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The Jewel of the Sierra – Lake Tahoe

Having seen quite a few alpine lakes at Sierra Nevada Mountains, we still couldn’t pass Lake Tahoe, the jewel of the Sierra. It is a deep blue lake that is unparalleled by other alpine lakes.

We drove to Lake Tahoe from Carson City. I was impressed by its immense size. It looked like an inland sea. Surrounded by Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe is at an elevation of 6, 225 feet. Carson City is only 85 feet higher than the bottom of Lake Tahoe. The maximum depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,645 feet which made it the second deepest lake in the states. Such a beautiful lake drew millions of tourists each year. South Lake Tahoe City sits by the south shore of the lake. The city is well developed for tourists with big grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, and more.

We went through the traffic at South Lake Tahoe City and headed to the gem of the lake – Emerald Bay. The road to the Inspiration Point was high and narrow. It literally rides above two lakes with Emerald Bay on one side and Cascade Lake on the other. From Inspiration Point, we had a good view of Emerald Bay. The water was the most beautiful blue color you could imagine. A tour boat cruised by Fannette Island, a small island with a mini structure on it. Water of the lake has different shades of color. It appeared emerald green near the shore and cobalt blue at the center. It said that the water in Lake Tahoe is almost 100% pure and the clarity was 73 feet in 2015. It is so pure and clear, and no wander it is the jewel of Sierra.

Weiwei-at-Inspiration-Point-by-Emerald-Baydd

Weiwei at Inspiration Point by Emerald Bay

We drove by the west shore and passed Meeks Bay. Stephen recalled that he flew to Reno and hitchhiked to Meeks Bay. He hiked on part of the Pacific Crest Trail starting from Meeks Bay all by himself. That might be around 1975. How time flies! Lake Tahoe still remains its beauty although it is 2 million years old.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

There were lots of houses and resorts built along the south and west shore, so we didn’t see much of the lake from the road. People live here enjoying four seasons of fun despite its average snowfall of over 400 inches and it might snow any month of the year. The east shore in Nevada is less developed and we could see the cobalt blue lake from the road. The size and volume of Lake Tahoe are tremendous. The water of Lake Tahoe could submerge California by 15 inches if it were emptied. The 72 miles drive around the shoreline was memorable. The deep blue pure water of Lake Tahoe is a gift of nature that shall be cherished forever.

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