Getting Around Lake Tahoe

The best way to get around Lake Tahoe is by car. Because there are more than 70 miles of shoreline at just the lake alone, you'll find that having your own set of wheels will be most convenient. You can rent a car at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RNO) about 50 miles northeast of Tahoe City. The Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) provides public bus services, but only around the north shore. In South Lake Tahoe there are free shuttles between the casinos and ski resorts.

Car Because of Lake Tahoe's size and somewhat limited public transportation, you'll find that having a car will allow for better exploration. To get a real feel for the region, take a ride along Highway 89 (also marked Highway 50 and Highway 28 in some sections). This 72-mile-long road runs all the way around the lake. Sure, you'll spend a little extra on gas, but the views will be well worth it. If you're visiting in winter, please note that some sections of Highway 89 might be closed due to snow. Keep an eye on the weather report before heading out.
Public Transportation

Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) operates frequent bus routes on Lake Tahoe's northern and western shores between Tahoma and Incline Village as well as five daily shuttles to Truckee from Tahoe City. Buses run every 30 minutes to an hour from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on the route. There are no night buses, so you have to keep a close eye on the time if you're out on the slopes or the trails. One-way fares cost $1.75, or if you're planning to rely on public transit throughout your trip, you can save money by purchasing a day pass ($3.50), a 10-ride pass ($14) or a 14-day pass ($30).


Many of the casinos, motels and ski areas in South Lake Tahoe are connected by a few tour shuttles operated by companies such as BlueGo Services and Discover Lake Tahoe (fares depend on the company and the destination). However, there is a more cost-effective way to travel: Three of the ski areas (the Heavenly Ski Resort, the Kirkwood Mountain Resort and the Sierra-at-Tahoe) also run free shuttles between the slopes and hotels in South Lake Tahoe.


Several companies offer water transportation around the South Lake Tahoe region. The South Shore Water Shuttle operates a regular route between the Lakeside Marina and the Camp Richardson Resort (making a stop at the Timber Cove Marina along the way), while the M.S. Dixie II provides free service from the casino area.

On Foot Many of the towns that dot Lake Tahoe's shores are easy to explore on foot. The surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains are also chock-full of hiking trails. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes (and snow boots!).

Next Steps: Lake Tahoe

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