You’ve booked your airfare, taken time off of work, and are coming out West for that delicious, creamy Tahoe goodness. LUCKY YOU. But wait! Have you googled “skiing in North Lake Tahoe” lately? There are OVER TEN ski resorts in the area. We want to help out and make sure you maximize every single moment of your ski vacation, so we’ve done a little research for you (you’re welcome).
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
We’re willing to bet that at least some of you booked your trip to North Lake Tahoe after watching Hot Dog as a kid (back when you had more cartilage in your knees). Any takers? Now that Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley are on the same ticket, this mega resort has over 6,500 acres. If this is your first time to Squaw Valley, the steep terrain, the energetic scene, and the tram will be even grander than you have imagined. Squaw Valley is truly an experience.
While Squaw Valley certainly delivers on that steep and challenging terrain that you might be craving, even the newest skiers in your group will find plenty of fun runs to learn on. A tram ride up the mountain brings beginners to plenty of green runs (and sweeping views of the lake and valley below). Want another tip? Try the locally made sugar cookies at the top of the tram, trust us.
Any chance you already have an Ikon Pass? You are in luck. Ikon pass holders have unlimited access to Squaw Valley. But if you really want to do Squaw Valley like a pro, plan your travel to overlap with Winter Wondergrass.You can thank us later.
Northstar Ski Resort:
There is more to skiing than blue grass and steep runs. Are you looking for more of a luxury experience in North Lake Tahoe? If champagne on the summit is more your style (rather than a shotski in a dive bar), Northstar is for you. You can have as ritzy of an experience as you can imagine at Northstar. In fact, you can literally stay at the Ritz Carlton at the base of the resort and have your skis ready for you each morning.
There is plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain at Northstar, but The Backside and Lookout Mountain areas are where you advanced skiers will be in heaven. Need a lesson or a clinic for your little one? Reserve a spot at the Northstar Ski School (and enjoy a few kid-free runs for yourself). Everybody in your crew will find terrain to fit their style at Northstar, even your terrain park lovers!
Wherever you end up skiing during the day, make sure you make your way to the East Ridge Trail around 1:30 to meet up with your crew. Time stands still for just a moment every afternoon at 2PM as skiers enjoy a complimentary champagne toast just off the trail at Northstar’s mountain top bar, TOST. At the end of the day, be sure to head back to the village for free s’mores and to swap stories about your favorite runs of the day.
Epic pass holders might consider adding a few days onto their trip, and heading to Heavenly and Kirkwood in South Lake Tahoe after skiing a few days at Northstar.
While Squaw and Northstar are both world class resorts, you might want to spend an afternoon with the locals at one of the smaller (less crowded) resorts in the area. Remember how we said North Lake Tahoe had over 10 resorts? Yup. Other resorts in the area include: Diamond Peak, Mount Rose, Sugarbowl, Boreal, Homewood, Tahoe Donner, Granlibakken, Dodge ridge, and Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area. Each resort has its own unique local flavor (Sugarbowl is a sweet spot for many families).
When you are out in North Lake Tahoe, be sure to slow down and enjoy what locals call “Tahoe Time”. Whether you spend an afternoon XC skiing at world class Tahoe Donner, exploring downtown Truckee, or trying the T’s Burrito at T’s Mesquite Rotisserie, slow down, be present, and enjoy.
Check out our Local’s Guide for more ideas of fun in the area. We are looking forward to seeing you in North Lake Tahoe, and helping you get set up. Make your reservations here to have your gear delivered right to your door.
North Lake Tahoe already checked off your list? Let Ski Butlers take care of you at one of our other locations around the world. See you on the slopes.