Northern California is renowned for many things: the majesty of the ancient Redwoods which tower above you, perfect for camping out with horses; the production of some of the world’s finest wines produced in Napa and Sonoma Valleys; and the cultivation of some of the planet’s finest medicinal cannabis in the Emerald Triangle, and the booming multi-billion dollar industry that has sprung from it. Still, in spite of all of the amazing aforementioned natural beauty in the northern part of the state, you might plan your next trip to the area by booking vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe.

With its crystal clear, blue waters, many consider the crown jewel of the region to be Lake Tahoe not just because it is absolutely gorgeous, but because of all the activities, summer or winter, that come with it. Whether you are on a road trip up the amazing coastline to northern California, driving up or state highway 1 and decide to veer towards Tahoe for a visit to its bevy of gourmet restaurants and incredible vistas in the warmer seasons, or if you are there to take advantage of some world class ski resorts, there absolutely no way to get bored in the region.

With that in mind, the Sierra Nevadas in the Lake Tahoe region offers a lot of stiff competition in terms of skiing destinations. Let’s take a look at some of the best ski resorts in the area.


Squaw Valley

Amongst the thirteen or so contenders, Squaw Valley has some of the most name recognition by virtue of the fact that it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960. Though many years ago, it has built on that momentum for, amongst other things, being one of the only places with long, steep runs for the more advanced skiers and snowboarders out there. Its friendliness for winter sports experts notwithstanding, beginners will find bunny slopes and kinder inclines whilst being able to enjoy the beautiful vistas while the snow lasts regularly into the Springtime.

Alpine Meadows

Meanwhile, nearby Alpine Meadows is a place for vacationing families to enjoy playgrounds for children and magical chalets. For those snowboarders and skiers who are inclined towards the extreme side of the sport, there are wide open bowls to get serious air and show off your skills.


Kirkwood is home to some of the most difficult terrain and some of the driest snow in the region, and indeed on the continent. Those skiers and snowboarders who enjoy off-piste exploration will enjoy carving deep trails in some diverse topography some 35 miles south of South Lake Tahoe proper.

Sugar Bowl

Another well-recognized name amongst the fabulous selection of ski resorts in the Tahoe region, Sugar Bowl is received well by locals for reasons other than its evocative name. A tradition of regularly seeing bushels of snow over four separate peaks for 75 years has kept it a local favourite. Another distinguishing feature is its policy to let back-country explorers wander without limitation; no boundaries makes for a choose-your-own-adventure feel across 1,650 skiable acres.

Heavenly Mountain

With even as evocative a name as “Heavenly Mountain,” the splendour of 4,800 acres of some of the most eye-pleasing views of the lake combined with a full 34 miles of groomed ski trails is not fully encapsulated in the name. To really taste the blissful nirvana this resort represents to skiers, you have to actually, you know, be there and experience it for yourself. Winter sports enthusiasts who like to challenge themselves will particularly enjoy the 1,600 foot depths of the hardest trails available, the double-black-diamond canyons (thanks but no thanks for us mere mortals), or the popular tree runs. The area’s original mountain base area, skiers and snowboarders of all levels are catered towards, of course. A full 65% of all the trails are for beginners and intermediate-level skiers.

After a hard day of skiing, there are other attractions to enjoy after the sun goes down. The Tamarack Lodge features divine drinks offered at half-price, bumping DJs, and a grand party for all to enjoy.

Donner Ski Ranch

For those of you wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of large crowds, there are options to hit the slope with little glitz at a lower cost. Donner is situated between its larger cousins, Sugar Bowl and Boreal Mountain Resort, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting this family-owned gem off the beaten track. This 500 acre resort sports plenty for all ages and levels of skiers, boasting a full 52 runs. Moving carpets are also available, as are areas for those who like to get down to the ground with tubing! Look out for deals on the mid-week passes, one of the most affordable ways for locals to hit the slopes.

And there you have it: with some of the best ski resorts listed, you really can’t go wrong. Happy skiing!


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