Experience the Wonders of Lake Tahoe

With all its beauty, history and even a mystery, Lake Tahoe is the second-deepest lake in the United States, with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet.  It trails Oregon’s Crater Lake, at 1,949 feet.  If you dropped the Empire State Building in Lake Tahoe, it would disappear.


The lake is said to be the result of volcanic activity two to three million years ago, which caused the faults that created the “valley” where Lake Tahoe lies.  The water is so pure – 99.994 percent – you can drink it right out of the lake.  The average water temperature is 64.9 degrees.  Even in summer, visitors often use wet suits when participating in water sports.


One legend of Lake Tahoe is there is a hole somewhere on the bottom linked to an underground river system that feeds into Pyramid Lake, north of Reno, on the Washoe Indian Reservation.  Even famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau is said to have had a brush with something horrific in a deep water dive he made in the lake in the mid-1970s.  He said, “The world isn’t ready for what was down there!”


Cousteau never released any photographs or data from the dive, adding to the mystery and legend.  Some believe Cousteau was talking about a Loch Ness monster-like creature the locals call “Tahoe Tessie.”


Now that we have shared some of the mysteries of Tahoe, let’s look at the absolute beauty of this magnificent lake.


Think of Lake Tahoe as an oval clock:

If it is 5 o’clock, the east side would be Nevada and the west side California.  The area around the lake is called the Tahoe Rim Trail and is 170 miles long. You can drive around the lake; there are many spots to pull off to take photos and enjoy the splendid views.  The lake is 21 miles long and 12 miles wide. 


The highest point is Freel Peak, at 10,881 feet; the deepest point is in Crystal Bay, NV, on the north shore. This past year saw more than 300 inches of snow; the snow melt added several billion gallons of water to the lake.  This was great news!  There are 11 major ski resorts around the lake and 10 beautiful beaches for summer tourists.


The North Shore offers lots of sporting activities.  Alpine Meadows, one of the major ski resorts, has many summer events, including an aerial tram ride to High Camp, zip lines and slack lines, geocaching (at High Camp only) and some of the best hiking anyone could want.  Disc golf and lawn games, as well as bike rentals, are available, with several scenic bike paths. Speaking of bike rentals, you can rent almost any type of vehicle – including kayaks, ATVS, and paddleboards – at many locations on the North and South shores.


Summer concerts are offered in many places.  The Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor, NV, has become very popular.  Tahoe locals and visitors alike gather at Commons Beach in Tahoe City, CA, every Sunday afternoon for its concert series.  As I mentioned, hiking is a favorite activity in the Tahoe Basin area.  There are many challenging hikes; some can be accessed by using the chair lift at Heavenly Mountain Resort.


Emerald Bay, CA, is a natural gem at the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe.  It is a popular tourist destination for outdoor activities and sightseeing.  Emerald Bay is a designated national natural landmark.  Visitors can enjoy views of gorgeous mountain tops and glacier-carved granite.  Scenic lakeside hiking and walking trails wind through the forest of the bay.


Then you can see Vikingsholm, built in 1929, known as Tahoe’s hidden castle.  The mansion is a fine example of Scandinavian architecture. Visiting the castle requires quite a hike down to the water’s edge, but the hike up the “hill” is the real killer.  In the middle of Emerald Bay is Fannette Island, the only island on Lake Tahoe.  In 1953, this area became a California state park and is one of the most photographed spots in the country. 


I hope this overview of Lake Tahoe will encourage those of you who are not registered for “Reno 2020” to register and make this National a family vacation. 


Only minutes from the Reno Airport, the Nugget Casino Resort Hotel offers free shuttle service and free parking. The convention rate is excellent for this time of the year!  The hosts and their families invite you to enjoy our beautiful area by staying a few days before or after our 2020 National Police Collectors Show. 


Margaret Daniels, wife of show co-host Dennis Daniels, has called Nevada home for the last 46+ years. She was the National Chair for the 1500+ Postmasters attending the National Convention held at the Nugget in August 2018.

Photo credit: R. Bertalotto - Taken near Incline Village October 2019