For a mountain resort destination that was accidently discovered by John C. Freemont on a sunny Valentine's Day in 1844, Lake Tahoe certainly is no secret to visitors today that come from around the world for a winter escape or a summer vacation. In fact, one of its anchor tourist stops at Emerald Bay has been noted by Kodak as "one of the most photographed sites in the world." And that's just the beginning.
It's first "visitors" per se were actually the Washo Indians who lived off the Lake's endless resources for food, water and shelter, primarily in the summer months. They were, and still are, a peaceful nation with a deep seeded spiritual appreciation of a paradise that is hard to match. Today, their historical impact lives on through the Lake's namesake - originally named "Da-ow-a-ga" or "edge of the lake." Over time, early settlers transformed that name to "Tahoe."
Although the beauty of the region was enough to draw residents and visitors to Lake Tahoe for a summer vacation long ago, it was the discovery of silver in the Sierra Nevada that brought the first riches and popularity to the Tahoe Basin. It is because of this great boom in the 1860's that the Lake Tahoe and surrounding Virginia City area became a mecca of commerce that included logging, fish hatcheries ... and tourism.
Today, Lake Tahoe is an international icon for anyone who appreciates the beauty of Mother Nature and all that she brings to this year-round destination. And although Lake Tahoe's obvious gaming, ski and golf vacation resorts and endless attractions are a main draw to the region, it is the area's historic and natural charm that the region's first explorers wrote about that truly keeps visitors returning year after year.
Whether you're coming to Lake Tahoe for a fall, winter, spring, or summer vacation, you will find that this High Sierra haven offers more to see and do than you'll be able to accomplish in just one trip. For the most up to date information on "what not to miss", take time to explore www.tahoe.com, then come explore the land that Mark Twain once described as "the fairest picture the whole earth affords".
Lake Tahoe Fast Facts
|Maximum Depth (second deepest in the U.S.)||1,645 feet|
|Average Depth||1,000 feet|
|Maximum Diameter (north to south)||22 miles|
|Maximum Diameter (east to west)||12 miles|
| Surface Area
|| 191 square miles
|Average Surface Elevation (above sea level)||6,225 feet|
|Highest Peak (Freel Peak)||10,891 feet|