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 Lake Tahoe
Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe

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.

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe - Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe

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.

Sierra-at-Tahoe

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

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.

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe
Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe

Northstar California

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!


Basecamp Hotel: Chic, Comfortable ‘Base Camp’ in South Lake Tahoe

Surround by tall pine trees at the basin of Heavenly Mountain and a close walk to the shores of Lake Tahoe, Basecamp Hotel is a rustic camp-like accommodation with chic undertones located in South Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada.

The hotel offers travelers a stylish home base with a strong resemblance to that of a base camp to rest after an adventurous day discovering the area’s natural beauty.

The highly-affordable and eco-friendly hotel in South Lake Tahoe adds a sheer bit of luxury to make everyone a happy camper.

Book your stay here

Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe

Our experience of staying in Basecamp Hotel, South Lake Tahoe

Designed with exploration in mind, the 50-room boutique hotel offers travelers modern amenities in a cozy atmosphere. From a typical plush king-sized room to queen-sized rooms featuring bunk beds, the hotel can accommodate any size party. Each room takes on a rustic decor lined with reclaimed wood, painted tarps as headboards and comfortable wool blankets at the end of every bed. The high-thread count bed linens featured in each room adds a touch of luxury for travelers. Other amenities include a flat-screen TV, gear racks, free wireless Internet access, a desk and a spacious in-room bathroom with a walk-in shower and eco-friendly bath products.

Energy efficient room heaters, in-room recycle bins and reclaimed building materials are just a few of the additional green credentials Basecamp Hotel offers. But while the hotel’s founding principals include sustainability, its chic comfort is the main attraction.

The rooms at Basecamp Hotel

Travelers can take advantage of a unique experience and stay in their Great Indoors room, which brings the great outdoors camping experience indoors. Lined with green carpet to resemble grass, an electric log fireplace, landscape painting adorning the walls and a tent pitched over a king-size bed, book your “campsite” inside Basecamp Hotel.

Or step into the lap of luxury where travelers have the option of renting the Penthouse Suite. After a day of exploration, unwind with a stocked wet bar and views stretching through the forest to the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe accommodation
Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe accommodation

Communal areas at the eco-hotel

communal environment is encouraged inside Basecamp Hotel as it provides travelers a lounge area with large leather couches to sink into and a fireplace to warm up by all while sharing stories and travel experiences with others. Or enjoy a coffee with a fellow traveler during continental breakfast, which is served daily and included in the price of the room.

The hotel also offers two dinner sittings at the large reclaimed farm table in the center of the lobby; share in a fondue experience among other travelers or possibly another family style dish depending on the day of week and time of year.

A few added touches Basecamp Hotel offers travelers includes a roof-top hot tub over looking the mountains, cozy fire pits to toast some marsh mellows at night and a stocked cash bar featuring organic beers and steaming hot chocolate.

With long trails through the woods, water activities within walking distance and two of North America’s best ski resorts are just some of the natural resources just waiting to be explored, Basecamp Hotel is the most affordable and stylish option no matter the type of traveler or adventurist.

The eco-friendly hotel will have you traveling back to South Lake Tahoe year after year.

Book your stay here

Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe
Basecamp Hotel South Lake Tahoe

If you’re going to Lake Tahoe in the skiing season, check out these ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.