Crystal Bay Summer Full Moon Hikes

full moon over mountains

Crystal Bay, Nevada is by far, one of the most beautiful coves within Lake Tahoe. The cobalt blue waters and surrounding granite boulders create breathtaking views of the lake.

The deep-blue color of Lake Tahoe in Crystal Bay is an aspect of being home to the deepest part of the lake. The lake reaches a depth of 1,645 feet in Crystal Bay, and makes Lake Tahoe the third deepest lake in North America.

Crystal Bay History

Crystal Bay is also steeped in a rich history. Its early years featured casinos and speakeasies that required travel on dirt roads from Truckee. Roads were eventually developed through the pass from Truckee and along the shoreline as Highway 28.

In 1948, the Tahoe Biltmore opened, and shortly thereafter, Frank Sinatra launched the famous Cal Neva.

With a helicopter pad on the roof, the Cal Neva also had underground tunnels throughout the property. In 50’s and 60’s, Crystal Bay was the stomping ground of the Rat Pack.

Crystal Bay Today

Today, multi-million dollar homes with incredible views surround the shores and hillside neighborhoods. Crystal Bay has become iconic for gambling, music, fabulous dining and features 3 casinos.

By 2027, the Waldorf Astoria branded residences will open at the site of the old Tahoe Biltmore. The property will be situated on 15 acres, with mixed-use development. It will feature 76 guest rooms and 61 luxury residences.

In the meantime, the Cal Neva has changed hands many times with plans for redevelopment that have never come to fruition. In April 2023, McWhinny, a Denver-based real estate firm purchased the property with plans to renovate it into a luxury resort. The sale price was estimated to be $58 million.

McWhinney is partnering with the Kor Group and luxury boutique operator Proper Hospitality and will make over the Cal Neva into a Proper-branded resort.

Crystal Bay Moonlight Hikes

From May 5th to September 29th, 2023, IVGID offers moonlight hikes up to the Crystal Bay lookout site. This is the old fire lookout above the old Tahoe Biltmore with amazing panoramic views of Lake Tahoe.

During each full moon, guests can enjoy a spectacular sunset followed by a brilliant moonrise over the eastern sierras. This is the best location to see the moonlight reflected on the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe.

The hike is a one-mile, paved road hike that includes transportation, wine, cheese, and snacks. Registration is required and you can sign up here.

Guests are encouraged to wear warm clothing and bring a flashlight. If you would like to participate, but are unable to hike either or both ways, you may ride in the van to join the group at the top and enjoy the views and the fun! 

Times: Meet at the Recreation center at 5:45 p.m. for check in and be ready for a 6:00 p.m. departure. 


June 2, 2023 - Strawberry Moon

The Strawberry Moon marks the ripening of “June-bearing” strawberries. As flowers bloom and early fruit ripens, June is a time of great abundance, celebrated by native Americans.

July 5, 2023 - Buck Moon

The Buck Moon reflects how the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by.

August 1, 2023 - Sturgeon Moon

August's full Moon was traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.

August 30, 2023 - Blue Moon

The second Full Moon in any given month is called a Blue Moon, which happens at the end of August. This will also be a supermoon, which occurs when the moon's orbit is closest to Earth when full.

September 29, 2023 - Harvest Moon

At the start of autumn and time of harvest, farmers depended on the Moon’s light to harvest deep into the night before we had electricity.

Daily Fee: $25, $20 with IVGID pass. For more information, contact Incline Village Recreation Center: 980 Incline Way, 775-832-1310

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