Sugar Pine Point State Park.
Home » Northern California » Sugar Pine Point State in Lake Tahoe

Sugar Pine Point State in Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe has some beautiful parks on its shore, but Sugar Pine Point State Park is one of the most impressive, covering 2000 acres and two miles of shoreline.

With rolling alpine forests, pristine beaches, a huge mansion, gorgeous walking trails, pristine alpine lakes, a nature preserve, picnic spots with stunning scenery, a pier, and a boat launch, Sugar Pine Point sure is something special!


Get our curated list of the best adventures and things to do north of LA loaded onto your maps with just two clicks!

Quick History of Sugar Pine Point State Park

Sugar Pine Point State Park is brimming with a rich history. Until the 1960s, the property was privately owned, and the huge mansion on the lake shore was the summer residence of one family.

The main building, the Hellman-Ehrman Mansion, is open for guided tours. The grounds and other buildings are also worth checking out.

A stunning view of the Hellman Ehrman Mansion at golden hour in Sugar Pine Point State Park.
The Hellmen-Ehrman Mansion is worth a quick visit!

Plaques tell you more about the area’s history, including the lives of those who used to call it home. There is even an old boathouse that still holds a few family boats.

Many of the Nordic events during the 1960 Winter Olympics were held very close to the park along Generals Creek, with a few hiking trails available today that follow these paths.

An old boat house with a track leading down to Lake Tahoe with pine trees behind and a view of mountains in the distance.
An old boat house in Sugar Pine Point State Park.

Other important info:

  • Dogs are not allowed on beaches, unpaved trails, or in undeveloped areas
  • There’s a fee: $5 in winter or $10 in peak season. Or display your state park pass

The Dolder Nature Trail

Distance: 2.1 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 101 feet

If you only tackle one trail in Sugar Pine Point State Park in Tahoe, make it the Dolder Nature Trail.

You’ll head out through a beautiful path that winds through mixed forests, with stunning beach and lake views to accompany you.

A man cycling along a pathway between a pine tree forest along the Dolder Nature Trail in Sugar Pine Point State Park.
The Dolder Nature Trail is great for hiking or cycling!

The flat and relatively short loop is the ideal leg stretcher, with the air rich with the smells of pine, fir, and aspen. You can also check out the Edwin L. Z’Berg Natural Preserve, an incredible example of a sub-alpine meadow.

There are several other points of interest along the trail showing off the history we mentioned above, such as cabins, the mansion, and an old barn and coach house.

We spent much longer on the trail than anticipated since there’s so much to see!

A small wooden hut in the forest along the Dolder Nature Trail of Sugar Pine Point State Park.
A small, historic hut along the Dolder Nature Trail.

The lighthouse that used to be included in this trail no longer exists, but it is still well worth a wonder to see the beauty of untouched nature around the shores.

Other Trails

There are some smaller trails that start at Sugar Pine Point State Park and head inland.

  • The Generals Creek to Lily Pond is a nice and easy hike that takes you along the historical 1960 Olympic Cross Country Skiing Trail before coming smaller and taking you up to Lily Pond. For the most part, the trail is flat, apart from the rocky scramble to reach the pond at the end, which is the perfect spot for a break and a snack.
  • Take the Tahoma to Lost Lake Trail for a much longer and harder hike inland. The trail takes you to Lost Lake, with some serious elevation gain right at the end of the trail, with the beautiful mountain lake and Lost Lake at the end your reward for the climb.

Beach and Water Activities

The beach at Sugar Pine Point State Park is vast, covering an impressive 7000 feet. It is split into two distinct sections: the north and south of General Creek.

Sunrise light over driftwood on Sugar Pine Point Beach with boats moored just off shore.
Tourist boats along the beach!

It is a great beach for swimming, although we warn you, however inviting the water looks, it is ALWAYS freezing. Many people take a dip from the small wooden pier that juts out from the sand.

You can rent a kayak or a paddleboard and see the coast from a new angle.

The BBQ and picnic area are a picture-perfect lunch or dinner spot after a day on the beach.

Kayaks and paddle boards piled up on Sugar Pine Point State Park beach at golden hour.
Water sports are popular here!

TIP: You’ll have to take the Dolder Nature Trail to get to the beach. There is no parking lot nearby. It’s about a half mile one way.


Spend a picturesque night enjoying your lakefront location at the Sugar Pine Point State Park campground.

Okay, we say lakefront, but the 175 campsites are actually a little inland.

However, it won’t take you long in the morning to stroll down to the water.

Two people sitting on a picnic bench overlooking Lake Tahoe in a picnic area at Sugar Pine Point State Park.
Sugar Pine Point State Park is an awesome place to relax!

Each site has a picnic table, a bear-resistant food locker, and a fire ring, but no hookups are available.

One of the campground loops is open all year round, even in the depths of winter, so it is your go-to if you are looking for some winter fun on the lake and need a place to spend the night.

Read more of our guides to Lake Tahoe:

We hope this helped you plan your trip to Sugar Pine Point State Park!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *