My husband had a work training somewhat nearby Tahoe and I had heard from lots of Californians (we're only living here for a year) that I HAVE to do Tahoe. After reading reviews on Tripadvisor, I decided we'd start at Pope Beach. My reaction? Eh, nice enough.
The sand on this beach is big and gravelly, not that that's terrible but it hurts a little more to walk on. It's super crowded, and PHEW the traffic of people coming at 3pm (we had gotten there hours earlier) was ridiculous. Cars just sitting, gridlocked, for about a mile.
We did the 'Kayak Tahoe' which was just a bunch of kayaks and paddleboats and paddleboards on the beach…. we were so glad we only did 1 hour. In mid-August the water was bitter cold, which is what I expected from reviews, but why would anyone try paddleboarding here? We saw people fall in and they stood up and said "I'm ready to go back." You can only kayak within 200 yards of the shore so my visions of kayaking on clear blue waters was not even close. We just kind of paddled out a little, the waves brought us back, and we repeated until the hour was over - all the while trying not to get too wet since it was frigid (btw, impossible - keep that in mind. You are sitting in a little seat of water, so you will be shivering). I definitely would not do it again, nor would I recommend it. What's the point of just being in a kayak 200 yards out? Whoop de doo.
Pope Beach itself was crowded with no nearby hiking (I'm talking trails where I don't have to sit in traffic for 45 minutes to go half a mile). I ended up kind of wishing that we had gone to Yosemite instead.
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