Tahoe Facts and Trivia

Your one stop for all things Tahoe! Basic information to start, with new and fun information added regularly. It's information like this that is why your should make the Tahoe Science Center one the top to-do items during your visit to Tahoe. Be sure to check back for all the latest updates. 

About Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Basin

  • Maximum depth: 1,645 feet (501 meters), making it one of the deepest lakes in the world and second deepest lake in the United States
  • Average depth: 1,000 feet (305 meters)
  • Lake surface area: 191 square miles (495 square kilometers)
  • Watershed area: 312 square miles (800 square kilometers)
  • Length: 22 miles (35 kilometers)
  • Width: 12 miles (19 kilometers)
  • Length of shoreline: approximately 75 miles (120 kilometers)
  • Volume of water: 39 trillion gallons, plus or minus
  • The daily evaporation from Lake Tahoe (half a billion gallons) would meet the daily water needs of 5 million Americans
  • The number of algal cells in Lake Tahoe is approximately 30 million trillion, within a few trillion or so
  • A single Daphnia can consume 100,000 fine particles every hour
  • It would take a single, pin-head sized Daphnia one week to clear a gallon of Tahoe water of all fine particles
  • On a bad day there currently are over 60 billion Mysis shrimp in Lake Tahoe
  • On a good day in the future, there will be less than 15 billion Mysis shrimp, allowing the Daphnia population to rebound and help restore ecological health
  • Number of inflowing streams — 63, the largest being the Upper Truckee River
  • Number of large lakes worldwide with annual clarity exceeding Tahoe’s: 0
  • Number of outflowing streams: one, the Truckee River, which exits at Tahoe City, California, flows through Truckee and Reno, and terminates in Pyramid Lake, Nevada
  • Number of monitoring TERC maintains in the Tahoe Basin: 224
  • Length of time it would take to refill the lake: about 600 years
  • Average elevation of lake surface: 6,225 feet (1,897 meters)
  • Highest peak in basin: Freel Peak, 10,891 feet (3,320 meters)
  • Latitude: 39 degrees North
  • Longitude: 120 degrees West