cave rock in lake tahoe

Tahoe South

Tahoe South

What better way to kick back on Tahoe’s Nevada side than from a sandy beach with stunning panoramic vistas, rich American Indian history, and some of the lake’s best access to boating? A spectacular natural cave formation, make visiting Cave Rock part of your trip when visiting the South Lake Tahoe region.

A spectacular natural cave formation important to the American Indian Washoe Tribe, this Nevada State Park offers unmatched vistas of Lake Tahoe, prime beach and boat launch access, picnicking, and swimming.

Early Days at Lake Tahoe

historic cave rock black and white picture
Historic Cave Rock
Nevada State Parks

A natural fixture to Lake Tahoe for thousands of years, Cave Rock and the surrounding areas are sacred to the Washoe Tribe. Once the California gold fields and Comstock Lode called thousands of people west, the area surrounding Cave Rock became a lakeshore transportation obstacle. As a result, several routes were carved over, around and through this sacred formation, without the consultation of tribal members. By 1931 and then again in 1957, tunnels were constructed boring through Cave Rock itself, re-connecting the Lincoln Highway, or Loneliest Road in America, to South Lake Tahoe. Interestingly enough, the same tunnels you find at Zion National Park were also created by the workers who built the tunnels you see today at Cave Rock. 

Visiting Cave Rock Today

Like all Nevada State Parks, Cave Rock offers a variety of great amenities for day use, including picnicking, boating, fishing, hiking and swimming. From the water, Cave Rock can sometimes look like the outline of a woman’s face, and is sometimes referred to by locals as “The Lady of the Lake”. Three picnic areas are located within the park, each equipped with picnic tables and barbeque pits. One can be found by the beach at the south end of the park, another is located across from the restrooms, and the third is situated at the north end of the park next to the boat ramp. 

the lady of the lake
The “Lady of the Lake”
Tahoe South
cave rock from the north
Cave Rock from the North
Tahoe South

Cave Rock provides great access to fishing in Lake Tahoe, though there is no fishing allowed from the beach. Bring your boat and launch it from one of South Lake Tahoe’s best public boat launches, or kick back on the beach at the south end of the park for a relaxing afternoon of sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, or stand up paddleboarding. 

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Cave Rock and the surrounding areas remain sacred to the Washoe Tribe, and as such, activities like hiking and rock climbing here are restricted.


Cave Rock State Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Boat launch hours vary by season. May 25 through September 4, hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. September 5 through May 24, hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Park entrance to Cave Rock State Park is $10 for Nevada residents and $15 for out-of-state vehicles. Boat launching (includes entry) is $20 for Nevadans and $25 for non-residents.

This Location:

Northwestern, Nevada