Reno and Lake Tahoe’s location, geography and elevation produce a unique climate. The mixture of Tahoe’s high mountain weather systems with Reno’s mid-range desert temperatures make for a perfect hybrid climate with four distinct seasons throughout the year.
Below you can learn more about the climate and weather in Reno and Lake Tahoe, so you can pack like a pro for your visit to Reno Tahoe.
Understanding the Reno climate is understanding the city’s unique position near Lake Tahoe. Reno sits in a high desert against the Sierra Nevada mountains at 4,500 feet in elevation. With over 300 days of sunshine every year, the city is a little slice of heaven with an abundance of outdoor activities and events for thrill (or chill) seekers out there.
During the summer months, temperatures can reach the 90s, but they rarely reach triple digits. In the fall, temperatures are mild, normally in the 70s as winter approaches. When winter does come to Reno, temperatures can drop dramatically to below freezing, with mild snowfalls marking open season for the city’s winter activities.
Springing forward, Reno’s transition from winter to summer graces the city with beautiful blooming flowers and temperatures that are a warm welcome after fall and winter.
Lake Tahoe is less than an hour away but 2,000 feet higher, meaning the weather is often cooler, even during the summer.
At summer’s peak, Lake Tahoe’s climate is as crystal clear as its waters. Bluebird skies grace most days with temperatures reaching the mid-80s, but if you feel yourself getting overheated, the lake’s chilly waters ought to do the trick.
During the fall months, the days remain sunny and the average daily temperatures drop into the 60s and low 70s, making for ideal weather to keep exploring Tahoe’s beauty during the less crowded off-season.
Winter months mean the chance of snow is high, so it’s always best to be prepared for anything and dress in layers. Don’t let the snow keep you indoors – when the skies clear after a snowstorm, Tahoe is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored.
When spring arrives in Lake Tahoe, snowpack begins to melt thanks to warm sunny days and fewer snowstorms.
Dressing in layers is the key to comfort all year in Reno. Cool, breathable clothing is ideal for rising daytime temperatures and abundant sunshine in the summer. Due to the elevation, evenings do cool off, so plan accordingly if you anticipate being out and about after the sun sets. During the winter, daytime temperatures average in the 40s with overnight lows below freezing. Sunny days are still plentiful but snow is often in the forecast, especially around Lake Tahoe. Because of the high elevation and number of sunny days, sunscreen is advisable even when the temperatures drop.
All that sunshine means a hat is a must-have, and what better way to dress like a local than with a Reno Tahoe x bigtruck® hat, made locally in Truckee.