Lake Tahoe Facts
Did you know?
- Lake Tahoe is the highest lake of its size in the United States and the largest alpine lake in North America.
- Lake Tahoe is as long as the English Channel is wide with the width of Tahoe being half again as wide as San Francisco Bay.
- With one dispersion of Lake Tahoe's water, the State of California would be completely covered to a depth of 14.5 inches.
- The Panama Canal (700 feet in width and 50 feet in depth) could be filled by Lake Tahoe's water and extend completely around the earth at the equator, with enough remaining in the lake to fill another channel of the same width and depth running from San Francisco to New York.
- An average 1,400,000 tons of water evaporates from the surface of Lake Tahoe every 24 hours, yet this drops the lake level only one-tenth of an inch.
- If the water that evaporates from the lake every 24 hours could be recovered, it would supply the daily requirements of a population of 3,500,000 people.
- Lake Tahoe's water is 99.9% pure. The water is so clear that a 10 inch white dinner plate would be visible at 75 feet below the surface.
- There are 63 tributaries draining into Lake Tahoe with only one outlet at the Truckee River.
- Lake Tahoe never freezes due to the constant mass movement of water from the bottom to the surface. In February 1989, Emerald Bay froze over for the first time since 1952.
Lake Facts & Statistics
Maximum Elevation: 6,229 feet
Length: 22 miles
Width: 12 miles
Maximum Depth: 1,645 feet
Average Depth: 989 feet
Shoreline: 72 miles
Surface Area: 193 sq. mi. or 122,200 acres
Volume: 39 trillion gallons or 122 million acre feet of water
Surface Water Temperatures: Maximum - 68 degrees F, Minimum - 41 degrees F
Temperatures at 200 feet: Maximum - 47 degrees, F Minimum - 41 degrees F
Population: South Lake Tahoe, including the Stateline area, has a permanent, year-round population of 34,000.
Sunshine: The sun shines at Lake Tahoe during 75% of the year, or 274 days.
Snowfall: At lake level, annual snowfall averages 125 inches. At alpine skiing elevations, the snowfall averages 300 to 500 inches each year.
Gaming: There are six 24-hour casinos in the South Lake Tahoe area. Together, they have a total of 7,051 slot machines and 411 game tables.
Skiing: Skiers can hit the slopes on one of the 182 ski trails in the midst of more than 8,800 total ski resort acres. The longest ski run in the area is 5.5 miles long. Lake Tahoe's greatest vertical drop is 3,600 feet. Both runs are at Heavenly.
Fishing: The biggest fish ever caught in Lake Tahoe, a Mackinaw lake trout, weighed 37 pounds and 6 ounces.
Famous Residents: Famous neighbors include and have included Charles Bronson, Cher, Natalie Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minelli, Wayne Newton and the Captain and Tennile.
Movies Filmed at Lake Tahoe
Indian Love Call, starring Jeanette McDonald, was the first movie to be filmed at Lake Tahoe in the 1920's. Subsequent films have included The Godfather, starring Al Pacino and Marlon Brando and The Bodyguard, filmed at Fallen Leaf Lake, starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston.