Clearly a Winner!

Crystal Clear Kayak Lake Tahoe

Okay, let’s get something clear ... like, crystal clear: The best way to see Lake Tahoe’s beautiful translucent waters is on a crystal-clear kayak! And by that we mean Wild Society’s Crystal Kayaks.

Founded by Tahoe native and adventurous entrepreneur Kaylee Howell, Wild Society executes the clear kayak concept as it should be: you, sitting in a stylin’ water vessel that’s see-through on the bottom and the sides. The kayaks are all doubles but can easily be made into singles. They come equipped with a waterproof speaker, so get that phone playlist ready for some smooth cruising along Tahoe’s shoreline.

Make it an early start for calmer waters and far fewer people (the wind picks up in the afternoon, not to mention the motorboats and their wakes). You can put in at King’s Beach for a southeast paddle toward Crystal Bay. Slowly paddling the lake, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada, you’ll be mesmerized by how clear the water is—a turquoise oasis where large sunken boulders look like they could be 10 feet below but are actually 100 feet down.

Just past the rocks is Speedboat Beach, a great place to pull in before the midday crowds arrive. You can dock the kayak here and take a nice gentle swim in the teal cove, or just dunk yourself for fun. Looking for more seclusion? Keep paddling another 15 or 20 minutes, past another cluster of big rocks marking Stateline Point, Nevada. The teal water transitions to deep navy where the shelf drops precipitously (it’s a bit of a thrill). Look up while paddling here—those old cabins set cliff-side overlooking the lake have a history: One of them was where JFK is rumored to have rendezvoused with Marilyn Monroe. But, transparently speaking, your rendezvous is way more interesting! Clearly.

TIP: You can also start your Crystal Kayak paddle from Sand Harbor Beach in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, a beautiful and popular beach area offering equally stunning Sierra Nevada scenery and teal coves.

Wild Society's crystal kayak rentals start at $50 per hour. They also lead guided tours including an after dark lit-up night tour.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Camping at Chewing Gum Lake Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

  2. Mill About Lakeside

    Bucks Lake Recreation Area near Quincy in Plumas County has plenty of beautiful hiking trails. For an easy hike with beautiful spots for sunning, swimming, and lounging on sand beaches or giant rock slabs, do the Mill Creek Trail.

  3. The Secret Big Blue

    Set at 4,500 feet, surrounded by 52 miles of shoreline, and with sparkling sapphire hue, Lake Almanor is the other big blue. The secret one. This huge lake—idyllic in spring through fall for all kinds of water adventures—is a gem of Plumas County where you can relax without crowds.

  4. Photo of the East Brother Light Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Oh, Brother!

    Spending the night on a tiny island in the Bay? Intriguing. Spending the night in a lighthouse perched on that island? Sound the foghorn! East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast sits on a small patch of land in the strait that separates San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Hot As (Bumpass) Hell

    So you like going to all the hot spots when you visit places? Well, in Lassen Volcanic National Park there’s a place so hot it gets downright steamy. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park, with sputtering mud pots, sulfur vents, and boiling pools. It’s California’s Yellowstone.

  2. Keep on Truckee!

    An easygoing ride along the paved Truckee River Bike Trail in Tahoe City rolls out a steady stream of good times, and scenery.

  3. Starcrossed Stairway?

    Built into the hillside next to the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heights delights with historic homes, steep and narrow (mostly carless) streets, and enchanting city views. Best of all, it features a network of walkways and staircases that makes it super fun to wander and explore.

  4. Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.