Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States with a depth of 1,645 ft (501 m). It calls two states home. Two thirds of the lake is in California, the remaining third in Nevada.
Much of the world discovered Lake Tahoe and the neighborhoods that surround it when it hosted the 1960 winter Olympics. (That’s the same year hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike watched the United States Olympic hockey team defeat the Russians to win the Gold medal.) Snow and any activities you can do on it or with it is popular in Lake Tahoe. At the lake level, annual snowfall averages 125 inches, but at alpine skiing elevations, the snowfall averages 600 inches. Winter turns the area into a much loved snow covered playground with numerous ski resorts that cater to visitors’ every need.
Spring, summer and fall is when the lake itself, really gets to shine. With 72 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of places to launch kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. Ski runs thaw and become great hiking and biking trails. A combination of sandy and rocky beaches attracts sun seekers and swimmers. But don’t forget, all that winter snow helps make the lake the scenic and chilly spot it is. At the surface, Lake Tahoe’s water temperature varies from 41 to 68 degrees F. So be in the right frame of mind before you take the plunge.
Whereas both states’ portion of Lake Tahoe enjoy mountain scenery, the Nevada, South Lake stretch includes casinos and has a reputation for being a bit more touristy than traditionally quiet North Lake Tahoe.
The closest airport is in Reno, but some visitors find better flight availability at San Francisco International Airport or Sacramento International Airport. During the winter, be sure to check weather and road conditions. If you’re car isn’t properly equipped, you’ll be stopped in your snowy tracks.