Explore Reno-Tahoe

Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in Winter

Lake Tahoe is on the bucket list of every serious skier or snowboarder: The largest concentration of ski lifts and ski resorts in North America, including Squaw Valley, the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and Heavenly Resort, with ski runs stretching into two states. The Sierra mountains are known for huge snowfalls, averaging more than 400 inches a year in many spots, providing many things to do. But the wonder of Tahoe is that four out five winter days are sunny, producing some of the most delightful winter sports weather on Earth.

Kirkwood, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are famous for their black-diamond runs, while Heavenly, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Northstar California and Sugar Bowl have great groomed trails plus challenging terrain. Homewood and Diamond Peak have some of the best views in ski-dom, and Mt. Rose often has the region's driest powder snow. Northstar and Squaw have top-rated terrain parks and half-pipes.

There's plenty of nonskiing things to do at area parks, with their many hiking and snowshoeing trails. And for warmer experiences, don't forget the Nevada Museum of Art or the National Automobile Museum in nearby Reno.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, south of Lake Tahoe, is a year-round resort in Kirkwood, California, about 33 miles south of south of Lake Tahoe, that focuses on skiing and snowboarding in winter and hiking and mountain-biking in summer.

Sierra-at-Tahoe

With more than 400 inches of average annual snowfall, wind-protected slopes, incredible tree skiing, and 320 acres of backcountry terrain out the Huckleberry Gates, Sierra-at-Tahoe, south of the lake, is the epitome of the authentic California ski experience.

Sugar Bowl Resort

One of the first ski areas to be built west of the Rockies, Sugar Bowl combines history with ultra-modern lifts and convenient lodges. Snowbound Sugar Bowl Lodge offers guest rooms and superb dining in winter and idyllic private event facilities during spring, summer and fall.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Take a ride up the Heavenly Gondola for incomparable views, or hit the slopes on one of the 97 trails, ranging from wide-open cruises to plunging 1,600-foot steeps. Heavenly Ski Resort in south Lake Tahoe features 28 chairlifts around the mountain, including nine high-speed lifts.

Squaw Valley

Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley, north of Lake Tahoe, is a year-round mountain destination offering world-class adventures in every season. In the winter, the resort boasts legendary skiing and riding that spans 3,600 skiable acres, six peaks and 29 chairlifts.

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort is the largest cross-country ski resort in North America. In Soda Springs, California, the resort offers 65 trails and about 121 miles of skiable terrain. Accommodations and dining are offered at two locations.

Tahoe Donner

This mountain-top development, north of Lake Tahoe near Truckee, features both a small downhill resort and large network of cross-country trails. The new Alder Creek Adventure Center is headquarters for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing in winter, and mountain biking and hiking in summer.

Northstar California

North of Lake Tahoe, Northstar is the luxury brand of the area's skiing because of its full-service emphasis and large selection of on-slope lodging, including Ritz Carlton Tahoe, rated among the 50 top U.S. hotels.

Homewood Mountain Resort

Located on the western edge of Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Resort boasts some of the region's most breathtaking scenery. The resort has two base lodges and four chairlifts, plus beginner lifts conveniently located next to their parking lots.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

The closest ski runs to Reno are less than a half an hour at Mt. Rose/Ski Tahoe. This scenic resort has a complete selection of slopes, including beginner runs, long intermediate trails and super steep in The Chutes, plus terrain park.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Affording some of the best views in Tahoe, Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village offers terrain for both beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Enjoy gentle beginner slopes or tackle challenging trails, tree skiing, open bowls or glades.

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Alpine Meadows’ seven powder bowls, summit-to-base groomed slopes and authentic hospitality are among the many attributes that have made the resort a favorite of the local community and visitors alike. The resort offers skiers and riders access to more than 100 trails across 2,400 skiable acres serviced by 13 lifts.

Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park

Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, on the western edge of Lake Tahoe, contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly 2 miles of lake frontage, the park has dense forests of pine, fir, aspen and juniper.

Blackwood Canyon Trail

Blackwood Canyon is a popular 3-mile loop hiking trail on the west side of Lake Tahoe near the east end of the famous Rubicon Trail. In the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skis are the best way to explore the trail, but in the summer, it makes for a good canyon hike for all visitors, including families.  

Truckee

Truckee, a quaint town of about 16,000 people, is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, just west of the Nevada state line.

Nevada Museum of Art

Designed by architect Will Bruder, the Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts became the new facility for the Nevada Museum of Art in May 2003. The building is recognized as one of the most distinguished architectural achievements in Nevada.