BEACHES

Secret Cove is one of a series of beaches located along Highway 28 on the remote east shore of Lake Tahoe. Also to be found in the vicinity are Sand Harbor, Chimney Beach, Boaters Beach, Creek Beach and Whale Beach. Each location is different and offers something unique depending on what you wish to have for a day on the beach  .

So, Tell Me About Some of These Beaches..........
Alright, I will take you on a guided tour of what is available in the area.

SAND HARBOR is the beach you will find farthest to the north on our tour of beaches. It is a Nevada State Park. Sand Harbor is located on Hwy 28 about 2.2 miles south of Incline Village. It is the easiest to access and is definitely the place to go if you just want to swim and don't mind leaving your suit on. This is not a Clothing Optional Beach.

It does have a nice available boat ramp, potable water, rest room facilities and separate beaches for "Swim Only" as well as "Boat In" It is clean. Parking is readily accessible. There is no camping or overnight use permitted (not even for boat trailers). It is a fee use facility.

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CHIMNEY BEACH is located along Hwy 28 about 2.6 miles south of Sand Harbor. Access is gained by parking in either of two parking lots. One lot is on the side of the highway away from the lake and the other is on the same side as the lake. There is a public restroom found at the lakeside lot. There is no charge for parking, but don't take the chance of trying to camp here as the rangers are issuing citations.

The trail to the beach is marked with a sign near the restrooms. The trail goes just about straight down to the lake and then curves back a bit to your right near the shoreline. You'll know when you have found the beach when you see a derelict chimney and hearth left from a long-gone beachfront cabin.This beach was formerly Clothing Optional, but has more recently been taken over by what we refer to as "Textiles" or suited use only. Unfortunately, as a result the beach has suffered. You will find trash and refuse discarded along the beach and trail. There is also broken glass present, so be careful and consider wearing footwear. I visited this beach on 9/4/05 and found it to be cleaner than when last seen about three years ago. The broken glass and some trash was still present, but the hearth only bore evidence of having been used for a recent fire and it was not overflowing with cans and broken bottles as in years gone by.

There is a "Hazard Bouy" located just offshore marking some rocks very near the surface. The tops of these rocks bear the scars of earlier boaters finding them the "hard way" by either clipping them with a prop or, even worse, the hull of thier expensive ski boats!

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SECRET COVE (the primary subject or our site) is located about another 3/4 mi. farther south of Chimney Beach. Unfortunately for this beach and those remaining to be discussed, parking is a real problem. Access is gained only by parking at either of the above-mentioned lots and then walking the 3/4 of a mile south down a fire access road that starts at a locked gate at the restrooms OR by parking further south on Hwy 28 past the "NO PARKING" signs and then walking back north until you get to the signs marking the trails down the hill. All of the trails end up being fairly steep and should only be tried by those in fairly decent physical condition. Going down is easy, but remember... you have to walk back UP to get out of there. The trails have been improved by the U.S. Forrest Service to include steps and boundaries. PLEASE stay on the trails because erosion is a major concern here. Everything flows downhill and ends up in the lake and nobody wants that!

There are two nice restrooms located near where the trails cross the access road just above the Cove. There are also trash containers provided to make it easy to dump your trash on the way out. Finally, there is an information signboard advising of the basic rules which include "No Camping", "No Glass Containers", "No Fires" and that "Nudes May Be Present In This Area".

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Take the trail straight down from there for a couple of hundred yards. If you encounter a sign similar to the one shown above, please remain on the trail and go either right or left. The trail will split at some steps just as you get to the Cove. The trail to the right at that point winds down to another Information Sign much like the first. The trail then takes you to the beach via a series of additional steps. If you opt to take the trail to the left above the Cove you are taken around the rim above the Cove to its south side where you can climb down some rocks to the beach or continue along a trail going south and away from the Cove towards other beaches and lake access. Scrambling past the signs puts the hiker in a precariouly unstable area that not only causes erosion, but could also result in injury.

Secret Cove owes its cleanliness to the fact that it is used by Naturists in general and also to the devoted attention given it by a small number of "locals" that have adopted it and have made it a hobby to maintain in pristine condition, free of refuse and undesirable element. One such "local", and my personal friend is "Dennis". Dennis is easily identified by his scrunched up leather hat on which he carries his cell phone for constant contact. He is the self-proclaimed "Mayor of Secret Cove " and well deserves the title. The "Mayor" sometimes plans and arranges potluck parties to which he brings beverages.

A FEW WORDS FROM ONE OF THE "REGULARS": "Welcome to our Secret Cove Beach web site. To give you a little history about me...... It was the summer of 1990 when I first came to this beach and fell in love with the most beautiful place I've ever seen. I take much pride in this sacred paradise. I hope your experience will be a enjoyable one." "Most of the people here are wonderful. But there are a few that may ruin it for the rest of us. Please be aware of everything going on around you. One thing we cannot overlook is any sexual activity anywhere down there, nudity just on the beach & rocks is fine (but not on the trails ). Keeping off the fragile slopes. Keeping your pets restrained at all times. "PACK IT IN - PACK IT OUT"............ Stand up for what we believe in. Speakout or get several people to resolve anybody that may wants destroy what we have. Looking forward to seeing you."

BOATERS BEACH is the next available beach to the south of Secret Cove. Boaters Beach is a nice straight strip of sand about 3/10 of a mile from Secret Cove. It is found one of three ways: You can boat right up to it if you wish and that is how it got its name. You can hike the shoreline trail south from Secret Cove or you can take the Fire Access road previously mentioned by the restrooms and just stay on it until you are fairly close to the lake and see a well-defined trail running off the road to the right. Follow that down, take a few steps and you are on "Boaters". Actually, Boaters Beach is part of one long clean strip of sandy beach separated about midway by a rocky promontory. The north half of that beach is called Boaters Beach. The South half is called Creek Beach, but more on that later. Boaters Beach is only "textile". It remains relatively clean probably due to the fact that boaters can easily pack out trash and that this beach gets fairly little walk-in use.. This is a nice destination if you are boating the area and still would somehow prefer to remain suited or perhaps have guests that would not understand the Naturist Lifestyle.

SECRET HARBOR CREEK BEACH or simply "Creek Beach" as it is sometimes known is the south half of the previously mentioned beach and is anything south of the rock outcropping. This beach gets very little boat usage. The lake offshore is relatively shallow and interspersed with rocks. Most users here walk in by continuing down the previously mentioned Fire Access road then taking a marked trail to stairs at the north end of the beach. If you miss that trail, the fire road eventually drops down almost to the south end of the beach near a chemical toilet just above the lakefront. North

Swanson says "Coming down from the porta potti necessitates crossing the creek to access the main part of the beach (which can be hairy during spring runoff)". This is a Clothing Optional Beach. It gains its name partly from the creek that runs down the hillside and empties into the lake at that point.

A friend sent some photos of Creek Beach along with an invitation to publish them if I wished. So, courtesy of that friend, here are your views of Secret Harbor Creek Beach:

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The crowd here is a congenial mix fostered by the frequent presence of Mr. North Swanson whom I view as the "Grandfather of the Beach". North has taken on the protection of all the East Shore. North has been involved in political activism to protect the beaches, parking and trails of the vicinity since 1981. I dare say that these beaches would have been lost to clothing optional use several years ago had it not been for the efforts of Mr. Swanson. North also heads a group known at the Tahoe Area Naturists or "TAN". TAN can be accessed at tahoeareanaturists@gmail.com . He puts out a newsletter in exchange for a nominal fee of $3.00/Yr. The mailing address for TAN is P.O. Box 975, Zephyr Cove NV. 89448-0975. The e-mail address for North is NorthSwanson@aol.com. You might drop him a note if you have further questions or would like to subscribe to his newsletter.

WHALE BEACH is the last in our series of discussion. Whale Beach owes its name to the fact that several rocks located just offshore look hauntingly similar to whales coming up for a breath. This beach is small and most secluded. Access by boat is not advised due to the shallow water conditions and rocky bottom. Hiking in is accomplished by continuing past Creek Beach on the fire road probably another 1/4 mile or so and then hiking down a thin trail and over rocks to the beach. Rock outcroppings along the beach provide privacy if you wish.

 

 

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