12 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Tahoe

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Tahoe

Are you looking for a gorgeous location for your next trip? Lake Tahoe will likely fulfill your needs.

Resting in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is one of the most impressive freshwater lakes in the United States. The area’s beautiful scenery, beaches, and ski resorts are what attract millions of tourists all year long.

From a mob dumping ground to celebrities making it their home, there are many interesting things to discover about the place. But before you book a trip, here are some of the Lake Tahoe facts you might want to know.

1. It’s Massive and Spans Two States

How big is Lake Tahoe?

So, how big is Lake Tahoe?

You can access Lake Tahoe from both California and Nevada. One-third of the lake resides in Nevada and the other two-thirds within the borders of California. 

And unlike other similar lakes in the US, this 191 sqm body of water is busier than you know. Because aside from the many tourists who cruise on the lake, you’ll also see the presence of the US Coast Guard. They’re tasked to maintain a presence on the water thanks to the unique positioning of the lake.

2. The Tenth Deepest Lake in the World

Lake Tahoe Deepest Lake in the World

Lake Tahoe has a lot of water – and we mean lots. It’s the tenth deepest lake on the planet and the third deepest in North America after all.

Although Lake Tahoe’s depth measurements put the deepest point at 1,645 feet, the average depth is no more than 989 feet. But the volume of water is very impressive.

Draining the lake would yield enough water to drown the state of California in more than a few inches of water.

3. A Popular Retreat for Celebrities

Lake Tahoe is popular retreat for Celebrities

The majestic scenery surrounding the lake has long been a huge draw for celebrities. Over the years, the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. Dean Martin, Cher, and David Coverdale all had residences in the area. A few politicians, like the Kennedy family, are also known to own properties near the lake. 

The lake’s proximity to Hollywood also makes it a popular movie backdrop. You can see it in several scenes in movies such as The Godfather and Bodyguard, among many others.

4. Old and Pure

Old and Pure in Lake Tahoe

When it comes to Lake Tahoe facts, the reality is that no one knows its exact age. But experts can agree that it’s ancient and is one of the top 20 of the oldest lakes on Earth.

Most measurements and estimates put its age at well over two million years. Remarkably, the water is also very pure, specifically at 99.994% purity. You can’t find that kind of water quality in many other large bodies of water around the world.

5. Legends of the Lake

Legends of the Lake Tahoe

Did you think that Scotland had the only lake monster? You may not be aware of this but the largest alpine lake in North America has its own folklore.

Tahoe Tessie is what’s known as a distant relative to the more widely known Loch Ness Monster.

Although there aren’t that many reports of sightings, the folktale does draw quite a number of visitors each year.

6. Big Shoreline with Cold Waters

Big Shoreline with Cold Waters

Lake Tahoe has 72 miles of shoreline, most of which is clear enough so that people can spend time there and relax.

But the water doesn’t warm up a lot. At the coldest, it can drop to about 40 degrees in February. This may not be good for dips, yet it’s enough that it keeps the fishing season going 365 days per year.

What’s also surprising to many is the fact that the lake never freezes. And this is thanks to the amount of water and heat stored.

During the summer, particularly in August, the water may warm up to 70 degrees. That may be warm enough for swimming, even if it’s far from the most comfortable water temperature.

7. Amazing Display of Colors

Amazing Display of Colors

Depending on where you look, the water of Lake Tahoe has different colors. Shallow areas of the lake are often emerald in color. In the center, you may notice an indigo nuance. 

The water’s superb clarity creates a true spectacle of green, blue, and other colors of the spectrum. That happens due to the manner in which the deeper depths absorb lights in the spectrum.

And under perfect conditions, you can even see a great reflection of the mountains.

8. Rich Native American History

Rich Native American History

Native American history dates the earliest inhabitants to as early as 10,000 years ago. The last known tribe to call Lake Tahoe home was the Washoe, prior to the 20th century.

Interestingly enough, the name Lake Tahoe came from a mispronunciation of the original Native American name da ow a ga. Translated, Tahoe means the edge of the lake.

9. Amazing Weather Year Round

Lake Tahoe have Amazing Weather Year Round

It’s not enough that Lake Tahoe gets at least 270 sunny days in almost any given year. What’s also impressive is that the sun shines on an average of 75% of those days. 

This is one vacation spot where you don’t really have to worry about any rain.

10. Wildly Popular

Lake Tahoe is Wildly Popular

Just how many people visit Lake Tahoe every year? The answer is an impressive three million, give or take – incredible figures for a place with a population of roughly 53,000 people. 

By comparison, Yellowstone National park averages around 2.7 million visitors. Meanwhile, the Grand Canyon gets over 3.2 million per year. 

Given the impressive scenery of those other two locations, Lake Tahoe is in great company as an outdoorsman hotspot.

11. A Lot of Water Coming In, Not So Much Flowing Out

Truckee River in Lake Tahoe

You probably don’t know this, but Lake Tahoe has a single outlet. It’s the one at the Truckee River, right in Tahoe City.

But 63 tributaries help supply and sustain Lake Tahoe’s main body of water. Most of the water goes out by way of evaporation.

12. There’s Never a Dull Moment

Casino in Lake Tahoe

The area surrounding Lake Tahoe has tons of trails, hikes, and ski slopes. Yet there’s even more you can do if you want to have a good time.

There are at least six casinos in the region that keep their doors open 24/7. And since fishing is such a big thing all year round, you can also try your luck at catching some record-breaking Mackinaw trout.

Lake Tahoe – A Vacation Destination Like No Other

There’s something for every visitor there. On peak days, the population of Lake Tahoe can shoot up to 300,000. It draws tourists constantly with its majestic mountain backdrops, lush forests, and superb water quality and clarity.

The dozens of attractions and outdoor activities in the area keep people entertained and coming back for more.

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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Lake Tahoe