Mt. Tallac Snow Cross Story
Mount Tallac is purportedly named from the Washoe Indian word “tallac” which means “Great Mountain.” This lofty peak is 9,735 feet above sea level. In the spring and summer a white cross can be seen. This is formed by the heavy winter snows filling the deep crevices of the mountain. As the surface snows melt and disappear, the deeper snow remains, forming the cross that appears for many months. The cross can be best seen in the summer months. Go to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and look for the tallest mountain on the California side.
Lake Tahoe Facts
- Maximum Elevation: 6,229 feet
- Length: 22 miles
- Width: 12 miles
- Maximum Depth: 1,645 feet
- Average Depth: 989 feet
- Shoreline: 72 miles
- Surface Water Temperature: 68 degrees F maximum; 41 degrees F minimum
- Sunshine: Average 274-300 days or about 75% of the year
- Snowfall: 125 inches at lake level
- Snowfall at Alpine Elevations: 300 to 500 inches each year
Lake Tahoe, the eighth deepest lake in the world, is known for its remarkable clarity. At times, it can extend to 75 ft. of underwater visibility and divers claim 200 ft. of visibility at times. This extreme clarity exists because a high percentage of precipitation falls directly into the lake while the remaining precipitation is filtered through marshes and meadows before reaching the lake. The lake is 99.1 percent pure.
Two thirds of Lake Tahoe is in California and one third of the Lake is in Nevada. The floor of the Lake Tahoe Basin is at an elevation of about 4,580 ft., which is 92 ft. below the surface of Carson Valley to the east.
The lake is fed by 63 streams and two hot springs. The Truckee River at Tahoe City is the only outlet for the lake, which eventually feeds northeast into Pyramid Lake, never reaching an ocean.
Lake Tahoe is as long as the English Channel is wide. The Panama Canal, 700 ft. wide and 50 ft. deep, could be filled with Tahoe’s water, even if it circled the globe at the equator, and there would still be water left over to fill a canal of the same size running from San Francisco to New York.
The deepest part of Lake Tahoe is near Crystal Bay, measuring a water depth of 1,645 feet. If drained, it would take 700 years to refill the lake. Tahoe could provide every person in the United States with 50 gallons of water per day for 5 years. If the lake were tipped over, its contents would cover California in 14.5 inches of water, while Texas would be under 8.5 inches.
Lake Tahoe never freezes due to the depth and constant movement of water from the bottom to the surface although some protected areas such as Emerald Bay have been covered with a layer of ice.
The sun shines an average 75 percent or 274 days each year, but snow can fall during any month.
At lake level, the area receives an average of 125 inches of snow annually. Higher elevations can receive an average of 300 to 500 inches annually.
Tahoe’s climate is typically very dry with low humidity. Average daily high temperatures in December, January and February are 40, 37, and 39 degrees respectively.