north lake tahoe fact sheet

That’s right, scenes from The Godather II and Bonanza were filmed in North Lake Tahoe. One of the nation’s most popular festivals, Wanderlust, has its roots in Squaw Valley. Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long and 1,685 deep at its deepest, making it the largest Alpine lake in the nation. From fun facts to the climate, North Lake Tahoe stands out for many reasons.



  • Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and is home to rocky coves, white sand beaches, plunging cliffs, and glacier carved granite peaks. Forests of Jeffrey and Sugar Pine ring much of the 72-mile shoreline.
  • Scenes from “The Godfather II” and “Bonanza” were shot at Lake Tahoe, as well as “The Bodyguard” with Kevin Costnerand Whitney Houston, and “City of Angels” with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage. Bonanza was the first television series shot in color, which resulted in major sales of RCA televisions.
  • In the summer, visitors can hop aboard the Tahoe Gal, a Mississippi paddlewheeler docked in Tahoe City, and cruise into Emerald Bay.
  • North Lake Tahoe is home to 12 resorts and towns – all with their own personality – including the Old Tahoe neighborhood of the West Shore, the vibrant downtown community of Tahoe City, historic Kings Beach (won in a poker game back in Tahoe’s heyday), as well as Incline Village, home to some of the area’s most awe-inspiring lakefront mansions.
  • North Lake Tahoe also boasts the region’s first-ever, five-star property, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, which opened mid-mountain at Northstar California in December 2009. Guests staying at the ski-in, ski-out property can take a gondola down to the Village at Northstar to experience a wide variety of shops, dining venues and outdoor games geared for kids.
  • Squaw Valley (home to the 1960 Winter Olympics) also boasts a vibrant village. The Village at Squaw Valley has high performance apparel shops, along with boutiques featuring the best name brands and a wide variety of dining venues.
  • Lake Tahoe has long been a favorite of celebrities. In Crystal Bay, the Cal Neva Resort, Spa & Casino was once owned by Frank Sinatra and frequented by the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe. Their underground tunnel tour is very popular, and was the primary way Frank Sinatra accessed the showroom from his private bungalow.
  • Golf season begins in May at Tahoe, and courses are as abundant as water holes and sand traps. In fact, there are more than 50 courses in Lake Tahoe and within a 60-minute drive of the region, offering phenomenal opportunities for visitors to take a swing, including the exquisite Incline Village Championship Course.
  • Other summer activities include stand up paddle boarding, hiking, road cycling, mountain biking, sailing, water skiing and boating.
  • Tahoe has the largest concentration of alpine ski resorts in North America with more than 20 downhill and cross-country ski centers around the lake. Snowmobiling, dogsledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and winter cruises on the lake also provide endless variety.



The average surface of Lake Tahoe is 6,222 feet above sea level. The highest point in the Tahoe Basin is Freel Peak on the North Shore at 10,881 feet.

Lake Tahoe covers the Nevada/California border. It is 198 miles northeast of San Francisco, 100 miles northeast of Sacramento, and 58 miles southwest of Reno.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake on the North American continent. It is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, with a surface area of 122,200 acres or 193 sq. miles.

The average depth of Lake Tahoe is 989 feet. The deepest point is 1,685 feet. It is the third deepest lake in North America. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation controls the top 6.1 feet of the lake as a reservoir.

During the summer months, the upper 12 feet of the lake can warm to 68 degrees F. Below depths of 600 feet and in winter months, the temperature remains a constant 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The lake does not freeze over in winter.

Lake Tahoe contains an estimated 39.75 trillion gallons of water. That’s enough water to cover the entire state of California to a depth of 14.5 inches. The water that evaporates daily is 1.4 million tons, enough to supply the needs of 3.5 million people on a daily basis.

The water in Lake Tahoe is 99.7 percent pure, about the same as distilled water. It’s so clear that a white dinner plate can be seen at approximately 70 feet below the surface.

The sun shines at Lake Tahoe during 75 percent of the year, or 274 days.  Weather in the Sierra can be unpredictable and snowfall has been recorded in every month of the year.


Lake Tahoe’s Description:

Tahoe’s timeless beauty has captivated the imagination of visitors for eons from Native Americans to Mark Twain to modern day travelers.

Lake Tahoe has been recognized by national media outlets including Good Morning America, Travelocity, Orbitz, USA Today, The New York Times, The Weather Channel, ESPN The Magazine, among others for its scenic splendor and reputation as a leader in outdoor recreation, entertainment and dining.Lake Tahoe combines the distinctive appeal of two worlds: spectacular natural beauty and a modern tourism destination. That ageless splendor and an emerging economic diversity toward health and wellness, green business practices and sustainability continue to define its inimitable personality.

About the North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus

North Lake Tahoe is an ideal getaway destination for those wanting to recreate, as well as visitors desiring to relax in a spectacular alpine setting. The North Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureaus, the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau and the North Lake Tahoe Chamber/CVB/Resort Association, work together to promote North Lake Tahoe as a premier, year-round destination. For lodging reservations, recreation and event details, call North Lake Tahoe at 1-877-949-3296 or visit Visitor information centers are located at 380 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village.


North Lake Tahoe:

North Lake Tahoe Public Relations:

Jessica Pauletto
(office) 775-323-2977

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