Lake Tahoe is a place of sublime beauty that inspires awe in even the most jaded of travelers. Mark Twain described the dazzling expanse of shimmering blue waters as “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Surrounded by pristine pine forests and snowcapped mountain peaks, the lake’s brilliant topaz color is attributed to its depth of nearly 1,640 feet, and its crystalline quality comes from the purest source of melted snow.

Lake Tahoe straddles the California and Nevada border, spanning 22 miles from north to south and 12 miles across. It would require at least three hours to drive around the entire lake in good weather conditions. However, plan on much more if you want to stop and see the attractions or hike the trails.