Ready to hit the snow and the beach? An easy kick-and-glide from Emerald Bay Road to Kiva Beach leads through a snow-white postcard to the vast blue of Lake Tahoe. For novice cross-country skiers, it doesn’t get much easier than this 2-mile (round-trip) adventure. You can even forget all your stuff—rentals are available at nearby Camp Richardson. From Hwy. 89, set out through the pine forest, following existing tracks heading northeast or carving your own freshies.
After about 20 minutes of gliding, your ski tips will touch the lake’s shoreline. Wrapped in its wintertime garb, Lake Tahoe looks a lot different than it does in its summer bikini. You’ll see no motor boats, jet skis, or paddle boards—just the empty immensity of Big Blue. Ski along the shoreline as far you wish: Head right to the gorgeous lakefront mansions of the Tallac Historic Site (some date back to the late 1800s), or head left to Tallac Point with its head-on view of 9,738-foot Mount Tallac.
Trailhead: From the Y in South Lake Tahoe, drive north on Hwy. 89 for 2.5 miles to its junction with Fallen Leaf Road and Heritage Way. Park near this junction in pullouts on the right-hand side of Hwy. 89. Rent gear at Camp Richardson. Note: Check weather report before embarking on this adventure. Dog-friendly!