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Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe from the east shore (in Nevada)
Location California and Nevada
Coordinates 39°05′30″N 120°02′30″W / 39.09167°N 120.04167°W / 39.09167; -120.04167Coordinates: 39°05′30″N 120°02′30″W / 39.09167°N 120.04167°W / 39.09167; -120.04167
Lake type Geologic block faulting
Primary outflows Truckee River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 22 mi (35 km)
Max. width 12 mi (19 km)
Surface area 191 sq mi (490 km2)[1]
Average depth 1,000 ft (300 m)[1]
Max. depth 1,645 ft (501 m)
Water volume 122,160,280 acre·ft (150.68249 km3)
Residence time 650 years
Shore length1 71 mi (114 km)
Surface elevation 6,225 ft (1,897 m)[1]
Frozen never
Islands Fannette Island (only island)
Settlements South Lake Tahoe CA, Stateline NV, Tahoe City CA
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City, Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.[2] Its depth is 1,645 feet (501 metres) making it America's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper, at 1,945 feet (594 m) deep).[1]

The lake was formed about 2 million years ago and is a part of the Lake Tahoe Basin with the modern lake being shaped during the Ice Ages. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.[3] The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction for both California and Nevada. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation.[4][5] Mountain and lake scenery are attractions throughout the year. The Nevada side also includes large casinos. Highways provide year-round access from Reno, Carson City and Sacramento.



Rocky terrain is highlighted by a recent snow on US Highway 50 southwest of South Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S., with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet (501 m),[1][6] trailing only Oregon's Crater Lake at 1,949 ft (594 m).[6] Tahoe is also the 16th[7] deepest lake in the world, and the fifth deepest in average depth. It is about 22 mi (35 km) long and 12 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 191 square miles (490 km2). Washoe Indians used the lake. Approximately 2/3 of the shoreline is in California.[8] The south shore is dominated by the lake's largest city, South Lake Tahoe, California, which adjoins the town of Stateline, Nevada, while Tahoe City, California is located on the lake's northwest shore. Although highways run within sight of the lake shore for much of Tahoe's perimeter, many important parts of the shoreline now lie within state parks or are protected by the United States Forest Service.

The lake situates in parts of two counties in California and three in Nevada. According the Census Bureau, it has a surface area of 496.210 km² (191.588 sq mi) distributed among these five counties in the given percentages:[9]

Natural history


Lake Tahoe from space

The Lake Tahoe Basin was formed by a geologic block (normal) faulting. A geologic block fault is a fracture in the Earth's crust causing blocks of land to move up or down. Uplifted blocks created the Carson Range on the east and the Sierra Nevada on the west. Down-dropped blocks (a graben) created the Lake Tahoe Basin in between.[1]

More technically, Lake Tahoe is the youngest of several extensional basins of the Walker Lane Deformation Belt that accommodates nearly 12 mm/yr of dextral shear between the Sierra Nevada Microplate and North America.[10][11] The Lake Tahoe basin is formed by a series of large down-to-the-east normal faults, including the West Tahoe—Dollar Point fault, Stateline/North Tahoe fault and the Incline Village fault.[12] These right-stepping en-echelon faults are capable of large magnitude 7 earthquakes, with the most recent M7 paleoquake (~1500 AD) occurring on the Incline Village fault with nearly 9.7 ft (3.0 m) of vertical offset.[13] The West Tahoe-Dollar Point Fault (WTDPF) appears to be the most active and potentially hazardous fault in the basin. A study in Fallen Leaf Lake, just south of Lake Tahoe, used seafloor mapping techniques to image evidence for paleoearthquakes on the WTDPF and revealed the last earthquake occurred between 4,100-4,500 years ago.[14]

Some of the highest peaks of the Lake Tahoe Basin that formed during process of Lake Tahoe creation are Freel Peak at 10,891 feet (3,320 m), Monument Peak at 10,067 feet (3,068 m), Pyramid Peak at 9,983 feet (3,043 m) (in the Desolation Wilderness), and Mount Tallac at 9,735 feet (2,967 m).[1]

Eruptions from the extinct volcano Mount Pluto formed a dam on the north side. Melting snow filled the southern and lowest part of the basin to form the ancestral Lake Tahoe. Rain and runoff added additional water.[15]

Modern Lake Tahoe was shaped and landscaped by scouring glaciers during the Ice Ages, which began a million or more years ago. Lake Tahoe is fed from 63 tributaries with the Truckee River as the only outlet.[2] The Truckee flows northeast through Reno, Nevada and into Pyramid Lake, Nevada which has no outlet.

Soils of the basin come primarily from andesitic volcanic rocks and granodiorite, with minor areas of metamorphic rock. Some of the valley bottoms and lower hill slopes are mantled with glacial moraines, or glacial outwash material derived from the parent rock. Cryopsamments, Cryumbrepts, rockland, rock outcrops and rubble and stony colluvium account for over 70% of the land area in the basin (see USA soil taxonomy). The basin soils (in the < 2 mm fraction) are generally 65-85% sand (0.05–2.0 mm).

Given the great depth of Lake Tahoe, and the locations of the normal faults within the deepest portions of the lake, modeling suggests that earthquakes on these faults can trigger tsunamis. Wave heights of these tsunamis are predicted to be on the order of 10 to 33 ft (3 to 10 m) in height, capable of traversing the lake in just a few minutes.[16] A massive collapse of the western edge of the basin that formed McKinney Bay around 50,000 years ago is thought to have generated tsunami/seiche wave with height approaching 330 ft (100 m).[17]


Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe in background from Angora Ridge Rd. to the Angora Lakes Resort

Mean annual precipitation ranges from over 55 in (1,400 mm) in watersheds on the west side of the basin to about 26 inches (660 mm) near the lake on the east side of the basin. Most of the precipitation falls as snow between November and April, although rainstorms combined with rapid snow melt account for the largest floods. There is a pronounced annual runoff of snowmelt in late spring and early summer, the timing of which varies from year to year. In some years, summertime monsoon storms from the Great Basin bring intense rainfall, especially to high elevations on the east side of the basin.

August is normally the warmest month at the Lake Tahoe Airport (elevation 6,254 ft (1,906 m)) with an average maximum of 78.7 °F (25.9 °C) and an average minimum of 39.8 °F (4.3 °C). January is the coolest month with an average maximum of 41.0 °F (5.0 °C) and an average minimum of 15.1 °F (-9.4 °C). The all-time maximum of 99 °F (37.2 °C) was recorded on July 22, 1988. The all-time minimum of -29 °F (-33.9 °C) was recorded on December 9, 1972, and February 7, 1989. Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32.2 °C) on an average of 2.0 days annually. Minimum temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower occur on an average of 231.8 days annually, and minimum temperatures of 0 °F (-17.8 °C) or lower occur on an average of 7.6 days annually. Freezing temperatures have occurred every month of the year.[18][19]


Salmon (Oncorhyncus nerka) jumping beaver dam

Vegetation in the basin is dominated by a mixed conifer forest of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), white fir (Abies concolor), and red fir (A. magnifica).[20] The basin also contains significant areas of wet meadows and riparian areas, dry meadows, brush fields (with Arctostaphylos and Ceanothus) and rock outcrop areas, especially at higher elevations. Ceanothus is capable of fixing nitrogen, but mountain alder (Alnus tenuifolia), which grows along many of the basin’s streams, springs and seeps, fixes far greater quantities, and contributes measurably to nitrate-N concentrations in some small streams.

Beaver (Castor canadensis) were re-introduced to the Tahoe Basin by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and the U. S. Forest Service between 1934 and 1949. Descended from no more than nine individuals, 1987 beaver populations on the upper and lower Truckee River had reached a density of 0.72 colonies (3.5 beavers) per kilometer.[21] At the present time beaver have been seen in Tahoe Keys[22], Meeks Creek at Meeks Bay on the western shore, and King's Beach on the north shore, so the descendants of the original nine beavers have apparently migrated around most of Lake Tahoe. It has been shown that trout and salmon move freely across beaver dams.[23]

See also: Beaver in the Sierra Nevada

Human history

Native people

The area around Lake Tahoe was originally inhabited by the Washoe tribe of Native Americans. Lake Tahoe was the center and heart of Washoe Indian territory, including the upper valleys of the Walker, Carson, and Truckee Rivers. The English name for Lake Tahoe derives from the Washo dá’aw, "lake".[24]


Lt. John C. Frémont was the first person of European descent to see Lake Tahoe, during Fremont's second exploratory expedition on February 14. 1844.[25] John Calhoun Johnson, Sierra explorer and founder of "Johnson's Cutoff" (now U.S. Route 50), was the first white man to see Meeks Bay and from a peak above the lake he named Fallen Leaf Lake after his Indian guide. His first job in the west was in the government service, carrying the mail on snowshoes from Placerville to Nevada City, during which time he named the lake "Lake Bigler" in honor of California’s third governor John Bigler. In 1853 William Eddy, the surveyor general of California, identified Tahoe as Lake Bigler. In 1862 the U.S. Department of the Interior first introduced the name Tahoe. Both names were used until well into the next century. The lake didn't receive its official and final designation as Lake Tahoe until 1945.

California and Nevada reached the compromise to partition Tahoe between the two when Nevada became a state in 1864. With the state line east of the approximate centerline of the lake and then at 39 degrees north latitude, the state border runs southeasterly towards the Colorado River.[26][27]

Mining era

Boat at Lake Tahoe

Upon discovery of gold in the South Fork of the American River in 1848, thousands of gold seekers going west passed near the basin on their way to the gold fields. European civilization first made its mark in the Lake Tahoe basin with the 1858 discovery of the Comstock Lode, a silver deposit just 15 miles (24 km) to the east in Virginia City, Nevada. From 1858 until about 1890, logging in the basin supplied large timbers to shore up the underground workings of the Comstock mines. The logging was so extensive that loggers cut down almost all of the native forest. In 1864, Tahoe City was founded as a resort community for Virginia City, the first recognition of the basin’s potential as a destination resort area.[28]


Public appreciation of the Tahoe basin grew, and during the 1912, 1913, and 1918 congressional sessions, congressmen tried unsuccessfully to designate the basin as a national park.[28]

While Lake Tahoe is a natural lake, it is also used for water storage by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID). The lake level is controlled by a dam built in 1913 at the lake's only outlet, the Truckee River, at Tahoe City. The 18-foot (5.5 m) high dam can increase the lake's capacity by 744,600 acre·ft (0.9185 km3).[29]

During the first half of the 20th century, development around the lake consisted of a few vacation homes. The post-World War II population and building boom, followed by construction of gambling casinos in the Nevada part of the basin during the mid-1950s, and completion of the interstate highway links for the 1960 Winter Olympics held at Squaw Valley, resulted in a dramatic increase in development within the basin. From 1960 to 1980, the permanent residential population increased from about 10,000 to greater than 50,000, and the summer population grew from about 10,000 to about 90,000.[28] Since the 1980s, development has slowed due to controls on land use.

Government and politics

Lake Tahoe lies within the borders of both California and Nevada, and as such is not governed by any single entity. In California, Lake Tahoe is divided between Placer County and El Dorado County. In Nevada, Lake Tahoe is divided among Washoe County, Douglas County and Carson City (an independent city).

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) is a bi-state compact between California and Nevada, that is charged with environmental protection of the Lake Tahoe Basin through land-use regulation and planning.[30]


Lake Tahoe is also the location of several 19th and 20th century palatial homes of historical significance. The Thunderbird Lodge built by George Whittel Jr once included nearly 27 miles of the Nevada shoreline. Vikingsholm was the original settlement on Emerald Bay and included an island teahouse and a 38 room home. The Ehrman Mansion is a summer home built by a former Wells Fargo president in Sugar Pine Point and is now a state park.

Environmental issues

Water quality

Secret Beach on Lake Tahoe's Nevada side

In spite of land-use planning and export of treated sewage effluent from the basin, the lake is becoming increasingly eutrophic (having an excessive richness of nutrients), with primary productivity increasing by more than 5% annually, and clarity decreasing at an average rate of 0.25 meters per year. Until the early 1980s, nutrient-limitation studies showed that primary productivity in the lake was nitrogen-limited. Now, after a half-century of accelerated nitrogen input (much of it from direct atmospheric deposition), the lake is phosphorus-limited.

Test results over the last eight years have shown a stabilization in lake clarity, announced the Lake Tahoe Research Group in March 2009. Fine sediment, much of it resulting from land disturbance in the basin, accounts for about half of the loss in clarity. Charles Goldman from UC Davis was directly responsible for prompting Tahoe officials to pump all sewage effluent from the basin when Tahoe was being greatly developed in the 1950s. Goldman made local officials understand that even treated sewage would greatly affect the water quality of Lake Tahoe.[31]

Lake Tahoe is a tributary watershed drainage element within the Truckee River Basin, and its sole outlet is the Truckee River, which continues on to discharge to Pyramid Lake. Because of the sensitivity of Truckee River water quality (involving two protected species, the cui-ui[32] sucker fish and the Lahontan cutthroat trout), this drainage basin has been studied extensively. The primary investigations were stimulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who funded the development of the DSSAM model to analyze water quality below Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe never freezes.[33] Since 1970, it has mixed to a depth of at least 1,300 ft (400 m) a total of 6 or 7 times. Dissolved oxygen is relatively high from top to bottom. Analysis of the temperature records in Lake Tahoe has shown that the lake warmed (between 1969 and 2002) at an average rate of 0.015 °C per year. The warming is caused primarily by increasing air temperatures, and secondarily by increasing downward long-wave radiation. The warming trend is reducing the frequency of deep mixing in the lake, and may have important effects on water clarity and nutrient cycling.

Ecosystem changes

Since the 1960s, the Lake's food web and zooplankton populations have undergone major changes. In 1963–65, opossum shrimp (Mysis diluviana) were introduced to enhance the food supply for the introduced Kokanee salmon (Onchorhynchus nerka). The shrimp began feeding on the lake's cladocerans (Daphnia and Bosmina), and their populations virtually disappeared by 1971.[34] The shrimp provide a food resource for salmon and trout, but also compete with juvenile fish for zooplankton. Since the 1970s, the cladoceran populations have somewhat recovered, but not to former levels.

In June 2007, the Angora Fire burned approximately 3,100 acres (1,300 ha) throughout the South Lake Tahoe area. While the impact of ash on the lake's ecosystem is predicted to be minimal, the impact of potential future erosion is not yet known.[35]

Environmental protection

Until recently, construction on the banks of the Lake had been largely under the control of wealthy real estate developers. Construction activities have resulted in a clouding of the lake's blue waters. Currently, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is regulating construction along the shoreline.[36] (and has won two Federal Supreme Court battles over recent decisions). These regulations are unpopular with many residents, especially those in the Tahoe Lakefront Homeowners Association.[citation needed]

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

The League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) has been the public interest watchdog in the Lake Tahoe Basin for 50 years. Founded when a proposal to build a four-lane highway around the lake—with a bridge over the entrance to Emerald Bay—was proposed in 1957, the League has thwarted poorly designed development projects and environmentally unsound planning. Currently evaluating the "Pathways 2007" comprehensive plan being developed by TRPA, the League embraces responsible and diversified use of the Lake's resources while protecting and restoring its natural attributes.[37]

Since 1980, the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP) has been measuring stream discharge and concentrations of nutrients and sediment in up to 10 tributary streams in the Lake Tahoe Basin, California-Nevada. The objectives of the LTIMP are to acquire and disseminate the water quality information necessary to support science-based environmental planning and decision making in the basin. The LTIMP is a cooperative program with support from 12 federal and state agencies with interests in the Tahoe Basin. This data set, together with more recently acquired data on urban runoff water quality, is being used by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop a program (mandated by the Clean Water Act) to limit the flux of nutrients and fine sediment to the Lake.

Tourist activities

Much of the area surrounding Lake Tahoe is devoted to the tourism industry and there are many restaurants, ski slopes and casinos catering to visitors.

Winter sports

Ski slopes overlooking Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe Gondola Ride

During ski season, thousands of people from all over Nevada and California, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, flock to the slopes for downhill skiing. Lake Tahoe, in addition to its panoramic beauty, is well known for its blizzards.[4]

Some of the major ski areas in Tahoe include:

The majority of the ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region are on the northern end of the lake, near Truckee, California and Reno, Nevada. Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Heavenly are located on the southern side of the lake, approximately 80 miles (129 km) from Reno. It is common for visitors to ski amongst these 3 resorts when staying in Southern Lake Tahoe and not venture to the northern lake resorts (Squaw Valley, Northstar at Tahoe, Sugar Bowl, etc.).

Scattered throughout Tahoe are public and private sled parks. Some, such as Granlibakken are equipped with rope tows to help sledders get up the hill.

Many ski areas around Tahoe also have snow tubing, such as Squaw Valley. Snow tubing is popular among people who are interested in alternative sports. Throughout Tahoe, cross country skiing, snowmobile riding, and snowshoeing are also popular, thus there are many trails for them.

Water sports

During late Spring to early Fall, the lake is popular for water sports and beach activities. The two cities most identified with the Lake Tahoe tourist area are South Lake Tahoe, California and the smaller Stateline; smaller centers on the northern shoreline include Tahoe City and Kings Beach.

Boating is a primary activity in Tahoe in the summer. There are lake front restaurants all over the lake, most equipped with docks and buoys (See the restaurants section). There are all sorts of boating events, such as sailboat racing, firework shows over the lake, guided cruises, and more. As an interstate waterway, Lake Tahoe is subject to the United States Coast Guard. Lake Tahoe is home to Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe.[38]

SCUBA diving is popular at Lake Tahoe, with some dive sites offering dramatic drop-offs or wall dives. Diving at Lake Tahoe is considered advanced due to the increased risk of decompression sickness (DCS) while diving at such a high altitude.[39][40]

Hiking and bicycling

view from the Tahoe Rim Trail

There are hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails all around the lake. They range in length, difficulty, and popularity. One of the most famous of Tahoe's trails is the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165 mile (270 km) trail that circumnavigates the lake. Directly to the west of the lake is the Granite Chief Wilderness, which provides great hiking and wilderness camping. Also, to the southwest is the very popular Desolation Wilderness. One of the most popular trailheads is the Eagle Lake Trailhead. There are also several paved off-road bicycle paths.


Casinos in Stateline, Nevada

Gambling is legal on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. Casinos, each with a variety of slot machines and table games, are located on the South Shore in Stateline, and on the North Shore in Crystal Bay and Incline Village.

North Shore - Crystal Bay:

North Shore - Incline Village:

South Shore - Stateline:


U.S. Route 50 in South Lake Tahoe

The nearest passenger train service is the Amtrak station in Truckee.

Airports serving Lake Tahoe


Visitors can reach Lake Tahoe under ideal conditions within 2 hours from the Sacramento area, 1 hour from Reno or 30 minutes from Carson City. In winter months, chains or snow tires are often necessary to reach Tahoe from any direction. Traffic can be heavy on weekends due to tourists if not also from weather.

The primary routes to Lake Tahoe are on Interstate 80 via Truckee, U.S. Highway 50, and Nevada Highway 431 via Reno. Most of the highways accessing and encircling Lake Tahoe are paved two-lane mountain roads. US 50 is a four-lane highway passing south of the lake and along part of the eastern shore.

California Highway 89 follows the western shore of the lake through the picturesque wilderness and connects camping, fishing and hiking locations such as those at Emerald Bay State Park, DL Bliss State Park and Camp Richardson. Farther along are communities such as Meeks Bay and Tahoe City. Finally, the highway turns away from the lake and heads northwest toward Truckee.

California Highway 28 completes the circuit from Tahoe City around the northern shore to communities such as Kings Beach, Crystal Bay, and into Incline Village, Nevada where the road becomes Nevada Highway 28. Highway 28 returns along the eastern shore to US Highway 50 near Spooner Lake.

In the media

The Ponderosa Ranch of the TV series Bonanza was formerly located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.[41] The opening sequence of the TV series was filmed at the McFaul Creek Meadow, with Mount Tallac in the background. In September 2004 the Ponderosa Ranch closed its doors, after being sold to developer David Duffield for an undisclosed price.[42]

In the motion picture The Godfather Part II, the Corleone family lived in a compound on the shores of the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. In a famous scene from the final minutes of the film, Fredo Corleone is taken out onto the lake for a fishing trip, only to be executed for treachery, on the orders of his brother Michael (Al Pacino), who watches from the shore. The house and grounds portrayed in the film are actually located on the California side of Lake Tahoe: Fleur du Lac, the summer estate of Henry J. Kaiser. The only structures used in the movie that still remain are the complex of old native stone boathouses with their wrought iron gates. Although Fleur du Lac is private property and no one is allowed ashore there, the boathouses and multi-million dollar condominiums are easily viewed from the lake.

Most of the film Smoking Aces was filmed In South Lake Tahoe and Stateline. Many of the hotels and casinos are visible in the film with their older names. The climactic scenes of the 1987 Charles Bronson film Assassination were filmed around and on Lake Tahoe. Tahoe features prominently in the plot of the noir classic Out of the Past. Both The Bodyguard and City Of Angels filmed their climactic scenes at and around Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Fallen Leaf Lake (California). Meg Ryan's bike-riding scene prominently features Lake Tahoe in the background. In 1989, 2 episodes of the second season of the comedy Full House was filmed at Lake Tahoe. It was titled "Luck be a Lady" The British TV program Top Gear filmed at Lake Tahoe in Episode 2 of Series 12 in 2008.

Peaks and mountains

Pyramid Peak
  • Mount Tallac 9,735 ft (2,967 m)
  • Mount Pluto 8,610 ft (2,624 m)
  • Rubicon Peak 9,183 ft (2,799 m)
  • Genoa Peak 9,150 ft (2,789 m)
  • Freel Peak 10,881 ft (3,317 m)
  • Mount Rose 10,778 ft (3,285 m)
  • Ellis Peak 8,740 ft (2,664 m)
  • Scott Peak 8,289 ft (2,526 m)
  • Ward Peak 8,637 ft (2,633 m)
  • Dick's Peak 9,974 ft (3,040 m)
  • Maggies Peak 8,699 ft (2,651 m)
  • Jakes Peak 9,187 ft (2,800 m)
  • Monument Peak 10,067 ft (3,068 m)
  • Duane Bliss Peak 8,729 ft (2,661 m)
  • Jobs Peak 10,633 ft (3,241 m)
  • Jobs Sister 10,823 ft (3,299 m)
  • Stevens Peak 10,061 ft (3,067 m)
  • Red Lake Peak 10,061 ft (3,067 m)
  • Relay Peak 10,324 ft (3,147 m)
  • Mount Houghton 10,483 ft (3,195 m)
  • Pyramid Peak 9,983 ft (3,043 m)
  • Snow Valley Peak 9,214 ft (2,808 m)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Facts About Lake Tahoe" (retrieved on 2008-10-26).
  2. ^ a b "Amazing Lake Tahoe". Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  3. ^ "Water Quality". The League To Save Lake Tahoe. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  4. ^ a b "Lake Tahoe Resorts Winter sports". Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  5. ^ Munson, Jeff (2008-10-21). "In rocky economy, ski-resort jobs are seen as more than free passes". Nevada Appeal. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  6. ^ a b The World's Deepest Lakes - US Department of the Interior: National Park Service|accessdate=2008-10-31
  7. ^ "Deepest Lake in the World Deepest Lake in the United States". Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  8. ^ Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (2005-06-10). "Lake Tahoe Trivia". Press release. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  9. ^ Lake Tahoe census tract blocks, 2000 Census, United States Census Bureau
  10. ^ Oldow, J.S.; C.L.V. Aiken, J.L. Hare, J.F. Ferguson and R.F. Hardyman (January 2001). "Active displacement transfer and differential block motion within the central Walker Lane, western Great Basin". Geology 29 (1): 19–22. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2001)029<0019:ADTADB>2.0.CO;2. 
  11. ^ Unruh, Jeffrey; James Humphrey and Andrew Barron (April 2003). "Transtensional model for the Sierra Nevada frontal fault system, eastern California". Geology 31 (4): 327–330. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(2003)031<0327:TMFTSN>2.0.CO;2. 
  12. ^ Kent, G.M.; J.M. Babcock, N.W. Driscoll, A.J. Harding, J.A. Dingler, G.G. Seitz, J.V. Gardner, L.A. Mayer, C.R. Goldman, A.C. Heyvaert, R.C. Richards, R. Karlin, C.W. Morgan, P.T. Gayes and L.A. Owen (May 2005). "60 k.y. record of extension across the western boundary of the Basin and Range province: Estimate of slip rates from offset shoreline terraces and a catastrophic slide beneath Lake Tahoe". Geology 33 (5): 365–368. doi:10.1130/G21230.1. 
  13. ^ Seitz, G.G.; Kent, G., Dingler, J., Karlin, R., Babcock, J., Driscoll, N., and Turner, R. (2005). "First paleoseismic results from the Lake Tahoe Basin: Evidence for three M7 range earthquakes on the Incline Village fault". Annual Meeting. Seismological Society of America. 
  14. ^ Brothers, D.S.; G.M. Kent, N.W. Driscoll, S.B. Smith, J.A. Dingler, R. Karlin, A.J. Harding, G.G. Seitz, J.M. Babcock, (April 2009). "New Constraints on Deformation, Slip Rate, and Timing of the Most Recent Earthquake on the West Tahoe-Dollar Point Fault, Lake Tahoe Basin, California". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 99 (2a): 499. doi:10.1785/0120080135. ISBN 0120080135. 
  15. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Tahoe and the Basin". Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  16. ^ Ichinose, G.A.; Anderson, J.G.; Satake, K.; Schweickert, R.A.; Lahren, M.M. (April 2000). "The potential hazard from tsunami and seiche waves generated by large earthquakes within Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada". Geophysical Research Letters 27 (8): 1203–1206. doi:10.1029/1999GL011119. 
  17. ^ Gardner, J.V. (July 2000). "The Lake Tahoe debris avalanche". 15th Annual Geological Conference. Geological Society of Australia. 
  18. ^ "TAHOE, CALIFORNIA - Climate Summary". Desert Research Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  (1903-2007 climate data)
  19. ^ "Climate Data - North Lahontan Hydrologic Region". State of California, Department of Water Resources. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  (30-year climate data)
  20. ^ "Trees Indigenous to Lake Tahoe". [[ Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort]]. Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  21. ^ Beier P, Barrett RH (1989). "Beaver Distribution in the Truckee River Basin, California". California Fish and Game. Retrieved Jan. 17, 2010. 
  22. ^ "The Beavers of the Truckee River". Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture. July 20, 2009. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2010. 
  23. ^ Michael M. Pollock, Morgan Heim, Danielle Werner (2003). "Hydrologic and Geomorphic Effects of Beaver Dams and Their Influence on Fishes". American Fisheries Society Symposium 37. Retrieved Jan. 17, 2010. 
  24. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American Place Names of the United States. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 34
  25. ^ "Lake Tahoe Facts and Figures". Tahoe Regional Planning Association. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  26. ^ "Truckee River Chronology". Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  27. ^ Brean, Henry (2009-04-27). "Four Corners mistake recalls long border feud between Nevada, California". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  28. ^ a b c  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Stream and Ground-Water Monitoring Program, Lake Tahoe Basin, Nevada and California" (retrieved on 2009-11-24).
  29. ^ "Water Delivery Projects and Facilities". Lahontan Basin Area Office. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  30. ^ "Tahoe Regional Planning Agency". 
  31. ^ "Charles Goldman: Environmental Studies Recipient 1992-1993". UCDavis. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  32. ^ Gimenez Dixon (1996). Chasmistes cujus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Listed as Critically Endangered (CR B1+2b v2.3)
  33. ^ "Lake Tahoe Q&A". Heavenly Mountain Resort. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  34. ^ Goldman, C.R.; M.D. Morgan, S.T. Threlkeld, N. Angeli (1979). "A Population Dynamics Analysis of the Cladoceran Disappearance from Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada". Limnology and Oceanography 24 (2): 289–297. 
  35. ^ Carl T. Hall (June 26, 2007). "Raging Tahoe Fire's Roots: 150 Years of Mismanagement". San Francisco Chronicle: p. A-1. 
  36. ^ "Construction Monitoring". Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. 
  37. ^ "History of The League to Save Lake Tahoe". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  38. ^ Hartman, Joanna. "Tahoe Coast Guard changes command". (Sierra Sun). Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  39. ^ Egi, S. M.; Brubakk, Alf O. (1995). "Diving at altitude: a review of decompression strategies". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 22 (3): 281–300. ISSN 1066-2936. OCLC 26915585. PMID 7580768. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  40. ^ "Altitude Diving". Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  41. ^ "Bonanza". TVLand. Viacom International Inc.. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  42. ^ See,


  • Becker, Andrew. "The naming of Tahoe's mountains". Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  • Byron, Earl R.; Charles R. Goldman (1 January 1989). "Land-Use and Water Quality in Tributary Streams of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada". Journal of Environmental Quality 18 (1): 84–88. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  • Chang, C. C. Y.; J. S. Kuwabara, and S. P. Pasilis (1992). "Phosphate and iron limitation of phytoplankton biomass in Lake Tahoe". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 49: 1206–1215. doi:10.1139/f92-136. 
  • Coats, R. N., and C. R. Goldman. 2001. Patterns of nitrogen transport in streams of the Lake Tahoe basin, California-Nevada. Water Resour. Res. 37: 405-415.
  • Coats, R. N., J. Perez-Losada, G. Schladow, R. Richards and C. R. Goldman. 2006. The Warming of Lake Tahoe. Climatic Change (In Press).
  • Crippen, J. R., and B. R. Pavelka. 1970. The Lake Tahoe basin, California-Nevada U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1972.
  • Gardner, James V.; Larry A. Mayer and John Hughes-Clarke (2003-01-16). "THE BATHYMETRY OF LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA-NEVADA". Open-File Report 98-509. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  • Goldman, C. R., A. Jassby, and T. Powell. 1989. Interannual fluctuations in primary production: meteorological forcing at two subalpine lakes. Limnol. Oceanogr. 34: 310-323.
  • Goldman, C. R., A. D. Jassby, and S. H. Hackley. 1993. Decadal, interannual, and seasonal variability in enrichment bioassays at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA. Can.J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 50: 1489-1496.
  • Hatch, L. K., J. E. Reuter, and C. R. Goldman, 2001. Stream phosphorus transport in the Lake Tahoe Basin, 1989-1996. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 69: 63-83.
  • Jassby, A. D., C. R. Goldman, and T. M. Powell. 1992. Trend, seasonality, cycle, and irregular fluctuations in primary productivity at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, USA. Hydrobiol. 246: 195-203.
  • Jassby, A. D., J. E. Reuter, R. P. Axler, C. R. Goldman, and S. H. Hackley, 1994. Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and phosphorus in the annual nutrient load of Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada). Water Resour. Res. 30: 2207-2216.
  • Jassby, A. D., C. R. Goldman and J. E. Reuter. 1995. Long-term change in Lake Tahoe (California-Nevada, U.S.A.) and its relation to atmospheric deposition of algal nutrients. Arch. Hydrobiol. 135: 1-21.
  • Jassby, A. D., C. R. Goldman, J. E. Reuter, and R. C. Richards. 1999. Origins and scale dependence of temporal variability in the transparency of Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada. Limnol. Oceanog. 44: 282-294.
  • Jassby, A., J. Reuter, and C. R. Goldman. 2003. Determining long-term water -quality change in the presence of climate variability: Lake Tahoe (U.S.A.). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 60: 1452-1461.
  • Leonard, R. L., L. A. Kaplan, J. F. Elder, R. N. Coats, and C. R. Goldman, 1979. Nutrient Transport in Surface Runoff from a Subalpine Watershed, Lake Tahoe Basin, California. Ecological Monographs 49: 281-310.
  • Nagy, M., 2003. Lake Tahoe Basin Framework Study Groundwater Evaluation Lake Tahoe Basin, California and Nevada. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento, CA.
  • Naslas, G. D., W. W. Miller, R. R. Blank and G. F. Gifford, 1994. Sediment, nitrate, and ammonium in surface runoff from two Tahoe basin soil types. Water Resour. Bull. 30: 409-417.
  • Richards, R. C., C. R. Goldman, E. Byron, and C. Levitan, 1991. The mysids and lake trout of Lake Tahoe: A 25-year history of changes in the fertility, plankton, and fishery of an alpine lake. Am. Fish. Soc. Symp. 9: 30-38.
  • Schuster, S., and M. E. Grismer, 2004. Evaluation of water quality projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 90: 225-242.
  • Scott, E. B. 1957. The Saga of Lake Tahoe. Early Lore and History of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lake Tahoe is a popular vacation and recreation region straddling the border between California and Nevada. The closest large city is Reno, Nevada. It is especially popular in the summer and winter. Summer activities include golf, boating and hiking. Winter activities include world class skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating. Year round activities include shopping, gambling, eating and taking in the scenery.

Skiing in Tahoe
Skiing in Tahoe
  • Tahoe City - Situated on the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. One of the two main towns on the lake (along with South Lake) this is a smaller more relaxed town with a slight, mountain hippy feel to it. Tahoe City is considerably less crowded and more relaxed than South Lake Tahoe.
  • Truckee - Historic western rail road town located off highway 80 between Route 89 and 237 northwest of the lake.
  • South Lake Tahoe - Located near the border between California and Nevada, you can sleep in California and head up the road to gamble in Nevada.
  • Stateline - is just north of South Lake Tahoe and spans the border of both states and gives you 'walk-to' access for the casinos.
  • Tahoe Vista - A beautiful Lake Tahoe town on the North Shore.
  • Homewood - A quaint west shore resort town west of Tahoe Vista
  • Incline Village - Town on the north shore. Small Population.


Lake Tahoe is a beautiful, crystal-clear blue lake nestled among mountain peaks. It has depths of up to 1,600 feet and the mountain peaks are in the 8,000 to 10,000 foot range. During the summer, boating, camping, and hiking are popular activities. Winter sports are popular during the colder months (December-April).

Lake Tahoe, December 2008.
Lake Tahoe, December 2008.

Lake Tahoe has been a tourist destination since the turn of the 20th century, when steam trains and improving roads made it possible to visit with ease. The 1960 Winter Olympics, held at Squaw Valley, popularized winter sports at Tahoe.

Get in

By plane

Most visitors fly into Reno/Tahoe International Airport [1], about an hour's drive to Tahoe on Interstate 80.

Major airports are also located in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 4 hours away, and Sacramento, about 2 hours away.

There are also two smaller private airports closer to the Lake, one in Truckee that supports a short runway and mostly propeller airplanes, the second is in South Lake Tahoe and maybe large enough to support small jets.

By car

Getting into the Lake Tahoe region by car is perhaps the most popular method of transportation, but it is not without its hassles and headaches, especially for the first-time visitor.


Be aware that you're driving into a mountainous region that receives heavy snowfall throughout the winter season and other times. Although road conditions are usually clear between April and November, it is not unheard of for heavy snow to fall as late as June, sometimes spontaneously in seemingly warm weather. Always carry snow chains in your car. If roads are slick with snow or ice, CalTrans will inmplement chain control, which usually means you need chains installed on your tires for the affected stretch of highway unless you are in a four-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires. Before planning your trip, check local weather reports as well as the California Highway Information Network (CHIN) [2] (call +1 800 427-7623 in California or +1 916 445-7623 from elsewhere) for traffic conditions. The State of California also provides helpful winter driving tips [3].

If you are already near or in the Lake Tahoe region without snow chains in your car, but you find that you will need them, try to buy them where the locals might, such as a grocery store or auto part franchise. Prices for chains at gas stations visible from the highway will often be twice as expensive!

Be aware some vehicles cannot accept regular snow chains due to low clearance between the wheel and the wheel well or the suspension parts. Your car's manual will have the necessary information regarding this. You may still be able to use a low-clearance chain such as SSC Super Z6 but ensure that it fits and works properly BEFORE you depart.

During chain control, men in orange jumpsuits will be on hand to install chains for you for a hefty fee of $30 USD (sometimes a little more if they need to cut your chains to fit). If you've never installed chains, the convenience of paying an expert do the job in less than five minutes may outweigh the amount of money you save while shuddering in the cold, hunched over the instructions for half an hour. The choice is entirely yours; a good method of learning how to install chains is to watch someone do it the first time so that you know how it to do it yourself the next time---just consider the $30-$35 your lesson fee. (Or better yet, have an experienced friend teach you before you even leave.)

Four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires or "mud and snow" tires almost never need chains — Caltrans usually closes the highway altogether for several hours before requiring four-wheel drive vehicles with chains. The latter tires usually have a "M+S" marking on them.

If you are an experienced driver in snow, you may find it ridiculous to be asked to put on chains. But the Highway patrol makes no exceptions unless you have 4wd. You can't argue your way out if it, but you'll get over it and you will laugh heartily at the number of cars spinning out of control (even with 4wd) as inexperienced California drivers attempt to handle the snow by driving as if it isn't there. Take their foolishness realistically - they WILL hit you if they get close. Keep your distance.

Front-wheel drive cars with snow tires on the drive wheels under the weight of the engine do very well.

Rear-wheel drive trucks with no weight in the back do the worst.

Cars with bald tires with chains may still slip and be a major road hazard.

Big rig trucks, the 18 wheelers, can jackknife, and spin and crash, and often are the cause of road closures.

Windshield wipers during snowfall: It's best to find and use special windshield wipers for the snow, where the joints in the wipers are covered up and protected, otherwise, they may freeze, and be useless.

Route highways

To North Lake Tahoe: From the San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento, take interstate highway I-80 East toward Reno and exit highway 89 South to Tahoe City. From Reno, take I-80 West toward Sacramento and exit Truckee taking Highway 267 south to the Lake.

To South Lake Tahoe: From the San Francisco Bay Area or Sacramento, take US Highway 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe.

By bus or shuttle

There is an Amtrak train station in Truckee, California, and bus service from various carriers there to points around the lake. Amtrak offers a combined bus/train service from San Francisco, California (via the Emeryville, California stop) to South Lake Tahoe. Many ski resorts offer bus and shuttle rides from certain pick-up locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Reno, Truckee or from hotels in the Lake Tahoe region. Availability, pick-up locations, schedules and rates vary widely depending on the resort you want to go to. See the Do section below for a list of ski resorts, and check their website or call their office to see what your options are.

By train

Amtrak operates the California Zephyr Train [4], which goes from Emeryville, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago, IL and makes a stop in Truckee.

Get around

In North Lake Tahoe there is a Bus service called TART (Tahoe area rapid transit); it does not have the most robust schedule and as cabs can be scarce, so a rental car is a necessity.


See the views of the Lake from the Homewood Chairlifts.

See the mountain valley on the hike up the Emerald bay hiking trail.


Ski Resorts

There are many resorts in the Tahoe region for skiers and snowboarders. Lifts are open whenever the snows begin (usually around mid-November) and close when the weather becomes too warm and the snow stops (usually around mid to late-April, though resorts have sometimes closed as late as July 4th). Conditions will vary depending on the resort, and not all mountains are the same.

For an instant overview of the conditions of a number of ski resorts, see Ski Bonk's resort map [5].

North Shore

  • Alpine Meadows, [6]. On highway 89 between Tahoe City and interstate 80; Alpine is one of the most well established resorts in Lake Tahoe, it boasts a large network of new high speed lifts and enough variety in its terrain to satisfy any level of skier. Alpine also features ticket prices significantly lower than its competitors, while regulating the number of skiers on the mountain to limit crowds.
  • Homewood [7], +1 530 525-2900. On highway 89/West lake boulevard Homewood is a large resort covering two mountains with variable terrain and many different ski runs, located directly on the lake and producing some of the best views of the lake, 6 miles south of Tahoe City. Typically, Homewood is the least busy resort, has cheaper tickets than most (including a $99 senior season pass). The smaller crowds mean better skiing longer after storms, and more relaxed attitude than some Tahoe areas. Its main downside is that it has no detachable high speed chairlifts, although they have just replaced their oldest and slowest main double chair with a modern triple chair.
  • Northstar [8], +1 800 GO-NORTH. Lifts open daily from 8:30AM-4PM (weather permitting). Northstar Dr. (off Highway 267, near Truckee), A popular beginner and family-friendly resort, with slopes much less steep than at most other major resorts. Just built "The Village" at the base of the mountain with shops, restaurants, living spaces and an outdoor ice skating rink. Expect large crowds on major holiday weekends.
  • Squaw Valley [9], +1 530 583-6985. On highway 89 between Tahoe City and interstate 80; Squaw is possibly the most well known resort in all of California, and the setting for the recent book Squallywood. A complete skier's paradise- magazine favorite for its varied terrain, huge size and massive high speed lift system; and a former Olympic village. Its over sized reputation also presents a downside: crowds that even a on mountain the size of Squaw can swamp the intermediate lifts and result in lines.

South Shore

  • Heavenly [10] - Owned by Vail Resorts, located on the state line (so half casinos, half not)and half the skiing in California and half in Nevada. Beginner, and family-friendly with considerably more terrain than many area resorts, has hosted World Cup ski races.
  • Kirkwood [11] - Located about 45 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, features one of the highest base elevations and most consistent snow packs in the Sierra. Off the beaten path, but not as crowded as Sierra at Tahoe or Heavenly with a larger variety of terrain than either.
  • Sierra at Tahoe [12], 1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, +1 530 659-7453. Under the same management as Northstar, so a season pass will work at both locations. Slopes are steeper than at Northstar and less well maintained, more of an adventurous place to ski than Northstar is usually not quite as crowded.


  • Diamond Peak [13] - Family-friendly resort with slopes for all ski levels. Great for beginners and kids and has convenient parking, easy, wide slopes and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.
  • Mount Rose [14] - Highest base elevation in the Tahoe Basin, and the closest major ski area to Reno it is a favorite of locals, and the site of some of the best chute skiing in Tahoe.

Beyond Donner Pass

If you are heading east from the Bay Area, you have some skiing choices. These resorts are all on Highway 80 going East, before you hit Donner Pass.

  • Boreal Ridge [15] - At the peak on the highway at about 7000 feet, usually one of the first areas to open every year, with extensive night skiing and snow making coverage, this area was one of the first to market with a snowboard terrain Park.
  • Royal Gorge [16] - A cross-country ski area.
  • Sugar Bowl [17] - A resort that consistently among the ski areas with the highest annual snow falls in the US, good varied terrain and an extensive network of high speed lifts, they are also beginning to build a village at the base of Mt. Judah like that at Squaw Valley.
  • Soda Springs [18] - A small area open primarily on weekends near the Mt. Judah entrance to Sugar Bowl.


There are several parks along the shore and nearby, including Bliss State Park and Emerald Bay State Park.

There are many trail in the nearby Desolation Wilderness including Mount Tallac Trail.

  • Sand Harbor, northeast shore.
  • Chamber's Landing, west shore, south of Tahoe City.
  • Meek's Bay, west shore, south of Tahoe City.
  • Tahoe City, North shore, in Tahoe City.
  • Emerald Bay, west shore, south of Homewood on 89.

Boat trips

Several charter services offer boat tours to the mansions that dot the lake shore.

Year-Round Activities

Gambling is a popular activity year-round, many other activities are seasonal. In the winter the skiing in the area is world class and spread across many varied resorts, other winter activities are snow shoeing and snowmobiling. During the summer months boat rentals are available in most towns on the lake. Other activities that draw people to the area are: golf, hiking, mountain biking, and 4-wheeling.


You can rent skiing or snowboarding equipment directly at the mountain. However, to save money and increase your available choices, you might want to rent from one of the many Ski Shops in the Tahoe Area Including but not limited to Granite Chief Sports, Squaw Valley Sports, Tahoe Daves, and Porters in Tahoe City. You can also rent from REI, Any Mountain, Helm of Sun Valley, and Marmot Mountain Works in the Bay Area (and probably other places too).


Tahoe City and Squaw Valley have a good selection of bars and nightlife.


Hotels are, of course, an option. Book in advance, especially in the winter or summer seasons. You can get a room for as cheap as $30/night in South Lake Tahoe, get a package at a casino hotel or spend several hundred dollars a night at one of the many resort style hotels on or near the Lake or ski resorts.

Homeowners in the area do a brisk business renting/leasing out their homes, condos and cabins during the winter and summer seasons. They vary in price from a few hundred dollars/night for a short term rental to $800/mo for a 1-room condo and up to $3,000/mo for 4+ bedroom houses with hot tubs and other amenities. Short term rentals and longer term leases are advertised on local travel and tourism web sites, with real estate agencies as well as in the local papers.

Stay safe

Beware of bears. Do not feed the bears. Do not leave food or food wrappers in your car.

Beware of squirrels and other small rodents as they may carry rabies. Coyotes are also a threat.

Snowstorms blow in quickly and can cause power outages that may last days depending on the remoteness of your location, as well as block off roads with several feet of snow that may fall in a single night. Bring extra food, just in case, and always carry chains in your car as the road restrictions can come up quickly.

Hitchhikers are quite common all around Lake Tahoe.

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Simple English

Lake Tahoe is a fresh water lake in the Sierra Nevada. It is located on the borders of the states of California and Nevada, in the United Stated of America. Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest (1645 feet/501 m), largest (192 sq. mi./497 km²) ¹, and highest (6229 feet/1898 m) lakes in the United States. Only Oregon's Crater Lake is deeper at 1930 feet (588 m).

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