The volume of snowfall in some parts of California is impressive, particularly in the Lake Tahoe ski resorts, with Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood boasting an annual average snowfall of 12+ metres. In total there are 15 mountain resorts of all sizes, from Heavenly (the largest in the region – where you can ride through two states!) to the ‘steeped in history’ Squaw Valley (which held the first televised Winter Olympics). Whilst most Tahoe resorts don’t have the same light and dry snowfall compared to the interior of North America, most resorts have excellent snowmaking facilities and immaculately groomed runs. From snowcapped mountains to beautiful sights down at the lake, quaint lakeside villages and entertainment hotspots, Tahoe has something for everyone.
LAKE TAHOE RESORTS
Tahoe is the place to ski and ride. Ride and ski. On blue bird days, in storms that hide your tracks run after run. Some people pine for warm sand and fruity drinks; Tahoe is the shredders paradise.
Bring the kids. Teach them to ski in a place that will spark their passion for the snow. Thrill them with tubing, sledding and unbelievable views from mountain top trams and lodges.
Recharge at night with happening casino entertainment, swank, cozy or rustic taverns and restaurants, dancing, music, local hangouts and events. So many ski resorts means unlimited possibilities.
“Majestic mountains with jaw-dropping cliffs, serene glades and spectacular views of the lake. 400 inches of snow a year that pile up into epic powder, tight corduroy groomers, raucous terrain parks and endless moguls. This is Tahoe.”
Squaw is located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in California. Close to both San Francisco and Reno. Host of the 1960 Olympic Games, Squaw is a mountain steeped in history. And Warren Miller probably contributed to putting Squaw on the map by filming some impressive big mountain skiing there in the 1980’s. Of all the Lake Tahoe resorts, Squaw is arguably the most advanced, and much of the expert terrain is lifted, requiring little hiking to get to the good stuff. Whilst Squaw is beautiful on a bluebird day, it does attract the crowds.
Amazing terrain from the infamous KT 22 through to Granite Chief and Shirley Lake, Squaw has it all. Lessons for kids and adults, great groomers and deep powder, Squaw has it all including some great secrets (which we know)
Head to the pool with your board shorts in spring and at the end of the day grab a beer at Le Chamois (The Cham), head to Fireside then finish it off with a great time at the Auld Dubliner. You can’t miss to much at Squaw, we love and you’ll love it to!
SQUAW VALLEY RESORT STATS
Season: Late Nov – mid April
Terrain: Beginner 25% / Intermediate 45% / Advanced 30%
Lift system: 34
Longest run: 5.1km
Average Snowfall: 11.5m
Terrain Parks: 3
There is an energy at Alpine Meadows resort; a heartbeat. This mountain mesmerizes us with perfect powder which lingers days after a storm; grants moments of clarity on quiet traverses through snow covered pine trees; and converts visitors to locals with seven open bowls, gentle, top-to-bottom cruisers, and forested glades.
Alpine backs on to Squaw and has some great hiking accessing amazing terrain in Beaver and Estelle Bowl, don’t forget Ward Peak dropping into CB’s, Sun Bowl and Big Ben Bowl . Cruise over to Scott Chair and run the chute directly under it or cruise over to Lakeview for some isolated terrain with tree runs and amazing views of Lake Tahoe. A favourite in spring is to cruise to Sherwood to ski great corn and head to the Ice Bar for a cold beer.
Experience Alpine, it’s one you’ll never forget.
For the modern family that prefers substance with a unique, laid-back style, Northstar California Resort combines California cool with high-end luxury, on-mountain exhilaration with a sophisticated Alpine Village atmosphere.
Halfway between one of North America’s coolest mountain towns and one of the world’s most beautiful alpine lakes, Northstar is a destination on the rise, having poured nearly a billion dollars into creating Lake Tahoe’s premier luxury snowsports experience. Upscale shops, refined dining and Lake Tahoe’s only five-star slope side lodging is married to impeccable grooming, incredible tree skiing and enough variety to challenge every level of skier and snowboarder. With world class parks (10 of them) and a superpipe, be sure to get you moves out for ‘Pinball’.
Those who come to Northstar know what they’re looking for. Sometimes it’s adventure, sometimes it’s to learn, sometimes it’s to relax in a welcoming place with family and friends. No matter what that experience is, they’ll find it to be exactly the way it should be.
NORTHSTAR RESORT STATS
Mt. Rose offers Tahoe’s closest skiing to Reno, being a convenient 25 minutes from Reno’s 17,000 incredibly affordable rooms and unmatched nightlife. This ideal location makes Mt. Rose the perfect choice for the first and last day of your Lake Tahoe vacation, or the ideal option for a quick weekend getaway. Experience over 1,200 acres of some of the Sierra’s best powder snow dropping over 1800 vertical feet. Find out for yourself about Tahoe’s best value and most convenient skiing.
Opened in the 2004-05 season, the 200+ acre “The Chutes” offer some the longest vert in North America. This means you don’t just get a quick glimpse of a steep run, you get more like 1000+ feet of north facing slopes with pitches from 40-55 degrees!
Since Mt Rose is the closest resort to Reno you can either stay in Reno and get your gamble and entertainment on at one of the many casinos or stay in North Lake Tahoe and follow up your Mt Rose experience with another North Lake Resort the next day.
MT ROSE STATS
Overlooking the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is one of the most unique snowsports destinations on the planet. Skiing and snowboarding at Heavenly presents you with a number of different choices. With more terrain variety, more hidden glades, more rippin’ groomers than any Lake Tahoe resort, you’ve got plenty of decisions to make.
Heavenly Mountain Resort is located next to the town of South Lake Tahoe on the California and Nevada border. The views of Lake Tahoe, and the high desert of Northern Nevada from Heavenly are impressive. The resort also caters well for both intermediates and advanced skiers with good variety of terrain from blue cruisers to great tree skiing. It is also well looked after with its high speed lifts and huge snowmaking system. Whilst Heavenly gets some great bluebird days, it unfortunately lacks that traditional mountain town character that other nearby resorts exude.
HEAVENLY RESORT STATS
Season: Nov – April
Terrain: Beginner 20% / Intermediate 45% / Advanced 35%
Lift system: 29
Longest run: 8.8km
Average Snowfall: 9.14m
Terrain Parks: 3
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort has grown to be one of Lake Tahoe’s largest ski resorts with over 2,000 skiable acres, serviced by ten chairlifts, including three express quads. With 480 annual inches of snow, Sierra is known as the epicenter of South Shore treeskiing. Call it the Steamboat of Lake Tahoe. On powder days, skiers float down the fall line in Jack’s Bowl and
Avalanche Bowl. Most of the tree runs are unmarked and not even listed on the trail map, so follow the locals. If it’s snowing hard, stay on the frontside and do laps beneath the Grandview Express,
hitting Castle and Preacher’s Passion and working the trees in between. Sierra’s well-spaced glades, combined with its geography, offer another benefit: wind protection. When high gusts buffet Lake Tahoe and shut down lifts at other resorts, Grandview Express is often still open.
On bright blue days when there’s no fresh snow, locals head for West Bowl. Morning sun softens this side of the mountain first, making for ideal conditions on Powderhorn, Horsetail and Clipper. For a fast morning start, park in the A Lot and ski down to West Bowl Express. You can ski back to your car at day’s end and join the tailgate party that takes over the lot!
For live music, happy hour specials, micro brews, wine and spirits come see us at the Sierra Pub. Enjoy freshly tossed salads, specialty sandwiches including The Boss and Bistro Ham Sandwich, as well as creative pizza inspired by Blue Dog Pizza of South Lake Tahoe. And don’t pass up the best beer bargain of all – join the Sierra Pub Club and get $5 beers all the time!
Kirkwood Mountain Resort is one of the nation’s top destination resorts. Located just 177 miles from the Bay Area along scenic Highway 88, its base elevation of 7,800-feet, assures skiers more annual snowfall than any other resort in North America. Kirkwood is recognized by winter purists and national media alike for the quality of its snow and terrain variety and is a true skier’s destination. Known for its pristine beauty and action-packed expeditions and events, winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sled dog tours, and backcountry expeditions. Kirkwood Village includes boutique shopping, live music and dining.
Magical, raw, expansive and remote, Kirkwood is the stuff of legend. With the deepest, driest snow around and some of North America’s most diverse and challenging terrain, Kirkwood offers big mountain riding with small town attitude. It’s about adventure and challenge. Discovery from exploration. Personal satisfaction, from personal challenge. At the end of the day, a uniquely rewarding experience that can only be had at a handful of places on Earth. Tucked away about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood is out of the way but the reward is well worth the effort of finding it.
Kirkwood is the least crowded of the Tahoe resorts and gets great snow. It’s smaller than the other major resorts but has great runs, especially on the backside.