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Home : Beaches : Skunk Harbor

The Vitals

Locals Tips

Hit this beach on a warm winter day.

Dogs?

Yes, but not much fun when crowded.

Fees

No, but there is not much parking either.

Skunk Harbor

Much of the history of Lake Tahoe was shaped by the gold and silver mining rushes of the 1850's. This is also the case with Skunk Harbor, if somewhat indirectly. It was originally purchased by George Newhall as a wedding gift, for his wife Caroline. George's wealth was derived from his fathers fortune earned as an auctioneer during the gold rush and subsequent investment in railroads. The site and buildings were used as a second home or more often a party house by the San Fransisco wealthy of the roaring twenties. It was then purchased by George Whittell, another Gold Rush millionaire. It was still used only as a retreat.
The Forest Service now presides over the site and it is open to the public although the buildings are not (although the doors were physically open last time I was there in the winter). You follow the road about 1.5 miles down to the cove. The only decision you need make is when the road splits into three about a half mile in (there is a metal pole here, like a road reflector). The right fork takes you to some old railroad trestles if you are interested. The left fork takes you into Slaughterhouse canyon. Stay on the main trail and go straight. Many switchbacks later the road ends up with you on the rocks overlooking the harbor. It is magnificent. This is an easy hike and the road is stroller friendly, but its always harder to push those things uphill than you think. We provide these little tidbits of hidden spots as a free service. All we ask is that you follow these terms of service.


Skunk Harbor Pictures

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Directions - Access is gained by parking 2.5 miles north of the juntion of Highway 50 and 28 at Spooner Summit. There is a green metal gate at the access road and parking nearby. Parking is free but limited.

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