Things to Know
- Lake Tahoe is at the eastern end of Placer County.
- The lake straddles the border between California and the state of Nevada.
- The western side of Lake Tahoe is in the state of California.
- Lake length = 21 miles/33.8 km (north to south); Lake width = 11 miles/17.7 km (widest point)
- Elevation at lake shore: 6223’ (1896 meters).
- Mountain peaks nearby can be 9000’ (2,743 meters) and higher.
- One can drive from 9000’ elevation in Tahoe to 90’ (27.5 meters) in Roseville, CA at the western end of our county in 90 minutes/90 miles (ski in the morning; golf in the afternoon- great, if you need a cross-section of American looks).
- Tahoe is known for the clarity of its water and its myriad shades of blue and aqua.
- Easiest road access via Interstate 80.
- Closest international airports via I-80:
- Reno, Nevada = 55 miles to Tahoe City.
- Sacramento, California = 117 miles to Tahoe City.
Due to Tahoe’s elevation the weather can change abruptly. Always track the weather forecast (use Tahoe City, CA as a point of reference). Also, it’s a good idea to check the historic monthly temperature averages for the time of year you plan to be here. Many productions work outside for long hours, so we recommend productions urge their personnel to take standard health precautions such as keeping hydrated, looking for signs of heat stroke or hypothermia. Lake Tahoe weather.
Personnel should pack clothes for cold weather. Yes, Tahoe is absolutely lovely and warm in the summer but the evenings will still be cool. And if you’re doing a night shoot, well you get the idea. And sturdy shoes if you will be outside on dirt roads or natural terrain.
Local crew can be sourced via the Sacramento/Sierra/Tahoe section in the Reel Directory, the northern California production guide. For these crew members’ full listings go the Reel Directory main listing. However, many experienced local crew members with skills specific to Tahoe (i.e. filming from a snowboard, high altitude diving, hauling production equipment via snow mobile,) that may not be listed in the Reel Directory. Our office may be able to augment those lists
Some camera and other specialized production equipment may not perform well in cold weather. Check your equipment’s specs for optimal operating temperature range.
All federal FAA regulations for commercial filming apply in Lake Tahoe. Some jurisdictions apply have special restrictions. For instance, all California State Parks and State Beaches in the Lake Tahoe Basin have a ‘no drone’ policy because of the large number of park visitors year around. Their policy extends out 800’ from shore. However, theirs is a small part of the Tahoe area. Please check with our office about options.
Though rare, because of the elevation some personnel may experience ‘altitude sickness. Drinking water in advance of arrival may help. Please research other simple precautions in advance.
There is no parking allowed on shoulders and the sides of roads in the greater Tahoe area (this includes Truckee and Donner Summit) from Nov 1 – May 1 to allow for snow removal equipment to operate. Be sure to secure base Camp parking accordingly.
Summer activities have been popular here long before Lake Tahoe became known as a winter playground. Activities include water sports, mountain activities, festivals, shopping and dining.
Some of the finest skiing and snowboarding in the world can be found at the numerous ski resorts around Tahoe. In fact, the first viable ski resorts in California started in the Tahoe area in Placer County. In 1960 Squaw Valley Resort in Placer County was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. All the amenities that go with a world class ski resort can be found here.
Spring and Autumn are referred to as shoulder season in Tahoe, the months between the summer and winter ‘high seasons.’ Often hotel rates and other prices may be less at these non-peak times. Traditionally these are observed from Easter to mid-June (Spring) and between Labor Day and Thanksgiving (Autumn).
Tahoe abounds in lodging facilities of all budgets: five-star resorts, bed and breakfast establishments, picturesque motels, beautiful rental homes, and condos). To expedite your production’s lodging search with one phone call please contact the Conference Sales Department at the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association - Sarah Winters for this free service.
The serene blue waters and natural beauty of Lake Tahoe have inspired filmmakers for almost 100 years. The Navigator, (1924) featured Buster Keaton and perhaps some of the first underwater footage filmed in the lake. Ten years later Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald serenaded each other in Rose Marie; Robert Mitchum challenged Kirk Douglas in Out of the Past near the shores of Lake Tahoe. Over the years Tahoe has played host to other American classic films such as A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, Godfather, Part II, and True Lies. Tahoe's year-round beauty, its diversified terrain, and distinct seasons, continues to attract all types of media production: TV shows, commercials, print photography, and feature and independent films.