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[Facts & Mysteries]

The Donner Party, was a group of emigrants traveling to California who in 1846-47 met with tragedy. The party, named for its two Donner families, was trapped by snow in Oct. 1846 in the Sierra Nevada near what is today called the Donner Pass. The survivors resorted to cannibalism before their rescue, and only about half of the original party of 87 reached California. A relief expedition reaches the Donner Party in the Sierra Nevada February 19, 1847 and finds evidence of cannibalism. Trapped for 3 months by heavy snows in the worst winter ever, the wagon train has lost 12 members to starvation; 46 of the original 87 will ultimately survive.

Cave Rock was the scene of battles between Washoe and Paiute Indians over Tahoe's fishing and hunting grounds. It is rumored to be above the underwater home of Tahoe Tessie, The Lake Tahoe Monster.

The Washoe Indians used to throw their deceased off Cave Rock. Rumor has it that large numbers of spirits have been known to appear as if they are performing a tribal ritual. It is also known that the Washoe used Cave Rock as very sacred area.

There have also been reports of a large creature living in the waters of Lake Tahoe that the locals have named "Tahoe Tessie". There have been a number of reported sightings through out the long history of the lake since the discovery of the Tahoe basin. Some people think Tessie is a large sturgeon. Jaques Cousteau headed an expedition to the lakes supposed bottom. Mr. Cousteau never revealed his findings/film footage; he said, "the world wasn't ready" for what was down there! I wonder what he had seen that made him decide not to share his findings with anyone. I sure would like to see that film for myself! How about you?

Lake Tahoe Ghost Hunters

[Facts about Lake]

The State of California would be completely covered with water to a depth of 14 1/2 inches with one dispersion of Lake Tahoe's water, and Texans can pride themselves on the fact that their extensive Lone Star State could only be covered to a depth of 8 1/2 inches.

There are 63 tributaries draining into Lake Tahoe with only one outlet, the Truckee River in Tahoe City.

The original Dam was built in 1870 at the mouth of Tahoe's only outlet. The Gatekeeper's Cabin is now a museum.
With a surface area of only 193 sq. miles (70 of which are in Nevada) Lake Tahoe contains 122,160,280 acre feet of water, or over 30,000,000 more acre feet than the combined capacities of ten of the largest man made reservoirs in the US. Lake Mead is backed up 227 miles by Hoover Dam into the Grand Canyon of the

Colorado River and is considered to be one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Tahoe contains nearly four times the maximum capacity of Lake Mead.

Tahoe's greatest depth is 1645 feet, Lake Tahoe is the highest lake of its size in the US. Only Oregon's Crater Lake is deeper at 1930 feet.

On average 1,400,000 tons of water evaporates from the surface of Lake Tahoe every 24 hours, yet this drops the lake level only one tenth of an inch. The total evaporation averages more per day than the water released through the Truckee River Dam outlet.
Lake Tahoe never freezes over due to the constant mass movement of water from the bottom to the top. In February of 1989, Emerald Bay froze over for the first time since 1952.


Elevation: 6229 feet
Length: 22 miles - Width: 12 miles
Shoreline: 71 miles (calif. 42miles - Nev. 29miles)
Storage:122,160,280 acre ft. of water.
Surface Area: 193 sq. miles or 122,200 acres (Cal. 85,200 acres - 70%)(Nev. 31,700 acres - 30%)
Water Shed: 519 miles.
Maximum Depth: 1645 feet

Average Depth: 989 feet
Surface Water Temperatures: Max 68 degrees and Min.41degrees.
Water Temp. at 200 feet: Max. 47 and Min. 41degrees.
Average Annual Rainfall: 8.3 inches.
Average Annual Snowfall: 216 inches or 18 feet.
Total Annual Precipitation: 30 inches.

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