7 Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for a Winter Getaway

Hit the slopes at the best Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

Skier at Heavenly Ski Resort with view of Lake Tahoe

Courtesy of Heavenly Ski Resort

When it comes to picture-perfect ski destinations, few places deliver like Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, straddling California to the west and Nevada to the east. With the unique placement of the lake and a healthy 6,224-foot elevation, the area is primed for wintertime magic. And that's why skiers and snowboarders will find an abundance of Lake Tahoe ski resorts ready to cater to their shredding style. 

Lake Tahoe typically gets 400 inches of snow a year, along with some 300 days of sunshine, so you can expect great conditions for hitting the slopes. Here are seven of the best Lake Tahoe ski resorts for your next winter getaway.  

Skier at Heavenly Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe

Courtesy of Heavenly Ski Resort

Heavenly Ski Resort

There's something for everyone at Heavenly Ski Resort. As the largest resort in Lake Tahoe, Heavenly has 97 trails stretched across 4,800 skiable acres of terrain. Skiers and riders can zoom down 3,500 vertical feet, all accessible via 28 chairlifts. Experienced skiers and riders are also invited to test their mettle on expert runs like Killebrew Canyon, a steep and deep run with a 45-degree chute that will leave even the pros a little weak in the knees. The ski resort is available on the Epic Pass, or visitors can snag daily lift tickets on its website. Just make sure not to leave the base too early, as Heavenly's apres-ski scene is known to get rowdy. 

Skier at Kirkwood Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe

Courtesy of Kirkwood Ski Resort

Kirkwood Ski Resort

Get a more local flavor by taking a few runs at Kirkwood. Located about a 45-minute drive south of Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood can take a little more effort to get to, but the juice is worth the squeeze for those looking for advanced runs and thinner crowds. Its base elevation at 7,800 feet almost guarantees excellent snow conditions all winter long (it averages 354 inches a year) across 2,300 skiable acres. The majority of the mountain (38%) is dedicated to advanced terrain, while an additional 20% is dedicated to experts only. Come here if you want to challenge yourself or push your skills with a lesson on the mountain. And bonus points for freestyle skiers and boarders: Kirkwood is home to not one but two terrain parks, so you can perfect your tail grabs and screamin' seamans. Kirkwood is available on the Epic Pass or via daily lift tickets. 

Northstar at Tahoe Ski Resort

For a touch of luxury, head to Northstar, a destination known for its more upscale experiences. The mountain receives plenty of snow like the others on this list (about 350 inches a year) and is home to more than 3,100 skiable acres. It's also a spot that's ideal for the whole family, as it has plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain, along with a stellar ski school and kids camps to keep everyone happy. At the base, guests will find a lively village filled with shops to explore and restaurants to dine in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including White Rabbit, a ramen and donut spot that somehow just makes sense. Northstar is available on the Epic Pass or via single-day tickets. 

Skier at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe

Courtesy of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

Great things come in small packages, including at Sugar Bowl. The resort comes with 1,650 skiable acres, far fewer than the larger peaks on this list, but still plenty to explore for those seeking a cozy mountain vibe. This resort is again tailored toward intermediate and advanced riders, though don't leave your snow bunny friends home alone, as 17% of the mountain is rated as "beginner." The mountain has been family owned since 1939, and it remains a purist's dream. Come from first tracks to last and enjoy a mountain that will make you think you've been transported to the Alps for one spectacular day. Visit Sugar Bowl with the Mountain Collective Pass or via single-day tickets. 

Scenic view of snowy mountain at Palisades Tahoe

Kate Abraham/Palisades Tahoe

Palisades Tahoe

With Palisades Tahoe, you're really getting two ski areas in one — Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. It's perhaps the most well-known mountain on the list, as it hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. It comes with 3,600 acres of terrain to explore, spread across 270 trails, including Mountain Run, which goes on for 3.2 leg-burning miles. It's another mountain for the whole family with plenty of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs for varying abilities, an in-depth lesson program, and guides available for those who want to explore every inch of the peaks. It's also a spot where your days can be extended thanks to a hearty restaurant and bar scene at the base, which will have you partying in your boots into the wee hours of the night. Palisades Tahoe is part of the Ikon Pass and offers single-day tickets. 

Sierra at Tahoe

Take the more scenic route with a day at Sierra at Tahoe. The mountain, which boasts 2,000 skiable acres, is another local favorite, thanks to its plentiful inbound tree runs that will have you bobbing and weaving around the pines. It also has access to the Huckleberry Canyon backcountry area for those who want to go off-piste. It's a mountain filled with fun activities for those looking to hone their tricks, including six terrain parks, the Burton Progression Park, and a halfpipe. Sierra at Tahoe is available via seasonal or day passes. 

Aerial view of gondola at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Courtesy of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Mount Rose

Stop in at one more local favorite, Mount Rose, located just 25 minutes from Reno. The 1,200-acre mountain may seem small, but it's home to Lake Tahoe's highest base elevation at 8,260 feet, meaning its snow conditions are always on point. Come here for the advanced terrain, including its thrilling chutes, but make sure to take a moment to stop mid-run and take in the gorgeous view of Lake Tahoe below. The mountain has more than 70 runs, including its longest trail coming in at 2.5 miles. Mount Rose is available via seasonal or day passes. 

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