History of Zephyr Cove

The Native American Washoe people had been living on these peaceful shores long before Zephyr Cove was established. Their tribe name derives from the Washoe word, waashiw (wa·šiw), meaning “people from here.” In 1844, American explorers Kit Carson and John Fremont were the first to discover the area. Fremont described the Washoe as being cautious of being close to them, but in time, when he showed no aggression, the Washoe came forward and offered him handfuls of pine nuts. Fremont described struggling through deep snow and being impressed by the Washoe’s skill with snowshoes. The Washoe voluntarily shared their knowledge of the land and eventually guided Fremont to a safe passage to California. Ever since its inception in 1862, Zephyr Cove has been one of the most popular Resort and Beach areas in all of Lake Tahoe. From its beginning it was “the destination” for the rich and famous.