by Frank V. Persall
Located in the state of California, most people believe that Lake Tahoe is only good for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and partaking in various water sports during the summer. But in reality, Lake Tahoe is also the perfect winter hotspot! With enormous mountains that have near perfect terrain, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to go skiing. While there are tons of ski resorts and skiable mountains in Lake Tahoe, we have narrowed it down to eight of the most raved about ski resorts. Then, we ranked those resorts. So, what are you waiting for? Keep scrolling to find out our definitive ranking of ski resorts in Lake Tahoe!
Top 8 Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts
As an internationally renowned ski resort, it comes as no surprise that the Squaw Valley ranks in as number one on our list of the best places for Lake Tahoe skiing. With over 6,000 acres of skiable terrain, 42 lifts, and 270 trails, this resort has something for everyone! Not to mention that Squaw Valley has one of the longest ski seasons in the region, due to the 450-inch snow average.
While most of the resort are geared towards intermediate to advanced skiers, there are some options for beginners. Choose to descend down one of the beginner trails in the middle of the mountain, or if you are feeling more adventurous, attempt to ski down one of the beginner trails that are located towards the top of the mountain. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment for safely descending from a high altitude, but you will get the satisfaction of seeing breathtaking lake views.
For a classic Lake Tahoe skiing experience at an intermediate level, check out the trails that run off the Squaw Creek lift. The trails located off the Squaw Creek lift are encompassed by tons of trees, and spaces that are perfect for doing laps. Not to mention the ungroomed intermediate slopes that are offered on the High Camp.
Finally, the High Camp mountaintop is perfect for advanced and expert skiers who are looking for a challenging adventure. If you are an expert skier, who happens to like hiking, try the Granite Peak. Granite Peak is home to a 9,000-foot elevation, which is the resort's highest point.
Ranking in at number two is Heavenly Mountain. Located in the southern part of Lake Tahoe, this ski resort is home to world class luxury treatment and top notch terrain. With a snowfall average of 360 inches, a year and 4,800 acres of skiable terrain this resort have a long and popular season.
If you are a beginner skier, try skiing on the slopes near the gondola terminus. While most of the trails around that area have boxes and rails, the large amount of freshly powdered snow practically cover them, thus, they are not extremely challenging. The most popular park, Groove Park, also has some trails that are suitable for beginners.
For intermediate skiers, try the slopes on Player's Park and Ante Up Park. Player's Park is full of jumps and jibs, which will help you perfect your skills and challenge yourself. If you want a unique Lake Tahoe skiing experience, check out Ante Up Park. It is full of jibs that are created by water pipes and recycled items. Those obstacles are something you can't find anywhere else!
Finally, for advanced and expert skiers, go to the High Roller area. This area contains a 55 foot and a 65-foot jump, which will sure impress the people on the ski lifts! High Roller also contains obstacles such as tire stacks and expert level hits.
This Lake Tahoe resort provides world-class terrain and other winter sports that will entice everyone who came on your skiing trip! This resort has 2,300 acres of skiable terrain and more than 72 trails. Since less than half of the trails at Kirkwood are suitable for less experienced skiers, Kirkwood is the perfect ski resort for advanced or expert skiers. Since Kirkwood is home to some of the most advanced terrain in Lake Tahoe, do not be surprised if you see a few free skiing champions!
Most of the advanced and expert terrain sit on a 2-mile horseshoe shaped stretch-something you don't find often! The advanced and expert slopes contain steep cliffs, large chutes, glades, and an immense amount of powdery natural snow.
If you are looking for something else to do while at Kirkwood, try one of their dog sled tours!
With just over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain, the Sugar Bowl Resort has an even amount of slopes for every ski level, thus your Lake Tahoe skiing experience will be enjoyable for you, and everyone you traveled with! Sugar Bowl Resort contains 13 lifts, 3 terrain parks, and 500 inches of annual snowfall. Sugar Bowl Resort is one of the most loved ski resorts in Lake Tahoe because it has been around for an extremely long time (it is one of the country's oldest ski resorts).
If you are looking for something different to experience while at the Sugar Bowl Resort try riding the famous gondola around the town!
Previously known as Northstar at Tahoe, Northstar California is known for the uniquely laid back atmosphere combined with their luxury accommodations-a combination that would make your Lake Tahoe skiing experience truly different than ever before. With over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, the Northstar California resort has beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. But, just under half of the trails are geared towards intermediate skiers. So, if you are looking to perfect your skiing skills, or challenge yourself before trying an advanced trail, then Northstar California is the perfect ski resort for you!
To experience one of the best terrain parks in the country, head over to Pinball Park. Expect to experience intense jibs, high jumps, street rails, and a variety of snow features while at Pinball Park. Northstar California also offers a few fantastic trails for free skiing!
Finally, if the world renowned terrain parks are not enough to convince you to visit Northstar California, spend a day at the resort to experience the 22 foot pipe that Olympian Shaun White designed!
Ranking in at number six is Boreal Mountain. While Boreal Mountain only has 380 acres of skiable terrain, they offer, just about, an even number of slopes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Another plus to this ski resort is that it is one of the first resorts around Lake Tahoe to open every season!
With six terrain parks, and 33 trails, Boreal Mountain has family and freestyle friendly slopes. Some of the highlights of Boreal Mountain are; the Neff Land terrain park, night skiing options, and the 18 foot super pipe!
Aside from the evenly distributed terrain, the best part of Boreal Mountain is the Woodward Tahoe training facilities. The Woodward Tahoe training facilities are open year round and are accessible to anyone who has the desire to sharpen their skills and learn new ones. So, they can be a new and improved skier the next winter!
If you are looking for a popular Lake Tahoe skiing experience, but you are a less experienced skier, check out Sierra at Tahoe! This popular ski resort is one of the largest around Lake Tahoe. Founded in 1946, Sierra at Tahoe is home to 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, 14 chairlifts, a 2,212 foot vertical, and 5 terrain parks.
With just about 75% of the trails geared towards beginner and intermediate skiers, this resort might be too laid back and easy for the advanced or expert skier! But, if you are an advanced or expert skier, you may want to pass up the typical ski resort slopes and check out one, or a few, of the five access gates into Huckleberry Canyon (which can be accessed through the resort).
Aside from the terrain options, Sierra at Tahoe is all about the overall experience-especially outside of the slopes. So, after a day of skiing, check out one of the eight restaurants and one of the six bars. Also, choose to stay at one of the lodges that are located within a short distance from the resort!
Coming in last is Mt. Rose. Mt. Rose is home to an 8,260-foot base area, which is the highest in Lake Tahoe, 1,200 acres of skiable terrain, and a 1,800-foot vertical drop. While Mt. Rose offers terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers, the rough terrain and natural obstacles are perfect for advanced and expert skiers.
Aside from the terrain options, Mt. Rose offers a variety of restaurant options. Its location is also perfect to travel to Reno, dubbed "The Biggest Little City in the World", or Lake Tahoe's scenic village, Incline Village.
Since Mt. Rose is a smaller ski resort that is located between two of California's popular skiing towns, this resort is perfect to visit on your first or last day of your skiing vacation!
About Frank V. Persall
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.