Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada of the United States. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft. (1,897 m), it straddles the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 ft. (501 m), making it the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake (1,945 ft. (593 m)). Additionally, Lake Tahoe is the sixth largest lake by volume in the United States at 122,160,280 acre ft. (150,682,490 dam3), behind the five Great Lakes.
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. Snow and skiing are a significant part of the area's economy and reputation. Mountain and lake scenery are attractions throughout the year. The Nevada side also includes large casinos. Highways provide year-round access to the area.
Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake in the U.S., with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet (501 m), trailing only Oregon's Crater Lake at 1,949 ft. (594 m). Tahoe is also the 16th deepest lake in the world, and the fifth deepest in average depth. It is about 22 mi (35 km) long and 12 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline and a surface area of 191 square miles (490 km2). Approximately two-thirds of the shoreline is in California. The south shore is dominated by the lake's largest city, South Lake Tahoe, California, which adjoins the town of Stateline, Nevada, while Tahoe City, California, is located on the lake's northwest shore. Although highways run within sight of the lake shore for much of Tahoe's perimeter, many important parts of the shoreline lie within state parks or are protected by the United States Forest Service. The Lake Tahoe Watershed (USGS Huc 18100200) of 505 sq. mi. (1,310 km2) includes the land area that drains to the lake and the Lake Tahoe drainage divide traverses the same general area as the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Lake Tahoe is fed by 63 tributaries, which drain an area about the same size as the lake; half the water entering the lake is rain or snow falling directly on it.
The Truckee River is the lake's only outlet. The Truckee flows northeast through Reno, Nevada, and into Pyramid Lake, Nevada, which has no outlet. Only one third of the water that leaves the lake leaves via the Truckee, however; the rest evaporates from the lake's vast surface. The flow of the Truckee River and the height of the lake are controlled by a dam at the outlet. The natural rim, at which the lake can be allowed to flow out through the dam, is at an elevation of 6,223 ft. (1,897 m) above sea level. The maximum legal limit, to which the lake can be allowed to rise in order to store water, is at an altitude of 6,229.1 ft. (1,898.6 m) above sea level. (source: Wikipedia)
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