Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Lake Tahoe Skiing
Incline Village, a Lake Tahoe Ski Town
Alpine Meadows: a Lake Tahoe ski resort with simplicity
The Hyatt beach on Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe Skiing - Heavenly
The panoramic beauty of a Lake Tahoe ski resort
Alpine Meadows Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe Beach
Lake Tahoe straddles California and Nevada
To ski or to gamble?
Lake Tahoe powder skiing
You'll never grow tired of the views when skiing in Lake Tahoe
Boat cruise on Lake Tahoe
Mt Rose, one of the gnarly Lake Tahoe resorts
Squaw Valley Ski Resort California
Stay at The Landing in South Lake Tahoe
Ski Lake Tahoe at Sierra
The family friendly Diamond Peak Ski Resort Tahoe
Northstar: a popular Tahoe ski resort
Views across the lake

Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Lake Tahoe skiing is world renowned due to the amazing scenic beauty of the area, and also because there is a large concentration of Lake Tahoe ski resorts within one small region. It’s only 32 miles by road from the north end of the lake down to the south, and the maximum distance between any two Lake Tahoe ski resorts is 75 miles.

The Lake Tahoe skiing is exceptionally varied. The Tahoe ski resorts offer cliff riddled alpine terrain, glade skiing, moguls, meticulously groomed corduroy, mellow family oriented slopes, and terrain parks, and some of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer majestic views across the lake.

Ski Lake Tahoe and enjoy the beautiful fine weather and bluebird days, however the Lake Tahoe snow is also legendary. Big storms dump huge amounts of powder on the mountains. Some of the Tahoe ski resorts receive 500 inches (12.7m) of snow per season on average, whilst Kirkwood scores a massive 600 inches (15.2m) of snow!

What and Where is Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada is a massive fresh water lake that straddles the states of California and Nevada. The area around the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or Tahoe for short. Snowy mountains surround the lake on all sides, and combined with the crystal blue water of the lake, the Tahoe region is incredibly picturesque.

Sacramento is a little to the southwest, with Sugar Bowl being the closest Lake Tahoe ski resort at only 91 miles from Sacramento. Reno Nevada, the “Biggest Little City in the World” and its many casinos, is only 37 miles northeast of Lake Tahoe. The nearby Reno Tahoe Airport, receives more than 100 direct flights daily from various US cities.

San Francisco International Airport is about 200 miles to the southwest of South Lake Tahoe, a drive that takes about 3 hours depending on road conditions. Los Angeles is about 440 miles to the south.

Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Your Lake Tahoe ski vacation can consist of going to just one resort or you can easily sample a handful or more of ski areas. Some of the ski resorts have multi-resort lift passes or there are sometimes deals that can make Lake Tahoe skiing across numerous resorts a little more affordable.

The Lake Tahoe ski resorts offer a lot of diversity and range from behemoth world class resorts to little mom and pop type ski areas for day trips.

Destination Resorts
Not surprisingly, the destination resorts (ie with base villages) are the most popular, the largest, and are frequented by many families due to the ease of slope access as well as the restaurants, bars and shops.

Overall Squaw Valley is the best Tahoe ski resort (as rated by with a massive 3,600 acres of skiable terrain that is suited to beginners up to pros, an upscale village with plenty of lodging, and trendy bars and restaurants.

Northstar has an equally fancy purpose built village, is incredibly family friendly, has impressive lifts, and lots of terrain for beginners and intermediates.

Heavenly is the largest of the Tahoe ski resorts and has terrain that is particularly well suited to intermediate riders. The main base area of Heavenly is the bustling town of South Lake Tahoe.

Kirkwood is the top Lake Tahoe ski resort for powder hounds (as rated by, in part due to the abundant snowfall. It only has a small village with limited options for dining, drinking and shopping.

No Village - Lodging Available
The next category is those Lake Tahoe ski resorts that have lodging at or near the base area but no village per se (or just one or two evening dining options). These ski areas are typically less busy and ideal for a quiet retreat. Tahoe ski resorts that fall into this category include Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl, Homewood, and Diamond Peak.

Day Ski Areas
Lake Tahoe also has several day ski areas that have no lodging at the base. These are typically small to medium sized and include Mt Rose, Sierra at Tahoe, Boreal and Donner Ski Ranch.

Lake Tahoe Ski Towns

The towns around Lake Tahoe offer lots of diversity. If you want a quiet sedate Lake Tahoe ski vacation, you can stay in one of the peaceful lakeside villages. At the other end of the spectrum are the casino towns with pumping nightlife, and in between are western ski towns with rustic taverns. Budget lodging is available in Lake Tahoe or there are the ritzy and glamorous destination ski resorts.

South Lake Tahoe is a large pumping casino town (aka city) on the south shore of the lake with a huge range of lodging, restaurants, bars and things to do. Resorts near South Lake Tahoe include Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, and Kirkwood.

Reno Nevada is a city with an abundance of casinos near the northeast shore of Lake Tahoe. Reno is close to Mt Rose, Diamond Peak, and Northstar.

Incline Village on the northeast shore of the lake offers a quiet picturesque vacation locale. Incline Village is close to Diamond Peak, Mt Rose, Northstar, and it’s not too far from Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

Truckee is a historic western town to the northwest of the lake and close to lots of resorts: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Sugarbowl, Mt Rose, Diamond Peak and a few small ski areas. Nearby Tahoe City on the lake is also well positioned to access lots of ski resorts.

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort By Area

Most of the Lake Tahoe resorts are located near the north west part of the lake near Truckee, Tahoe City and King’s Beach. There are also a few ski areas at the southern end of the lake. Most of the Tahoe ski areas are California ski resorts.

North Lake Tahoe Skiing & Snowboarding
The ski resorts near the North Shore are Diamond Peak, a little ski area at Incline Village, and Mt Rose, a medium sized resort; both to the northeast of the lake in Nevada.

Moving west is Northstar (formerly Northstar at Tahoe), which is a classy destination ski resort that has all the bells and whistles.

Donner Summit Area
A little northwest of Lake Tahoe is a collection of ski resorts. These include Boreal, Donner Ski Ranch, Soda Springs, Tahoe Donner and Sugar Bowl. Compared to some of the high profile Tahoe ski resorts that can get absolutely chaotic, the ski resorts in this area provide a relative serenity, particularly mid-week when there aren’t many folks visiting from Sacramento.

These ski resorts are typically good to visit for a day trip or two, and many people stay in Truckee, a lovely western ski town that has a pretty laidback vibe relative to the casino towns on the Nevada side. Here are some Truckee accommodations.

North West Lake Tahoe Resorts
Moving further anti-clockwise around Lake Tahoe are the resorts of Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood and Grandlibakken. These ski resorts couldn’t be more different from each other. Squaw Valley is big and rather trendy. Alpine Meadows and Homewood are very low key relative to Squaw Valley, and Grandlibakken is a wee little ski hill.

South Lake Tahoe Skiing
Around the south of the lake spanning both California and Nevada, is Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe/Stateline. Heavenly is huge and the views from the ski resort across the lake are glorious. The Heavenly Resort is bustling and all the Nevada casinos make the place pretty lively too. There are an abundance of options for Heavenly accommodations.

A little further away from the south shore of the lake are the Kirkwood and Sierra at Tahoe resorts.
Tours In/Near Lake Tahoe

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Powder Hunt Trips
6 Nights | 5 Ski Days | 1-3 Resorts
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
So if you are looking to only ski or ride powder in North America this season, this tour could be your ticket to powder happiness! Lock in a date for your tour & Ski Ride Tours will choose the best destination just before your arrival based on the best possible snow conditions.
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USD 2,800
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USA Snow Road Trip
12 Nights | 9 Days Instruction
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Want to ride up to 8 of the USA's top ski resorts in one hit whilst hanging out with like minded people & improving your riding skills? This incredible snowboarding only tour is available to solo travelers & groups alike & visits resort in Colorado, Utah & California.
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USD 4,484
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Lake Tahoe here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Hideout Backcountry Lodge CA
Ski/Snowboard Tour | Snowmobile | Heli Access
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
SECLUSION, LUXURY & ADVENTURE - come & spend a few nights or more at the luxurious Hideout Lodge deep in the wilderness of the Sierra. Access the incredible backcountry by touring, snow mobile or heli & return to the luxurious amenities & chef cooked meals at the lodge in the evenings.
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USD 1,800
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Lake Tahoe here

Cat Skiing Tours

Pacific Crest Day Cat Skiing
8 - 12 Runs | Over 12,000 vert feet
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Escape the crowds in Lake Tahoe & come and play in the 3,000 acre private powder playground with Pacific Crest Snowcats. Book a seat for yourself, a few of you or a whole cat for a private day with your ski buddies! Seats book out early so be sure to book soon.
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USD 399
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Lake Tahoe here