We had an absolutely huge winter here by any standards at Lake Tahoe. Many storms were measured in feet, coating the roads, mountains, and beaches with more snow than we knew what to do with. But now that winter is over, we are dealing with all of that snow melt. We are here to ponder the question-how does that affect recreation on the lake?
Well, for one, since Lake Tahoe is much more full than it has been in quite some time, the beaches are smaller. When planning a beach day, perhaps leave the huge volleyball net at home (depending on where you are headed) and plan to stake out a spot early.
The rising water level is great news for boaters. Many of the boat launches and piers were inaccessible by boat the last couple of years due to low water levels. Most docks, boat launches, and piers are now easily accessible and open to boats. Be sure to take advantage of this by exploring the lake by boat, kayak, or paddleboard!
Lake Tahoe is currently reported to be more than 5 feet above its natural rim, and is predicted to rise by more than 2 feet between May and August of 2017. With 63 streams, rivers and creeks running into Lake Tahoe and only one outlet, The Truckee River, this puts a lot of pressure on the professionals who manage the dam and the amount of output each day. With the lake levels expected to rise significantly as more snow melts off of the mountains, the dam will be releasing much more water into the Truckee River than it has in years past, and potentially for a much longer period. This means increased currents and volume of the Truckee River.
Already, the bike path that runs along the Truckee River has been impacted by flooding. Although bicyclists and walkers can simply detour onto route 89 for the short segments that are flooded, it is certainly something to be aware of when using that stretch of trail. Another way that the Truckee River will be impacting river recreation is rafting. The water level is currently so high that many bridges are impassable by rafters, and the currents are strong enough that floating, rafting, or swimming in the Truckee River is extremely dangerous right now. Rafting and floating is expected to open in mid-July or August, once the flow of the river is diminished enough that it is safe.
All in all, we here at Granlibakken are extremely grateful for the increased volume of water in Lake Tahoe this year. We are excited for a beautiful summer exploring new beaches, boating, and generally enjoying the lake and the river. It is such a welcome site to see Lake Tahoe full and flourishing again. We hope that everyone also has a safe and fun summer, and enjoys the beauty of Lake Tahoe this year.
Read more about Lake Tahoe's capacity here.
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