email campaigns, murals, and a strong presence at local events, Visit Lake Tahoe is spreading the message far and wide for visitors to have a great time while protecting their natural surroundings. 

The California Responsible Travel Code

Pristine beaches, immaculate trails, and spotlessly snowy ski runs are what draw thousands of people to South Lake Tahoe every year. Ensuring that everyone can appreciate this majestic landscape for generations to come takes an effort from everyone who comes here, both locals and visitors alike. It can be as simple as taking your trash with you, drinking tap water while here, or exploring the outdoors safely and responsibly.

Preserving and protecting Lake Tahoe’s irreplaceable scenic beauty is something everyone can get behind. One way you can do so is by following the California Responsible Travel Code, courtesy of Visit California.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. California Travel Code
RESPECT California Travel Code

Roam Responsibly. I will explore California thoughtfully and responsibly, maintaining the utmost respect for everyone and everything I encounter.

Educate Myself. I will do my research before traveling across the state, familiarizing myself with local regulations and community concerns, which may have changed over time. This is especially important in rural communities with limited healthcare resources.

Safety First. I will follow public health directives from government officials, including physical distancing measures. I will take all necessary steps to minimize health risks to myself and others and stay home if I’m sick.

Preserve California. I will protect and nurture the Golden State’s pristine outdoor spaces and cultural icons by maintaining a light footprint at every turn and paying special attention to delicate ecosystems.

Embrace Community. I will support local businesses and do my part to ensure the long-term prosperity of the places I visit.

Celebrate Culture. I will immerse myself in California’s diverse local cultures and embrace the traditions and practices I encounter.

Teach Others. I will lead by example and share these practices with fellow travelers, acknowledging that we all share the responsibility to protect California.

Don’t destroy what you came to enjoy.

Author Unknown

Sustainability Success Stories at Lake Tahoe

Want to be more than a responsible visitor? There are many opportunities to get involved with sustainability in South Lake Tahoe. Think citizen science projects, beach cleanups, park volunteers, trail days, and much more.

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