Mark Twain famously describes his first glimpse of Lake Tahoe in his semi-autobiographical tale about his travels through the Wild West, Roughing It:
At last the lake burst upon us–a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft three thousand feet higher still! As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole world affords.
-Mark Twain, Roughing It.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, famous for its clarity, deep blue water, and surrounding snowcapped peaks. Sprawling across the state line between California and Nevada, it lies just over 6,000 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Because of its unique geographical orientation, Lake Tahoe appeals to a diverse population of visitors. About half its tourists come looking for a low-key and activity-filled get-away. The rest skip the California side and instead head for the Nevada side to get their fill of the glittering casinos, big name entertainment, bargain buffets, and around the clock revelry.
Many think of Lake Tahoe as only a popular winter wonderland and a great ski and snowboard destination, however Tahoe is nearly as bustling in the spring, summer and fall months. Year-round activities include is great for sightseeing, hiking, fishing, camping, and boating.
Tahoe, and the immediate surrounding area, is home to 12 major ski , with Heavenly perhaps being the most popular. Spanning 4,800 acres, as well as offering 95 trails and 30 lifts, it is the largest resort in California. And, at 3,500 feet from base camp to peak, it is has California’s the vertical drop…all with a jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe. And don’t think that just because it gets an average of 380 inches of snowfall it’s always snowing – Heavenly also boasts 300 days of sunshine.