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Ski Areas around Lake Tahoe

Travel Guide North America USA Western United States Ski Areas around Lake Tahoe

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Introduction

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

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Crossing the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is home to several great ski areas. It is possible to hit up multiple areas over a several day period although remember the lake is large and requires time to drive around. Once someone is tired of skiing you can always hit up some gambling in Reno.

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Donner Summit

Boreal Mountain Resort

  • Official Website: http://www.rideboreal.com/winter/index.html
  • Average Amount of Snow: 400 in/year (1.016 m/year)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 380 acres (1.5 km²) with 12 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ranges from $47 to $52
  • Highlights: Is usually the first ski area open in Northern California
  • Downsides: A little small
  • How to get there: Is located off of Highway just south of Truckee CA.

Although a small area Boreal Mountain Resort does have its charm. Its main draw is an amazing terrain park that features hang rails, boxes, super half pipe and many other things to grind on or jump off of. The area also get a fair amount of snow. There is also a night skiing option available on the hill.

Donner Ski Ranch

  • Official Website: http://www.donnerskiranch.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 240 in/year
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 500 acres with 6 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day $40
  • Highlights: Good deals on lift ticket/lesson combo
  • Downsides: Bad website
  • How to get there: Take I-80 and exit at Soda Springs/Norden, then turn right at the stop dign and follow the road for 3.5 miles. Donner Ski Ranch should be on the left

Donner Ski Ranch is a small ski area with good deals. The ski area was first opened in 1937 and is on top of the historic Donner Summit. There is ski in and ski out lodging available at the Summit House. For cheaper lodging stay in nearby Truckee. The restaurant and bar is open daily to 8 pm.

Soda Springs

  • Official Website: http://www.skisodasprings.com/index.html
  • Average Amount of Snow: 400 in
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 200 acres wit 2 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ranges $30 to $35
  • Highlights: Lots of beginner runs
  • Downsides: No expert runs
  • How to get there: Is only one mile off of I-80 on Donner Summit. Exit at Soda Springs and follow the road signs.

Soda Springs is one of the oldest ski resorts in America and was founded in 1931. The area is much cheaper then neighboring areas and a favorite among families and beginner skiers. For people not interested in skiing there is also snow tubing available along with other activities.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has a long and interesting history, it was founded by a group of investors, including Walt Disney, in 1938. It was also the first ski area in the USA to install a gondola lift. Today Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is known for its great advance skiing and lots of snow. It is also home to 1 terrain park.

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North Shore Lake Tahoe

Alpine Meadows

alpine meadows

alpine meadows

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  • Official Website: http://www.skialpine.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 495 in/year (12.6 m)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 2,400 (9.7 km²) with 13 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ticket ranges from $64 to $69
  • Highlights: Site of a famous Ski law suit
  • Downsides: Very little accommodation on the mountain
  • How to get there: Take I-80 to Truckee and then take State Route 89 South for about 10 miles and turn right onto Alpine Meadows Road. Follow the road to the end, which is about 3 miles.

Alpine Meadows is located on the north end of Lake Tahoe near Squaw Valley. This nice area has a vertical drop of 1,800 ft (550 m). In 1982 it was the site of an avalanche that killed 7 people! Since then it has had a great safety record and it is a good ski area. The mountain is home to two terrain parks, one for adults and another for kids. There are good deals for group ski tickets also.

Diamond Peak

  • Official Website: http://www.diamondpeak.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 300 in/year
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 655 acres (2.65 km²) with 6 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ticket $49 (cheaper tickets can be found at costco)
  • Highlights: Great views of Lake Tahoe from the lifts
  • Downsides: Is a small area
  • How to get there: From Truckee take Highway 267 to Highway 28 junction and turn left. then turn left on Country Club Drive and then turn right on Ski Way and follow it till its end.

Diamond Peak is a small ski area opened in 1966. The area is known for its amazing views of Lake Tahoe from the lifts. This ski area is now home to brand new ski lodge at its base. There are also good group deals and lift ticket/lessons combos. This is especially a good deal for first time or beginner skiers who don't want to make a big investment.

Granlibakken

  • Official Website: http://www.granlibakken.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 200 in/year
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 10 acres with 2 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ticket $20, half day $14
  • Highlights: Super small area perfect for first tim skiers
  • Downsides: Not good for large groups because of lack of terrain
  • How to get there: Take Granlibakken Rd about 1/2 mile on 89 south of Tahoe City directly to the hill.

This tiny area was opened in the mid 1940s by a Norwegian ski jumper and sea captain. Granlibakken has maintained its charm and now is a nice small ski resort. The ski resort owns the surrounding 74 acres giving the mountain a very romantic and secluded feeling. The breathtaking views around the mountain valley will stop anyone in their tracks.

Homewood Mountain Resort

  • Official Website: http://www.skihomewood.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 450 in/year
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 1,260 acres with 7 lifts
  • Cost: Non-Holiday monday-thursday an adult 1 day ticket is $39, Friday and Saturday $53, and Holiday is $58
  • Highlights: A very good balance of different difficulty level runs. Is also the closest ski area to Lake Tahoe
  • Downsides: No adaptive skier programs available and no childcare on the mountain
  • How to get there: Is located on Highway 89, five miles south of Tahoe City and 19 miles north of South Lake Tahoe.

Homewood Mountain Resort is a great family ski area located near Tahoe City. The area boasts a nice mixture of runs. It also has a terrain park and half pipe for the more aggressive skier. This mountain is considered one of the best snowboarder hills according to a local poll. Also it is home to some of the best tree skiing in the area, especially after a nice big dump.

Mt Rose

  • Official Website: http://www.skirose.com
  • Average Amount of Snow: 400 in/year (10.2 m/year)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 1,200 acres (4.9 km²)
  • Cost: An adult 1 day ticket is $64
  • Highlights: Amazing chutes and fun theme days
  • Downsides: Closest area to Reno
  • How to get there: From Reno take Highway 395 to Highway 431 to the ski area. There are also shuttles from Reno and Tahoe

Mt Rose is a good area very close to Reno. It is also home to two nice terrain parks and a half pipe. People first started back country skiing in the region in the 1930s although the ski area was first founded in 1950s. Today Mt Rose is famous for having great theme days like "Dummy Downhill" and "Elvis Day" that attract lots of visitors. There also theme days for discount tickets to attract elderly skiers, families or students.

Northstar at Tahoe

  • Official Website: http://www.northstarattahoe.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 350 in/year (9 m/year)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 2,904 acres (11.8 km²) with 18 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day is $83
  • Highlights: Great tree skiing and plenty of non-skiing activities
  • Downsides: Big crowds and high price
  • How to get there: From Reno go West on Interstate 80 for roughly 30 minutes (30 miles) then take Highway 267 Exit #188 then travel South on Highway 267 for approx 6 miles and then turn Right onto Northstar Dr.

Northstar at Tahoe is a good year round resort with great skiing, shops, restaurants, art galleries, jewelry boutiques, luxury condominiums and a new skating rink. The goal of this area is to become more classy then Vail, Deer Valley, or Squaw Valley. With additions like a new parking lot with buses, compared to the open air tractors of previous years, to carry skiers to the hill and a Ritz-Carlton opening this area means some massive class coming its way. It also has amazing tree skiing and the deep powder that also comes makes this a great ski area.

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley

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  • Official Website:http://www.squaw.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 450 in/year (11 m/year)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 4,000 acres (16 km²) with 33 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 2 day ticket ranges $134 to $83, although there are good deals for kids under 10 years old.
  • Highlights: Is a massive area with tons to do and some amazing terrain on the top of the mountain.
  • Downsides: Massive lines and sometimes the snow can be a bit heavy
  • How to get there: The valley entrance is just 8 miles south from Truckee and 6 miles north from Tahoe City on Highway 89. For carpooling look at this website http://alternetrides.com/welcome1.asp?location_key=2141307

Squaw Valley is the second largest ski area in the Lake Tahoe area, hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and is located in the Olympic Valley. Many times the entire Olympic Valley is just called Squaw Valley because of the popularity of the ski area. This area boasts over 177 runs ranging from the super easy to the most extreme. It is also the only mountain in the USA to have a Funitel to transport skiers to the top of the mountain. For non-skiers there are also climbing walls, snow tubing and many other activities to enjoy at this full service resort

Tahoe Donner

Tahoe Donner is a nice local ski area with wide open bowls, great beginner runs and some awesome grooming allowing a huge comfort area for beginner skiers. There is also a quarter pipe, jumps and some tabletops for thrill seeker. For the cross country skier there are are over 45 trails stretching over 4,800 acres. And for the non-skier slap one some snowshoes and hit up 2 great snowshoe only runs.

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Southern Shore Lake Tahoe

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Skiing Heavenly Mountain - Lake Tahoe, California

Skiing Heavenly Mountain - Lake Tahoe, California

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  • Official Website: http://www.skiheavenly.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 360 in/year (9.14 m)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 4,800 acres (19 km²) with 30 lifts
  • Cost: 2 day adult ticket ranges from $160 to $168
  • Highlights: Is one of the largest and is highest mountain resort in the Lake Tahoe area
  • Downsides: Can have very long lines
  • How to get there: If coming from the west take Highway 50 east directly to the mountain. If coming form the south take Highway 395 north to the mountain. If coming from the east take Highway 50.

Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the best ski areas around Lake Tahoe and crosses between the states of California and Nevada. It is home to great mixture of runs, 97 in total, and 5 terrain parks. For the non-skier there is an amazing zip-line that is 3,100 ft long, the longest zip line in the lower 48. A rider on this zip-line can reach up to 50 mph! If the zip-line is not your kind of thrill then hit up one of the casions. One of the major additions to the area includes a 27,650 square foot LEED certified building, which will be able to seat 950 people. Also the ski area is buying a fleet of low emission buses to shuttle people around.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

kirkwood

kirkwood

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  • Official Website: http://www.kirkwood.com
  • Average Amount of Snow: 500 in/year (12.7 m/year)
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 2,300 acres with 12 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ranges from $72 to $75
  • Highlights: lost of snow every season and lots of advance terrain
  • Downsides: limited base side accommodation
  • How to get there: If come from the West or the south take I-80 or I-5 to Sacramento then take US-50 to CA-16. CA-16 merges with CA-49 and stay on CA-49 until you reach the ski resort.

Known for massive amounts of snow, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is a good area. As an example of the amount of snow in some years, such as the the 2005/2006 season, there is over 804 inches (20 meters) of snow! The area has very impressive expert runs because of the 2 mile long ridgeline on the top of the mountain. The ridgeline allows for impressive cornices to form and some great cliffs for jumping off of. There are also 3 terrain parks on the mountain to do some great jumps off of to. The resort has recently pledge more efforts to be greener.

Sierra At Tahoe

  • Official Website: http://www.sierraattahoe.com/
  • Average Amount of Snow: 480 in/year
  • Amount Skiable of Terrain: 2,000 acres (8 km²) with 11 lifts
  • Cost: Adult 1 day ticket is $69 on a holiday it is $72
  • Highlights: 6 terrain parks
  • Downsides: Not a lot of advance skiing
  • How to get there: From San Francisco take I-80E east into Sacramento, continue on US-50 E toward Sacramento/South Lake Tahoe then bear right at US-50 and lastly turn right at Sierra-at-Tahoe Rd. Car pooling is also averrable.

Sierra At Tahoe is a good sized ski resort aimed toward family fun. With 25% of the runs being beginner and 50% Intermediate people can cruise all day long. Located on the southern end of the lake less people visit the area. Originally opened in 1946 the resort was relocated to its present location in 1968. The area was family owned until 1993 and is now owned by a company that owns the neighboring area of Booth Creek.

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This is version 20. Last edited at 22:23 on Jan 17, 09 by Lavafalls. 5 articles link to this page.

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