Tahoe Keys Live Cam

A private waterfront community within the city of South Lake Tahoe


The Tahoe Keys is a residential community located in South Lake Tahoe, California, on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe. It is known for its extensive canal system, which gives residents direct boat access to the lake. The history of the Tahoe Keys dates back to the mid-1950s when a group of developers began to envision a unique waterfront community in the area.

In the late 1950s, William "Bud" Hames, a real estate developer, acquired a large parcel of land in the South Lake Tahoe area. Hames had the vision of creating a neighborhood where residents could have their own private boat docks and enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe. He enlisted the expertise of engineers and architects to design the canal system that would become the Tahoe Keys.

Construction of the Tahoe Keys began in the early 1960s, involving extensive excavation and dredging to create the canal system. The developers dug miles of channels, which were connected to the lake through the Marina Keys. The canals were designed to provide direct access to the lake for residents, allowing them to navigate their boats through the community.

As the development progressed, the area quickly gained popularity among residents and vacationers seeking waterfront living. The Tahoe Keys offered a unique lifestyle with opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports right from residents' backyards. Over the years, the community grew, and more homes were built along the canals.

Today, the Tahoe Keys is a thriving community with approximately 1,200 homes and numerous amenities. The neighborhood features a marina, private beaches, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a clubhouse. The canals remain a defining feature of the area, providing a picturesque setting and recreational opportunities for residents.

It's worth noting that the Tahoe Keys has faced some environmental challenges over the years. The extensive construction and alteration of the natural shoreline have raised concerns about water quality and the impact on the lake's ecosystem. Efforts have been made to address these issues and improve the environmental sustainability of the community.

Overall, the Tahoe Keys is a unique and sought-after residential community that offers a distinctive waterfront lifestyle in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Tahoe.

Historical Facts

  • Development Beginnings: The idea for the Tahoe Keys community was conceived in the late 1950s by real estate developer William "Bud" Hames. Hames acquired the land and began the planning and development process for the neighborhood.
  • Construction and Excavation: Construction of the Tahoe Keys began in the early 1960s. The developers undertook extensive excavation and dredging to create the canal system. Miles of channels were dug, connecting to the lake through the Marina Keys.
  • Unique Canal System: The Tahoe Keys' canal system is one of the community's defining features. It was designed to provide residents with direct boat access to the lake from their properties. The canals wind their way through the neighborhood, creating a picturesque waterfront setting.
  • Growth and Expansion: Over the years, the Tahoe Keys community has experienced significant growth. The initial development included hundreds of homes, and the neighborhood expanded with the construction of additional residences along the canals.
  • Recreational Amenities: In addition to the canal system, the Tahoe Keys offers various recreational amenities for residents. These include a marina for boat storage, private beaches, swimming pools, tennis courts, and a clubhouse. These amenities enhance the community's appeal and provide opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • Environmental Concerns: The development of the Tahoe Keys has raised environmental concerns due to the alteration of the natural shoreline. The extensive excavation and construction have impacted the water quality and the ecosystem of Lake Tahoe. Efforts have been made to address these issues and implement environmental measures to mitigate any negative impacts.
  • Year-Round Destination: The Tahoe Keys is not only a residential community but also a popular year-round destination for vacationers. Its location on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe provides access to the lake's scenic beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and skiing.
  • Community Involvement: The Tahoe Keys community has a homeowners association (HOA) that plays an active role in maintaining the neighborhood and organizing community events. The HOA helps enforce guidelines and regulations to ensure the well-being and quality of life for residents.

These historical facts provide a glimpse into the development and evolution of the Tahoe Keys community, showcasing its unique features and ongoing efforts to balance development with environmental preservation.


The Tahoe Keys is a geographical area located on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe in California, United States. Here are some key aspects of its geography:

  • Location: The Tahoe Keys is situated in El Dorado County, California, on the southeastern edge of South Lake Tahoe. It is approximately 3 miles west of the California-Nevada border.
  • Lake Tahoe: The Tahoe Keys community is built along the southern shore of Lake Tahoe, which is a large freshwater lake known for its stunning beauty and crystal-clear waters. Lake Tahoe straddles the border between California and Nevada and is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
  • Canal System: The Tahoe Keys is renowned for its extensive canal system. The neighborhood was designed with a series of interconnected canals that meander through the community, providing residents with direct boat access to the lake. The canals create a unique waterfront living experience and contribute to the overall charm of the area.
  • Beaches: The Tahoe Keys community features several private beaches along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe. These beaches offer residents and visitors opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and other recreational activities.
  • Natural Surroundings: The Tahoe Keys is nestled in a picturesque natural setting. The community is surrounded by beautiful forests, towering pine trees, and scenic mountain views. The area's natural beauty attracts outdoor enthusiasts who can explore the nearby trails, go hiking, biking, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
  • Elevation: The elevation of the Tahoe Keys varies, but it generally ranges from approximately 6,200 feet (1,890 meters) to 6,400 feet (1,950 meters) above sea level. The high elevation contributes to the region's cool summers, snowy winters, and stunning alpine scenery.
  • Proximity to Amenities: Despite its natural surroundings, the Tahoe Keys community is conveniently located near various amenities. South Lake Tahoe, with its restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and services, is within close proximity. Additionally, the area offers access to recreational activities such as skiing resorts, golf courses, and hiking trails.

Overall, the geography of the Tahoe Keys is characterized by its location on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe, the interconnected canal system, the natural beauty of the surrounding area, and its proximity to both outdoor recreational opportunities and urban amenities.