Lake Tahoe Info

lake tahoe from mountain

"…I ascended today the highest peak… from which we had a beautiful view of a mountain lake at our feet, about 15 miles in length, and so nearly surrounded by mountains that we could not discover an outlet." So wrote John C. Fremont, on the clear, sunny morning of February 14, 1844.

The discovery was accidental: Fremont was searching for the mythical "Buenaventura River" described to the area by some early geographers, and shown variously on regional maps as flowing into the Gulf of Mexico or San Francisco Bay.

Winter was not an auspicious time of year to travel the Sierra and Fremont's party had suffered severe hardships. Washoe Indian guides warned that no man had ever crossed the barrier in winter, and described the range simply but eloquently as consisting of "Rock on rock…snow on snow".

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lake tahoe recreational map