Skunk Harbor

Skunk Harbor

Incline Village, Nevada
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Local Phone: (775) 831-0914

This easy, 1.5-mile trail  has a little bit of everything: history, water, flora and views. An elevation gain of just 600 feet makes it suitable for families. Trailhead parking is limited, which means the trail and the cove it leads to are lightly used.

Purchased by Gold Rush baron George Newhall and later used as a retreat by millionaire eccentric George Whittell, Skunk Harbor today is administered by the U.S. Forest Service and open to the public. And old railroad grade along the way was used by a line supplying lumber to Virginia City mines in the 1870s. At the fork in the road about a half-mile in, keep right and negotiate the switchbacks to end up on the rocks overlooking the sandy beach at Skunk Harbor.

The trailhad is on Highway 28  two miles and change north of its junction with Highway 50 at Spooner Summit. Look for a green iron pipe gate on the lake side of the road. Park in one of the turnouts. 

lake tahoe, national, forest, service, harbor, history, beach, conifer, views, easy

Dog hiking through deep snow
Sometimes you just want to walk the dog, not make a big, equipment-heavy production of it. At Tahoe, warm boots should suffice on most winter days if you stay around lake level, where snow comes and goes throughout the season. more »
Adorable dog in Lake Tahoe
Photo credit: Brendan Myers
Go for a Dip
Get a Lift
Float Your Boat
Paddle a Dog-friendly Canoe
Soak Up Nostalgia
Go for a Hike
Spend the Night
Share a Bite
Treat Your Pup
Get Festive

Go for a Dip
Yes, you can take your dog swimming at Lake Tahoe! True, there are only a handful of dog-friendly beaches, but for most dogs, just one a day is enough. One of our hidden favorites on the West Shore is the private beach at Obexer’s General Store in Homewood.

Get a Lift
One of the most fun experiences to be had with your dog at Tahoe is lift-assisted hiking. Enclosed gondola cars on two lifts at Northstar and the aerial tram at Squaw Valley welcome leashed pets. Whichever you choose, you’ll find lots of trail options up top.

Float Your Boat
For more fun on the water, join the animated crowds of summer vacationers who rent rafts in Tahoe City for a two- to three-hour, 5-mile float down the scenic Truckee River to River Ranch Resort. Truckee River Raft Co. counts dogs as regular passengers and will get you all fixed up.
 
Dog on Tahoe beach
Photo credit: Janeen Heath
Paddle a Dog-friendly Canoe
Dogs won't fit in just any kayak, and expecting them to balance like acrobats on a slippery bow is unrealistic if not dangerous. Tahoe City Kayak solves the problem with a line of Jackson Rec Kayaks whose cockpits are big enough to hold not just you, but Fido, too.

Soak Up Nostalgia
One of the most enjoyable sights at Lake Tahoe, especially for first-timers, is Tallac Historic Site, a collection of late 19th century summer estate homes and outbuildings about seven miles west of South Lake Tahoe casinos. Leashed dogs are welcome, and it’s especially enjoyable to visit on living-history days.
 
Dog hiking in Tahoe
Photo credit: potential past (CC)
Go For a Hike
Put paws to the path on hundreds of miles of trails in the Lake Tahoe area. For something new, try Van Sickle Bi-State Park near South Shore casinos. The main trail in the 575-acre park (part in California, part in Nevada) travels beneath the Heavenly Gondola lift line to a cluster of historic buildings before zigzagging up for magnificent views of the lake. North Shore bound? Check out the Tahoe City Lakeside Trail, a mile-long promenade through town connecting the 19-mile West Shore/Truckee River and North Shore Trails.

Spend the Night

Dog-friendly lodging abounds at Lake Tahoe, and it comes in all forms, from vacation-home rentals to hotels and motels, to rustic cabin resorts and RV parks. A favorite is the dog-passionate Larkspur Hotel Truckee. Check out dozens of other options on DogTrekker.com.

Share a Bite
It can be hard to find a place to share an outdoor meal at wintertime Lake Tahoe, but summer/fall is another matter. View our listings, pick a dog-friendly patio and chow down. One of our favorites is Meyer’s Downtown Café in South Lake Tahoe.

Treat Your Pup
After a day filled with outdoor recreation, pamper your four-legged friend with a spa treatment or toys and treats at one of Tahoe's dog specialty shops.

Get Festive
Two upcoming Squaw Valley USA festivals welcome well-behaved dogs on leash. The 26th Annual Foam Fest on Saturday, September 5, 2015 is one of the most anticipated beer and music festivals of the year! Proceeds from the event will support Disabled Sports to continue to provide sports rehabilitation and therapeutic recreation programs to anyone with any disability. Come support a tremendous cause while enjoying the open air festival with your pup!

Why not make it an entire weekend of festival fun? The 27th Annual Alpen Wine Fest on Sunday, September 6, 2015 includes wine tasting, live music, a silent auction and raffle. Entry into the event is a donation to Can Do MS, a foundation providing wellness and education for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Mark your calendar and be there!

Photo credit: potential past (CC)
Photo credit: Janeen Heath
Photo credit: Brendan Myers
 more »
dog in snow at Lake Tahoe
Weather and snow conditions will have a big impact on where you can walk or hike in winter, but snow boots should suffice on most days if you stay around lake level and inquire locally about what is and isn’t accessible. Even a little bit of snow and ice can cause a stumble. more »
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