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.

Gallery image 1 of 6
Gallery image 2 of 6
Gallery image 3 of 6
Gallery image 4 of 6
Gallery image 5 of 6
Gallery image 6 of 6

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 Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Hidden Stairways of SF: Urban Hike

    This guided hike sold out fast, but new dates have been added! Get outdoors and explore the hidden stairways and gardens of San Francisco anew. Small group and socially distanced.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Ah, Good Point

    Ready for a rewarding view? Head to to one of the Peninsula’s favorite promontories: Mori Point. Climb your way up the Bootlegger’s Steps to the Mori Point headland for awesome vantages of the San Mateo Coast.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    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.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Shealor Stunner

    Robust mountains, striking slabs of granite, and deep green pine reflections make Shealor Lake near Kirkwood resort a jewel of the El Dorado National Forest. Reach this alpine oasis on a 1.3-mile hike.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Simply Amazing Road Trip

    Don’t overthink it, just go! Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin is a hidden gem just north of the California border. This adventurous region makes savoring summer and fall easy with abundant outdoor recreation.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    High Five!

    Hit the High Sierra for a day hike or get a permit to spend the night at one of the Cottonwood Lakes, five sublime oases set in the John Muir Wilderness.

    View