The surface elevation varies between 6,221 feet and 6,229 feet depending upon the snow pack and how much water is released through the Truckee River.
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake on the North American Continent. It is 12 Miles wide, 22 miles long and the shoreline is 72 miles around. The maximum depth is 1645 feet with an average depth of 989 feet.
The lake is estimated to hold 122 million-acre feet of water, enough to cover the entire state of California to a depth of 14 inches. Over 1,400,000 tons of water evaporates from the surface every 24 hours; that is enough to supply a city of three and a half million people.
The top twelve feet of the lake varies in temperature from 41°F to 68°F. Below the twelve foot mark, a thermocline drops the temperature dramatically. At 200’ the temperature is almost constant at about 40° F. The constant upwelling of this “warm” water prevents the lake from freezing. However, Emerald Bay did freeze over in February 1989, when the air temperature was -37° F.
The sun shines at Lake Tahoe over 308 days a year. But it can also snow every month of the year. The average maximum temperature in the summer is 78° F with 35% humidity.