South Lake Tahoe in California is an enchanting destination as the largest alpine lake in the U.S. with notoriously aqua waters.
Is August a Good Month?
August is a very good time to visit Lake Tahoe and its surrounding cities, where you can hike, bike, golf, and rock climb in excellent weather conditions. It’s also the perfect month for adventurous boat tours and water sports. The downside is that August attracts the most crowds in Lake Tahoe.
After two years of pandemic closures and a tragic fire in 2021, this is the year to visit the resilient South Lake Tahoe community for its many reopened summertime events such as music festivals.
Our California resident created this guide to learn about the weather and events in August and what to wear during your August visit to South Lake Tahoe.
Special August Activity Tip
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August is one of the warmest months in Lake Tahoe, reaching an average daily high temperature of around 80 F° degrees. However, there is a 30-degree difference in the mornings, which turn frosty. It rarely rains with 0.2 inches on average during the month.
We’ll cover early-month, mid-month, and late-month weather in South Lake Tahoe.
Temperature progression in August (average high temps):
- Early August: 80°F
- Mid-August: 79°F
- Late August: 77°F
Temperature progress during a typical day in August:
- Early Morning (6:30 AM): 45°F
- Afternoon: (3 PM): 79°F
- Evening (10 PM): 60°F
Remember that you are more likely to get sunburn at higher elevations, so wear sunscreen between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. every day in August.
At the beginning of August, daily high temperatures are around 80 F° degrees, with morning temperatures in the mid-40 F° degrees. The warmest hours are between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. during the day, and the sun sets at around 8:00 p.m., after which temperatures drop quickly. Skies will be clear most of the time, and there is little to no chance of rain.
Temperatures hold steady through the middle of August, with daily high temperatures around 80 F° degrees and mornings in the mid-40 F° degrees. Temperatures are still warm in the afternoon and early evening but begin to cool earlier in the day, as soon as 6:30 p.m. Skies remain clear, with nearly no chance of rainfall.
At the end of August, daily highs lower to the upper 70 F° degrees, and early mornings average around 43 F° degrees. There may only be a few warm hours in the afternoon, typically between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. Late August is still an optimal time to enjoy a late-summer visit to Lake Tahoe.
What to Wear
Lake Tahoe will be warm, clear, and sunny for most of August, so pack your clothes and other items accordingly.
During the day, you’ll want to wear t-shirts, shorts, comfortable shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen in Lake Tahoe. If you’re sensitive to sunburns, we recommend a long-sleeved sun shirt and lightweight pants.
August is ideal for a beach visit, so bring a swimsuit and comfortable clothes to change in and out.
During the evening, temperatures drop after 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., so it’s best to bring layers of warm clothing such as sweaters, jackets, and scarves. Don’t be surprised by the wide range of temperatures.
The mornings before 10:00 a.m. will be cold, and you’ll want to wear warm clothing like sweaters, jackets, and scarves.
August Packing List for Lake Tahoe
August in South Lake Tahoe is fantastic for outdoorsy visitors but varies significantly in temperature. Here’s a list of items we recommend packing for an August stay in Tahoe.
- Lightweight, breathable clothing for the daytime
- Layers of warm clothing for the mornings and evenings
- Hiking boots or running shoes with good grip
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, chapstick with SPF, and a hat
- A water bottle and electrolytes to avoid dehydration
- A swimsuit and beach clothes and shoes for the lake
Best Time to Visit and Crowds
Because of its excellent weather, August is typically a crowded month for tourists, particularly on weekends. July and August are the two most heavily-booked months for accommodation. However, school begins in mid to late-August, which means fewer families visit and crowds lighten near the end of the month.
Tip: To find the best rates on accommodations book them early, around four months ahead of your check-in date. However, you can also try to find deals and special rates via booking.com – Lake Tahoe Hotels (price check)
The best time to visit for cooler weather and lighter crowds will be in late August. However, the warmest, longest days of sunlight happen in early to mid-August, so if you’re visiting, you should park near the beach or popular spots before 9:00 a.m.
No matter when you visit, Saturdays will always be more crowded than Sundays, as many visitors to Lake Tahoe drive back to the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday afternoon. If you can extend your stay through Monday or Tuesday, you’ll have a more peaceful time on the beach.
Lake Tahoe Activities in August
If you’re visiting South Lake Tahoe in August, you’ll have multiple opportunities to explore the outdoors, including the following:
- Watersports: Rent kayaks, boats, or jet skis at Action Water Sports in South Lake Tahoe. This region is one of the only places with a “water trail” for visitors who want to explore the lake.
- Aerial Trams: Enjoy miles of lake views by taking an aerial tram to the top of the Palisades Tahoe resort or riding the gondola to Heavenly Ski Resort.
- Hiking: Enjoy the hiking trails at Heavenly Ski Resort or explore one of the day hikes in the Lake Tahoe region. Look into the guided via Ferrata tours at Palisades Tahoe for a more challenging trek.
- Biking: Rent bikes at Palisades Tahoe or bring your mountain bike to bike parks at Northstar California Resort or Boreal Mountain Resort
- Golf: Northstar California Resort is one of the many places to practice your golf swing in the Tahoe area.
- Rock Climbing: Heavenly Ski Resort has a climbing wall, but if you’re keen to explore the wilderness, try one of these outdoor climbing spots.
- Cruises: Explore South Lake Tahoe on a world-class yacht. Cruise around with an excellent captain and a fantastic crew while surrounded by breathtaking views and delicious snacks and beverages.
- Other: From parasailing to ziplining to skateboard summer camps, Lake Tahoe is an active person’s dream vacation spot, particularly in August.
Lake Tahoe has multiple summer events every day of the week in August, from free live concerts to farmers’ markets and even a wooden boat festival. In addition to the many outdoor activities, you’ll be busy dancing to music, sampling beer or wine, and enjoying local arts and crafts. Most August events are hosted outdoors, but most events conclude after sunset, making this an ideal daytime-event city.
Live at Lakeview Summer Music Series
- Thursdays in August
- El Dorado Beach, South Lake Tahoe
There are many music festivals in South Lake Tahoe, but this is the only festival overlooking the lake. Additionally, if you’re staying in South Lake Tahoe, you’ll be walking or biking distance from El Dorado Beach. This beachfront summer event runs from June to August every Thursday night. It’s free to attend, but bring cash for the food vendors and beer garden. Prepare to dance through the sunset, or bring a blanket or collapsable chair for a more comfortable view further back. Concerts conclude after sunset. Read more at LiveatLakeview.com.
Heavenly Village Summer Concert Series
- Friday and Saturday evenings in August
- Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe
This free, family-friendly concert series is the largest in South Lake Tahoe and runs from May to September. This concert series is perfect for visitors to listen to live music while eating on an outdoor restaurant patio or window shopping in Heavenly Mountain Resort. Read more at TheShopsatHeavenly.com.
Music in the Park
- Fridays in August
- Tahoe Paradise Park, South Lake Tahoe
This free, family-friendly daytime music festival features food trucks, kids treasure hunt, and prizes. Music in the Park runs from June to September. The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. with live music from 4:00 p.m. until sunset. Tahoe Paradise Park is a 15-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe. Read more at VisitLakeTahoe.com.
Ta-Hoe Nalu Paddlesports Festival
- First weekend of August
- Kings Beach, North Shore of Lake Tahoe
The Ta-Hoe Nalue stand-up paddling festival offers paddlesport races, food, and beer. Past festivals featured guided paddling tours and Polynesian dance performances. Tahoe Kings Beach is a 45-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe, so it may be worth staying in or near North Shore. Read more at TahoeNalu.com.
Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance
- Second weekend of August
- Obexer’s Boat Company, Homewood (West Shore of Lake Tahoe)
The Concours d’Elegance is the ultimate wooden boat show and easily one of the poshest events on Lake Tahoe. Enjoy a display of wooden boats, vote for your favorites, and sip wine at the adjacent village. Homewood is a 45-minute drive northwest of South Lake Tahoe, so you may choose to stay there for the weekend. Tickets cost $40 and up. Read more at LakeTahoeConcours.com.
- Last Saturday of August
- Lake Tahoe Community College, South Lake Tahoe
Ticket-holders to this family-friendly beer and music festival can enjoy unlimited samples of beer, cider, kombucha, and root beer. Brewfest provides food, games, a silent disco, and live music. Tickets cost $10-$50, and local buses will run to and from the college for free. Read more about this daytime festival at TahoeBrewfest.com.
Ski Run Farmer’s Market & Street Fair
- Fridays in August
- Ski Run Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe
From June to September, the Ski Run Farmers Market runs from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. every Friday near the center of South Lake Tahoe. There is live music and multiple vendors. Read more at SkiRunFarmersMarket.com.