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Lake Tahoe Packing List

Lake Tahoe Packing List

In our Lake Tahoe packing list we tell EXACTLY what to pack for Lake Tahoe in Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall alongside our favorite Lake Tahoe outfit ideas.

Note: this packing list is not intended as a Lake Tahoe camping packing list, but instead for those in lodges and hotels who spend their days in the park. If you plan to camp in the national park check out this post.

Lake Tahoe Weather

Two skiiers on Lake Tahoe
What to wear in Lake Tahoe in Winter

But before we get into what to wear and travel essentials for Lake Tahoe it is important to know what the weather is going to be like.

July and August are the hottest months to visit Sequoia with temperatures averaging around 26 °C or 79°F. Therefore it is important to pack lots of natural fabrics such as cottons and linens on your packing list.

The shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall are pretty mild with average highs remaining in the teens throughout most of the season.

While the Winters stay pretty consistent with the average highs remaining around 6C / 42F. Winter is also the wettest season in Tahoe with around 6 days of rain acorss each Winter month.

Looking for other California packing lists? Check out these posts:

What to wear in Lake Tahoe in Summer

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Woman sat on rock in summer overlooking lake tahoe
What to wear in Lake Tahoe in Summer

So now you know about the weather, we will tell you what to wear in Lake Tahoe in Summer. Traditionally when we create packing lists we normally separate them our by gender to allow for dress codes.

Normally when we put together our packing list guides we split them into men, women and children. However for Lake Tahoe our packing list is universal. That is because practicality is key to any Tahoe packing list especially when you are planning active vacations including cycling, kayaking at Lake Taho and more. For this reason we recommend all visitors to Lake Tahoe in the Summer pack:


Although the temperatures in Lake Tahoe in summer are pretty high butwe still recommend adding some layers onto your packing list.

We think the best top layer for ahoemmer is a microfiber lightweight fleece. It is warm and insulating but will also pack away easily into your day pack when you aren’t using it.

T Shirts

T shirts are my favorite base layer for Tahoe no matter whether you are visiting in June, July, August or September. As the weather is hot short sleeve are helpful for keeping you cool however long sleeve tees made of natural fabrics such as cotton and bamboo are a great cool pick that can also help protect your skin from the sun.

Activewear tshirts are another great pick as they are quick drying and are great for doing activities on the Lake.

Convertible Walking Trousers

Any trip to Tahoe involves walking, kayaking, hiking and outdoor time so we recommend packing convertible walking trousers.

This way you can wear them as trousers in the mornings and change them into shorts for layer in the day.


A sundress is a great pick for Tahoe restaurants and for around town.


Shorts are a great pick for Summer in Tahoe. I like to pick a pair of quick dry shorts as these are great for hanging outby the water.


The sun can be strong in Tahoe in the Summer recommend having a hat with a wide brim or a baseball cap to protect your eyes.


Swimwear is a must for Tahoe at any time of year.

Hiking Socks

If you plan on wearing hiking boots in the park then you will also need hiking socks. I recommend packing the wool variety as they are great for walking but aren’t too thick.

If you just plan on wearkng sneakers then sneaker socks may be more appropriate.

What to wear in Lake Tahoe Fall and Spring 

Woman sat on rock looking at Lake Tahoe
What to wear in Lake Tahoe

All of the above work are good bases for your packing list no matter what time of year you are visiting. However as Spring and Fall are cooler you may want to add some more layers to your packing list.

For this reason you need to add some more layers to your packing list.

Puffer Jacket

A jacket is a great addition for Spring and Fall. A puffer style jacket is especially good for November and March.


Leggings are also a good pick especially in exchange for shorts for doing more active things in Tahoe.


Jeans are great for towns and land based activities in Tahoe in the shoulder seasons.

Long Sleeve Shirts

Also I for March and November in particular I would switch out the short sleeve tees for longer length ones. 


Shirts and blouses are a great pick for evenings around Tahoe

What to wear in Tahoe in Winter

My what to wear in Tahoe National Park in Winter actually has a lot of overlaps with the items we put on our packing list for any other time of year. 

The main difference is in the thickness and amount of items you need. For instance, I still recommend bringing a jacket, however as the temperatures drops you will want a thicker and warmer jacket with you than just a pack away one.

And if there is a particular cold snap you may want to throw some thermals onto your list too!

On top of these layers we also recommend having a hat, scarf and gloves with you for colder days.

Best Shoes to wear to Tahoe

So now you know what to wear, we turn our attention to footwear.

Hiking Shoes

If you plan on doing some longer hikes then some lightweight hiking boots are a good pick. Or if you are traveling in the height of summer you could swap these out for hiking sandals.


Sneakers are the best comfortable walking shoes for any vacation.

What to pack for Tahoe – travel essentials

Day pack with rain cover

My favorite backpack brand is Columbia but this is a purely personal choice.

Power Bank

Days are long in Lake Tahoe and reception can be sporadic. For this reason we recommend having a fully charged power bank with you to recharge your phone during the day.

Sun protection

The sun is strong in Lake Tahoe, even during the Winter, so be sure to have lots of sun protection with a high SPF with you.

Bug Spray / Insect Repellant

The mosquitos are pretty fierce in the Lake Tahoe area particularly in summer and the shoulder seasons so be sure to pack plenty of bug spray and insect repellant.


Again the sun is strong so sunglasses are an essential.


Although Lake Tahoe isn’t as renowned for its wildlife as say Yellowstone, the wildlife is still impressive. In fact you can see everything from bears, to coyotes to mountain lions as well as some amazing birds. If you want to fully appreciate the wildlife in the area we recommend traveling with a pair of binoculars.

Reusable Water Bottle and Extra Water

We recommend always having a reuable water bottle and extra water with you esepecially if you are traveling in Summer.

Coffee Thermos and Mug

Days can start early in Lake Tahoe and for me therefore a coffee thermos and mug is absolutely a must pack so I can be caffeinated at the start of the day.


Although there are supermarkets in the Tahoe, we recommend packing snacks with you for the long drives to get to Tahoe.

Cooler and food containers

As the temperatures are hot and you will be taking food into the park so you will want a cooler and food containers with you.

First Aid Kit

Although no one wants to use a first aid kit on vacation, it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you on any vacation where there are plenty of outdoor activities. And as at Tahoe you are likely to be enjoying kayaking, hiking, cycling and more it is a good idea to have a small first aid kit with you.


Whether this is a downloaded map on your phone or a physical one it is worth having a map with you that shows the trailheads you plan on taking.


A camera is a necessity for any visitor to Tahoe.

Complete Lake Tahoe Packing Checklist

  • Layers
  • T Shirts
  • Walking Trousers
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking Boots
  • Shoes – either sneakers or hiking sandals
  • Backpack and rain cover
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • map
  • sun protection
  • insect repellant
  • quick dry towel
  • coffee thermos and mug
  • resuable water bottle
  • food
  • first aid kit