guides

Seeing the World One Step at a Time. Guides are updated on an ongoing basis.


Lake Tahoe, CA – Downhill Skiing

Alpine Meadows is located on the North Shore, on Alpine Meadows Road just off of Highway 89. This is one of the top 6 ski resorts in the Tahoe area. This resort is located 6 miles northwest of Tahoe City. Alpine Meadows is known for its long season and its diverse terrain. They have over 100 runs and 12 lifts. Their summit elevation is 8,637 feet with a vertical drop of 1,800 feet. Up until recently they had banned snow boarding but now snow boarding is permitted. They also have snow making machines. For more information call Phone (916) 583-4232. You can also call Phone (916) 581-8374 for ski conditions. www.skialpine.com

Boreal is located on the North Shore 3 miles west of Donner Lake. Take the Castle Peak exit off of the great I-80. Boreal has been popularized for its night time skiing. They are open daily and have 41 runs and 9 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,800 feet with a vertical drop of 600 feet. They also have snowmaking capabilities. For more information call Phone (916 426-3663. www.borealski.com

Diamond Peak is located on the North Shore at 1210 Ski Way off of Country Club Drive. They have many ski programs for the youngsters. Family discount packages are available. Eighteen percent of the runs are beginner, 49 percent is for intermediate, and 33 percent are advanced runs. They have 30 runs and 7 lifts. Their summit elevation is 8,540 feet with a vertical drop of 1,840. They also have snowmaking on over 80 percent of the runs. For more information you can call Phone (702) 832-1177. You can also call for their ski conditions at Phone (702) 831-3211. www.diamondpeak.com

Donner Ski Ranch is located on the old Highway 40, 3 miles west of Donner Lake. They have 25 percent beginner runs, 50 percent intermediate, and 25 percent advanced. They have 45 runs and 6 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,751 feet and their vertical drop is 720 feet. They have snowmaking. For more information call Phone (916) 426-3635. www.donnerskiranch.com

Granlibakken Ski Resort is located near Tahoe City, at Granlibakken Road, just off of Highway 89. This is Lake Tahoe’s oldest ski resort. Skiing is on a single wide slope. They have this one run, and one lift. There is also an open area for sleds and plastic disks. Their summit elevation is 6,610 feet with a vertical drop of 300 feet. They do not have snow making and do not allow snow boards. For more information call Phone (916) 583-9896. www.granlibakken.com

Heavenly Ski Resortis located on Tahoe’s south shore. This is one one of the top 3 resorts in the Tahoe area. They are located at Ski Run Blvd. just off of Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe. Heavenly offers skiing on several mountain peaks, in two different states, California and Nevada. They are the west’s only bi state ski resort. They have 4,800 skiable acres, the most of any resort in the United States. Views from the resort and the slopes, of Lake Tahoe are spectacular. You can not only see the Sierras and Lake Tahoe, but also the Nevada desert 5000 feet below. The Runs stretch as long as 5 and 1/2 miles. This is a premier ski resort. They have 79 run and 24 lifts. Their summit elevation (10,040) is the second highest in California behind the great Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort (11,053). They have a vertical drop of 3,500 feet. They have snow making machines. For more information call Phone (702) 586-7000. www.skiheavenly.com

Homewood is located only 6 miles south of Tahoe City. Views of the Lake can be seen from the slopes. Kids under 8 ski free. They have 57 runs and 9 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,880 feet with a vertical drop of 1,650 feet. They have snow making. For more information call Phone (916) 525-2992. www.skihomewood.com

Kirkwood is our favorite ski resort in the Tahoe area. This is one of the top 3 resorts in the Tahoe area. They are located in a beautiful section of the Sierras, about a 40 minute drive from south shore. They are one of the largest Sierra resorts.

The resort is built in a classic European style. The base elevation is 7,800 feet, with a summit elevation of 9,800 feet. The views of the mountains from the slopes are spectacular. They have 68 runs with 11 lifts on 2300 skiable acres. In 1995 and 1996 they had the deepest snow of any resort in North America. Often times the snow depth at the base elevation will reach depths of 20 feet and at the summit depths of 35 feet. Adults 19 to 60 will pay $67 for an all day lift ticket. Young adults between the ages of 13 and 18 will pay $54 for an all day ticket and $43 for a half day. Heavy discounts are given for seniors over the age of 60. They have a discount rate on lift tickets for those in high school and college. A valid ID is required. Fifteen percent of the terrain is rated beginner, 50 percent is intermediate, and 35 percent is advanced. Their longest run is 2.5 miles. Their average season runs from November to May. For more information call Phone (209) 258-3000. www.kirkwood.com

Kit Carson Ski Resort is located at Highway 88 at the Mormon Emigrant trail, just 12 miles west of Kirkwood. This is a family style resort which offers ski school for children ages 6 to 12. They have 1,100 acres of skiable terrain. They have 25 runs and 5 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,800 feet with a vertical drop of 1,300 feet. For more information call Phone (209) 258-8800.

Mount Rose Ski Resort is located 22 miles south of Reno on the North Shore at Highway 431 off of Highway 395. They offer the highest base elevation on the north shore. They have 41 runs and 5 lifts. Their summit elevation is 9,700 with a vertical drop of 1,440 feet. They do not have snowmaking machines. For more information call Phone (702) 849-0704. www.mtrose.com

Northstar at Tahoe is located near Truckee at Northstar Drive off of Highway 267. We put this in the top 5 ski resorts in the Tahoe area. This resort has taken their operations to the next level with huge construction projects including shopping areas and massive condominiums. The runs tend to be sheltered from the strong winds that plague some of the other resorts because of adjacent peaks and the nearby dense forests. They have 25 percent of their runs as beginner, 50 percent are intermediate, and 25 percent as advanced. There is a backside to the resort. A young adult lift ticket (ages 13-22) is $61 for all day and $51 for after 12:30pm. An adult ticket (ages 23-64) is $71 for all day and $57 for after 12:30. A child’s lift ticket is $27 for all day. Northstar has discounts for 2 consecutive days skiing up to 6 out of 7 days. For more information you can call Phone (916) 562- 1010. For their ski conditions call Phone (916) 562-1330. www.skinorthstar.com

Sierra at Tahoe is located at Sierra at Tahoe Road just off of Highway 50 at Twin Bridges. This is one of the top 6 resorts in the Tahoe area. They offer 25 percent beginner runs, 50 percent intermediate runs, and 25 percent advanced runs. They have over 2000 skiable acres. They have 44 runs and 10 lifts. Their summit elevation is 8,852 feet, with a vertical drop of 2,212 feet. Snowmaking is available for 15 percent of their runs. For more information you can call Phone (916) 659-7453. For ski conditions call Phone (916) 659-7475. www.sierratahoe.com

Soda Springs is located at Baker Ranch Road and the old Highway 40 near Donner Pass. This small resort is open weekends and holidays only. They have 16 runs and 2 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,352 feet with a vertical drop of 652 feet. They do not have snow making machines. For more information call Phone (916) 426-3666. www.skisodasprings.com

Squaw Valley USA is definitely one of the top 3 resorts in the Tahoe area. They are located on the north Shore at Squaw Valley Road off of Highway 89. You can’t miss the eternal torch and the Olympic rings at the intersection of Highway 89. They winter Olympics were held here in 1960. Squaw valley was named when the first explorers came into the valley and discovered only Indian Squaws at the camp. All the males were out on a hunting expedition.

In 2004 a major development sprang to life near where the cable car/gondola leaves for the top of the mountain. A huge village complete with lodging and many shops was built – reminiscent of the style of the ski village at Whistler near Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

The present day ski resort features one of the most extensive lift networks in the world. They have over 4000 skiable acres on six major peaks. They also have an ice skating rink, bungee tower, a spa with tennis courts, and a swimming pool at high camp (Elevation 8,200 feet). They offer a Children’s Center which is a new youth ski instruction center offering classes for kids up to age 12. Sometimes they will stay open well into July. I skied there in late June one year and it had snowed several inches the day before, so I was skiing on fresh powder. In the afternoon it was actually snowing at the higher elevations. They have open bowls for runs and 33 lifts. Their summit elevation is 9,050 feet with a vertical drop of 2,850 feet. Twenty five percent of their terrain is rated beginner, 45 percent is intermediate, and 30 percent is advanced. Calling the remaining terrain “advanced” may be an understatement. Many segments of “extreme skiing” films have been shot here. They have snowmaking machines. Adult lift tickets are $79 for all day. One other note is that they have a 150 passenger Cable Car, a Super Gondola, and high speed quad chair lifts. See the Attractions section for more information about Squaw Valley in the summertime. For more information you can call Phone (916) 583-6985. For their ski conditions call Phone (916) 583-6955. www.squaw.com

Sugar Bowl is located on the old Highway 40 off of the great I-80. They are one of the top 6 resorts in the Tahoe area. They were established in 1939, making them one of the oldest ski resorts in the Tahoe area. They have one of the highest average snowfalls of any Sierra resort. They offer ski classes for all ages. They have 47 runs and 7 lifts. Their summit elevation is 8,383 feet with a vertical drop of 1,500 feet. For more information you can call Phone (916) 426-3651. For ski conditions call Phone (916) 426-3847. www.sugarbowl.com

Tahoe Donner is located 2 miles west of Truckee at Northwoods Blvd. off of Donner Pass Road. They have beginner and intermediate runs only. They have 11 runs and 3 lifts. Their summit elevation is 7,350 feet with a vertical drop of 600 feet. For more information call Phone (916) 587-9400. www.donnerskiranch.com

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