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Lake Tahoe / Truckee River Watershed

Lake Tahoe Watershed, California/Nevada

Water Guardians: Elizabeth Rogers & Jacquie Chandler of Sustainable Tahoe who has produced the Tahoe Expo for 6 years, highlighting the Geotourism potential of the area.

Lake Tahoe is a national treasure and a Sacred Water Heart of the World. It’s one of the world’s largest, deepest, and clearest mountain lakes—22 miles long, 11 miles wide and in a 501-square-mile watershed. Ancestral inhabitants of the Lake Tahoe area - the Wah She Shu Tribe (Washoe) called the Lake "Da ow a ga," which means "edge of the lake." The tribe considers Lake Tahoe a sacred life-sustaining water, and the center of the Washoe world.

Lake Tahoe is recognized nationally and globally as a natural resource of special significance, and the lake is designated an "Outstanding National Resource Water" under the Clean Water Act. It is one of the few significant Watershed system that does not end up in the Ocean; it's only outflow, the Truckee River terminates 71 miles east at Pyramid Lake in the NV desert.

  • Age: 2 million years old

  • Size of watershed: 501 sq. miles

  • Lake surface area: 192 sq. miles

  • Lake depth: 1,645 ft. deep

  • Elevation: 6,223 ft. (natural rim)

  • 2 states: California and Nevada

  • 5 counties, 1 city and numerous other communities

  • 50,000 Tahoe Basin (watershed) year-round residents

  • Average surface water temperatures: 68° Fahrenheit in the summer and 41° in the winter

  • 63 streams feed into Lake Tahoe but only one, the Truckee River, flows out

  • Approximately 3 million people visit Lake Tahoe every year

  • Second deepest lake in the United States, after Oregon’s Crater Lake

Water entering the lake today will take about 650 years to reach the lake’s outlet

For More Information:

Contact: Attn: Elizabeth

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