Top 8 South Lake Tahoe Outdoor Activities for the New Year

New Year, New Vacations! Start Planning your 2024 South Lake Tahoe Vacation

Do you know why people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions? Because most resolutions are, well, boring. It’s tough to stay enthused when your resolution list includes things like “clean out the garage” and “floss more often.”


 South Lake Tahoe has a fix for that. RnR Vacation Rentals has assembled an exciting list of 2024 resolutions that’ll take you on amazing outdoor adventures and keep you happy and healthy all year!


What is your key to accessing these adventures? Book the South Lake Tahoe vacation home of your dreams after perusing our curated list.

Soar to new heights: Climb a mountain

It’s impossible not to link Tahoe with downhill skiing. And if you’re inclined to an unforgettable ski holiday, South Lake Tahoe’s definitely got you covered. Three world-class ski resorts await at Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Sierra-at-Tahoe. And with Sierra snowfall averaging 125 inches of perfect powder each year, you can enjoy amazing alpine adventures for months. Plus, Tahoe enjoys around 300 days of sun, keeping temperatures comfortable for all kinds of winter action.


Whether you’re on skis or not, you’ll feel you’ve literally arrived at the top of the world after riding the Heavenly Mountain gondola, open year-round. This family-friendly adventure departs from the Heavenly Village in South Tahoe. A stop along the way is perfect for photos on the observation deck, or nabbing a coffee or souvenir. Seasonal summer activities include a zip line, climbing wall, hiking trails, and more.

Take in the local color: Witness a miracle of nature

Every fall, California’s Sierra Nevada mountains offer an otherworldly experience all around Lake Tahoe as the aspen trees change color. This surreal phenomenon is akin to a dramatic pyrotechnics show, with the leaves of local aspens transforming to intense shades of gold, orange, and red — all set against the gorgeous backdrop of the cerulean lake and Tahoe’s towering evergreens and bright-blue skies. The onset of fall signals the trees to begin their stunning, fiery transformation. During his journey to Tahoe during the Gold Rush, Mark Twain declared Lake Tahoe to be the “fairest picture the whole world affords” — and never is Tahoe more alive than in fall, when the aspens put on their incredible show. Don’t forget your camera!

Unwind on the water: Find instant serenity

 Something about simply being in the presence of water sparks automatic relaxation. Consider this resolution covered — and then some — out on the azure waters of stunning Lake Tahoe, one of the country’s deepest lakes. Additionally, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center recently reported an unprecedented visibility reading of 71.7 feet. According to the report, the lake is clearer than it’s been in 40 years. And at 1.2 miles above sea level, you’ll have a unique vantage point out on the lake itself.


Enjoy a swim, or explore on a kayak, paddleboard, boat, parasail or jet ski. All the water sports equipment you’ll need is readily available in nearly every town. Don’t forget to take time to stretch out on one of many golden-sand beaches in summer. Check out the sheltered calm of Meeks Bay, the spectacular shores of shimmering Emerald Bay, dog-friendly Kiva Beach or loud and lively Zephyr Cove. Just breathe in the pure mountain air, as you drift and take in the jaw-dropping landscape of surrounding craggy peaks and towering evergreen trees.

Meditate in the mountains: Achieve sublime mindfulness

 Double down on your gondola ride at Heavenly Mountain by combining it with a dose of mindful mountain meditation. Perched on a mountain peak, with the stunning beauty of the Tahoe Basin stretched out before you, you’ll be inspired to relax, breathe, and engage in some profound reflection. Earn some extra credit for participating in mountaintop yoga at the mid-station observation deck. Sundays throughout the summer, you can purchase a ticket onsite at the Heavenly Village Ticket Office and ride the gondola to the mid-station Blue Sky Terrace. Here, you’ll find yoga mats, water and granola bars at your disposal, along with all the serenity you can possibly imagine.

Giddy up!: Live a dream of bygone eras

Create memories to last a lifetime — on horseback! This summer, you can ride in style on one of South Tahoe’s many horseback riding trails. Take a scenic guided ride from Camp Richardson’s Corral , which also offers back-country pack trips, family hay wagon, and pony rides, steak dinner rides, and snowy sleigh rides (in winter). Situated on national forest land with unparalleled views of the lake and surrounding mountains, Zephyr Cove Stables, just across from the beach and marina, offers one- or two-hour excursions, along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner rides. Just a 30-minute drive from Kirkwood resort, you’ll find Kirkwood Sierra Outfitters, offering several riding packages, including day rides for families leaving from several high-mountain lakes of the Sierras.


And if you love horses, but aren’t so keen on riding one, hop aboard a horse-drawn carriage (in summer) or sleigh (once the snow flies) at Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides in South Tahoe and Incline. This family-run operation tours the sites near Stateline or Sand Harbor.

Explore new frontiers: All on two wheels

 Not only is it good for your health (both physical and mental), a spin on a mountain bike is exhilarating. Hit a paved path for a leisurely day with the family, or pursue a seriously rough ride on rugged mountain trails. South Tahoe’s terrain accommodates riders of all ages and experience levels. A ride through the area’s lush forests and mountain ridges, alongside rushing streams or around the lake is an experience not to be missed. Here in Tahoe, bike paths crisscross the area and feature majestic views of alpine lakes, the towering Sierra Nevadas and miles and miles of pristine wilderness.


Up for a challenge? Engage in stiff competition on one of the area’s cycling events, including the famous Tour de Tahoe that circumnavigates the lake.


Forge a new trail: Go cross-country, on skis or snowshoes

 Cross-country skiing takes you across flatter terrain than its downhill cousin. Tahoe boasts the greatest number of cross-country ski areas in the country, featuring more than 800 kilometers of groomed trails. While the majority of these are concentrated on the north end of the lake, check out the South Shore’s network of trails, including the Hope Valley Outdoor Center, 20 miles outside of South Tahoe, and its miles of marked trails, gear rental and lessons. Kirkwood Cross-Country offers 80 kilometers of machine-groomed tracks and three interconnected trail cross-country ski systems in a spectacular scenic setting. Nab a full- or half-day pass for a variety of lessons and rental gear. Recently named the best place to cross-country ski by locals, the Camp Richardson Resort in South Lake Tahoe caters to all levels of experience. You’ll find a cross-country center with lessons, rentals and stunning trails running along the lake’s breathtaking shoreline.


Channel your inner Carol Heiss: Indulge an Olympic fantasy

 Who’s Carol Heiss, you ask? She’s an American figure skater who won gold in the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Tahoe! Tie on some ice skates and try your hand (or foot) at this fun, family-friendly activity. Beginners can enjoy learning the basics in an entry-level class on South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena’s public venue’s well-groomed surface. Or check out some spectacular outdoor venues, like Heavenly’s picturesque rink in South Tahoe and at Palisades Tahoe in North Shore. (Incidentally, you can learn all about Carol Heiss at the charming Olympic Museum in Palisades Tahoe, which focuses on the 1960 Winter Olympics held in then-Squaw Valley.)


 Now that you have an exciting list of resolutions packed with outdoor adventure, you’ll be eager to keep them in 2024. The only thing left to do is get yourself to South Tahoe! Peruse our South Lake Tahoe vacation rental inventory and book your time in paradise.