Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for 2021-2022

Lake Tahoe is globally recognized for its diverse landscape, unique beauty, great now quality, lively nightlife, and incredible snow quality.

The magnificent Lake Tahoe skiing region is basically divided into two-thirds California and one-third Nevada. Many ski publications have described the Lake Tahoe ski resorts as among the most beautiful in the world, and travelers on vacation at ski resorts in Lake Tahoe have echoed similar accolades.

In 1853, the Placerville Herald declared that gold had been discovered at the base of the Carson-Sierra Range and that the area will become a world-renowned place. Except for the gold, the article was correct about everything else! Lake Tahoe ski resorts boast a stunning lake and are internationally famous for their pristine beauty and outstanding skiing terrain.


How many ski resorts are in Lake Tahoe?

heavenly ski resort lake tahoe

This stunning cobalt-blue high-alpine lake is bordered by 15 Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Although it is generally referred to as “Lake Tahoe ski resort”, it’s actually a grouping of several ski resorts. Some, like Diamond Peak, offer more spectacular vistas, while others, like Squaw Valley ski resort, have excellent skiing routes but are too far away to see the gorgeous lake.

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lake tahoe ski resorts map
Lake Tahoe ski resorts map

Lake Tahoe ski resorts

The Internet says that Tahoe means “water in high places” in the native language. This is particularly true for Lake Tahoe, one of the world’s largest and tallest alpine lakes, which is almost completely surrounded by mountains. The whole region with its 15 ski resorts encompasses 27,000 acres of ski terrain, 200 lifts, and over 1,000 routes. Heavenly is the US ski resort that most people associate with Lake Tahoe, with Squaw Valley a close second.

heavenly lake tahoe skiing
Heavenly Ski Resort, one of the best Lake Tahoe ski resorts

1. Heavenly

Heavenly Resort, which bills itself as Lake Tahoe’s greatest winter playground, is also one of the most well-known. This ski resort is actually the largest in California, but it also borders Nevada and Lake Tahoe, so the fun options are multiplied.

Heavenly is also well-known for its Las Vegas-style casino hotels. You can book tickets to cabaret shows casinos at Harrah’s, Harvey’s, and Caesar’s.

This Lake Tahoe ski resort has the highest vertical drop in California (3,500 feet), and also Lake Tahoe’s tallest top (10,067 feet). Heavenly Mountain boasts 95 unique routes that cover all levels of skiing ability and adrenaline. They and are accessible via 24 lifts, nine of which are high speed.

The Heavenly Lake Tahoe ski resort also has the West Coast’s most powerful snowmaking technology, so there will always be enough snow, no matter what Mother Nature has to say! The resort also has a variety of skiing schools, tours, and services to make your holiday flawless. You can take solo or group lessons, tours targeted exclusively on women’s adventure, or a variety of workshops directed directly at trouble areas. There’s also an on-site daycare, shuttle services, and a place to check your skis or snowboard while you explore the rest of the mountain.

Heavenly also features excellent tree routes for snowboarders and is known for being a snowboarder-friendly resort. Skiing or snowboarding Heavenly is a must-do if you want to experience some of the most distinctive lines and chutes while visiting Lake Tahoe!

Ski lift ticket prices at Heavenly vary according to the length and duration of your ski trip; however, they offer discount options if tickets are booked online ahead of time. Prices start at $164 for 2021-2022 and go up from there. There are also adolescent and kid lifts ticket prices. They also provide lift tickets for stays of 7 to 10 days.

Heavenly does not offer on-site accommodation, but they have worked hard to ensure that your time at Lake Tahoe is the finest vacation ever. With this purpose in mind, they have worked to establish ties with local hotels, motels, condos, and bed and breakfasts, and offer special Heavenly pricing when you choose a Preferred Property in the nearby Heavenly Village, Heavenly California Base, Heavenly Nevada Base, Stateline or South Lake Tahoe.


squaw valley ski resort lake tahoe
Squaw Valley ski resort Lake Tahoe

2. Palisades Tahoe / Squaw Valley Resort

Palisades Tahoe or Squaw Valley USA is a big Tahoe resort with approximately 4,000 acres of terrain. Over 70% of the mountain terrain is suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. This is a massive area for someone to explore.

According to legend, the Washoe Indians found Squaw Valley in 500AD. Rumors of silver riches drew prospectors to the region in the 1860s, but nothing was ever discovered.

The Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe ski resort includes a variety of terrain parks, including half pipes, jumps, and rails. There are also racing services available. Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, night skiing, and everything in between are all available in Squaw Valley.

Host of the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Palisades Tahoe ski resort has plenty of history to uncover and lots of sightseeing opportunities. There’s an ice rink, a fine dining restaurant, and stores to visit in High Camp, not to mention a cable car trip to get there! Squaw Valley Resort also has a swimming lagoon and spa, as well as snow tubing, dog sledding trips, and a climbing wall.

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, Squaw Valley has lots of other activities to offer.

Squaw Valley ski lift tickets cost $209 for an adult day pass. However, they offer exceptional mid-week and multiple-day discounts.

Accommodation at the Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe ski resort is only offered at the Olympic Valley ski area’s base. Stay here to be near to the slopes as well as the village’s shops and eateries. Staying in Truckee may be a more cost-effective choice. The town is only a 15-minute drive away and serves as a suitable base for exploring other local destinations.


3. Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows is proud of its 2,400 acres of patrolled skiable terrain. This Lake Tahoe ski resort features over 100 runs for people of different ability levels. They provide a wide range of skiing and snowboarding programs, including private out-of-bounds trips and beginner classes taught with the Direct-To-Parallel technique. There is also an on-mountain restaurant and snack bar at the Alpine Meadows Lake Tahoe ski resort, as well as an indoor children’s play area.

The Alpine lift tickets cost $209 for an adult – full day. Tickets for children, seniors, and teenagers range from $146 to $188. Alpine Meadows Lake Tahoe ski resort also provides savings for multi-day lift tickets.

Although Alpine Meadows does not have any accommodation, they do offer various package packages with Reno and Tahoe hotels, resorts, and casinos that make visiting Alpine more accessible. The resort also provides shuttle service from select hotels and parking lots.


northstar ski resort in lake tahoe
Northstar ski resort near Lake Tahoe

4. NorthStar California Resort

The NorthStar resort in Tahoe offers a one-of-a-kind ski resort experience. It features a hamlet with restaurants, shops, and an ice rink, as well as the home of a terrific run for beginners or experts to warm up on!

Northstar features six more attractions in addition to the Village Run:

  1. Mt. Pluto is one of their most kid-friendly attractions. It features a lot of well-kept, moderately pitched runs.
  2. The Northstar Northwest Territory is ideal for people searching climb something a little more difficult than Mt Pluto. Aimed at intermediate skiers, this course is great for honing technical skills, preparing for longer runs, or racing.
  3. The Backside is ideal for intermediate to expert skiers, with seven separate mile-long routes and acres of tree skiing.
  4. Lookout Mountain is a popular local hangout in Northstar. Even experienced skiers will find it difficult to navigate the steep inclines and bump runs. This is the place to go if you’re searching for a challenge.
  5. The Terrain Park is regarded as one of the top 10 greatest in North America. It has 45 rails, boes, 50 jumps, and jibs of all sizes and ability levels. Snowboarders may also enjoy a 420-foot Super Pipe!
  6. The X-Country and Snowshoeing section at Northstar in Tahoe is another fantastic feature. Over 24 miles of snowshoeing, tracking, or skate-skiing are available in a secure, well-groomed area away from the rush and bustle of the faster-paced routes.

If this is your first time skiing, you’re in luck since the Northstar Lake Tahoe ski resort offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding programs for adults or children and even women-only classes.

Northstar ski lift ticket prices range from $123 to $209 for a one-day pass (children/senior to adult). There are discounts available for multi-day passes, as well as varied price schedules for holidays.

The Northstar ski resort also has a wide range of accommodation options in Northstar Village, which is located at the mountain. Stay at Northstar Village rooms, Northstar Condos, Northstar Mountain Homes, or Northstar Village Condos if you want to be near the slopes, restaurants, stores, and activities. There are also a few hotel alternatives mid-mountain that provide ski-in/ski-out access. Staying in Truckee might be an excellent alternative if you intend on skiing in other mountains. The city is about a 15-minute drive away.

Overall, Northstar at Tahoe is focused on providing everything a family needs for a memorable ski holiday.


5. Homewood Mountain Resort

The Homewood Mountain Resort is a Lake Tahoe ski resort with 20 kilometers of slopes and 20 kilometers of ski paths for skiing and snowboarding. The guests are transported through six elevators. The winter sports area is located between 1,899 and 2,402 meters in height.

Homewood Lake Tahoe Ski Resort is located right on the west side of the lake and offers wonderful slopes for skiing and snowboarding of all difficulty levels. The winter sports area is well-known for its stunning lake vistas and powder snow. Beginners may enjoy moderate slopes, while specialists can race down steep slopes and mogul runs. Snowcat skiing is also available at Homewood’s ski resort on the 2,664-meter-high Ellis Peak. The season lasts from December through April, and the resort receives around 300 days of sunshine every year.


sierra at tahoe ski resorts open
Lake Tahoe family friendly ski resorts: Sierra at Tahoe

6. Sierra at Tahoe Resort

The Sierra at Tahoe Resort is located further out from the lake than most other Lake Tahoe ski resorts, allowing California skiers from San Francisco or Sacramento to make a shorter drive. Sierra at Tahoe also takes pride in being a family resort, offering tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, and family excursions, and activities to encourage parents to bring their children along for pleasure. Even the form of the resort is family-friendly: the circular shape allows family members of all skill levels to go on the runs they prefer and simply meet back in the center.

Everyone may select from six parks: The Alley, Bashful, The Broadway, The Circuit, Smokey, and Upper Main. However, according to visitors, the top three choices are:

  • Smokey Park is definitely one of Sierra at Tahoe’s favorites. Located in the back, the Smokey section is designated for racing and training. Its varied terrain makes it enjoyable at fast and low speeds and for people of all ability levels.
  • Bashful Park is the place to go for adrenaline enthusiasts, with a vertical pitch all the way down and the chance to hit five jumps in a row, as well as a 12 foot wall ride and a line of jibs, making it a terrific destination for advanced to expert skiers.
  • The Broadway is a terrific area for advanced beginners to intermediate skiers to start and get a little fancy, with 10 to 20 foot rails, a small jump, tables, and boxes to help them experience what the excitement of skiing is all about!

Ski lift tickets for adults on a one-day pass are $209. Children’s and senior passes start at $123.

Sierra at Tahoe also offers Parent Predicament Tickets, which allow parents to utilize the same pass back and forth as one parent remains with the smaller children while the other goes up the lift and then switches off. This is a fantastic feature for skiers with little children!

One disadvantage of this Lake Tahoe ski resort is that there are no overnight options. However, it’s a nice destination for a day trip and you can book accommodation in Truckee at 12 kilometers away.


7. Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl is one of the closest Lake Tahoe ski resorts to the San Francisco Bay Area, and it’s also conveniently accessible from the Reno International Airport. It’s a little mountain, but it has a diversity of terrain spread among four mountain summits and two primary base regions.

The Village and Judah base areas don’t have many stores or nightlife alternatives, but rather a typical ski scene with a few restaurants options. Nordic skiers will appreciate the resort’s proximity to the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Area. There are occasional crowds here, although they are generally smaller than at neighboring resorts.

If you’re looking for accommodation at the Sugar Bowl Lake Tahoe Ski Report, head to the Village Base area. The Hotel at Sugar Bowl and a variety of vacation rentals are near the slopes. You can also spend the night in Truckee, which is approximately a 20-minute drive away. The town offers a wide range of dining and retail opportunities.


kirkwood lake tahoe skiing
Lake Tahoe skiing at Kirkwood Resort

8. Kirkwood

With over 65 trails at Kirkwood Resort, the intermediate skier has the most options, accounting for more than half of the total. However, on its 2,300 acres of skiable terrain, this Lake Tahoe ski resort also has beginner, advanced, and expert options.

The wide number of unique and attractive programs and trips offered by the Kirwood Lake Tahoe ski resort is one of its most distinguishing features. It has backcountry guided trips, snowboarding tours, a variety of skiing excursions, plus workshops and clinics for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.

At the Kirkwood Resort, you can join safety seminars. Avalanche safety and education are taken extremely seriously at this Lake Tahoe ski resort, and you can even go on an avalanche expedition tour.

Expedition trips are also available for children and teenagers, providing them with a supervised, instructive activity to engage in while their parents enjoy the slopes. Prices for these tours and workshops vary depending on the duration and intricacy of the journey, but start at $100 and go all the way up to hundreds of dollars for overnight adventures.

The day lift tickets range from $87 for children to $119 for an adult lift ticket for the entire day.

Kirkwood offers on-site accommodation. They provide a variety of alternatives ranging from modest studio apartments to big complexes with three or more bedrooms. The majority of the accommodations have a TV, VCR, DVD, and cable in the room. Many have fireplaces, kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, and on-site hot tubs, leisure spaces, as well as covered parking and swimming pools.

There are ten distinct places to stay in Kirkwood: Meadowstone Lodge, The Lodge at Kirkwood, Lost Cabin, Snowcrest Lodge, The Mountain Club, The Sentinels, Kirkwood Towers, Sun Meadows, The Meadows, and Timber Creek Base Camp, each with a different price range and level of luxury. Prices at these destinations vary depending on the time of year and availability; examining possibilities on their website is likely the best option.

Staying close to the Timber Creek base area will provide you with easier access to the beginner slopes and the ski school from this Lake Tahoe ski resort.


9. Mt. Rose

The Mt. Rose ski resort has the highest elevation point in Lake Tahoe at 8,260 feet and is the closest to Reno, Nevada (which has the closest airport to Lake Tahoe). Mt. Rose boasts 1,200 acres of snow, and the Chutes add over 200 acres of steep, 1,500-foot vertical drop at 40-55 degrees for the delight of skilled skiers. The Chutes have four gates or entrances that may be accessed by either the standard Zephyr lift chair or the speedy Chuter Chair.

The Mt. Rose Lake Tahoe ski resort also boasts a diverse range of skiing possibilities, including over 60 routes for beginners and intermediates, as well as advanced and expert runs. The longest run is around two and a half miles.

With day lift tickets at $145 for adults, Mt. Rose is an affordable choice for individuals who are in Reno or Tahoe for other reasons and just have a day to ski.

There is no accommodation on Mt. Rose Lake Tahoe ski resort, but the short half-hour trip to Reno provides a broad and accessible range of lodging, gaming, nightclubs, and entertainment alternatives while away from the slopes. Room prices and vacation packages are often less expensive in Reno than in Lake Tahoe, making Mt. Rose an excellent choice for the budget-conscious vacationer!


10. Donner Ski Ranch

Donner Ski Ranch is a Lake Tahoe ski resort with 52 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The winter sports area is located at a height of 2,142 to 2,371 meters.

The Donner Ski Ranch ski lift prices vary between $39 for kids to $79 for adults and the best place to find accommodation is in Truckee.


11. Diamond Peak

Diamond Peak is a ski resort on Lake Tahoe (USA, Western United States). There are 17 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The guests are transported through six elevators. The winter sports area is located between 2,042 and 2,602 meters above sea level.

Day ski lift prices at Diamond Peak start at $49 for kids and $109 for adults.

Accommodation is available in Incline Village, about 6 kilometers away from this Lake Tahoe ski resort.


12. Boreal

Lake Tahoe is also home to the Boreal ski resort, with 20 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Travelers can move around with six ski lifts through the winter sports area located at an altitude of 2,195 – 2,357 meters.

There is no accommodation available in Boreal, but you’ll be able to book something in nearby Truckee.


13. Tahoe Donner

Tahoe Donner has 14 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. There are two ski lifts in this Lake Tahoe ski resort, allowing visitors to enjoy the winter sports area at 2,057 – 2,240 meters. Ski lift day passes vary between $59 for kids and $89 for adults.

The Lake Tahoe Donner ski resort doesn’t have on-site accommodation. However, Truckee isn’t far away.


14. Soda Springs

At over 2,000 meters above sea level, Soda Springs Lake Tahoe ski resort has 10 kilometers of slopes for skiing and snowboarding, with two ski lifts. The ski lift prices vary between $44 and $54 for day passes, making this a very affordable destination for budget skiers.

Truckee is 22 kilometers away and it’s the closest place to Soda Springs where you’ll find accommodation.


15. Granlibakken

Granlibakken is a Lake Tahoe ski resort with only 2 km of slopes for skiing and snowboarding. On the bright side, it has two ski lifts available, with day passes prices between $30 and $40.

There’s also on-site accommodation in Granlibakken Lake Tahoe ski resort!

Booking.com

About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

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