Some of the best ski resorts in Lake Tahoe are within only a short drive of this high-altitude lake. An idyllic wilderness area with the continent’s largest alpine lake at its heart, the Tahoe region sits along the border of Nevada and California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and has become a destination for winter fun.

    While Lake Tahoe offers plenty of fun on and in the water during the summer, winter brings some of the world’s best slopes for skiing and snowboarding. The destination draws visitors from across the globe with the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America, each offering its own distinct traits. Experience epic powder at one of Tahoe’s ski resorts, then take advantage of the myriad of entertainment options after.


    Palisades Tahoe Alpine Meadows

    Tahoe’s largest resort and host site of the 1960 Winter Olympics

    Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Meadows combine to provide over 6,000 acres of skiable terrain and 270 runs. It’s the biggest resort in the Tahoe area and is accessed by over 40 lifts that are all included in one lift ticket. It’s a top pick for the advanced with terrain that includes cliff drops, classic moguls and big open bowls, although skiers of every ability will find plenty of runs to enjoy.

    Those who like to catch some air line up at dawn on powder days and weekends, taking the KT-22 lift to some of the world’s best expert terrain. Beginners and intermediates will enjoy the blues and greens that are set high up on the mountain for jaw-dropping lake views.

    Location: 204 Palisades Cir, Olympic Valley, CA 96146, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm


    Heavenly Mountain Resort

    Skiing with legendary views

    Heavenly Mountain Resort and the view it offers is worth the price of the lift ticket alone. Aptly named, it feels like a slice of heaven with a stunning vista of Lake Tahoe’s brilliant blue waters and the surrounding soaring peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

    The ski resort offers 4,800 acres of ski terrain with about a hundred different trails accessed by 28 ski lifts. With wide-open slopes and runs traversing through tranquil pine forests, you’ll see skiers occasionally stopping midway through their run just to savour the view of the lake sparkling under the sun. For those who like tree skiing, it offers some of the best in the state, especially in the backcountry terrain.

    Location: 1360 June Way, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm


    Homewood Mountain Resort

    The classic family-friendly ski resort

    Homewood Mountain Resort is practically an “anti-resort” compared to its glitzy Lake Tahoe neighbours, Heavenly and Palisades Tahoe. It offers a more casual, laid-back experience minus the prima donnas as a throwback to the skiing of yesteryear, and at a more budget-friendly price too.

    While Homewood may not be as costly, you won’t have to sacrifice the views – as you glide down the slopes it feels as if you might ski right into the lake. Ideal for families, it’s relatively uncrowded so you can avoid long lift lines while taking advantage of the fabulous terrain, 50% of which is intermediate, with 15% for beginners and 35% for the advanced.

    Location: 5145 W Lake Blvd, Homewood, CA 96141, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 530-525-2992


    NorthStar California Resort

    For skiers and non-skiers who can snow tube and ice skate

    NorthStar is located near Tahoe’s North Shore and is ideal for beginners and intermediates, offering a lot of variety. The resort has progressive slopes and trees that provide a great introduction to areas outside of the groomed runs. It provides about 3,200 acres of skiable terrain, with 100 perfectly groomed runs accessed via 20 lifts. Logger’s Loop is the longest run, extending for 1.4 miles.

    For skiers who like glade skiing, there are more than 600 acres of trails through peaceful forest clearings. When you want to switch things up, you can enjoy snow tubing and ice skating as well.

    Location: 5001 NorthStar Dr, Truckee, CA 96161, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm


    Kirkwood Ski Resort

    Uncrowded slopes with plenty for advanced skiers

    Kirkwood Ski Resort is known for its uncrowded experience with tons of powder and short lift lines. It’s a no-frills resort that’s long had a reputation as a top spot for advanced to expert skiers. The focus here is purely on skiing, with no high-end designer shops or big-city restaurants at its base.

    Skiers appreciate the simplicity that feels like stepping back to another time and the peaceful setting with open bowls and long, wide runs. It has 2,300 acres of terrain and 86 trails accessed by 15 lifts, with the longest stretching for 2.5 miles. Just 12 per cent of the terrain is for beginners, with 30 per cent for intermediate, 38 per cent advanced, and 20 per cent for experts.

    Location: 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Dr, Kirkwood, CA 95646, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm


    Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

    The closest ski resort to the San Francisco Bay Area

    Sugar Bowl Ski Resort covers 2,000 acres of ski terrain with 4 dozen trails accessed by 14 lifts. The resort also has 7 terrain parks for freestyle skiing and boarding. Sugar Bowls longest run is a scenic 2.5-mile trail, stretching from the top of the mountain to the base. It’s an ideal pick for intermediate skiers with 50 per cent of runs at the intermediate level.

    Beginner and advanced are divided evenly on the other half. First-time skiers can take advantage of lessons on the gently slopped bunny hills, and there are 2 lifts just for the beginners too. Another big plus here is that the slopes are protected from winds that make skiing more pleasant.

    Location: 629 Sugar Bowl Rd, Norden, CA 95724, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 530-426-9000


    photo by FASTILY (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified



    A top spot for skiing families and first-timers

    Sierra-at-Tahoe is one of the most convenient ski resorts for those coming from Sacramento or the San Francisco Bay Area. The resort is located off Highway 50, just 8 miles west of South Lake Tahoe. It offers 2,000 acres of skiable terrain and 46 trails with 9 lifts for access, plus several surface lifts.

    Sierra-at-Tahoe is very family-friendly, more affordable than most Tahoe resorts, and one of the top picks for first-timers with an outstanding mountain for beginners. With the Sierra’s Sculpted Learning Terrain, it makes it easier to get up and going on those skis, while experts can carve down the groomers in West Bowl via the Huckleberry Canyon Gates.

    Location: 1111 Sierra-At-Tahoe Rd, Twin Bridges, CA 95735, USA

    Open: Saturday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 4 pm, Monday–Friday from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 530-659-7453


    Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort

    A popular place for learning to ski

    Tahoe Donner is a locals’ favourite and is also a hidden gem in the Tahoe area. The ski resort is in Truckee, about 17 miles northwest of Lake Tahoe from Incline Village. This is where families that live in the area take their kids to learn to ski, as the only spot in the region with instruction programmes offered for children as young as 3 years old.

    Lessons are available for all ages. They’ll be able to enjoy 120 acres of skiable terrain with 15 runs, 3 conveyor lifts, a triple chair and quad chair.

    Location: 11603 Snowpeak Way, Truckee, CA 96161, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 530-587-9444


    Boreal Mountain Resort

    The first resort to open for the season every year

    Boreal Mountain Resort is not only convenient if you want to ski the season’s first powder, it is the one that’s always open first every winter. Located right off Interstate 80 at Donner Summit, the resort averages 400+ inches of snow and it’s an ideal option for learning to ski with 30 per cent of the runs for beginners.

    Over half is for intermediates, while the pros can take advantage of 15 per cent of the black marked terrain. For those who want to enjoy night skiing, here you can ski under the lights after dark on the uncrowded slopes. Arrive before dusk so you can enjoy an awe-inspiring Donner Summit sunset ride first.

    Location: 8MP2+H3 Soda Springs, California, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm


    photo by Brocken Inaglory (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

    Reno’s closest ski resort

    Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is the closet resort for those staying in the Nevada city, about 15 minutes from Incline Village on Tahoe’s North Shore heading toward Reno. The resort offers 1,200 acres of terrain and 7 ski lifts. It tends to get more snow than many of the other resorts, providing a softer cushion for those falls.

    While half of the mountain is for advanced and expert skiers with its famous black and double black diamond chutes, the rest of the mountain is ideal for beginners and intermediates.

    Location: 22222 Mt Rose Hwy, Reno, NV 89511, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 775-849-0704

    K.C. Dermody | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with

    Keep exploring


    United States of America

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 restrictions.

    See details
    Back to top