TRPA regularly monitors noise along highway corridors in the Lake Tahoe Basin to ensure noise limits are not being exceeded. Because noise from highways is the largest source of background noise in the Basin, noise limits near highways ensures the serenity of the Tahoe Basin is maintained. 

Program Overview
Noise - Highways

TRPA uses a Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) meaure to assess whether noise levels are being exceeded in highway corridors. The CNEL averages decible (dB) levels over a 24 hour period, with excess noise late at night and early in the morning being weighted greater due to humans and wildlife being more sensitive to noise at these times.The highest 24-hour CNEL measured is used to assess noise levels. TRPA regularly monitors noise along highway corridors at 30 locations around the Tahoe Basin, with monitors located 300 feet from the edge of the highway. Noise monitors are deployed for 1-2 weeks during the peak highway useage period, which is generally July 4th through Labor Day. Each noise monitoring location is re-visited once every four years. Noise monitors are calibrated to industry standards to ensure accuracy. 

The following CNEL noise limits are in place for highways in the Tahoe Basin:

  • Highway 207 (Kingsbury Grade) = 55 dB
  • Highway 431 (Mt Rose Highway) = 55 dB
  • Highway 89 = 55 dB
  • Highway 28 = 55 dB
  • Highway 50 = 65 dB


To download all of the highway noise data on this page please see Tahoe Open Data.

Monitoring Sites

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TRPA leads the noise monitoring program. Noise monitors are put on property with permission from the California Tahoe Conservancy, California State Parks, Nevada State Parks, U.S. Forest Service, and private property owners.


No documents have been uploaded for this monitoring program.

No indicators associated with this monitoring program.

Monitoring Site List
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