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Faulting formed the Lake Tahoe Basin and the Carson Range and Sierra Nevada. During this seismic process, the Basin’s highest peaks were formed: Freel Peak (10,891 feet), Monument Peak (10,067 feet), Dicks Peak (9,974 feet) and Mount Tallac (9,735 feet). Several have since become popular hiking and skiing attractions. The dam on Lake Tahoe’s north side was created from the eruptions of now-extinct Mount Pluto.
Amazingly, human activity in the region pales in comparison to the natural activity. The Washoe, a Great Basin Tribe, have occupied the area for the past 6,000 years. They would often spend the winters and spring in the valleys, summer in the Sierra Nevada and autumn in the eastern ranges. The name “Tahoe” derives from a mispronunciation of the Washoe word for “lake.” Non-Native presence was introduced in 1844 by Lt. John C. Frémont during his expedition, forever changing the formerly relatively untouched lands.
Following the mining era and development, the areas encircling Lake Tahoe became oriented to tourism. Ski resorts and slopes, golf courses, casinos, restaurants, and countless other attractions were established for locals and visitors.
South Lake Tahoe lies on the shore of North America’s largest alpine lake, making way for watersports like boating, fishing, and skiing. There are bike and hiking trails wrapped around the lake, with restaurants, bars, clubs, and shopping areas located in the city. At North Lake Tahoe, there are endless panoramas of the Basin—drawing not only vacationers but also the world’s leading scientists and political leaders. A collection of 12 resorts and towns provide a lively array of dining, nightlife and entertainment options.