January 25, 2021

Where Are the Best Places to Ski in Lake Tahoe?

Places to Ski in Lake Tahoe

Places to Ski in Lake Tahoe

If you love skiing, the outdoors, and beautiful scenery you might want to learn more about Lake Tahoe. Life in Lake Tahoe means you’re surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful water and mountains, and in the winter Lake Tahoe is a premier ski destination.

During the summer in Lake Tahoe, adventures usually revolve around the crystal-clear waters of the lake itself.

If you’re thinking about a ski trip in Lake Tahoe, the following are things to know and places to go.

An Overview of Lake Tahoe

In general, if you’re planning a visit to Lake Tahoe, there are a few things to know.

First, to reach Lake Tahoe, many people will fly into San Francisco and drive from there, but there are other options, too, like flying into Reno.

You should understand that Lake Tahoe is a big, spread out place, and you’ll want to be clear on where you plan to go during your trip and make sure you stay in the right location for where you want to ski so you aren’t doing a lot of backtracking.

Winter driving can be a challenge in the area, so you might want to have snow chains with you too.

As far as skiing and snowboarding, Lake Tahoe has a great deal of diverse downhill skiing in a relatively concentrated area. Squaw Valley is even the original home of extreme skiing.

The lift prices are relatively affordable as well, so there’s a lot that appeals to winter sports enthusiasts.

When Lake Tahoe gets snow, it’s often measured in feet rather than inches and it’s also a sunny destination. The Lake Tahoe Basin gets around 300 days of sunshine each year, so you get the best of worlds with deep snow and beautiful conditions.

So what resorts should you think about visiting?

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and it’s a European-style village.

You can go to the High Camp at 8,200 feet where you’ll find a cabana bar, pool, and hot tub. The Squaw Valley area features a high-energy environment and there are around 3,600 acres of skiable terrain.

There are more than 170 trails, the longest of which is 3.2 miles, and there are 29 ski lifts.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll still find great options at Squaw Valley, as will more advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the most interesting ski resorts in the world because you can decide if you’re going to ski in Nevada or California.

There are 34 miles of groomed cruisers and black-diamond canyons for tree skiing. You have great views of Lake Tahoe, and there are around 4,800 acres of skiable acres, which is the most you’ll find at any of the Tahoe resorts.

With an elevation of 10,067 feet, it’s also the highest in Lake Tahoe.


Homewood offers some of the best views, and it can look like you’re skiing straight toward the lake, plus it’s not as crowded as some of Tahoe’s other resorts.

It’s a simple ski resort with limited parking, but there’s a lot to love. There are around 1,260 skiable acres and seven lifts at Homewood.


Northstar is a good Tahoe option for families. It’s often ranked among the country’s most family-friendly resorts, and it’s made up primarily of intermediate terrain.

There’s a self-contained village with an ice-skating rink, tubing, and other family-centric activities.

There are also options like Petra Wine Bar and a pizza restaurant called Rubicon.

You can book childcare at the resort, and there are ski lessons for kids who are at least three years old.

Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl is the oldest resort in Lake Tahoe, and it gets an average of 500 inches of snow every winter. Around half the terrain is north-facing, so the snow stays very powdery.

It is less modern and smaller than some of Tahoe’s other resorts, but it maintains a sense of charm in addition to the amazing powder.


Finally, Kirkwood is one of Tahoe’s top picks in the eyes of the locals with deep snow and steep slopes. There are times this resort receives almost double the snow of other areas in Tahoe.

The resort has some of Lake Tahoe’s best terrain for learning, and more than 2,300 acres of total terrain for beginner skiers all the way through the advanced and adventurous skier or snowboarder.

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