North Lake Tahoe Homes for Sale

Tahoe Information


Lake Tahoe is located between the great states of California and Nevada in the United States of America and includes the cities and towns of Tahoe City, Incline Village, Truckee, Kings Beach, Squaw (Olympic) Valley, Alpine Meadows, South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Vista, Carnelian Bay, Crystal Bay, Brockway, Homewood, Tahoma, Meeks Bay, Meyers, Stateline, Northstar, and Zephyr Cove.

wittsnow.jpgLake Tahoe has a surface elevation of 6,229 ft, is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide and has a shoreline 71 miles in length. With a surface area of 193 sq. mi. and an average depth of 989 feet, the total capacity of Lake Tahoe is 122,160,280 acre-ft of water! Surface lake temperatures range from 68° F in the summer, to 41° F during the winter. The only outlet is the Truckee River at Tahoe City.

Locals generally divide the Basin into North Shore and South Shore, with West Shore and East Shore completing the geographic distinctions.

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As a real estate professional, Russ has made it his duty to know everything he can about Lake Tahoe. Indeed, he's widely considered an expert on the subject. Those who have worked with Russ appreciate knowing the purchase of their new home is in the hands of such a capable and trustworthy professional while they're wrapping up all the last-minute details of packing and moving out of their previous home. Russ believes in making the real estate and relocation process as easy as possible for everyone involved. To him that means providing information to anyone who wants to find out more about the area he loves so much and knows so well.

More Tahoe Facts
How was Lake Tahoe formed?
About 2-3 million years ago, the valley that would become the Tahoe Basin sank between two parallel fractures in the Earth’s crust as the mountains on either side continued to rise. A shallow lake began to form in the resulting valley. About 2 million years ago, erupting volcanoes blocked the outlet, forcing the lake to rise hundreds of feet above its current elevation. Between one million and 20,000 years ago, large masses of glacial ice covered the Basin and dammed the outlet causing the lake level to rise and fall many times.

How high is the Tahoe Basin?
The surface of the Lake is at an elevation of 6,225 ft. The surrounding mountain peaks vary from 9,000 to nearly 11,000 ft. Only 15 other large lakes in the world are higher.

How pure is the Lake and why?
The water is 99.994% pure, making it one of the purest large lakes in the world. The Lake owes it extraordinary purity to the relatively small watershed, the large amount of precipitation falling directly on the lake’s surface, the dilution effect of the massive volume of water it contains and purification of runoff by adjacent wetlands.

Why is the Lake so blue?
The lake water appears blue in color as red light is absorbed and blue light is scattered back. The Lake surface also reflects the colors of the sky.

How clear is the water?
Clarity is determined by measuring the water depth at which a one foot diameter white disk disappears from view. In 2002, clarity averaged 78 ft. but is much less than the maximum 105 ft. of clarity measured in 1968.

How large and deep is the Lake?
The Lake’s surface is 22 mi. long by 12 mi wide and 191 sq. mi. (122,000 acres) in area. The shoreline length is 72 mi. The average depth is 1,000 ft. A maximum depth of 1,645 ft. makes Tahoe the 2nd deepest lake in the USA and 12th deepest in the world.

How much water is in the Lake?
The Lake holds 37 trillion gallons of water, enough to cover the state of California to a depth of 14 inches. Tahoe is the largest lake above 600 ft. elevation in the USA .

How cold is the Lake?
Below an average depth of 600 ft, water temperature is a constant 39°. During July and August, surface temperature can reach 68°F. Along the shoreline, shallow enclosed areas can warm even further. In the coldest months, the lake surface temperature drops as low as 40°F, but usually hovers near 41°F.

Does the Lake ever freeze?
The main body of Lake Tahoe does not freeze. Lake Tahoe is too massive and too deep to freeze in comparison to the ambient climatic conditions.

Does pollution endanger Lake Tahoe?
Tahoe is losing clarity at a rate of nearly one foot per year. Phosphorus is the most important pollutant threatening Lake Tahoe. About 29% of the phosphorus pollution flowing into the Lake comes from erosion on disturbed land such as roadway cuts. Another 44% comes from surface runoff from impervious surfaces, such as parking lots and rooftops, and from subsurface water seepage. The remaining 27% comes as air deposition from wood smoke and fugitive dust within the Basin and airborne particles blown in from nearby urban and agricultural areas. All wastewater is treated and exported from the Basin.

More Tahoe Facts Courtesy of David C. Antonucci
Civil and Environmental Engineer

Cultural History
The Washoe Tribe of Native Americans began inhabiting the Tahoe region as far back as 10,000 years ago. The name Tahoe comes from an English mispronunciation of the Washoe word Da ow a ga which means “edge of the lake”. Capt. John Fremont was the first Euro-American to view the Lake in 1844. Later that year, westward heading pioneers were the first to visit the Lake. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought many gold seekers through Tahoe and it became an established route. In the latter half of the 19th century, Tahoe forests were clear-cut to supply the Comstock Lode in Virginia City NV. After the plundering of forests, entrepreneurs bought the recovering land cheaply and established exclusive hotels and ornate mansions. Tourism at this time was limited to the brief summer season. Following this period of exclusivity, the popularity of the automobile and improved roads opened Tahoe to the general populace beginning in 1925. Campgrounds and inexpensive hotels became popular during the post-war boom of the 1940’s and 50’s. The 1960 Winter Olympics catapulted Tahoe into international fame and firmly established Tahoe as a world class, all season resort. The ensuing 40-year building boom threatened the clarity of the Lake. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency was established in 1970 to protect the Lake.

Where does the water come from?
Snowmelt from 63 tributaries in the 315 sq. mi. watershed adds 65% of the water. Another 35% falls as precipitation directly on the Lake. Typically, 212 billion gallons of water enter the Lake this way each year.

Where does all the water go?
About one-third of the water is released into the Truckee River through the dam at Tahoe City for downstream use with any remaining water flowing to the river terminus at Pyramid Lake. The remaining two-thirds of the water is lost to evaporation from the lake surface. In a typical year, Lake Tahoe will rise only 15 in. from runoff and precipitation.

What is the weather like?
Average high temperature is moderate, ranging from the high 20’s in winter to high 60’s in summer. At least seven months per year, daily maximum temperatures reach the outdoor comfort zone. The sky is sunny or partly sunny 84% of the time, leaving only 50 days per year of cloudy weather. Between Thanksgiving and Easter, 80% of the yearly precipitation occurs, mostly as snowfall. Typically at lake level, 14 ft. of snow falls over winter and accumulates to a maximum snowpack depth of 2.8 ft.

How is the Lake being restored?
Unhealthy forests are being thinned by logging and prescribed fires. Damaged watersheds that contribute soil erosion are undergoing revegetation and mechanical stabilization. Impacted wetlands are being restored to natural condition. Containment and treatment structures remove pollution in surface runoff from roads and parking lots. Inefficient wood burning stoves are being eliminated while alternative forms of low polluting transportation are increasing. Programs are now underway to acquire sensitive lands, reclaim open space, restore critical habitat and protect threatened species. These and other measures are contained in a comprehensive $908 million restoration plan.

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