Skiing in Lake Tahoe

Skiing in Lake Tahoe


As would be expected from such a huge and geographically diverse area, there are hundreds of runs to choose from and numerous options for every level. It’s safe to say that visitors could stay here the whole season and still not have exhausted the options. However, the scale of the area can also prove an obstacle in getting around as travel times can be time consuming due to crowds and weather conditions. To optimise the time here, it’s a good idea to go armed with information of where the best pistes for each level are situated, and to set up camp there.

Advanced skiers will appreciate the multitude of famous runs Lake Tahoe offers, including Ironhorse at Northstar-at-Tahoe, a black diamond run on Mount Pluto, a tree lined trail offering high-speed slaloms. Sugar Bowl is a Mecca for passionate skiers, and The Silver Belt, a black diamond run, is possibly the biggest draw. Its steep terrain means it is continually ranked one of the most difficult courses in the US. Mt Rose draws those who like to strut their stuff on the piste for its steep section called ‘The Chutes’. It’s also famous for the Gold Run, a black diamond run which is as popular for its cliff views as much as its incredible bumps.

But Lake Tahoe has plenty for beginners and intermediates, too including several ski schools for both adults and children. While all the resorts offer plenty of scope for newbies, Squaw Valley is a particularly good choice for beginners. As a valley, it’s more protected from the elements than other resorts, and the smooth, gentle slopes really lend themselves to first-timers.

Intermediates will also find the options overwhelming. However, Heavenly Mountain makes a good choice, due to its laidback atmosphere, excellent grooming and clear signposting to put skiers at ease.

Snowboarders are welcome across the whole area, too. There are lots of opportunities for off-piste skiing, especially in the Squaw Valley and Kirkwood areas. Meanwhile, Alpine Meadows is a particular hotspot for those who like to strike a pose. Its half-pipe, super-pipe and terrain park are resort favourites.