Lake Tahoe is located in the Sierra Nevada of the United States and is one of the major tourist attractions in both Nevada and California. The freshwater lake covering a surface area of 191 square miles is the largest alpine lake in North America.

The beauty of the lake is enhanced by the clarity of water and the astonishing view of mountains. In addition, tourists can enjoy various recreational activities like winter sports, skiing, snow sports, summer outdoor activities and much more.

If you have Lake Tahoe on your travel bucket list, you might require transportation information. You have options to choose between highway, train or air travel to reach Lake Tahoe.  

To assist you, we have prepared this article covering all the major airports in Lake Tahoe along with other nearby airports. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

How to get to Lake Tahoe? (Explore Major Airports in Lake Tahoe) 

There are more than 15 airports near Lake Tahoe and among them, 5 are considered as the major airports. Let’s explore them below.

Lake Tahoe Airport (TVL)11.5 miles17 minutes
Truckee Tahoe Airport (TKF)14.8 miles13 minutes
Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV)27.1 miles32 minutes
Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) 36.9 miles50 minutes
Sacramento International Airport (SMF)120 miles2 hours 20 minutes

Note: The distance mentioned in the table above are presented from Google Maps considering the fastest route with the usual traffic.

With this basic information, let’s explore the major airports in Lake Tahoe with technical information, runway details, airlines, destinations and much more.

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (Closest International Airport to Lake Tahoe)

Reno-Tahoe International Airport (ICAO: KRNO, IATA: RNO, FAA LID: RNO) is located in Reno, Nevada at an elevation of 4,414 ft (1,346m) above mean sea level (AMSL). It is one of the nearest airports in Lake Tahoe with a driving distance of approximately 37 miles.

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Reno-Tahoe Int’l Airport (Airports in Lake Tahoe)

Among major airports in Lake Tahoe, RNO is the busiest commercial airport where big airlines in the United States operate regular flights. The airport covers a total area of 1,450 acres and handles more than 256 flight operations per day.

RNO Runway Information and Terminal Facility

Reno-Tahoe International Airport features three concrete runways with the designation RWY 16R/34L, RWY 16L/34R and RWY 07/25.

16R/34L11,001 by 150 feet (3,353 by 46 m)Concrete
16L/34R9,000 by 150 feet (2,743 by 46m)Concrete
07/256,102 by 150 feet (1,860 by 46m)Concrete

Terminal Facility includes two concourses (Concourse B and C) with an overall 23 jet bridge gates. 

Flights and Destination

Major Airlines of the United States operate scheduled commercial flights to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport connecting to primary cities including Los Angeles, Seattle/Tacoma, Las Vegas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Denver, Salt Lake City and so on.

Alaska AirlinesSeattle/Tacoma, Portland, Los Angeles
Allegiant AirLas Vegas
American AirlinesPhoenix-Sky Harbor, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Air LinesSalt Lake City
Frontier AirlinesLas Vegas, Denver
JetBlueNew York-JFK, Los Angeles
Southwest AirlinesSan Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Burbank, Long Beach, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix-Sky Harbor
Spirit AirlinesLas Vegas
United AirlinesSan Francisco, Houston-Intercontinental, Denver

Furthermore, Aha!, American Eagle, Delta Connection, JSX, United Express and Volaris also operate scheduled and seasonal flights to and from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

RNO Technical Information 

ELEVATION4,415 ft (1,346m)
AREA1,450 acres (587 ha)
RUNWAY16R/34L (11,001 ft by 150 ft)
16L/34R (9,000 ft by 150 ft)
07/25 (6,102 ft by 150 ft)

Sacramento International Airport

sacramento international airport aviatechchannel
Sacramento Int’l Airport (Airports in Lake Tahoe)

Sacramento International Airport (ICAO: KSMF, IATA: SMF, FAA LID: SMF) is another nearest international airport to Lake Tahoe after Reno-Tahoe International Airport. It is located in Sacramento County, California at an elevation of 27 ft (8m) AMSL.

The airport operated by Sacramento County Airport System serves the Greater Sacramento Area in California. 

SMF Runway and Terminal Information

Sacramento Int’l Airport features two concrete runways with the designation RWY 17L/35R and RWY 17R/35L.

17L/35R8,605 ft by 150 ft (2,623 m by 46 m)Concrete
17R/35L8,600 ft by 150 ft (2,621 m by 46 m)Concrete

Talking about the terminal infrastructure, SMF is equipped with two terminals namely Terminal A and Terminal B. There is a total of 32 gates out of which 13 gates are placed in Terminal A and the remaining 19 in Terminal B. Almost all terminal facilities including check-in, security, baggage handling, free Wi-Fi, automated people mover, parking and so on are available at both terminals.

Airlines and Destinations

Major US airlines including Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue and others operate regular flights to and from the Sacramento International airport connecting to various cities across the United States.

Alaska AirlinesSeattle/Tacoma, Boise, Portland, San Diego
American AirlinesPhoenix-Sky Harbor, Charlotte, Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth
Delta Air LinesLos Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle/Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Frontier AirlinesPhoenix-Sky Harbor, Denver, Ontario, Las Vegas
Hawaiian AirlinesKahului, Honolulu
JetBlueNew York-JFK, Cancun
Southwest AirlinesMajor Domestic Destinations across the United States
Spirit AirlinesOrange County, Las Vegas
United AirlinesWashington-Dulles, Denver, Chicago-O’Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark

Besides major airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada Express and regional carriers including Volaris, United Express, Delta Connection and American Eagle operate scheduled flights to and from the SMF.

SMF Technical Information

AREA6,000 acres 
RUNWAY17L/35R (8,605 ft by 150 ft)
17R/35L (8,600 ft by 150 ft)

Lake Tahoe Airport (Closest Airport to South Lake Tahoe)

Lake Tahoe Airport (ICAO: KTVL, IATA: TVL, FAA LID: TVL) is the nearest airport to Lake Tahoe as it is just 11.5 miles away. The airport is located on the Southern side of Lake Tahoe in El Dorado County, California.

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Lake Tahoe Airport (Airports in Lake Tahoe)

The airport covers a total area of 348 acres and is situated at an elevation of 6,269 ft (1,911m) above mean sea level (AMSL). TVL is operated by the City of South Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Airport is equipped with a single asphalt runway RWY 18/36 whose length is 8,541 ft (2,603m).

Talking about the flight schedules and airlines operation, Lake Tahoe Airport doesn’t facilitate scheduled operations due to staffing shortages. Airport staff are only available at flexible hours and airlines are required to contact the Airport Manager for flight requests. 

Minden-Tahoe Airport

Minden-Tahoe Airport (ICAO: KMEV, IATA: MEV, FAA LID: MEV) is among the closest airports in Lake Tahoe that is owned and operated by Douglas County. MEV is a general aviation airport situated at an elevation of 4,722 ft (1,439 m) above mean sea level.

minden tahoe airport in lake tahoe aviatechchannel
Minden-Tahoe Airport (Airports in Lake Tahoe)

This airport is mainly famous for glider operation and it was introduced as the base for the “Introduction to Soaring” tutorial mission available on the popular PC Game Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

The airport covers a total area of 990 acres (400 ha) and is equipped with three runways; two asphalt runways for aircraft operation and one runway for glider operation. Among two asphalt runways, RWY 16/34 is 7,400 ft long and 100 ft wide whereas RWY 12/30 is 5,300 ft long and 75 ft wide. The glider runway 12G/30G is made up of dirt with dimensions of 2,200 ft by 60 ft.

Minden-Tahoe Airport serves general aviation flights, military operations, glider flights, ultralight, helicopter and other basic flight operations. Talking about the commercial operation, the airport does not offer regular commercial flights.

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Truckee Tahoe Airport

Truckee Tahoe Airport (ICAO: KTRK, IATA: TKF, FAA LID: TRK) is another closest airport to Lake Tahoe which is situated at an elevation of 5,901 ft (1,799 m) AMSL. The airport owned by Truckee Tahoe Airport District serves the Truckee region in California.

Truckee Tahoe Airport (Airports in Lake Tahoe)

The airport covers a total area of 989 acres (400 ha) and features two asphalt runways with the designation 11/29 and 2/20. Runway 11/29 is 7,000 ft long and 100 ft wide whereas 2/20 is 4,650 ft long and 75 ft wide.

Truckee Tahoe Airport facilitates general aviation, air taxi, military operation, glider and ultra-light flights however, it doesn’t offer commercial service.

The airports we discovered above are the major airports in Lake Tahoe. Furthermore, there are other small and nearby airports.

Other Nearest Airport in Lake Tahoe

  • Carson City Airport
  • Van Vleck Tells Peak Airport
  • Nevada County Airport
  • Lincoln Regional Airport
  • Yuba County Airport
  • Sutter County Airport
  • Alta Sierra Airport
  • Georgetown Airport
  • Swansboro County Airport
  • Perryman Airport
  • Sacramento McClellan Airport


Till the end of this article, we discovered more than 10 airports in Lake Tahoe including the nearby airports. Among all the airports in Lake Tahoe, two airports (Reno-Tahoe and Sacramento Int’l) airport offer scheduled commercial services connecting most major cities in the United States.

So, if you are planning to visit Lake Tahoe using airway transportation, you must choose either Reno-Tahoe or Sacramento International Airport. Major airlines operated scheduled flights to and from these airports.

Again, if you are confused to choose between Reno-Tahoe and Sacramento, you can decide by the distance from Lake Tahoe. Reno-Tahoe is the nearest airport to Lake Tahoe with a distance of approximately 37 miles only whereas Sacramento is 120 miles away.

That’s why Reno-Tahoe International Airport might be the best option to reach Lake Tahoe quickly. Also, if you love highway travel, you can land at Sacramento Int’l Airport and enjoy 120 miles highway drive with beautiful views.

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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