by Greg Liggins


LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — Lake Tahoe is a popular holiday destination, but visitors should be prepared for some changes this year.

If you’re planning to hit one of the beaches along Lake Tahoe this week, there’s a little less room for your beach chair.

Kings Beach is much narrower than normal and in some places, the beaches no longer exist because the pristine water of Lake Tahoe is officially at capacity. For frequent beachgoers, it has affected the beaches in a way that is as clear as the water.

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“So I think the water is much further up than usual. That’s what we’re seeing,” said Sam Clayton from Salt Lake City.

In fact, the water is so high in spots, small beaches like Speedboat Beach have vanished.

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“Usually there’s sand and you can kind of go play on the rocks and there are little wooden steps you can go down to the beach on, and now the water is all the way up to those steps,” said Dave Hunt with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

There are more than 20 beaches along the lakes and 70 plus miles of shoreline. The massive snowmelt has resulted in runoff that has the lake swollen to capacity.

Kings Beach is just one example of how different the lake as compared to year’s past.

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For now, there’s plenty of room to hang out, play in the surf and sand, and enjoy lots of elbow room. On the fourth, however, people will come out in mass and stay to watch fireworks leap into the air from this barge off Kings Beach.

But at least one family says with limited space, they won’t be here to watch.

“We will not be here on the 4th. Because it will be crowded,” said Kelly Drake from Reno.

Since it is expected to be crowded, especially at this particular beach, officials recommend coming very early to get a good spot.