Introduction to South Lake Tahoe, California

South Lake Tahoe, California, in El Dorado County, is 19 miles SW of Carson City, Nevada (center to center) and 85 miles E of Sacramento, California. The city is included in the Sacramento metropolitan area. 

South Lake Tahoe History

South Lake Tahoe boasts a rich and colorful historical past. For centuries, the Washo Indians used to gather on the shores of Lake Tahoe and carry out sacred ceremonies as the considered it to be a spiritual site. In 1844, the American explorers Kit Carson and John Fremont arrived in this area. The tribals used to call the lake "Da-ow-a-ga," or "edge of the Lake," but the Americans mistook it for "Tahoe." In different times, the lake was christened with different names, but Tahoe stuck, and the place was officially given this name in 1945. Initially, the region was known for its rich silver mines, but now the area is a thriving community and a popular tourist destination.

South Lake Tahoe and Nearby Attractions

  • South Lake Tahoe Branch El Dorado County Library.
  • Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierras.
  • Happy Homestead Cemetery.
  • Trout Creek.
  • Upper Truckee River.
  • Timber Cove Marina.

Things To Do In South Lake Tahoe

The cultural and historical heritage of the city is expressed in the memorial buildings, city halls and the county libraries. The magnificent lake city has numerous marinas like the Beachcomer Marina, the Timber Cove Marina, the Lakeside Marina, the Tahoe Keys Marina and the Ski Run Marina. These marinas offer stunning views, as well as some amazing recreational facilities. The city has a charming creek, Trout Creek and the picturesque Upper Truckee River. There are also a number of amusement parks and quaint churches that one can visit. The El Dorado Beach is also nearby.

South Lake Tahoe Transportation

Lake Tahoe Airport serves the area.

South Lake Tahoe Higher Education

Lake Tahoe Community College offers educational opportunities within the city.


Total Population 21,437
Male Share of the Population 53.7%
Female Share of the Population 46.3%
Senior Citizens 11.8%
Employed Population 16+ 10,146
Age of the Population 38


% of people married 41.8%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 24%
Median Earnings25+ $27,117
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,245
Median Earnings With High School Degree $26,667


Median Family Income $51,910
% Above Poverty Level 81.5%
% Below Poverty Level 18.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 3.8%
% Walking and Biking to Work 15.7%
% Using Public Transportation 3.1%


People Living Alone 34.8%
Median Gross Rent $876
Median House Value $326,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 46.3%
US/American 0%
English 8.9%
Irish 12%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

South Lake Tahoe Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 19 miles SW of Carson City, Nevada (center to center)
Nearest Large City 85 miles E of Sacramento, California
County El Dorado
Standard Zip Codes 96150
P.O. Box Zip Codes 96151, 96152, 96154, 96155, 96156, 96157, 96158
Phone Area Codes 530
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 38.933
Longitude -119.983

South Lake Tahoe Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 2.5 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 41 F
Apr Temp 26 to 53 F
Jul Temp 40 to 79 F
Oct Temp 26 to 62 F
Annual Precip 0 inches
Distance 10.7 miles
Jan Temp 24 to 42 F
Apr Temp 30 to 54 F
Jul Temp 49 to 78 F
Oct Temp 37 to 62 F
Annual Precip 17.3 inches
Distance 18.5 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 41 F
Apr Temp 28 to 51 F
Jul Temp 45 to 78 F
Oct Temp 32 to 60 F
Annual Precip 32.6 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, South Lake Tahoe, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Bijou (96156)

Camp Richardson (96156)

Fallen Leaf (96151)

Meyers (96155)

Stateline (96157)

Tahoe Paradise (96155)

Tahoe Valley (96158)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

South Lake Tahoe Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(530) 541-3420
Emergency Service: Yes

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South Lake Tahoe High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,540 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.3

A Non-traditional School
Serves 75 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 46.9

A Non-traditional School
Serves 38 students.

A Non-traditional School
A Charter School.
Serves 20 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

South Lake Tahoe Colleges

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Additional Details
South Lake Tahoe Colleges
South Lake Tahoe colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in South Lake Tahoe
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