Heavenly ski resort is one of contrasts. On one hand you can ski Heavenly Lake Tahoe for the glorious tree skiing amongst huge ancient pines. On the other hand there’s the casinos, gambling and live shows. Sunny for days on end, then dumping down snow......for days on end. Ski in Nevada one run, and then go skiing in California the next. Views of beautiful Lake Tahoe, snowy mountains and forests on one side, whilst there are views of arid desert on the other. Heavenly Lake Tahoe is a real surprise package.
Heavenly Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Arriving at South Lake Tahoe
, you wonder where all the ski terrain is. All you can see are a couple of lift lines and the classic Gunbarrel run slashed through the trees. But don’t worry as the Heavenly ski resort is massive. There are 4,800 acres (1,942 hectares) of Heavenly ski and snowboard terrain, 97+ trails, and 3,500 feet (1,067 metres) of vertical to play with. The Heavenly ski area
is the largest of the California ski resorts
, but the only problem with that claim to fame is that Heavenly ski resort is spread across both California and Nevada!
Heavenly Resort has a mix of terrain for all abilities, but in particular it’s an intermediates' paradise and a mecca for advanced tree skiing with the odd steep thrown in for good measure. However if you’re looking for super expert and extreme terrain, this may not be the resort for you.
Heavenly Lake Tahoe has 29 lifts with an even spread across California and Nevada. The lift infrastructure includes a gondola and lots of high speed six-packs and quad chairs, and Vail Resorts continue to invest in the development of lifts and the terrain.
Heavenly Resort gets a decent amount of snow with an average of 360 inches (9.1 metres) per season, and with higher elevation than many of the other Tahoe ski resorts, the snow is reasonably well retained in the upper reaches. There is also a very extensive snowmaking system such that 73% of the trails have snowmaking.
When it doesn’t snow the sun shines, bright and hot - true California (or Nevadan) skiing. There are enough sunny days here between the storms to ensure that you’ll have a goggle tan that will be the envy of everyone back at home!
Where is Heavenly Ski Resort?
Heavenly is one of the Tahoe ski resorts
and is situated on the California / Nevada state border. On the California side, the gondola goes from the Heavenly Village in the town of South Lake Tahoe
, up to the slopes of the Heavenly ski area. Over on the Nevada side is Stateline, which is home to various casinos (it is Nevada after all!).
The Reno Airport is 56 miles north of the Heavenly Village (1:15 hour drive) whilst the San Francisco International Airport is 200 miles to the southwest.
Heavenly Ski Resort Lodging
Heavenly lodging of lots of kinds is available. On the California side, there are upscale South Lake Tahoe hotels
as well as condos and cheap motels. On the Nevada side are the Stateline casino hotels which tend to provide great value for money, and up at the Kingsbury base are some condos and vacation rentals.
||The Landing Resort & Spa
|5-star spa resort with luxury rooms featuring gas fireplace, large TV, marble bathroom, some with spa bath, heated floor & heated toilet seat. Up-market restaurant & bar onsite plus heated pool, steam room, gym & day spa & more...
||Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel
|3-star 1 br suites with kitchenette & separate living areas located 5 mins walk to lifts. Restaurant & bar onsite plus hot tub, sauna, gym & massage services. Cooked breakfast is included...
South Lake Tahoe Accommodations Listings
Stateline Casinos Listings
Amenities & Activities
Adventure Peak is located at the top of the Heavenly gondola and is the epicentre of tubing with five lanes of lift accessed sliding fun. There’s also a mini-tubing hill for very little tackers.
Activities are boundless in the Heavenly area. Aside from the tubing and all the usual skiing and boarding fun, the most obvious features of South Lake Tahoe are the lake and the casinos. The lake is beautiful and winter activities include lake cruises on a paddle steamer, nature walks and fishing. The casinos have gambling, food and live shows in abundance – a 24 hour nightlife if you wish! The town also has lots of other restaurants, bars and clubs, and South Lake Tahoe features a dizzying array of shops.
Ski Heavenly – Summary of Pros & Cons
- Heavenly Ski Resort offers spectacular views across Lake Tahoe, probably on par if not a little better than Homewood and Diamond Peak Ski Resort.
- Heavenly offers awesome cruising for intermediates.
- The wide-open tree skiing is great for strong intermediates to advanced riders when the snow is on.
- Heavenly has lots of fast lifts.
- The adjacent South Lake Tahoe is a huge pro with an abundance of après ski fun at the casinos, restaurants, bars, shops, and on the lake.
- There is a huge variety of lodging on offer to suit all budgets and tastes.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
- Due to its many strengths, Heavenly is very popular and it’s often rather crowded.
- Heavenly can be logistically clunky for beginners and families with kids requiring day care. Most people want to stay in lodging near the Heavenly Village, yet there is very little beginners terrain at the top of the village gondola, whilst child care and most of the beginner terrain is over at the California base, which is 2 miles by road from the Heavenly Village (buses available).
- If buying a day lift ticket, you might need to win big at one of the casinos to pay for it. However it's one of the Vail Resorts, and multi-day Epic passes provide great value and these can also be used at nearby Kirkwood and Northstar.
- Heavenly Resort has high annual snowfall but it can be very inconsistent. It also scores some blistering sunshine (if you’re into that).
Ski Tours At/Near Heavenly