Lake Tahoe Facts

Lake Tahoe is the world’s second-largest alpine lake, and the second-largest lake in North America.
I have listed some facts and figures about our beautiful lake below for your enjoyment:

1. Lake Tahoe is 21.6 miles long and 12.2 miles wide.

2. Lake Tahoe’s average depth is 989 feet; its deepest known point is a remarkable 1,645 feet.

3. Lake Tahoe is 99.1% pure, and from the surface one is able to see objects at a depth of 100 feet.

4. Surface temperature of the lake is 50 degrees Farenheit in the winter and 68 degrees in summer

5. 750 feet below the surface, the water temperature is a chilly 39.2 degrees Farenheit to 41.5 degrees Farenheit.

6.There is enough water in Lake Tahoe to cover the state of California with 14.5 inches of water!

7. 1,400,000 TONS of water evaporate from the lake every day! But this only lowers the lake level 1/10th of an inch.

8. Lake Tahoe’s elevation is 6,228 feet above sea level.

9. It is 72 miles around Lake Tahoe and is approximately a two-hour drive.

10. Lake Tahoe is not a crater lake. It was formed by movement of the Earth’s crust, and is believed to have been a small lake or river originally. Volcanic activity did play a part in its formation by sealing both ends of the valley. There are 63 streams that flow into Lake Tahoe, and only one, the Truckee River, that flows out eastward into Pyramid Lake.

11. The Upper Truckee River is the main source that feeds the lake.

12. Types of fish common to Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River are Silver, Brown and Cutthroat Trout, and Kokanee Salmon and Mackinaw.

13. The two highest peaks around Lake Tahoe are Mt. Tallac at 9,735 feet and Freel Peak at 10,881 feet. Mt. Tallac is famous for its “Snow Cross” marking.

14. Two-thirds of the lake lies within California, and 29 percent in El Dorado County.

15. Lake Tahoe receives an average annual snowfall of 215 inches, and upper elevations may receive 300 to 500 inches.

16. Lake Tahoe has its share of below-frezing days and nights, but the lake itself has never frozen over. On occasion, Emerald Bay has been covered with a layer of ice, and ice forms in cold protected inlets. However, Lake Tahoe’s great depth and huge volume of water always in motion keep it from becoming the world’s largest ice rink.

17. Average days of sunshine are 307, and this is great for enjoying the six campgrounds, eleven parks and beaches around the lake.

18. There are two people known to have swam across the lake. The first woman was Earline Christopherson in 1962. She swam this in 13 hours 37 minutes, and she was only 16 at the time! Fred Rogers from South San Francisco accomplished this feat in 1955.

19. A trip west on Highway 89 will bring you to “Vikingsholm” in Emerald Bay. Heiress Mrs. Lora Josephine Morre Knight built this beautiful home in 1928, and furnished it with pieces from Norway, Finland, and Sweden. Of special interest is the single-room “Tea House” built on the island in the middle of Emerald Bay, where Mrs. Knight would take her guests by boat for an afternoon “Tea!”

20. Lake Tahoe has had many names: Bonpland, Mountain Lake, Fremont’s Lake, Lake Bigler, and Big Truckee Lake, until it was officially named Lake Tahoe in 1945. This means “Big Water” in Washoe Indian language.