Jaw-Dropping Photos Show the Historic Snowpack in Tahoe

The snowfall around Lake Tahoe is starting to get historic, with the snowiest October through February since 1970 and another set of storms currently dumping on the region. Some nearby ski resorts are already approaching the 700-inch mark for the season, and if the snowfall continues the way it’s going (currently forecast for 130 inches in the next week), the coveted 800 inch mark is in play. That’s only happened twice in recorded history.

It’s easy to tell you how much snow there is in the Tahoe Basin, but it’s a completely different experience to see the snow walls themselves. Road closures are likely to be prevalent in the coming week, and we suggest not to even consider visiting the Tahoe region right now. But photos from locals show you the intense snowpack currently seen in the area.

Local Tahoe legend Scott Gaffney took a tour of some neighborhoods at high elevations in the North Lake Tahoe area and photographed the epic snowpack. The result is a series of photos that will make your jaw drop.

Here are Gaffney’s photos, which were taken in the past week (scroll through to see all the photos):

This type of snowpack begins to get dangerous at this height, with one roof in South Lake Tahoe recently collapsing under the weight of 10 feet of snow on top. The area could see another 10 feet of wet, heavy snow in the coming week, which will make this problem even worse.

This winter will likely be in the top five of snowiest winters in Tahoe’s history, but can it get to the historic 800-inch mark? Either way, it’s about to get crazy.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. Hello
    Nov of 2021, you posted this article about La Niña. In it, you quoted scientists mentioned that Lake Tahoe would need an 800″ snowfall winter to bring the lake level to normal. Is there any discussion about this winters snowfall and if it will bring the lake level up to normal?
    I’m pasting the original webpage link to the article here in the comments.
    Thank you.


  2. It’s not just Tahoe. I’m at the same elevation 70 miles south. Snow in the Sierras is not predictable. No pattern at all. To verify this Google “Sierra Snowpack” then scroll until you find the Bar-Chart kept where the first RR crossed west of Truckee. Since the 1870’s. Look & you’ll see absolutely no pattern. We had four dry years recently. This is a good snow 2022-23 year but you can’t predict next year. It’s fun. Media lives to scream disaster. Floods/mud slides/neighborhoods underwater/etc etc. This is not a disaster. At all. It’s part of the fun of living in California. It’s not a disaster & it’s not all that rare. Happens often… look at the bar chart. Kinda cool actually.

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