The beautiful and scenic Lake Tahoe area offers everything the business or leisure traveler would want or need. Lake Tahoe has many fine hotels and motels in every price range. There is a vast variety of activities available in Lake Tahoe. Enjoy gaming in the casinos, sailing or water skiing on the lake, or skiing and snowboarding on the slopes. Lake Tahoe is one of the premier vacation destinations in the United States.  
Lake Tahoe is one of the deepest lakes in the United States. It is 1645 feet deep, and 192 sq. miles across. Only Oregon's Crater Lake is deeper at 1930 feet. Highways run within sight of the lake shore for much of Lake Tahoe's perimeter. Most of the California shoreline lies within state parks protected by the US Forest Service. Lake Tahoe is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, and has 72 miles of shoreline.

Geologic block faulting (fractures in the Earth's crust causing land to move vertically) formed the Lake Tahoe Basin 2 to 3 million years ago. On the West side, Uplifted blocks formed the Sierra Nevada mountain Range. The Carson mountain Range was formed on the East side. Blocks of land dropping down created the Lake Tahoe Basin in the middle. Some of the highest mountain peaks of the Lake Tahoe that formed during this time were Freel Peak, Monument Peak, Pyramid Peak, and Mount Tallac.

Mean annual precipitation ranges from over 55 inches per year in watersheds on the west side to about 26 inches per year on the east side of the basin. Snow accounts for most of the precipitation from November to April. Rainstorms combined with snow melting account for the largest floods.

Vegetation in the basin is dominated by a mix of Jeffrey Pine, Lodgepole Pine, White Fir, and red Fir trees. The basin also contains significant areas of wet meadows and riparian areas, dry meadows, brush fields and rock outcrops, mostly at the higher elevations.

Lake Tahoe is popular for water sports and beach activities. The two cities most identified with the Lake Tahoe tourist area are South Lake Tahoe, California and Stateline, Nevada. Smaller cities on the Northern shoreline include Tahoe City and Kings Beach. The boating in Lake Tahoe is known worldwide and is the primary activity in the summer. Lakefront restaurants are all over the Lake, and most are equipped with docks and buoys. There are a wide variety of boating events, including as sailboat racing, fireworks shows over the lake, guided cruises, and more. Lake Tahoe has its own Coast Guard.
During ski season, thousands of people from all over California, including Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, flock to the slopes in the area for some of the best skiing in the world. Lake Tahoe is well known for its blizzards in addition to its beauty. Many areas in Tahoe also have Snow tubing, such as Squaw Valley. Snow tubing is popular among people who are interested in alternative sports. Throughout Tahoe, Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobile riding, Snowboarding, and Snowshoeing are also popular.
The Lake Tahoe area was originally inhabited by the Washoe tribe of Native Americans. Lake Tahoe was the center of Washoe Indian territory, including the upper areas of the Walker, Carson, and Truckee Rivers. This area was called "Da ow a ga", which means "edge of lake". Early White pioneers mispronounced this word, saying "Da ow", so it later evolved into what it is called today, Lake "Tahoe". Lt. John C. Frémont and Kit Carson were the first non-indigenous people to discover Lake Tahoe. In 1844, Frémont first sighted the lake from the Carson Pass. After arriving at Sutter's Fort he named it Lake Bonpland, in honor of the French explorer and botanist. In 1853, Tahoe was named Lake Bigler, in honor of California governor John Bigler. In 1862, the U.S. department of interior first introduced the name Tahoe. Finally in 1945, it was officially named Lake Tahoe.

The decision to divide Lake Tahoe with 2/3 to California and 1/3 to Nevada was reached when California became a state. When gold was discovered in the American River in 1848, thousands of gold seekers passed near the Tahoe basin on their way to the gold fields. From 1858 to 1890, logging in the basin provided timbers to shore up the workings of the Comstock mines. The logging was so extensive that almost all of the forest was cut. In 1864, Tahoe City was founded as a resort community for Virginia City, recognizing the basin’s potential as a resort area. During the 1912, 1913, and 1918 Congressional sessions, unsuccessful attempts were made to designate the area as a national park.

The post-World War Two boom, followed by construction of gambling casinos in the Nevada part of the basin during the 1950’s, and building of the interstate highway links for the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, resulted in a large increase in development around the basin. From 1960 to 1980, the population increased from 10,000 to more than 50,000. Since the 1980s, development has decreased due to land use laws.

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