• Staff Writer

How Deep is Lake Tahoe?

Updated: Aug 22


Conceptual Depth of Lake Tahoe
Conceptual Depth of Lake Tahoe with Willis Tower

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada and straddling the California/Nevada border, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the United States after Crater Lake, Oregon.


Lake Tahoe is the fourth deepest lake in North America and the sixteenth deepest lake in the world.


The maximum depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,650 feet.


That's just under a third of a mile. Only one lake in the world is over a mile deep — Baikal in Russia, which is 5,369 feet deep.


According to the USDA, the average depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,000 feet.


The elevation at the deepest part of the lake is 4,580 feet above sea level. You could drive west on I-80 all the way to Emigrant Gap (over 40 miles from Tahoe City) and still be 500 feet higher than the deepest part of Lake Tahoe.


Tahoe City to Emigrant Gap
Emigrant Gap - Higher Than Tahoe's Maximum Depth

On westbound Highway 50, Kyburz is only 500 feet lower than the deepest point.


Due to the large volume of water relative to the lake's surface area and because of the water's constant motion, Lake Tahoe only freezes in a couple of places — and occasionally at that. Emerald Bay is one location that occasionally sees freezing of surface waters.


Of the many mountains that surround the lake, the highest peak is Mt. Tallac, at 9,735 feet above sea level.


Many people flock to the Lake Tahoe basin in summer and winter to enjoy all of the beauty in and around this beautiful body of water.


Lake Tahoe Boat Storage

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