- 28 miles (45 km)
- One hour to drive or a few hours to enjoy the Byway.
- There are no fees along the Byway.
Referred to as "the most beautiful drive in America," the Lake Tahoe - East Shore Drive meanders through the sort of picturesque scenery that proves its reputation well-founded. Pristine Lake Tahoe, surrounded by the snow-capped Sierras, is one of the state's top tourist destinations for the access it affords to both outdoorsy pursuits and the indoor kind, including both shop-hopping and casino going.
If rough and rugged are characteristics of your ultimate vacation, camping, hiking, biking, and skiing are only a few of the activities you can enjoy near Lake Tahoe. The area is full of campgrounds and trails for the most extreme outdoor-lovers, and the winter provides perfect powder on the slopes. The crystal clear lake provides an ideal location for all kinds of recreation, including sailing, boating, fishing, and swimming. Additionally, Lake Tahoe has lively evening scene to augment it's day-time attractions, notably a good selection of casinos on the Nevada side; look for a selection of fine restaurants and shops in which to use your winnings. Cumulatively, a laid-back atmosphere and perfect climate has given Lake Tahoe the reputation as the ultimate Spring Break location, though really it's magical at all times of the year and for those well past college age.
Points of Interest Along The Way
Carson City (NV)
Traveling near several of Nevada's byways will bring travelers to Carson City, Nevada's capital. This city is scenic in its own right, as it brings Nevada's history to light with its historic buildings and streets. Visitors will see the Nevada State Capitol building with its sandstone and Alaskan marble and experience sights from the past in museums and the Native American culture that was once prevalent in the area.
At the intersection of US Highways 50 and 395.
Cave Rock (NV)
Cave Rock is where the highway passes through 25 yards of solid stone. The name comes from the small caves on the west side, which were cut by waves when the lake was 140 feet higher during the ice ages. The site is considered to be a holy spot for the native Washoe Indians who put their deceased to rest in the cold waters below the outcropping. The Washoe and Paiute peoples once battled here for the possession of Lake Tahoe and its hunting grounds.
Approximately 10 miles from Stateline, NV.
Gondola Rides (NV)
The Heavenly Gondola rides take visitors 3,000-feet above Lake Tahoe for breathtaking views of the lake, Desolation Wilderness, and the Carson Valley. At the top visitors the opportunity to picnic, hike, scale a climbing wall, eat, and sightsee. An observation deck is the perfect place to take postcard quality photos.
Incline Village (NV)
This community is home to many events and festivals, including the Lake Tahoe Jazz Festival.
On the North Shore of Lake Tahoe off of SR-28.
Lake Tahoe (NV)
Lake Tahoe has been a well-known vacation resort for years. It is the largest Alpine Lake in the country and a beautiful place to visit. Visitors to Lake Tahoe will enjoy many activities on the lake's shore, but it seems a necessity to take some kind of excursion onto the lake itself to fully enjoy its crystaline beauty. The lake is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. It's bragged that the water Lake Tahoe holds is 99.99 percent pure, so much so that a white dinner plate can be seen to a depth of 67 feet.
On the Nevada/California border near Reno, Nevada.
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park (NV)
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is situated on the northeastern shore of Lake Tahoe. It encompasses more than 14,000 acres, including 12,000 acres of backcountry. There is so much variety in the scenery. Although mostly undeveloped, Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park does contain several developed recreation sites such as Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake, Cave Rock, and the Highway 28 beaches.
Every part of the state park offers splendid recreational opportunities. These include picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, scuba diving, and, of course, simply enjoying the scenery. Winter does not stop the chance to have some fun with over 100 kilometers of groomed, cross-country ski trails.
Located on the northeast edge of Lake Tahoe, about 10 miles from the California/Nevada border.
MS Dixie II (NV)
The MS Dixie II cruise ship is the grandchild of the historical MS Dixie. The original MS Dixie came from the Mississippi River in 1948. Jim Moss had a vision to turn her into a floating casino, but the plan failed, and the Dixie was stored in dry dock. Later, Ken Amundson turned the vessel into a houseboat. The Amundsons invited friends and family to enjoy the MS Dixie and her popularitygrew. By 1969, she had been turned into Lake Tahoe's first cruise boat. In 1993, the MS Dixie retired and was replaced with the MS Dixie II. But visitors can still see the original Dixie moored in Zephyr Cove today.
The MS Dixie II offers the followingcruises:
During cruises, visitors have the opportunity to find outwhat is below the water's surface in the video Sunken Treasures of Lake Tahoe.
Pony Express National Historic Trail (NV)
Years before the telegraph, communication east to west was sent by way of the Pony Express. Young men on horseback travelled from Missouri to California carrying bags of mail. The actual Pony Express Trail, though only in use for 18 months, proved to be an important transportation route for later westward travelers. Though most of the trail has been covered, 120 historic sites are preserved or are being restored for visitors to enjoy, including ruins of Pony Express stations.
The Pony Express Trail follows 1-50 from Missouri to Sacramento, California.
Sand Harbor State Park (NV)
Sand Harbor on Lake Tahoe is beautiful year-round, but once a summer, this Nevada State Park becomes the location of high drama and a great deal of fun as it hosts the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. Each year, different plays are selected and performed, much to the delight of audiences at Lake Tahoe. The performances occur outdoors with the waters of the lake in the background.
Once the festival is over, visitors are still drawn to Sand Harbor for its beautiful waters and accessible nature trail. The park encompasses about a mile of white sandy beach and cold, clear water. It's the perfect place to bring your boat or picnic.
Located near Incline Village at the California/Nevada border on the northern edge of Lake Tahoe.
Spooner Lake (NV)
Enjoy the flowering meadows, aspen groves, and a chance sighting of an osprey, waterfowl, or other wildlife on the Spooner Lake Trail, perfect for a family stroll as it winds 2.3 miles through forest and meadows. Spooner Lake also serves as the trailhead into the Marlette/Hobart backcountry. This area offers exceptional opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. The lake itself is a great place to go fishing; although it is catch-and-release only.
Located midway on the byway at the junction of SR 28 and US 50.