A Guide to the Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe
With 300 to 500 inches of snow covering the mountains each year, you won’t be surprised to find many great ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.
Tucked into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Lake Tahoe is a year-round adventure vacation destination, however, it’s probably best known as an iconic ski region. It’s home to a Winter Olympics site along with the largest cross-country ski area in America.
You’ll find many ski resorts at Lake Tahoe, with the most popular being in North Lake Tahoe, West Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe.
In partnership with Hotels.com, we’ll take you through the various ski resorts in each region, and what they’re best for.
Ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe
Here are a few of the top ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in Lake Tahoe, with over 4,800 acres of ski terrain, including 97 different trails accessed by 28 ski lifts.
Unsurprisingly, the resort gets its name from the incredible views to be found here. Skiers have been known to stop midway through a run, simply to marvel at the views of Lake Tahoe, the mountains and the forest.
The resort is popular for both skiing and snowboarding and offers slopes for all levels. About 5% of the slopes are ideal for beginners, while 43% are intermediate, 26% advanced and 23% being expert runs.
One of the best reasons to stay near Heavenly Mountain Resort is the wide choices of nearby hotels and cabins.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
After Heavenly Mountain, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is the next most popular south Lake Tahoe ski resort.
The resort offers an impressive variety of terrain, including long, wide runs and open bowls. The resort has 2,300 acres of terrain and 86 trails for skiers and snowboarders accessed by 15 lifts. The longest trail stretches for 2.5 miles (4 km).
With the highest summit being a staggering 9,800 feet, it’s a challenging terrain to ski. Only about 12% of the slopes are for beginners, while 30% are intermediate, 38% are advanced and 20% are expert.
Apart from skiing, the resort also has areas for tubing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.
A favourite among locals, not only because of its slopes, snowfall and access to Huckleberry Canyon, but because of its vibe. The activities here are all centred around playing around and having fun on the slopes.
You simply cannot leave without racing down the tubing hill in a huge doughnut! This is a great family-friendly resort, with its Blizzard Mountain dedicated to snow play, including tubing and sledding lanes.
The resort has 2,000 acres and 2,212 vertical feet of skiable terrain. The 46 runs are split up into 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced.
Ski resorts in North Lake Tahoe
Here are a few of the top ski resorts in North Lake Tahoe:
Squaw Valley was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics and has maintained its vibrant ski culture ever since. The valley attracts eager skiers, offering slopes for beginners (about 25% of the slopes) through to seasoned professionals.
The resort has 3,600 acres of skiable terrain, 29 ski lifts, and more than 170 trails—with the longest run extending for 3.2 miles (5km).
A (non-skiing related) highlight of the resort is the hot tub, pool and cabana bar sitting at 8,200 feet.
Northstar California is all about creating an entire experience around skiing. Including champagne toasts on the mountain, a virtual mountain assistant and a family-friendly ski village.
The resort has 3,170 acres of skiable terrain, with 100 trails. From challenging trails for the experts to more leisurely intermediate trails and beginner routes.
For snowboarders, the resort is known for its Snowboarding Terrain Parks, including The Straits for a variety of jumps and Pinball for boarders who like jibs.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
The first ski resort to typically open in the area due to having the highest base elevation (and extensive snowmaking capabilities). Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is a Reno Tahoe ski resort, located just 25 minutes from Reno-Tahoe Airport.
It’s also the only ski resort that offers a 360-degree view into Nevada’s Truckee Meadows and Lake Tahoe.
The resort has 1,200 acres of skiing on 1,800 vertical feet. It’s a great stopover resort on your way to or from other ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe. Also, a popular resort for advanced skiers, with many black-diamond runs.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Diamond Peak Ski Resort is known as one of Tahoe’s friendliest mountains, with uncrowded conditions and breath-taking views of the lake. The area is also great for tree skiing!
The resort has 655 skiable acres, with almost 500 acres of gladed tree runs, 6 chairlifts and 31 runs. Its summit elevation is 8,540 feet above sea level, yielding a vertical drop of 1,840 feet, sixth among the ski areas surrounding Lake Tahoe.
Ski resorts in West Lake Tahoe
Here are the ski resorts at Lake Tahoe’s western shores.
Homewood Mountain Resort
Located just a few miles north of the iconic Emerald Bay, Homewood Mountain Resort is one of the last resorts offering a truly classic Lake Tahoe skiing experience. It’s perfect for skiers who enjoy peak-to-shore skiing in a relaxed atmosphere, for good value.
Covering 1,260 acres of terrain, Homewood has 67 trails accessed by eight lifts.
While there are beginner terrain options (15%) and advanced terrain (35%), skiers and snowboarders often come to enjoy an abundance of intermediate terrain (50% of the mountain).
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is known for the longest snow season of any Lake Tahoe ski resort and powder that lingers for days.
The resort has 2,400 skiable acres, with more than 100 trails – from mountain adventures through to groomed runs.
It’s known for being a down-to-earth resort, with approachable hospitality.
Ski resorts further out in Lake Tahoe
There are several more ski resorts located a bit further from the actual lake, these are often much more accessible from the nearby areas of San Francisco and Sacramento.
A few of the most popular ones include:
- Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
- Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort
- Boreal Mountain Resort
- Donner Ski Ranch
- Soda Springs Mountain Resort
There’s definitely no shortage of ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, take your pick from the above and make sure to get there quickly before the season is finished!