Overall Rating

Heavenly

Heavenly3/516
Heavenly3 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
  • Recommend
    81%
  • Would Revisit
    56%

Heavenly - Reviews

Heavenly - Reviews

Feast or Famine

06/05/2020

Brandon Bates

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Brandon Bates

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Feast or Famine

06/05/2020
First tracks in Ski Ways Glades after 10+ inches
Easy hike to the top of powder bowl woods was worth it every time
Lotta pow
This was my second trip to Lake Tahoe. The previous year we were blessed to be there during a historic blizzard that dropped 74 inches of surprisingly fluffy Tahoe pow over the course of 3 days. It was absolutely Heavenly as the name implies. However we were less lucky this year. A very low snowfall season with almost nothing dropping in the weeks before we arrived meant rock hard "sierra cement" everywhere. We made the most of the groomers which were somewhat fun once the sun came out and warmed them up for a bit. Everything off-piste was absolutely unrideable which was a huge bummer because we essentially chose to come to Heavenly for the spacious off-piste tree skiing that I bragged about from the previous year since I honestly believe it is some of the best on Earth. 4 days into the trip, the skies opened up, dropping 10 inches overnight. We were on the first lift up and were surprised to find the Sky Lift was running despite some pretty high winds and more snow falling. Ski Way Glades were excellent, felt closer to 14 inches of snow up there before you hit the icy crud underneath, trees are well spaced and the slope is near perfect. Despite this new snow in the middle of a snow drought (and it being a weekend day) the lift lines weren't horrendous. Overall, Heavenly is absolutely feast or famine. Without that 10" of snow we would have had a far worse time on the trip. The views of Lake Tahoe and the well maintained groomers are great for beginners or the more laid back skier not looking for off-piste runs. The casinos in town make the nightlife fun as long as you dont bet it all on black and lose everything! Would I board at heavenly again? As a powderhound if the weather is calling for snow, the answer is YES, as any storm seems to turn into a 2+ feet storm. If its a dry season, then i'm out.

Over crowded. Parking issues.

Scott Lookingbill
16/01/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Over crowded. Parking issues.

Scott Lookingbill
16/01/2020
Not a good value. Inadequate parking and shuttles. Same lifts break down year after year.

Heavenly not

12/01/2020

mobo808

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

mobo808

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Heavenly not

12/01/2020
Heavenly? The view: Yes. The rest, not so sure.
I guess I’ll start with the reason I’ll never go back. 4PM, the resort is about to close and I am looking to take the last trail down, called Roundabout. For snowboarders, to actually access the trail you have to walk for a while at the beginning. Thinking I could access it from somewhere else, I took a short lift right on the side of it. Turns out this is to come down with a gondola. Well, at $164 a day, you better believe I’ll maximize my ride time. At the top of the small lift I started to look for a different access to Roundabout. Not such things. I asked an employee who told me to take the small junction on the side that led to the bottom of the lift I just took. So I started going down and by the time I was committed I realized I just passed a closed sign. Then a ski patrol guy yelled at me. I was already 1/3rd down the junction and not in the mood to walk 15 minutes up to catch a lift down. Especially since I could already see the end of the junction with still plenty people going down. So I ignored the guy and went on. Then he chased me and, long story short, suspended my pass. So now, if I want to go back to Heavenly, I have to take a class that happens only on Saturdays from 9am to 10am, that I have to book and that I probably need to pay for. Never gonna happen. I was told this is for my safety. Lol what? The junction is so short that the guy could see me from beginning to end from the top. And… why was this closed? Well, as a sheep paying $164, it’s ok to trick you into taking a lift down, because I am sure it is easier for them to handle. Aka cheaper. And for my safety? Let me laugh, I didn’t see any ski patrol guy in any of the actually dangerous spots. Don’t get me wrong, I highly respect the patrol, but this guy must have failed the Police academy. He really really wanted to assert his power. What a great customer experience. And the guy wasn’t exactly in shape. He would have never caught me without that big flat. Funny thing though: most good local riders I talked to told me they hated Heavenly. Surprise!
About me: I grew up in France and started skiing when I was 3. I skied on a glacier with my dad when I was 11 to access a high altitude shelter. We were a small group all attached together when going between the crevasses, in case somebody fell. Hardcore stuff. Since, I snowboarded in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Canada and Japan. So I am quite familiar with what’s on offer around the world and at what cost. I live in Hawaii so it’s gonna be far for me regardless! And for me this will be Canada or Japan from now on. In terms of value, If you go to 3 Valleys in France, you get 400 miles of trails (that’s 2 zeros) and you will pay only 63 euros (less than $70). The food is better, the lifts are insanely fast and modern (google it) and the crowds are nothing like crazily overcrowded “Heavenly”. Japan is super cheap, the food is amazing and it has the best powder in the world. While I see some very good potential at “Heavenly” for some backcountry when there is good dumps (Which are probably destroyed in an hour with the crowd), I really can’t justify paying $164. For $400 I can do a day of Cat Skiing in Revelstoke, Canada. I’ll do one day of that before I do 3 days at “Heavenly” anytime, talking from experience here. Also, talking with the locals, I’ve learned that since “Heavenly” is part of the Vail Resorts it has changed quite a bit. Namely: give me all your money, behave like a sheep and go home. The joy of corporate America all the way into your vacay. And clearly the business strategy is like that: suck as much money as possible from the weekend warriors who don’t really have a choice anyways. Sorry, I cannot enjoy my time when I know I am getting ripped off. The resort staff at Kirkwood 45 minutes away were much nicer. And clearly they were asked to greet everybody, which is nice. They are also clearly trying to show that they are the kind neighbors. Not the abusive girl/boyfriend.

Tourist attraction-skiers not very welcome even though they pay the most

Marija Djordjevic
29/01/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Tourist attraction-skiers not very welcome even though they pay the most

Marija Djordjevic
29/01/2019
Overcrowded by tourists (not skiers) and rude staff.
Waited 2h to get on/off the Gondola. Women from staff ordered me in Gondola to move from the spot I was sitting on just to take it and start browsing her phone. Another women gatekeeper on the Gondola staff entrance on the way down told me that we'll have to separate from our preschooler before entering Gondola because we're in singles lane (even though my partner was holding our baby in his arms). If we didn't take the singles lane we would probably spend 3h in total for going up/down Gondola instead of 2h.
I found it for the price we pay for the season pass that respect of us as customers is very low. We give them money, they care less afterwards about us forgetting even the basic human decency. Very uninviting place to go except for the nature's beauty. I found skiing experience is a way better at any other real ski resort.

Not Exactly Heaven

Jay
24/11/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Not Exactly Heaven

Jay
24/11/2018
I’ve skied Heavely over 50 times. It is not up there with California’s Big 3 (Squaw, Mammoth, Kirkwood), but you can get a great day of skiing here if you catch it on the right day. The problem with Heavenly is most of the best terrain is on the lower and eastern side of the mountain, which is on the edge of the Sierras and gets the least snow. So here is the powerhound guide to Heavenly:

Do not, I repeat do not, even bother with the California side. If you must, head immediately to Sky Chair and shred the stuff on the left (east) side of the chair for two runs. Then head over to the Nevada side and catch Milky Way Bowl. See below for the rest of your day,

Instead, drive to the Boulder Lodge (not Stagecoach) on the Nevada side. Take the chair up and shred North Bowl and the trees around it for a few runs. Then head up Dipper Chair. The view of the lake and the Carson Valley below is one of the most beautiful of any ski area on the planet. Then catch Milky Way Bowl and check if Mott Canyon is open. If it is, you’ve hit paydirt. There are plenty of challenging runs and chutes there to keep you busy. Never crowded there, because the terrain is too difficult for the average Heavenly skier.

Mostly Heavenly

B
07/01/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    12-17
  • Admin Rating
    4

Mostly Heavenly

B
07/01/2016
Heavenly is a good place for all kinds of people. You can ski, snowboard, shop, dine, gamble, go to world class spas, and even take free yoga classes!
The mountain is huge, and spans two states! It is well suited for all people, but especially intermediates and tree skiiers.
Speaking of trees, they are the best I have ever been on! They blow away many others including Northstar and Homewood, who aren't bad themselves. Warm up with Aries Woods and Bohemian Grove on the Nevada side, and then try to tackle The Burn, Ski Ways Glades, and the trees in Mott and Killebrew canyons.
Usually the groomed runs are good when the others aren't, but this can flip. I last visited a few weeks ago on a "powder day", and the groomers were firm. However, the off- piste runs had great pow! Try North Bowl or Meteor to get pow and escape the crowds!
The views are sublime, but the crowds are ridiculous!

Heavenly

09/05/2015

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Heavenly

09/05/2015
There’s never a dull moment on a Heavenly ski trip. Between gambling at casinos, live shows, shopping and other activities, you’ll never be bored, even if you don’t ski or snowboard. And just hanging about taking in the amazing views is a pastime in itself.

Other pros: big dumps; plenty of Californian (or Nevada) sunshine; massive terrain size; excellent tree skiing; great intermediate terrain; good terrain parks; good lift infrastructure; a vibrant nightlife; and large choice of restaurants. Heavenly has a bit of something for everyone on the slopes and off.

Cons: you have to share Heavenly with lots of other skiers and snowboarders; the powder is not particularly dry and can turn to Sierra Cement; and this isn’t the best ski resort for experts who want super steep challenging runs.

Where's Ski Patrol?

07/05/2015

Linda

Powder Connoisseur
Powder Connoisseur

Linda

Powder Connoisseur
Powder Connoisseur
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Where's Ski Patrol?

07/05/2015
We visited during a time of very warm precipitation and poor snow conditions so there was no off-piste skiing. One day we visited, there had been rain and then it had frozen and the piste at mid-mountain were completely crusty and people were falling over left right and centre. Further down towards the Stagecoach base, the piste were like an ice skating rink and completely trecherous.

Ski patrol was incredibly slow off the mark to do anything about it. The runs shouldn’t have even been open, or at the very least marked for experts only.

When it warmed up later in the day, the slopes became skiable and rather crowded. Later again it started raining and the day lodges became ridiculously packed and the queues to download the gondola were very long.

Heavenly Review

Nick
22/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    2

Heavenly Review

Nick
22/03/2015
Fantastic tree runs and a few great steeps and cliffs if you know where to look. Lifts are all fast and grant access to nearly everything you could ask for.

A great mountain when it gets enough snow, although that has been rare lately.

Powder Days

Brendan
17/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    2

Powder Days

Brendan
17/03/2015
I was lucky enough to score a couple of powder days at Heavenly. The tree runs & gully's were super fun and the place is absolutely huge. I found a few land mines under the pow (rocks) and the coverage wasn't the best lower down but I still had a great time.

There are lots of accommodation options in South Lake Tahoe close to the Heavenly Gondola that leaves from a courtyard in the main shopping/dining district.
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