A complete all-season travel destination, this area offers boating, water-skiing, fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and winter skiing as well as fine dining and resorts with headliner entertainment. Lake Tahoe itself-the largest and deepest alpine lake in North America-is ringed by mountains and resorts.
Paddle wheelers depart from Tahoe City on the north side and South Lake Tahoe on the south shore in summer.
In Tahoe City, see the Gatekeeper's Museum, an authentic 19th-century log cabin formerly used by the lake dam's gatekeepers. Also, bend over and view gigantic trout in the Truckee River from the appropriately named Fanny Bridge.
Along the western shore, Emerald Bay, D.L. Bliss, and Sugar Pine Point state parks offer picnic areas. On the shore of Emerald Bay is Vikingsholm, a 1929 replica of an enchanting Scandinavian castle. South Lake Tahoe offers abundant opportunities for lodging, dining, recreation, and entertainment. Stop at the Lake Tahoe Historical Museum Complex for more history on the area.
West of Lake Tahoe is El Dorado National Forest, with its Desolation Wilderness Area offering 80 lakes and streams. Within the Tahoe National Forest, pan for gold, explore historic towns, hike, bike, and cross-country ski. You'll also find Squaw Valley the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.
To the north, in Truckee, an old rail and logging center, enjoy quaint shops and restaurants. Restored 19th-century buildings reflect the town's Old West character. At nearby Donner Memorial State Park, the Emigrant Trail Museum describes the tragic ordeal of a group of emigrants who were trapped at this spot in the winter of 1846. Hike the trail along Donner Creek, and swim, fish, and boat in Donner Lake.