Mt Rose Lifts & Terrain

Mt Rose Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Frontside Mt Rose Frontside Trail Map
Winters Creek Mt Rose Winters Creek Trail Map
  • Vertical (ft)
    7,900 – 9,700 (1800)
  • Average Snow Fall
    350 inches
  • Lifts (8)
    2 high speed 6-pack
    2 quad chairs 
  • Ski Season
    late Nov - mid Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 60
    Size – 1,200 acres
    Beginner - 20%
    Intermediate - 30%
    Advanced - 40%
    Expert - 10%

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe Terrain

To ski Mt Rose, the “Biggest Little Ski Mountain”, it is probably more “little” than “big”. Mt Rose Ski Tahoe only has 60 trails and 1,200 acres (486 hectares) of terrain. It’s not the smallest of the Tahoe ski resorts, but compared to the medium to high profile ski resorts in the area, it is half the average size. Or compared to Heavenly Ski Resort, Mt Rose Ski Tahoe is one quarter the size. And if The Chutes are closed for avalanche control, then it really shrinks the size of the resort.

There are two sides to Mt Rose Ski Tahoe that were initially two separate ski resorts. In 1987 the two areas merged to form one resort, and later The Chutes between the two areas were opened to offer lots of steep gnarly lines. The Slide side (Slide Mountain Ski Area/Reno Ski Bowl) is on the east side of Slide Mountain and offers various intermediate and advanced trails. This is often the nicest spot to ski Mt Rose in the morning. The Rose side (Mount Rose Ski Area) is on the northwest side of Slide Mountain, and includes beginner trails, a few blue trails, and various advanced runs.

Diverse views are afforded when you ski Mt Rose. From the Slide side you can see the Nevada desert and Reno, and a wrap-around run and the Upper Lakeview run offer views of Lake Tahoe, although not quite the in-your-face lake views you’d find at Diamond Peak or Heavenly Ski Resort.

Lifts

Mt Rose Ski Resort has 8 lifts: 2 surface lifts, 4 fixed grip chair lifts, and 2 speedy six-packs. Each side of the ski resort has a six-seater detachable chair, so these carry the main bulk of the traffic, and on the Slide side the 6-pack carries all the traffic. They both have silly loading ropes that aim to get 6 people on each chair, but it’s close to impossible to ride with a group of your friends because they have ropes for singles and double queues only. The Lakeview chair isn’t too aptly named – don’t hold your breath waiting for amazing views!

Unless it’s a peak holiday, queues for lifts are reasonably uncommon.

Lift Tickets

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe lift passes are reasonably priced compared to the high profile Tahoe ski resorts, although they’re still pretty expensive. Thankfully there are some excellent midweek lift ticket deals available (2 for 1 day, ladies day), or Liftopia generally offers big discounts.

Mt Rose Snow and Weather Conditions

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe has the highest base elevation in Tahoe and the top elevation is pretty high too, but the altitude is a blessing and a curse. The ski area is exposed and the wind can be brutally cold or shut down the upper lifts. It’s unaffectionately called “Mt Blows” due to the wind holds. On the plus side, the high base elevation contributes to better snow quality than other Tahoe ski resorts, as does the predominance of east and north facing slopes.

Compared to many other Lake Tahoe resorts, Mt Rose doesn’t receive quite as much snow, although the average annual snowfall of 350 inches (8.9 metres) is still very respectable.

Ski Mt Rose for the Beginner

Mt Rose is a pretty good place to learn because the first timer and next step packages are rather cheap. There are only a handful of beginner runs but they are delightfully mellow, protected from the weather, and close to the sanctuary of Main Lodge (the day lodge). Novices can start on the surface lifts and then progress onto a couple of slow chair lifts. Much of the beginners’ terrain is dedicated although the lower slopes have blue and black runs terminating into them, but the green runs are so wide that there’s plenty of space for the slow and fast skiers and boarders to play together.

Mt Rose Skiing for the Intermediate

Mid-intermediates might get a little bored at Mt Rose because there aren’t that many blue trails. The Slide side is a nice spot to catch the morning sun, and then you can head over to the Rose side where the snow holds up very nicely due to the aspect. A couple of the black runs on the Rose side may be groomed, which are fun for steep turns for confident intermediates.

Advanced Snowboarding & Skiing Mt Rose

Mt Rose Ski Tahoe has a decent range of cut piste runs for advanced riders. A couple of these may be groomed and the others are left to form moguls that Glen Plake would just adore. Due to the sunny aspect on the Slide side, the moguls can ice up pretty easily and then Slide becomes an apt name for the mountain!

There’s a tiny bit of tree skiing on the Rose side where the snow quality is better, although the trees are reasonably sparse. Most of the tree skiing is on the Slide/Reno bowl side, with some of the best of it to far skiers’ right of the resort. The trees are rather widely spaced so they’re not too difficult, unless of course the snow has turned to Sierra Cement.

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

All the expert and extreme terrain is located in The Chutes between the two sides of the ski resort. There are a few single black diamond runs on the skiers left, and these tend to not get a lot of traffic. There are also a couple of single diamond runs on the other side (e.g. Beehive), but the rating is only relative to the nearby slopes that truly deserve their double black status.

There are plenty of different lines in this zone. El Cap at the top gets the most vertical, and many other lines are a mix of rock features and sparse trees, whilst some lovely tree skiing can be found on the skiers’ right of The Chutes. It can get a little repetitive in this area and laps can take a long time, particularly runs on the skiers’ left.

The Chutes are primarily north facing so the snow quality can be fantastic, but if even a small melt-freeze cycle sets in, the snow is often unlikely to soften much during the day and you might need to wait for another snowfall or face skiing bullet proof ice.