Homewood Ski Resort California
Homewood Ski Resort in Tahoe was named as such because it’s the locals’ home mountain where they go wood (tree) skiing! Ok that’s not completely true, but Homewood CA is definitely a homely ski area that has a friendly locals’ vibe and great tree skiing.
Even though it’s called “Homewood Mountain Resort”, the ski area is almost an anti-resort compared to the glitzy likes of nearby Squaw Valley, Northstar and Heavenly. There are definitely no prima donnas strutting around in Bogner gear and the ski area hasn’t gone completely corporate. Homewood Tahoe is a throwback to how skiing used to be.
Whilst the beautiful people may not grace the place, Homewood Resort is undeniably the most beautiful resort at Tahoe. The resort is really close to Lake Tahoe and the views across the lake are unsurpassed. As you schuss down the slopes you may get the feeling that you’ll ski into the lake, or on a powder day you may feel like you’re floating above Lake Tahoe.
Homewood Tahoe Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Homewood CA is much smaller than the high profile Lake Tahoe ski resorts
, although it’s still a reasonable size at 2,010 acres (813 hectares) with 64 marked runs and 1,650 feet (500 metres) of lift served vertical. Homewood ski resort has only 8 lifts, most of which are slow old dinky chairlifts.
The official trail stats are 15% beginner, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced, and 15% expert. In reality, Homewood is predominantly for intermediates with an abundance of nice groomers. It’s mediocre for beginners and there’s nothing exceptionally challenging for experts. For advanced riders, there’s a bit of on-piste terrain but Homewood really comes to the fore with the sheltered tree skiing on a stormy powder day. The glades are absolutely divine and there is minimal skier traffic, so Homewood is a haven for powder hounds.
Homewood Ski Resort on average scores a big 450 inches (11.4 metres) of snow per season. The top elevation of Homewood is lower than various other Tahoe resorts, so the powder is usually best shredded during or straight after a storm before it has the potential to form Sierra Cement.
Sometimes Ullr is provided with a helping hand, with manmade snowmaking capability across 126 acres of terrain (mainly around the beginner area).
The weather is usually very kind to Homewood. Whilst other Tahoe ski resorts sometimes go on wind hold due to ferocious storms that buffet over the Sierra Crest, Homewood Tahoe is relatively shielded by Ellis Peak.
Where is Homewood CA?
Homewood Ski Resort is located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe
in Placer County, 7 miles south of Tahoe City
(don’t be fooled, it’s definitely not a city!), and 23 miles northwest of South Lake Tahoe. Nearby ski resorts include Alpine Meadows
(12 miles away), Squaw Valley
(13.5 miles) and the tiny Granlibakken ski area (6 miles).
Many people self-drive to Homewood and the parking lot is delightfully close to the base area. Otherwise there are scheduled shuttle services from Granlibakken and Sunnyside Resort
(near Tahoe City) to Homewood, or a free door-to-door dial-a-ride service from anywhere on the west shore.
Homewood doesn’t have a village and the only Homewood lodging is the Westshore Café and Inn across the road from the base of the resort. Many people stay in and around Tahoe City (7 miles away) or Tahoma (2.5 miles away) where there are affordable motels, hotels and cabins.
Homewood Lodging Listings
The other option is to stay in one of the Squaw Valley hotels
Ski Resort Facilities
Homewood Tahoe has good amenities for a day ski resort including ski and snowboard rentals, ski and snowboard school, and a small retail shop. There are various on-mountain eateries ranging from a cafeteria to bars, including an outdoor bar to soak up the fabulous lake views.
Homewood Cat Skiing
Homewood Snowcat Skiing provides another attraction for powder hounds with cat skiing
above the ski area boundary on the flanks of Ellis Peak. The snowcat skiing terrain is 750 acres with up to 1,828 vertical feet drops. The terrain includes a mix of tree skiing, steeps and powder bowls. A full day package of cat skiing includes the snowcat transport, guiding and use of backcountry safety gear.
Pros and Cons of Homewood Tahoe
- The prices for lift tickets and lessons are reasonable compared to the high profile Tahoe ski resorts.
- Homewood is uncrowded relative to many other Tahoe resorts so you can avoid lift lines, and powder hounds have a good chance of scoring freshies on a powder day.
- Homewood Resort offers gorgeous sheltered glade skiing on blizzard days, when other resorts might be on wind hold.
- Homewood Mountain Resort offers spectacular views across the lake.
- Like most of the Tahoe ski resorts, Homewood receives plenty of snowfall (although the seasons can be sporadic around Lake Tahoe).
- The ski area is very family oriented.
- The terrain doesn’t provide a huge amount of variety, and there’s minimal on offer for beginners and experts.
- The resort is at reasonably low elevation.
- There’s negligible on-mountain accommodation so a daily commute is required to get there.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
- Homewood is not a mega-resort and it’s not swanky.
- This is a bare bones, low frills resort with mostly slow chair lifts. You get what you pay for.
Ski tours in or near Homewood