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Secret Harbor / Whale Beach

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Toiyabe National Forest

Secret Harbor / Whale Beach is a 1.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Carson City, Nevada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 1.4 miles Elevation Gain: 337 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly



bird watching






1 day ago

13 days ago

Tons of people all over the place starting from chimney beach all the way to whale beach. parking was a zoo. no one practicing social distancing or wearing masks. water and beaches were beautiful but unfortunately not much of a secret.

Great trail. Beach is small but nice. Tried to take the trail around the point to next cove and beach but trail disappears in the rocks. I am a senior citizen so wasn’t interested so we just travel back to car.

21 days ago

A very beautiful beach! There are not very much people around and the hike down there was cool, but the hike back up was brutal. It was well worth it and I definitely would do it again!

Park a little further south then what the trail head on all trails says and you’ll find some nice stairs to get you down the first steep part, the rest is pretty even down, even up. The whales rock is pretty cook to see and the views are great. Overall a nice distance hike for a workout and view.

1 month ago

Beautiful secluded coves. Make sure you follow the trail carefully or you’ll end up on the wrong spot

2 months ago

Gorgeous trails. Bathrooms are locked up.

11 months ago

Park on side of road. Parking can be a problem. Nice walk down to small sandy beach with “swim-to” rocks. Good swimming. Has a few shady places to sit on beach, not many. Has porta potty. Impromptu air show, great views. Boats, paddle board and lounge raft friendly. A nice spot on the Nevada shore.

Sat Jun 29 2019

Amazing cove with some of the burst water in Tahoe

Thu Jun 27 2019

This trail was so worth the drive (50 mins from Reno) and the walk was really short up and back about a mile and a half. I went there for the views and i was not disappointed. I parked alongside the road. The walk back up to the car was brutal but i would still do it again, great workout.

Wed May 01 2019

It was beautiful! My husband and I really enjoyed this hike. Relaxed on the beach and had a picnic. There was no one there so we got the whole beach to ourselves. The water was cold but very refreshing.

Mon Apr 29 2019

Absolutely beautiful views both from the top of the trail and towards the beaches. My only concern was how steep the grade was at the very top. Definitely will be back another trip!

Sun Jan 06 2019

I hiked this and several other trails alongside the highway down to the lake. There isn’t a ton of parking, so I just parked wherever and bushwhacked my own trail down to the path. It is very steep at the top, so be mindful of this, I had to crawl and use my hands to pull me up. There are stairs in a couple spots, so kudos to you if you park near them and use them. I won’t say too much about the beach, I almost hate to say anything because it is a jewel. I was there by myself for over an hour. It was one of the better moments I’ve had in this life. Plenty of little bluffs and coves you can scramble and bushwhack to, I kept myself entertained between all the trails for a few hours.

Sun Dec 16 2018

Got lost on another trail and ended up here. Absolutely beautiful and so worth getting lost for. Perfect spot for lunch and even got to hang out with a chipmunk. The views are amazing.

Wed Nov 21 2018

Easy trail, quite a few people, but a nice place to watch the sunset.

Mon Oct 01 2018

Absolutely beautiful

Tue Jun 19 2018

So beautiful and relatively secluded. Big payoff for a short hike- you can hang out at the beach (or the nude beach over the rocks haha) or climb around the rocks and hang out.

Wed May 30 2018

We arrived at the parking lot around 7pm and walked to the Whales Beach for sunset. The view is awesome!

Tue Apr 24 2018

Park is still closed for the season as of 4/23 so parking is off road. Directions to the parking lot on this app is slightly short - keep going on 28 another 0.7 mile or so and you’ll see the park entrance on your left. Very nice views from east side of the lake.

Mon Dec 25 2017

Really enjoyed this hike. A good blend of woods and cozy, quiet beaches. The first time we went, no one else was there. The 2nd time, we saw a handful of people. Love the whales at Whale Beach! Note: the stairs getting down to the trail might be a little tricky for some.

Fri Sep 29 2017

Loved this beach! Had it all to ourselves! Gorgeous turquoise water. When the trail crosses the dirt road, it restarts a bit to the left by a big tree. You can also follow the dirt road to another nice beach about 3/4 mile farther south.

Mon Aug 28 2017

So we were actually looking for the Secret Cove, the nude beach. When you look at the trail map in this app, go along the lake in opposite direction where you see an actual cove on the map. That's the spot. It's gorgeous but it was stupid crowded and had a boat anchored in the center and blasting dumb music. We found our own Little Rock to sit on:)

Sat Aug 12 2017

Thu Jun 22 2017

Short hike with amazing beaches waiting. Heavenly

Sun Jun 18 2017

whoops! didn't know that this was a nudist beach! Had to walk up a bit to get to the next beach cove. Really pretty views! It is Saturday so parking was a bit challenging. Look for the stairs, easier to get to the trail.

Sat Jun 17 2017

the trail is amazing! but in the end we were suprised that the secret cove is a nudest beach!!! not that kid friendly.

Fri May 26 2017

So gorgeous

Mon Feb 27 2017

Nice small hike for a great and peaceful spot. try to go before or right after winter so you can have the whole beach for yourself. During summer days the beach a bit popular, so get there early.

Fri Jul 08 2016

Had so much fun! Wasn't really a hike though. It was a little beach with some people there. But the view was amazing.

Sat Jun 18 2016

Fairly secluded

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