Lake Tahoe History

Lake Tahoe is 180 miles northeast of San Francisco, with access by major highways and airports on both north and south shores. Reno is within 50 minutes. Virginia City, the famed Ponderosa Ranch, the Carson Valley and many historic sites are within an hour’s drive.

Lake Tahoe is North America’s largest alpine lake, measuring 12 miles wide, 22 miles long and 72 miles around. It is the third deepest lake in the world with an average depth of 989 feet. The lake’s capacity is 122,000,000 acre-feet that is enough to cover the state of California with more than one foot of water. The Lake is two thirds in California and one third in Nevada. Because of several decades of stringent growth and development ordinances, the lake remains 99.7 percent pure. The average surface temperature of the water varies from 41 degrees in winter to 68 degrees in summer. The lake never freezes.

Lake Tahoe’s weather forecasts 80 percent chance of sunshine in any season, low humidity, 40-50 degree average winter temperatures and 70-75 degree average temperatures in the summer. Average annual snowfall is 350 inches.

Long before white settlers arrived in the Lake Tahoe Basin, and for nearly 10,000 years, the lake was home to the Washoe Indian. They considered Lake Tahoe sacred – the water of life that fed all living things. The discovery of gold and silver in the Sierra, the arrival of the white man and the growth of towns and settlements in the late 1800’s ended the era of the Washoe. Lake Tahoe became the favorite summer vacation spot for wealthy San Franciscans in the1900’s, beginning the reign of tourism as the foundation of the lake’s economy.

Today, mild temperatures and the crystal clear lake encourage outdoor enthusiasts to sample Tahoe’s many recreational activities: golfing, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, camping, sailing, biking and horseback riding.

And in the winter, Lake Tahoe proves its reputation as one the world’s finest year-around playgrounds with America’s highest concentration of ski resorts, including Squaw Valley/USA, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar are but a few of the many major ski areas to choose from.

Complete services are available around the entire lake with a full range of fine restaurants, casino-hotels and top-name entertainment, convenient shopping, excellent public schools, colleges and an active arts community.

Nevada offers a very favorable tax structure. For example, there is: no personal income tax, no corporate income tax, no inheritance, estate, or gift tax, no franchise tax, no unitary tax, no special intangible tax, no chain store tax, no admissions tax, and no inventory tax. For all of these reasons, Nevada is considered by many as one of the best overall states for tax sheltering and for doing business.