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About Lake Tahoe - FAQ

Some not-so Frequently asked questions

Q. How deep is Lake Tahoe?

A. 1645 feet or or 501 meters or 274 fathoms. It might not be this way if we weren't so lucky. There have been a number of attempts to drain Lake Tahoe for power.

Q. How was the Lake formed?

A. A combination of major upheavals and the steady grind of ice and rock. The Crystal and Carson ranges (among others) were formed by block upthrust movements. The north side of Lake Tahoe was then blocked by the volcanic activity of Mt. Pluto. Additionally, glaciation played a key role by providing some of the most dramatic shoreline features, like Emerald Bay. Looking at the Carson Valley to the east will give you an idea of what our Lake in the Sky would be like without the glaciation or the volcanic blockage.

Q. What kind of wildlife exists in the Tahoe Basin?

A. Black bears, mountain lions (rare), coyotes, California wolverine, bobcat, American marten, Sierra Nevada red fox, American bald eagle, American peregrine falcon, Mule deer, Northern goshawk, Osprey, Raccoon, Beaver, Chipmunk, Gold-mantled ground squirrel, Red-Tailed Hawk, Mountain Chickadee, Pre-Historic Sea Monsters, and many more.

Q. Does the lake freeze in the winter?

A. Moreso than in the summer. Actually, just the small inlets like Meeks Bay Marina and the Tahoe Keys freeze on regular basis. On rare occasions, Emerald Bay will freeze over.

Q. What happened to Jimmy Hoffa.

A. I don't know, but if he was thrown into Lake Tahoe, he didn't float to the surface because the water remains too cold at the depths to allow the formation of the gases required for floatation. These same conditions also inhibit the algae growth which would decrease Lake Tahoe's famed clarity.

Q. What's a Tahoe

A. The word Tahoe is thought to have derived from the Washo word Da' ow, which means 'water in a high place'. It is not the only name for our lake in the sky, however. Lake Tahoe was originally penned Mountain Lake, as Captain John Fremont neglected to name it upon first seeing it. After crossing the Sierra it was renamed Lake Bonpland. It first appeared on maps as Lake Bigler, after California's third governor. This was never fully adopted and the name Tahoe was somewhat officially adopted in 1862.
More information on the naming of Lake Tahoe
More information about John Fremont

Where do they put the moguls in the summer?

A. Okay, I really don't have an answer for this other than the fact that people ask this question is proof that some people just shouldn't procreate.


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Last Updated November 20, 2005