Skiing in South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe Beach
Views from The Landing Resort and Spa
The Heavenly ski resort gondola starts from the centre of town
One of the Stateline casinos
Heavenly Resort sits right above the town
Should I ski or gamble at the casino or do both?
There are lots of shops in South Lake Tahoe
Another of the Stateline casinos
The Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe CA
Views across Lake Tahoe
The casinos are one of the main activities in town
South Lake Tahoe Beach - view from The Landing
The Landing is a luxurious South Lake Tahoe hotel
Heavenly Village of South Lake Tahoe
South end of Lake Tahoe
Apres ski drinks after a day at Heavenly Resort
Some lodging is really close to the Heavenly gondola base
The gondola ride up from South Lake Tahoe to Heavenly is pretty fast

Skiing in South Lake Tahoe

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South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe 4/52
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South Lake Tahoe and Stateline are two adjacent towns that straddle the state borders of California and Nevada. Other than the presence of two large casinos, the distinction between the two states isn’t that obvious, and many visitors to the area refer to the two towns (aka cities) collectively as “South Lake Tahoe”.

South Lake Tahoe has a population of about 21,000 and it is very popular with tourists who come to enjoy the beauty of the lake, try their luck at the casinos, enjoy the other activities on offer, or even to get married! During winter and spring, the main focus becomes skiing and snowboarding at the South Lake Tahoe ski resorts.

South Lake Tahoe is a completely mixed bag. It’s very upscale on one hand whilst simultaneously being a little dingy in some spots. It’s low key and relaxed in some respects, yet it also has the vibrancy associated with the casinos. Chances are that whatever you’re looking for in South Lake Tahoe, you’ll find it.

Pros of South Lake Tahoe CA

  • Perfect location to access Heavenly Ski Resort.
  • The town is also well situated to use as a base for the other South Lake Tahoe ski resorts.
  • The beach area in particular is very scenic.
  • The South Lake Tahoe lodging is very diverse and caters to a range of budgets from dirt cheap to luxurious.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective 

  • Stateline is awesome if you like gambling and the casinos offer great nightlife, good value for money lodging, inexpensive food and drink, and the ability to smoke inside if you want. 

Where is South Lake Tahoe CA and Stateline Nevada?

As the names suggest, South Lake Tahoe CA is located on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, whilst Stateline is just on the other side of the border. South Lake Tahoe/Stateline is 100 miles northeast of Sacramento and 190 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is the most common gateway airport, which is 56 miles to the northeast, a drive that takes just over an hour.

South Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

During winter and spring, the main focus becomes skiing and snowboarding at the South Lake Tahoe ski resorts, and the town is the main lodging base for Heavenly Mountain Resort and Sierra at Tahoe.

The Heavenly Ski Resort is the key South Lake Tahoe ski resort, with the Heavenly Gondola conveniently starting right in the heart of South Lake Tahoe and only a stone’s throw from the Stateline casinos.

Sierra at Tahoe is 15 miles (25 minute drive) southwest of South Lake Tahoe.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort is 34 miles south of South Lake Tahoe.

Other ski resorts close to South Lake Tahoe and Stateline:
  • 23 miles away on the west shore of the lake is Homewood
  • A little further north and 37 miles away is Alpine Meadows
  • Squaw Valley is 37 miles away (1 hour drive)
  • Mt Rose is easily accessible to the northeast of Lake Tahoe, 37 miles away
  • Diamond Peak in Incline Village is 28 miles north of South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe Lodging

On the California side, South Lake Tahoe lodging comes in almost every form imaginable from upscale hotels and condos to incredibly cheap motels and lodges: South Lake Tahoe Accommodations

On the Nevada side, there are various casino hotels which tend to provide very good value for money: Stateline Casinos and Hotels Listings
Tours In/Near South 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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AUD 4,058
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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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AUD 6,499
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit South 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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AUD 2,609
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit South 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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AUD 578
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit South Lake Tahoe here