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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.
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 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 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 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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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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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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 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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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.
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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 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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