What Is the Best Time to Travel to Lake Tahoe?

Summer is the most popular time to visit Lake Tahoe, but the best deals are available in mid to late September.
Written by Payton Ternus
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
If you’re looking to hike through nature trails, have some fun in the sun at the beach, or take a “flight” to a brewfest, the best time for you to visit Lake Tahoe will depend on your budget, interests, and weather preferences. Summer is the most popular time to visit thanks to sunny beaches, but September offers more deals.
The Jewel of the Sierra is a popular destination for Americans to go on vacation—but deciding what time of year to visit can feel like you’re skiing down a slippery slope. You’ll need to schedule your trip carefully so your fun won’t be stopped by uncomfortable weather or overpriced tourist traps.
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The best times of year to travel to Lake Tahoe

Figuring out which time is best for you to visit Lake Tahoe will depend on a few factors. Summer is the most popular season due to sunny beaches and clear waters, but the fall offers the best deals on lodging and travel expenses.

Peak season: June to August

Clear skies and deep blue water in on Lake Tahoe
The good: Warmer weather, sunny days, lots of activities
The bad: Crowded, higher prices
The weather: High 70s to high 90s
The reigning king of tourism in Lake Tahoe is the summertime. June, July, and August are the most popular months of the year to visit Lake Tahoe due to the sunny weather, clear waters, and hiking trails. 
Now is the time to break out your swimsuits, jet skis, fishing poles, and other water gear to enjoy the beautiful alpine lake.
The key events in the summer at Lake Tahoe are
Tahoe Brewfest
and “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride” in June,
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
beginning in July, and the
Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest
in August. 
Pro Tip If you decide to visit Lake Tahoe in the summer, make sure you book everything at least three months early to secure your spot in their busy season!

Off-season: September to November

Aerial view of small docks on Lake Tahoe
The good: Lowest prices, smaller crowds, seasonal events
The bad: Lower temperatures, colder winds
The weather: High 40s to low 60s
If you don’t mind chilly weather with crisp winds, visit Lake Tahoe in the fall to avoid the large crowds and score the lowest prices
September through November may be the off-season in Lake Tahoe, but there are still plenty of seasonal events for you to enjoy. 

Shoulder season: December to March

A snowy cabin in Lake Tahoe
The good: Lower prices than the summer, winter activities
The bad: Higher rates than the fall, busier than the fall
The weather: Freezing temperatures to low 40s, snowy
Winter and early spring make up the “shoulder season” in Lake Tahoe, or the time between peak and off-seasons. You’ll want to visit in this season if you like colder weather or want to shred some powder at Lake Tahoe’s famous ski slopes.
There aren’t as many events in the winter at Lake Tahoe, but there is the
SnowGlobe Music Festival
in December! You can also just sit back, relax, and take in the winter scenery if you’re wanting to enjoy some beautiful views. 

The cheapest time to travel to Lake Tahoe

Make sure you book your visit in the fall if you want the lowest prices on travel and lodging. With the temperatures dropping and kids back in school, the summer swarms of tourists die down and the prices in Lake Tahoe drop again.
If you’re set on enjoying the beaches and feeling the sun on your face, you’ll want to book your trip for the beginning or end of the summer. You’ll want to book far in advance too to get the best deals!

Find the best month for your visit to Lake Tahoe

Ready to decide when to take your trip to the beautiful Jewel of the Sierra? Take a look at the table below to find the right time for your ideal vacation getaway, and plan some fun activities to do!
Best month to visit
Water activities
If you want to take a cruise around the lake, go fishing, or water ski, the summer is the best time to enjoy water activities.
Tahoe Brewfest
Kick back, relax, and enjoy some craft beer at the
Tahoe Brewfest
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
Don your finest breeches and gowns to get into character and experience the world of
Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest
It’s vacation, which means it’s the perfect time to enjoy more beer and music at the
Brews, Jazz & Funk Fest
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival
is a great way to unwind with culinary delights and delectable wines.
Camp Richardson’s Oktoberfest
Camp Richardson provides lots of food and family fun in this free annual
Lake Tahoe is famous for its ski slopes. If you want to shred some powder, a winter trip is right for you.
Hiking Trails
The warmer months are perfect for immersing yourself in nature on the many hiking trails at Lake Tahoe.
Pro Tip Good food, fun events, and beautiful scenery are available year-round at Lake Tahoe, so plan your trip around your own weather preferences and budget if there aren’t any particular events you’re interested in.

How to find savings on car and rental insurance

Whether you’re taking a road trip to Lake Tahoe or
renting a car
after landing at the airport, you’ll want to make sure you have a car insurance policy in place.
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