Paraglide, zip and paddle through Tahoe!
You’ve hiked the Rim Trail and lounged by the lake at Sand Harbor. It’s time to kick your Tahoe adventuring into high gear. Try paddling a sleek kayak in Emerald Bay, zip lining through the treetops at Kirkwood, or soaring in a tandem paraglider above the shore.
Located at Kirkwood Ski Resort, Zip Tahoe offers eight zip lines and three sky bridges. Zip liners are transported to the course in ATVs, and guides provide a safe and informative experience for most ages and abilities. You must weigh between 85 and 270 pounds.
Time commitment: Tours are offered daily and last two hours.
Gear and training: All safety gear and instruction are provided. Its gravity-breaking system does not require hand braking (read: easy). Be sure to wear long pants and close-toed shoes, and if you have one, a chest-mounted GoPro cam to catch all the action.
Fear factor: Somewhere between a circus trapeze act and a Disney ride. The 12-by-12-foot decks provide a little comfort to those who may be apprehensive of heights.
Killer view: As you sail 200 to 600 feet through the forest canopy—and upwards of 75 feet above the ground—you’ll see breathtaking views of the Sierras.
Zip Tahoe, Kirkwood, (209) 258-7330, ziptahoe.com.
South Lake–based Kayak Tahoe has a new rental location on scenic Emerald Bay, making it possible to begin your paddling adventure after the one-mile trek from the parking area at the scenic overlook on Highway 89.
Time commitment: Rent for an hour or two, the whole day, or opt for overnight camping at Emerald Bay State Park’s boat-in (or hike-in) campground, or at nearby D. L. Bliss State Park.
Gear and training: Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis. Staff provides a brief orientation covering basic paddling and safety. (It’s especially important to avoid the large paddle wheel tour boats.) Don’t forget sunblock, water shoes, a long-sleeved and quick-drying shirt, water, and snacks.
Fear factor: None to moderate, unless you’re scared of water—or fish.
Killer view: As you paddle through the bay, enjoy views of Fannette Island and the Tea House, Cave Rock to the east, Stevens Peak to the south, and Mount Rose to the north.
Kayak Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, (530) 544-2011, kayaktahoe.com.
Tandem paragliding flights are a thrill-seeker’s way to view Lake Tahoe. Uprising Paragliding can accommodate families and fly numerous people at once, and just about anyone can fly as long as they are within a weight range of 90 to 240 pounds.
Time commitment: About three hours.
Gear and training: The outfit provides all safety gear and training, plus you’ll be strapped to an experienced pilot. Sturdy shoes, an extra jacket or sweatshirt, and a camera with strap are recommended.
Fear factor: Sky-high. Not for the faint of heart, of course, but have you ever dreamed of flying like a bird?
Killer view: Launching from mountainside perches high above the lake, you’ll take in an extended, bird’s-eye view of the shore near Crystal Bay.
Uprising Paragliding, Truckee, (775) 750-8655, uprisingparagliding.com.