Fact check: Image shows snow walls in mountainous region of Japan, not Lake Tahoe

The claim: Image shows snowfall in Lake Tahoe

A March 13 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) shows a group of people walking on a path between two massive walls of snow.

"March 9, 2023 LAKE TAHOE, CALIFORNIA Record snow pack," reads text above the image.

The post was shared more than 300 times in a week.

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Our rating: False

The image isn't recent and wasn't taken in Lake Tahoe. It has been circulating online for years and shows the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a sightseeing path that cuts through a mountainous region of Japan.

Image shows snow walls on mountain path in Japan

The image shows a portion of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route where a path is carved out of the snow in the spring, creating snow walls nearly 60 feet high.

The site has been a popular tourist destination for years. In 2018, CNN reported that more than 5,000 visitors a day were expected in April and May.

The area typically opens in the middle of April. It remains open until mid-June, when the walls begin to shrink due to warmer weather, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

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A reverse image search shows the photo in the post has been online since at least 2017. Similar images of the route can be seen in multiple photos published by the Associated Press and a 2019 YouTube video.

Parts of California have received unusually heavy snow, however.

Multiple ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area were forced to close at times this winter because there has been too much snow, with more than 50 feet of snow over the past three months, the AP reported.

USA TODAY reached out to the social media user who shared the post for comment.

The AP also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

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In an aerial view, a home is seen covered in snow on March 03, 2023 in Twin Bridges, California.
In an aerial view, a home is seen covered in snow on March 03, 2023 in Twin Bridges, California.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Image shows snow walls in Japan, not Lake Tahoe