Lake Tahoe Skiing

Tahoe Ski Reviews

World famous ski-coach "Crazy Clint" has filled out site with opinions galore on Lake Tahoe ski resorts for downhill skiing enthusiaists. Check out his thoughts on all the major ski resorts including acreage; lifts; fun; sports; and partying. Lake Tahoe ski resort reviews are here to make your trip to the Reno / Lake Tahoe area awesome!!

  1. Squaw Valley USA
    • most steep/extreme terrain available in Tahoe
    • crowded, or very crowded at times
    • 2nd biggest (acreage) after Heavenly
    • most bowl skiing in Tahoe (but not many open tree runs)
    • night skiing available, but a pain in the butt riding the tram
    • usually open 'til end of May
    • $62 / $20 night skiing
    • some, but not much lake view
    • WEST side of lake; 1:10 hr from Reno
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  3. Heavenly Valley:
    • great lake views, lots of intermediate groomed runs
    • some steeps in Mott & Killebrew canyons
    • frequently very crowded on main lifts – long traverses to/from CA to NV side
    • some nice hidden tree patches on lower NV side
    • biggest in Tahoe area (by acreage)
    • favorite bump run in Tahoe (under Comet chair)
    • decent terrain park w/ big/long kickers
    • $65 / $68 holiday
    • SOUTHEAST side of lake; 1:15 from Reno (So. Lake Tahoe town=FUN)
  4. Kirkwood
    • most snow in Tahoe, & fewer crowds so it stays fresh longer
    • 2nd most extreme terrain behind Squaw (maybe even tied for 1st)
    • fun valleys on front side/black diamond playground terrain
    • longest drive from Reno, but last ½ hour is beautiful if roads are clear
    • $59 / $62 holiday
    • no lake view
    • SOUTH of lake, 1:30 hr from Reno
  5. Alpine Meadows
    • ~3rd largest, good runs, good price
    • plenty of steeps
    • crowded, or very crowded at times
    • (others would probably rank Alpine higher on the list)
    • usually open 'til end of May
    • $39 / $49 holiday
    • some, but not much lake view
    • WEST side of lake, 1:10 hr from Reno
  6. Mount Rose
    • closest resort to Reno (½ hour door-to-door)
    • small, with a "locals resort" feel
    • usually best snow conditions (highest base elevation & less traffic)
    • good, open glades skiing
    • almost always less crowded than other resorts
    • new steep double black terrain opened this year; "The Chutes"
    • (non-Reno locals would rank this lower)
    • $52 / various weekday discounts
    • some, but not much lake view
    • NORTHEAST, ½ hour from Reno
  7. Sugarbowl
    • great snow, best of any resort with storms from the west
    • often socked in w/ clouds – tough visibility
    • some super-steep terrain (Palisades)
    • $59
    • no lake view
    • NORTHWEST, 1:10 hr from Reno
  8. Northstar
    • nicknamed "Flatstar" but some good/steep terrain on new Lookout Mtn & the backside
    • frequently very crowded on main/front lifts – but if you ski blacks, can avoid the lift lines by staying on the Lookout Mtn chair
    • some good tree skiing
    • 2nd closest resort to Reno (45 min)
    • 2nd favorite bump run in Tahoe (Rapids, under the backside chair)
    • decent terrain park w/ big/long kickers
    • $61
    • very little lake view
    • NORTH, ¾ hr from Reno
  9. Homewood:
    • small, no high speed lifts
    • lowest elevation of any resort, snow & coverage aren't as good
    • absolutely the BEST panoramic lake view of any resort (If you're here for the views/pictures, then it's is a must-ski. But, go on sunny day – or the lake pics will be disappointingly gray.)
    • $44 / $25 weekdays
    • WEST- central, 1:20 hr from Reno
  10. Sierra-at-Tahoe
    • bigger area & faster lifts than Homewood, but a long drive from Reno
    • crowded, or very crowded at times, but some good tree skiing
    • Tied for longest drive from Reno
    • $57 / $59 holidays
    • no lake view
    • SOUTH of lake, 1:30 hr from Reno
  11. Diamond Peak:
    • small, 1 new high speed lift
    • lower elevation, snow isn't as good as others
    • $44 / $30 weekdays w/ another resort's pass
    • very good lake view
    • NORTH, ¾ hr from Reno
  12. Boreal:
    • small, but a couple high speed lifts
    • snowboard haven
    • only night skiing in Tahoe (besides Squaw's pain-in-the-butt tram)
    • $36 / $22 night skiing
    • no lake view
    • NORTHWEST, 1 hr from Reno
  13. The rest of the Tahoe resorts are too small to bother with. In fact, I haven't even skied them in the 6 years I've been here... but I guess I better get around to it "one of these days". Just in case you're teaching your grandmother to ski over the weekend; here they are:
  14. Mammoth:
    • Not a "Tahoe area resort", but definitely worth mentioning
    • huge, with awesome terrain, lots of high speed lifts
    • crowded, or very crowded at times w/ LA refugees
    • huge terrain park & kickers (bigger than any in Tahoe)
    • $63
    • often open into June!! (usually 2 weeks longer than the last few Tahoe resorts)
    • Central California, 3 ½ hours SOUTH of Reno (& ahhhhhh… no lake view)

North Lake Tahoe Resorts:

One of Tahoe's best resorts, located about 15 minutes South of Truckee. Not as extreme as Squaw, but located right next to Squaw. The two resorts may connect in the future. The staff has a lot less "attitude" than Squaw; Alpine is more of a locals place. A very large resort with good facilities and a casual atmosphere. Strongly recommended. Ticket price is about $48.

One of Tahoe's largest, best, and most aggressive ski resorts. The staff here has a bit of an attitude and Squaw tends to attract more skillful skiers. The resort features many comfortable and convenient condo's and restaurants including a mid-mountain pool & ice rink. Facilities are excellent at Squaw-- the winter Olympics were once held here. Located about 15 minutes south of Truckee. Highly recommended. Ticket price is about $48.

Incline Village (Mount Rose) Resorts:

Mount Rose is a Reno locals secret. It's inconvenient from the Truckee area but VERY convenient from Reno. That is as long as it's not snowing. Mount Rose is about 25 miles southwest of Reno up a very steep & winding mountain road. That said, this is a no hassle, cheaper place where you can have a lot of fun. It also has the highest base elevation of ANY Tahoe resort. The drawback is it doesn't have a gazillion different ski runs. Ticket prices are about $38. Recommended and a true bargain, especially when combined with lodging values in Reno....


Downhill and Cross-Country:

Diamond Peak - - 702-832-1177

Kirkwood - - 209-258-7248

Northstar at Tahoe - - 800-466-6784

Tahoe Donner - - 916-587-9444

Cross-Country Skiing:

Lakeview Cross-Country - - 916-583-9353

Royal Gorge - - 800-500-3871

Spooner Lake - - 702-749-5349

Squaw Creek Nordic Center - - 916-583-6300