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Lake Tahoe Skiing Guide

Updated on October 1, 2008
Pristine Lake Tahoe Skiing
Pristine Lake Tahoe Skiing

Lake Tahoe offers up some of the best skiing just not in the United States, but in the world! Lake Tahoe is considered "The Jewel" of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it's stunning beauty is often breathtaking. One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Tahoe is to come to the region and enjoy one or a couple of Lake Tahoe's 12 ski resorts! All the resorts are within a close proximity to the lake and each offers a little something different.

Lake Tahoe is easily accesible, although in the winter the weather can cause problems, so always stay tuned to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service. Barring any weather issues Lake Tahoe is easily accesible by car from a number of directions. If you have to fly to get to the lake the easiest way is to fly into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and rent a car. It normally takes about an 1:00-1:15 to reach destinations on the north end of the lake or about an 1:30-1:45 to reach areas on the south side of the lake. The drive is very scenic so it goes by quickly!

Now a little info about the 12 ski resorts around the Lake Tahoe region:

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort - Located on the northwest side of Lake Tahoe, very close to Squaw Valley. Alpine Meadows offers up 13 lifts, an 1,800' vertical drop, 2,000 acres of skiing, a top elevation of 8,637', and has an average annual snowfall of 495 inches! . It's a great ski resort and is a locals favorite.

Boreal Mountain Resort - Located off I-80 near Soda Springs, CA. Boreal has 12 lifts, a top elevation of 7,700', 380 skiable acres, and has an average annual snowfall of 400 inches. Boreal is the first ski resort if you are heading east-bound on I-80 from the San Francisco area.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort - Located on the northeast side of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, NV. Diamond Peak offers up 6 lifts, 30 runs, a vertical drop of 1,840', 655 acres, and has a 2.5 mile long ski run. It offers excellent views of the lake as well. The Hyatt in Incline Village is very close and is an excellent hotel!

Donner Ski Ranch - A smaller ski resort located on Donner Pass.

Heavenly Mountain Resort - Heavenly is a huge ski resort. It is located in Stateline, NV and offers up a lot to do if you are with people who don't ski since the casino's on the south side of the lake are in Stateline. There are also numerous places to stay from super cheap to ultra high class. Now about the skiing. Heavenly offers up 4,800 acres, 3,812' vertical drop, a top elevation of 10,067', 30 lifts, a 5.5 mile long ski run, and an average annual snowfall of 360 inches. Good skiing and a good nightlife.

Homewood Ski Resort - Located on the west shore of the lake in the town of Homewood, CA. Homewood offers up some of the best views of the lake while your skiing. It is a meduim sized resort that has 7 lifts, 60 runs, a vertical drop of 1,650', a top elevation of 7,880', and a wonderful 2 mile long run with great views. While Homewood isn't the prettiest resort facilities wise, it does offer awesome views and has some of the best deals around the lake. A locals favorite!

Kirkwood Mountain Resort - Kirkwood is located southwest of Lake Tahoe off of CA-88. It offers up some of the more advanced skiing in the area. 2,300 acres, 12 lifts, 65 runs, a top elevation of 9,800', a 2.5 long run, and averages roughly 500 inches of snow a year! Another great resort!

Mount Rose Ski Resort - Mount Rose is located on the northest side of Lake Tahoe and is the closest resort to Reno, NV, only about 30 miles from the airport. Mount Rose offers up 8 lifts, 60+ runs, 1,200 acres, a top elevation of 9,700, a 2.5 mile long run, and averages roughly 400 inches per year of snow. It is easily accesible and is a great resort.

NorthStar-at-Tahoe - NorthStar is a popular resort located near the north side of Lake Tahoe. It has 2,490 acres, 17 lifts, 83 runs, a top elevation of 8,610', a 2.9 mile long run, and an average annual snowfall of roughly 350 inches. NorthStar also has a great new village area and is home to the new Ritz-Carlton resort. and is known as a familiy-friendly ski resort.

Sierra-at-TahoeSki Resort - Sierra is located near the southwest side of Lake Tahoe off of Highway-50. It offers 2,000 acres, 11 lifts, 46 runs, a top elevation of 8,852', a vertical drop of 2,212', a 2.5 mile long run, and receives roughly 480 inches of snowfall a year. Sierra is known as a family friendly resort as 75% of the terrain is rated as beginner to intermediate.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort - Sugar Bowl is located near Donner Pass and is a medium sized ski resort. It offers 1,500 acres, 12 lifts, 84 ski runs, a top elevation of 8,383', a 3.0 mile long run, and averages roughly 500 inches of snowfall a year. Sugar Bowl has some excellent advanced terrain and is an excellent resort.

Squaw Valley USA Ski Resort - Squaw is the 2nd largest ski resort in the area and is located near the northwest side of Lake Tahoe. It offers up 4,000 acres, 33 lifts, a large tram, 177 ski runs, a top elevation of 9,050', a 3.2 mile long ski run, and averages roughly 450 inches of snowfall a year. Squaw has an excellent village and offers a lot to do, including a good nightlife. It is considered a North America A-List ski resort and won't dissapoint. It was also home to the 1960 Winter Olympics and the flame still burns at the entrance to the resort. Another locals favorite!

Which is your favorite Lake Tahoe Ski Resort?

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Video (7 minutes) of Homewood Ski Resort

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