Centrally located between Tahoe City and Truckee, Palisades Tahoe is the perfect jumping-off point to enjoy the waters of Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake and the Truckee River in the heat of summer. Here are a few of our favorite water activities in the area.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)

Both relaxing and a bit challenging, Stand Up Paddleboarding is the perfect way to get out on the water and away from bustling shores. Daily paddleboard rentals are available in Truckee at Tahoe Sports Hub or Donner Lake Marina, or in Tahoe City at West Shore Sports or Tahoe City Kayak. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you set out—winds above 15mph can cause choppy water and give your balance an extra challenge! Lake Tahoe tends to be at its glassiest in the morning and evening.


Kayaking is another great way to work your arms as you venture out on the waters of Lake Tahoe. After paddling out from the shore, be sure to pause and look down. Lake Tahoe's water is so clear you can see down to the bottom up to 70 feet deep! Check out Tahoe City Kayak for kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as guided tours. Or rent a transparent kayak from Wild Society in Kings Beach for even more views of Tahoe's blue water.

Rafting & Floating the Truckee River

Take a leisurely float down the scenic Truckee River. Start in Tahoe City by renting a raft from either Truckee River Rafting or Truckee River Raft Company. Depending on how fast the river water is flowing (and how many pit stops you make along the way), the river trek will take about 2-3 hours. Feel free to bring a cooler to stay hydrated, but leave any glass behind and be sure to pack out any trash. You'll end up at the iconic River Ranch where you can relax and enjoy an afternoon libation at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Be sure to make your reservations online to ensure you get a raft.

Boating and Watersports

Whether you're looking to learn a new watersport or simply take in the views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, boating is the ultimate summer activity in Tahoe. For water skiing or wakeboarding lessons, check out High Sierra Water Ski School. For private charters or sailing cruises, reserve an adventure with Tahoe Sailing Charters. Or book a spot on the iconic Tahoe Gal for a jaunt across Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay. Reservations are highly recommended.

Explore Tahoe's Many Beaches

Whether you want to post up for a day of swimming and sunbathing or find the perfect sunset vista, there are over 30 beaches on or around Lake Tahoe to explore. The East Shore on the Nevada side of the lake is speckled with hike-to beaches and smooth, sandy shorelines, while the West Shore is home to some of California's favorite state parks like Sugar Pine Point and D.L. Bliss.

Docks on Donner Lake

Donner Lake in Truckee is another perfect spot to cool down in the summer heat. There are 37 public piers spread out along the North shore of Donner Lake. Park along Donner Pass Road (be sure not to block the bike path) and find a dock to catch some rays, take or dip, or just relax with a picnic lunch. Top it off with delicious handmade ice cream from Little Truckee Ice Creamery, located on the West end of the lake.