Lake Tahoe is a place of sublime beauty that inspires awe in even the most jaded of travelers. Mark Twain described it as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” The picturesque setting mesmerizes visitors with its dazzling expanse of shimmering blue waters. The lake’s brilliant topaz color is attributed to its depth of nearly 1,640 feet at the deepest point, and its crystal-clear quality comes from the purest source – melted snow supplied by 63 small streams. Lake Tahoe straddles the states of California and Nevada, spanning 22 miles from north to south and 12 miles across. It would require at least three hours to drive around the entire lake in good weather conditions. Sightseeing boat tours take about two hours to cruise around the lake, a peaceful way to admire the backdrop of pristine pine forests and snowcapped mountain peaks.
Lake Tahoe is a year-round destination for nature lovers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts. During summertime, hiking, cycling, and water sports are popular. From December through April, Lake Tahoe is a winter wonderland with opportunities for alpine and cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and sleigh riding.
Emerald Bay State Park
A small sheltered section on the west shore, the Emerald Bay State Park is one of the loveliest areas of Lake Tahoe. Emerald Bay is surrounded by forested hillsides of glacier-carved granite and dotted with a tiny islet at its center. Because the bay is slightly shallower than the rest of Lake Tahoe, the waters take on a striking blue-green color. Along the rugged shoreline of Emerald Bay are serene hiking trails with breathtaking panoramic vistas. Two favorite hikes are Cascade Falls Trail and Bayview Trail. Be sure to also visit Inspiration Point, 600 feet above Lake Tahoe,