Lake Tahoe located along the border between California and Nevada, US , is the largest alpine lake in North America . It is also the USA’s second-deepest lake with 1,645 feet (501 m) after Crater Lake in Oregon which is 1,945 feet (594 m) deep. Lake Tahoe 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).
The Lake Tahoe Watershed of 505 sq mi (1,310 km2) includes the land area that drains to the lake and the Lake Tahoe drainage divide traverses the same general area as the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Lake Tahoe is completely surrounded by mountains, from the Sierra Nevada in the west to the Carson mountains in the east. Thousands of mountain streams empty into the lake. The best known is Eagle Creek, which plunges over the waterfall of the same name into Emerald Bay, 1500ft/460m below in the southwest of the lake.
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. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful of mountain lakes and thanks to its immediate surroundings is one of the favorite winter sports regions. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe. The climate at Lake Tahoe is moderately warm in summer but extremely cold in the winter months.
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both California and Nevada. A dozen public beaches as well as sailing and motor boats provide the visitor with many opportunities for recreation. It is also home to a number of ski resorts .
Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area’s economy and reputation. 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.
Things to do
- Trips round the lake can be made round the lake on the “Tahoe Queen” from South Lake Tahoe and the “Dixie” from Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Cable-car trips from Heavenly Valley also start at South Lake Tahoe taking visitors to the “Top of the Tram” where from a height of 8,300ft/2,540m they can enjoy a panoramic view of the lake
- Hiking and mountain biking trails 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. Granite Chief Wilderness and popular Desolation Wilderness provides great hiking and wilderness camping. One of the most popular trailheads is the Eagle Lake Trailhead. There are also several paved off-road bicycle paths.
- Water sport and beach activities are popular during spring and summer.Boating is a primary activity in Tahoe in the summer. There are all sorts of boating events, such as sailboat racing, firework shows over the lake, guided cruises, and more.Scuba diving is also very popular at Lake Tahoe.