Nevada : Safety by City
- Battle Mountain
- Blue Diamond
- Boulder City
- Burning Man in Black Rock City
- Carson City
- Incline Village
- Las Vegas
- Moapa Valley
- Mount Charleston
- North Las Vegas
- Virginia City
- West Wendover
Incline Village, Nevada, has more money, history, and adventures than you might realize if you’re not familiar with the Lake Tahoe region.
The truth is that there’s no bad view of Lake Tahoe.
It’s really about what you’re looking for in your trip.
Tahoe is split by the California-Nevada border.
Incline Village is on the Nevada side, but just barely.
That means the laws and gambling allowance of Nevada reign while ski resorts rise above the mountains.
Beach after beach lines the shoreline, while several relics of American pop culture sit tucked between the tall and mighty pine trees of the region.
The 15-year run of the hit TV show Bonanza was filmed here, but the set is no longer open for tours.
This was also the home of the Rat Pack mountain escape of the Cal-Neva hotel, once owned by Ole Blue Eyes himself.
Marilyn Monroe spent her last weekend alive in this treasured escape.
The pool was famous for having the state line right in the middle.
The bad news is that the Cal Neva is long shuttered.
The good news is that a new company purchased it in 2023 and plans to renovate it, although the Cal Neva name will forever be buried in the history and legends.
Today Incline Village is a tax haven for the wealthy escaping the pricey California cost of doing business, yet it’s also still a ski bum paradise with several great resorts nearby.
This is a luxurious side of Lake Tahoe, even if most of the money is tucked on shorelines you can’t access and people you might not recognize at first sight.
The pandemic flee from California added more interest in Incline Village, soaring the already high cost of living.
Warnings & Dangers in Incline Village
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here, but it's hard to nail down the exact data. Washoe County Sheriff's Office oversees law enforcement here, and that includes the city of Reno and everything else north to the Idaho state line. To use that data would be irresponsible since crime rates in Reno are much different than in Lake Tahoe.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TART) and the Tahoe Transportation District both offer public transportation to and from Incline. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find, and shuttles are available from most hotels to ski resorts. Rentals cars are a great way to explore at your own pace.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Even across the county from 2017 to 2021, just eight pickpockets or purse snatchings were reported. The risk is low, but the potential is high, especially since a trip to Tahoe in any season means you're carrying a lot more stuff with you.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Oof. This is an important one with a medium risk. Tahoe on clear days is simply jaw-dropping and some of the best weather you'll ever get. Tahoe in winter can bring snow by the feet, and anyone who's been near a news source during 2023 saw the repeated snow storms that buried the region. Even in a place where "fresh powder" is a currency, it was a little too much. Wildfires are another risk, and that runs throughout the year. Severe thunderstorms are possible, but rarely is there a tornado. This is also earthquake country, but not on any major scale that should deter a visit.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
This is a low risk with a great perspective that across the half million people who live in Washoe County, not including the tourists who visit, the robbery rate is three per 100,000 people. In 2022, a series of muggings and robberies happened in Incline, showing that even low rates come with risks. In one incident, the robbers made friends with tourists at a bar and, on the way to another location, robbed the tourists.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Another low risk here, as the tourist destination is still so spread out, there's no hard target. You should always be vigilant and report suspicious activity, but terrorism concerns shouldn't be a deterrent here.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The biggest scams here targeted residents, either as fake police officers or utility workers demanded money under threats of arrest or service discontinuation. You should know the rental scam risks from the BBB to avoid getting scammed out of money for a "cheap" rental home. There is nothing "cheap" in Incline Village, that's for sure.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
I've visited Incline Village many times solo, and the biggest risks are the natural ones if you aren't trained in high elevation, wilderness, or wildlife safety. If you're enjoying the nightlife, you should still be wary of anyone who buys you a drink and never accept a drink you didn't see the bartender make.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
Incline Village has repeatedly ranked as having the best-tasting water of Lake Tahoe. The clean waters of Lake Tahoe also lower any concerns about drinking water quality. Consumer Confidence Reports are available from the Tahoe Waters Suppliers Association.
Safest Places to Visit in Incline Village
Go Tahoe North and Tahoe.com are two websites that give overall information about this region.
VisitLakeTahoe.com covers the whole lake.
The North Tahoe Nevada Welcome Center is available during business hours by calling (775) 832-1606.
The website has sections broken down by season, giving an excellent overview of Incline Village and Crystal Bay (which isn’t an easy feat with so much to do!).
Use the “12 Towners Club” quiz to find the best location for your visit, or learn more about the 12 towns to visit around Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is largely separated by North Tahoe and South Tahoe.
Which shore of Lake Tahoe is better?
It depends on what you’re looking for, as South Shore is more lively day and night in activities and nightlife, while North Tahoe is the more “chill” side of the lake.
The two closest ski resorts are Diamond Peak and Mt. Rose Ski Resort.
North Tahoe Regional Park Nordic Ski Area and Northstar at the closets on the California side.
Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park is the easiest access to a managed environment with beach access and hiking trails.
This includes Sand Harbor Beach and seasonal activities, from scuba diving in summer to sleigh rides in winter.
The Shakespeare Festival is held here each summer.
Don’t miss the Thunderbird Lodge tours here.
It’s one of the first luxury estates on Tahoe’s shores.
Paddlers have 72 miles of the Lake Tahoe Water Trail to explore, and hikers have many options, including the Tahoe East Shore Trail.
You can also look at the Tahoe Rim Association to see numerous trails in this area, including the apex of attempting the entire 165 miles of the Tahoe Rim.
Three casinos between Incline Village and Crystal Bay include the Hyatt Regency, Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget, and Crystal Bay Club.
I lived near Lake Tahoe twice in my life, and there’s one thing that’s certain—Tahoe holds many secret places that only the locals will know.
Make friends (in a safe, public space) and ask questions.
Locals hold the secrets close to tourists don’t trash the place or lead to overcrowding, but you might just find some treasures within a gem of a lake.
Places to Avoid in Incline Village
You don’t have to worry about a bad neighborhood here or a dangerous part of public areas.
This is a playground for the wealthy.
Visitors can find themselves in trouble if they try to “sneak” into the old Bonanza set or onto the Cal Neva property.
You should also avoid trying to sneak onto private property to see the amazing homes tucked into the mountains or shoreline.
For the best views, rent a boat and ride close to the shoreline.
Whether you’re a family traveling to Tahoe or an adult looking for some clothing-optional locations, it’s worth noting there are some nude beaches here.
Secret Harbor Beach is the closest nude beach to Incline Village, but it’s also close to some of the larger beach areas that are packed with families in summer.
The cove is protected by rocks and a well-curved cove, but adventurous shoreline explorers might stumble upon this location.
In Winter, many of the locations here will have roadways closed during a big storm.
Without being too conservative, the Department of Transportation and highway patrol will close the steep grades that lead to Tahoe with general safety in mind.
Keep track of those closures using Nevada 511 and CalTrans (if you’re exploring both sides of the state line).
As more people visit Lake Tahoe, there will be a lot of traffic, and there’s not much you can do about it.
During peak ski and summer seasons and three-day holiday weekends, double your estimated time to travel to different locations.
For those traveling with dogs, take the nine-mile trip to Gar Woods and Carnelian West Beach in California.
The beach next to Gar Woods is a dog beach.
Also note, if you get a Wet Woody at Gar Woods, let someone else drive.
They are potent, and you don’t realize it until you’ve finished the delicious drink.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Incline Village
- Washoe County Sheriff’s Office does have a substation in Incline Village, and a Facebook page under “Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Incline Village Substation” is a great social media page to follow. During spring 2023, the substation was flooded and severely damaged after the historic storms and snow melt, but you can still contact the department using the same phone numbers. The temporary station is at 855 Alder Avenue, but the original location that will be rebuilt is at 625 Mt. Rose Highway.
- The crystal clear water of Lake Tahoe is inviting, but it’s cold. All that water is nothing more than melted snow. Even on the hottest summer day, jumping into the lake can leave you shivering and potentially hypothermic. The water rarely gets warmer than 63°(F) in the summer.
- Most of the beaches on the Incline side require hiking to get to, and there’s minimal parking available. You have to get there very early or be very lucky to find a spot. Do not haphazardly park on the side of the highway. The easiest beach access is Burnt Cedar Beach, but the other beaches are worth the effort to get to if you’re in good health. The trails are generally not accessible to those with mobility issues.
- The roads around Lake Tahoe and to Incline Village have steep drop-offs, and not all of them have guardrails. You have to keep your eyes on the road, which is very hard to do with the amazing views.
- The Lake Tahoe Scenic Drive is a 72-mile loop that’s really worth the gas money. You can also take this trip on Google Maps to see which part of the lake is ideal for you.
- You have three routes you can take to get to Incline from Reno. One is along I-80, which has fewer lake views but is the best for those who want the safety of an interstate with a highway connection that’s less curvy than the alternative. Spooner Summit goes through Carson City first before taking you just south of Incline. You can also take the stunning Mount Rose Highway, with all its twist and white-knuckled curves with sharp plunges below.
- Some of the beaches here will have a Carson City address, but they are not in the city of Carson City. The Carson City rural area line is around Chimney Rock Beach.
- Use the tourism site to look for Regional Alerts. You should sign up for as many as you can to get a full list of alerts per county/state. You can also use the Inciweb website to find out about fires burning nearby and any evacuation orders.
- Lake Tahoe is an eco-conscious area, and you’ll be expected to live up to the “Traveler Responsibility Pledge” you can find on the North Lake Tahoe tourism site. Locals, visitors, and law enforcement will hold you to responsible trash collecting, “leave no trace” principles and the responsible use of wilderness.
- Study Lake Tahoe bear safety. Bears here are defended adamantly by locals, and if you create a situation where a bear has easy access to food. Use bear-proof containers and trash cans for everything. If you see a bear, don’t try to feed it or get close. This region is known for having an abundance of black bears. More information is made on the Keep Tahoe Bears Wild website.
So... How Safe Is Incline Village Really?
Since Incline Village gets law enforcement from the larger Washoe County, it’s not easy to get exact data for just Incline Village.
As a tourist destination, there’s a lot of security, surveillance, and patrol to keep people coming back.
Keeping an eye on your belongings is more important than ever since you’ll likely have a larger bag or two for the lake or ski trips.
Don’t leave valuables in your car, and always lock the doors.
Resist the urge to leave the windows down in nice weather because that’s just another invitation to thieves.
You need to know about bear safety in this area because too many bears are able to get into trash cans and campsites due to careless visitors.
The safest visit to Incline Village is going to include knowing the water safety steps, wildfire risks, and winter weather patterns.
The Winter of 2022 saw historic snowfall that was overwhelming even for the more experienced locals.
Roads here are curving, winding, and quite treacherous during severe winter weather.
Respect your skill levels for the hikes, water activities, and skiing while letting your body adjust to the altitude.
Even just sitting lakeside in Incline Village is the adventure of a lifetime, and truly one of the most beautiful sites on earth.
How Does Incline Village Compare?
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- Visas - International visitors to the United States typically need a valid passport and a visa unless they are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. The specific requirements and procedures depend on the visitor's country of origin and the purpose of their visit. The U.S. State Department is a great place to start. Don't delay. Tourist visas can be backlogged.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use anywhere in America. The casinos will require cash to get table game chips or to play the slots, but you'd be wise to exchange currency ahead of time. Casinos will add a high fee to anything they can.
- Weather - You'll need to dress for the season in comfortable outdoor clothing with winter accessories that are more functional than fashionable. A wetsuit is helpful for swimmers, even in the middle of summer, due to the cold water of Lake Tahoe.
- Airports - Reno Tahoe International Airport is about 45 minutes away, assuming there's no traffic and the roads are clear.
- Travel Insurance - Ski resorts and tour guides will have you sign a waiver releasing them from responsibility in the event of an accident. That's why adventure insurance is a smart idea. You always want to protect your flights and rental car in an area with so many weather risks.
Incline Village Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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