Lake Tahoe

Ski resorts in USA
Nestled among the Sierra Nevada Mountains sits Lake Tahoe, a large freshwater lake covering more than 191 square miles. It is the largest lake in the United States after the Great Lakes. Positioned along the California and Nevada border, Tahoe rests west of Carson City, Nevada.

Interstate 80 sits north of the lake, and several US Routes and State Highways provide access around the shores. The Reno/Tahoe International Airport is 50 miles from North Tahoe and several smaller airfields service communities in both states near here. While the lake itself is associated with Summer fun, the mountains around it contain some of the best ski venues in the nation.

Skiing Two States

Well over a dozen ski resorts provide skiing and snowboarding access in the Lake Tahoe area. The geology in the area formed by normal faulting, with the lake's basin sitting between the Sierra Nevada crest of mountains to the west of the lake and the Sierra Nevada spur called the Carson Range to the east.

A typical continental climate provides warm summers and cold winters with plenty of snowfall. Average winter temperatures hover above freezing during the day and drop to the upper teens at night. The region offers 300 or more days of sun, so visitors will get to play in comfortable weather and sunshine as often as they ski during a storm dumping fresh powder.

The Lake Tahoe area receives lots of snow each year, with averages at many resorts near 400 inches. All resorts in the region make use of snowmaking equipment and nearby watersheds to supplement naturally occurring snow. That keeps surface conditions consistent with warmer temperatures and provides longer ski seasons across the Lake Tahoe region. Guests will need their goggles and sunblock more than their balaclavas on the slopes, but that does not mean that skiers and snowboarders should not dress lightly around Lake Tahoe (remember that it is easier to remove layers than it is to add layers one did not bring).

The Lay of the Land

The Lake Tahoe region is built around tourism, with skiers and snowboarders the target audience during the Winter months. More budget-friendly places like Donner Ski Ranch, Homewood Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Soda Springs Mountain Resort are considered no-frills. They offer basic amenities but focus more on the action on the mountain and less on what is happening off the snow. Conversely, places like Northstar California Resort offers high-end dining and shopping, as well as red-carpet guest services.

With nearly 480 miles of skiable slopes, the 146 lifts in the Lake Tahoe area stay busy. Most mountains use several lift designs ranging from surface lifts to gondolas. Lifties, support staff, and ski patrols keep guests moving along safely in bounds.

Ski venues around Lake Tahoe offer thousands of groomed trails, bowls, terrain parks, and backcountry terrain. Terrain parks and pipes at these resorts usually provide progressive features so that all skill levels can join in. Higher snowfalls around the area also allow venues to build upon features as the season progresses.
Lake Tahoe includes the ski resorts Heavenly, Kirkwood Ski Resort, Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe, Northstar California, Palisades Tahoe, Sierra at Tahoe


Facts about Lake Tahoe

Country: USA
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Rider: oleg stepin Photo: oleg krivtsov

Nearby ski resorts

Heavenly2.5 miles
Sierra at Tahoe11.2 miles
Homewood Mountain Resort13.7 miles
Kirkwood Ski Resort18 miles
Diamond Peak21.7 miles
Palisades Tahoe22.4 miles
Northstar California24.2 miles
Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe27.3 miles

Airports near Lake Tahoe

Reno-Tahoe International Airport
Driving time: 1 hour, 12 minutes (61 miles)
Distance: 40 miles