Somebody estimated the sheer volume of water could cover the an area as large as the entire state of California more than 12 inches deep.


Nevada owns the water, the shoreline and the gambling on the right, eastern side — roughly a third of Lake Tahoe itself.


An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

In the Sierra Nevada mountains Lake Tahoe closely resembles Summit County’s proximity to pristine beauty and ski resorts. 

  • Is now the time to invest your equity in a home or rental bordering both California and Nevada?
  • What do you need to know before taking the plunge into the Lake Tahoe market?

Recall both lifestyle bucket lists — of seven zip codes — on the California itinerary for former Whitefish, Montana “birds of a feather” (BOF) flocking to new nests. 

Four of them you’ll remember border Lake Tahoe.

California Itinerary: Sierra Nevada –

  • Truckee, 96161, 96162;
  • Squaw Valley, 96146; and
  • Tahoe City, 96145

But, first the stats.

Lake Tahoe itself.

  • Elevation – 6,229 feet above sea level
  • Length 22 miles 
  • Width – varies from 10 to 12 miles 
  • Depth – 1,685 feet at its deepest
  • On the list of deepest lakes in North America, Lake Tahoe ranks #3.  
Heading for the Beach

Somebody estimated the sheer volume of water could cover the an area as large as the entire state of California more than 12 inches deep.  

The Washoe Tribe of Native Americans named it “Big Water.” 

A tug of war between the Great and Evil Spirit threw off falling leaves and created Lake Tahoe and a few others nearby including our favorite, Fallen Leaf Lake.

Proud locals, realtors and visitor bureau-types claimed Lake Tahoe is (or was) 97% pure, at least as of the 2003 timeframe when we first checked it out.

Adventures in the Eastern Sierras

The Lake attracted tourists dating as far back as the 1860s, when Mark Twain wrote a few admiring words now etched on a North Tahoe Beach boulder

 “… the fairest picture the whole Earth affords” 

Historically it’s unclear if his inscription occurred before or after he accidentally set a big chunk of the north shore on fire. 

At least, that’s what he confesses to in “Roughing It.”

If you understand the local traffic patterns – when to start and when to finish –  you can drive around the lake in about three hours. 

Or you can hike all or portions of the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail.  

You’d need 15 days to circle the lake, especially if you stopped to enjoy the fairest picture.

Imagine an old-fashioned tick tock clock hanging on your parents or grandparents wall.  

You know the kind with a short hand (why did they call them hands?) for hours and a longer second-hand (not for seconds) but, for minutes.

Now imagine that those poor pioneer families who survived the infamous Donner Party cannibalism led their wagon train into the promised land, to what is now Lake Tahoe.  

And imagine further that their precious clock endured the grueling trek with them from Independence, Missouri.  

But, the harrowing ordeal stretched it lengthwise (ok, like in a classic “Mickey Mouse” cartoon) and ended with an uneven elongated face.

And, if the Washoes manufactured it you might say the clock resembled a leaf, right?

Straighter edged on the right side (eastern) and a half circle on the opposite western side.

Got it?


Here’s the artistic part.

Now, if you took a marker (not a permanent marker) and you slowly start to draw a straight line on the clock face you could connect where the elongated “12” should be found straight down towards where the “6” could be found.

Kids. (Or grandkids).

Don’t try this at home.

But, if you stopped drawing the line to a point almost even with “4” and continued to draw it to the right at a slight downward angle you would complete the line at the clock’s edge between the “4” and “5”.

Taking the Scenic Route

Guess what?

You would have drawn the Nevada – California border on a map of the lake. 

It’s that western border you notice on maps of Nevada.  

Where Nevada is wider and boxier at the top, but slices back eastward near the bottom.

Or on the eastern edge of California. 

Where it curves and slides in a laid-back fashion frolicking in the Pacific Ocean and spooning and cuddling Nevada’s vertical, then angled edge.

Except for the part of their bed that is rocky, full of spikier mountain peaks and ancient volcanic cliffs.

The imagined line in reality separates ownership of Lake Tahoe.  

Nevada owns the water, the shoreline and the gambling on the right, eastern side — roughly a third of Lake Tahoe itself.

The north shore boundary between California to the left (ha ha) and Nevada to the right  (ha ha) neatly bisects the top of the clock between the “1” and the “2” in “12.”   

On the Nevada side you find Crystal Bay at the split and Incline Village as you move clockwise on Route 28.

Wanna play some more?

Part Two: Time to Circle the Lake and Discover Your Next Adventure


(32) Plan extended seasonal vacations during summer and winter months. Group destination locations together in regional trips to explore what several bucket list towns have to offer in the general vicinity – with only a week or two vacation time to spend, we recommend organizing your itinerary by travel regions.

Leave a Reply