Elevation: The average surface of Lake Tahoe is 6,222 feet above sea level. The highest peak rising directly from the shoreline is Mt. Tallac at 9,735 feet. The highest point in the Tahoe Basin is Freel Peak at 10,881 feet.
Location: Lake Tahoe covers the Nevada/California border. It is 198 miles northeast of San Francisco, 100 miles northeast of Sacramento, and 58 miles southwest of Reno.
Size: Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake on the North American continent. It is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, with a surface area of 122,200 acres or 193 sq. miles.
Depth: The average depth of Lake Tahoe is 989 feet. The deepest point is 1,645 feet. It is the third deepest lake in North America. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation controls the top 6.1 feet of the lake as a reservoir.
Temperature: During the summer months, the upper 12 feet of the lake can warm to 68 degrees F. Below depths of 600 feet and in winter months, the temperature remains a constant 39 degrees F. The lake does not freeze over in winter.
Volume: Lake Tahoe contains an estimated 39.75 trillion gallons or 122-million-acre feet of water. That’s enough water to cover the entire state of California to a depth of 14.5 inches. The water that evaporates daily is 1.4 million tons, enough to supply the needs of 3.5 million people per day.
Purity: The water in Lake Tahoe is 99.7 percent pure, about the same as distilled water. It’s so clear that a white dinner plate can be seen at 70 feet below the surface.
- Lake Tahoe was formed about 25-million years ago and is the second deepest lake in the United States at 1,645 feet deep. It is the tenth deepest in the world and one of the clearest. Lake Tahoe has 75-miles of shoreline, is 22-miles long, 12-miles wide, and the lake surface level averages 6,225 feet. Average water temperatures are 68 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the summer and 41 degrees in the winter. Surrounded on all sides by the majestic Sierra Nevada, one can see on average 70 feet down into its cobalt waters.
- Lake Tahoe is a three and one-half hour drive east of San Francisco (200 miles) and an hour west of Reno, Nevada (55 miles). Tahoe straddles the border of California and Nevada, although two-thirds of it sits within California’s boundaries.
- Lake Tahoe is home to rocky coves, white sand beaches, plunging cliffs, and glacier carved granite peaks. Forests of Jeffrey and Sugar Pine ring much of the 72-mile shoreline.
- Scenes from “The Godfather II” and “Bonanza” were shot at Lake Tahoe, as well as “The Bodyguard” with Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, and “City of Angels” with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage. Action film, Smoking Aces, was filmed at Mont Bleu, then the Caesars Tahoe. Bonanza was the first television series shot in color, which resulted in major sales of RCA televisions.
- On any day of the year, visitors can hop aboard the Mississippi paddlewheelers, the M.S. Dixie II, and cruise into Emerald Bay.
- Among the dozen or so communities of Lake Tahoe, the largest is South Lake Tahoe/Stateline which has myriad hotels, casinos, 24 hour Nevada gaming, nightclubs, celebrity showrooms, headliner entertainment, and a plethora of dining options.
- The Heavenly Village has become the new focus of South Lake Tahoe as the cornerstone of recent redevelopment. Two new granite and timber Marriott lodge-style resorts flank the Village and its centerpiece, The Heavenly Gondola. The Village features upscale shops, eateries, a movie theater and an outdoor, lighted ice-rink.
- Elvis Presley used to perform regularly at the Sahara Tahoe, today called the Hard Rock Lake Tahoe.
- Golf season begins in May at Tahoe. Edgewood Tahoe on the South Shore has been voted one of the top 100 public courses and offers a stunning natural granite and wood clubhouse and restaurant.
- Fall is one of the best-kept secrets in Lake Tahoe. The weather stays warm as the Aspen trees turn brilliant shades of gold. Value rates for lodging, spectacular hiking and wildlife viewing are best in the autumn.
- Tahoe has the largest concentration of alpine ski resorts in North America with 14 as well as a dozen cross-country ski centers around the lake. Snowmobiling, dog-sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and winter cruises on the lake provide endless variety.