Lake Tahoe in Winter

World-class skiing is offered at several resorts around Lake Tahoe in Winter. But there are other things to do, as well. (©Stas Volik/Shutterstock)

Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in Winter

By Chaco Mohler & Dustin Turner on 01/05/16
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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 Reort

(©Roman Fuchs/Wikimedia Commons)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is a year-round resort that focuses on skiing and snowboarding in winter and hiking and mountain-biking in summer. One of the region's larger resorts, it is well known for having one of the highest average snowfalls and a broad selection of advanced skiing terrain—all located within the Eldorado National Forest.

Sierra-at-Tahoe

(©How I See Life/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

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 is the epitome of the authentic California ski experience.

Lake Tahoe

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort (©Maria Ly/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

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. Located atop the Sierra Crest at Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl records some of the highest annual snowfall in Tahoe. The resort has 12 chairlifts and skiing on 3 peaks, including Mt. Disney.

Lake Tahoe

The Discovery Forest at Heavenly Mountain Resort. (©jcookfisher/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Heavenly Mountain Resort

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

Squaw Valley

The High Camp Pool at Sqauw Valley. (Ray Bouknight/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Squaw Valley

Host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley 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

(Courtesy Royal Gorge)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort offers 65 trails and about 121 miles of skiable terrain. Accommodations and dining are offered at two locations. The Ice Lakes Lodge is within the trail system providing ski-in and ski-out convenience. Rainbow Lodge is a beautiful historic lodge that dates back to the 19th century, by the Yuba River.

Courtesy: Tahoe Donner
Activities, Hotels

Tahoe Donner

This mountain-top development 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. Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort has four lifts and specializes in teaching beginners.

Lake Tahoe

Northstar California (©Snow Snow/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Northstar California

Northstar is the luxury brand of Tahoe 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. Northstar has an excellent selection of tree-lined, groomed intermediate runs all serviced with top to bottom snowmaking.

Lake Tahoe

Homewood Mountain Resort (©jcookfisher/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Homewood Mountain Resort

Located on the edge of Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Resort boosts 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. Homewood is relatively protected in storm conditions yet averages plentiful snowfall.

Lake Tahoe

Mt. Rose (©Albert H Teich/Shutterstock)

Activities

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

With Tahoe's highest base elevation, Mt. Rose is often blessed with some of the region's lightest, driest powder snow, all within a half an hour drive of Reno hotels and resorts. Boasting more than 1,200 acres and a 1,800-foot vertical rise, this ski area has a selection of runs to please all abilities.

Lake Tahoe

Diamond Peak (©Dawn Ellner/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

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

Winter in Lake Tahoe

Alpine Meadows (©Anuj Biyani/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Activities, Attractions, Hotels

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

Fall snow on the Dolder Nature Trail in Sugar Pine Point State Park (©Miguel Vieira/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Attractions, Areas to Explore

Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park

Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park contains one of the finest remaining natural areas on Lake Tahoe. With nearly 2 miles of lake frontage, the park offers visitors their choice of activities, including camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing and visiting the nature center.

Lake Tahoe

Blackwood Canyon (©Tim Berger/Flickr, Creative Commons)

Activities

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, California

(©Richard Bauer/Flickr, Creative Commons)

 

Attractions

Truckee

Truckee is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, just west of the Nevada state line. Donner Lake is within the town limits, and Donner Pass over the summit of the Sierra Nevada is just west of town. Interstate 80, the major trans-Sierra all-weather highway, passes through the town on its way between California and Nevada.

Nevada Museum of Art

(©Jamie Kingham/Nevada Museum of Art)

Attractions

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. The museum’s feature exhibitions showcase national and international artists.

Lake Tahoe

National Automobile Museum (©Victoria Lipov/Shutterstock)

Attractions

National Automobile Museum

This Reno museum’s authentic walkthrough street scenes and four galleries showcase more than 220 antique, vintage, classic and special-interest automobiles.

Map of Things to Do in Lake Tahoe in Winter