Not a bad suggestion above, what you are thinking about in a way is a very big bonsai
I'm not entirely sure what the picture you have in your mind is, when you say you want it to look like Lake Tahoe, but the trees of Lake Tahoe (one of the most beautiful places in the world!) are mainly conifers: pines, firs, juniper, cedar, with some willow, alder, and aspen thrown in. Most of the conifers there grow to be 60 - 200 feet tall.
You can't have that in your container! But you could have a dwarf evergreen that would be proportionately sized to your container. Fir, cedar, cypress, juniper, larch, pine, spruce, arborvitae, and even giant sequoia are available in dwarf versions.
This is a link to a nursery that specializes in dwarf conifers, just so you can see pictures of what different ones look like and some information about what conditions they need:
Hope this helps some as a starting point.