No one can deny that there’s a lot of skiing and snowboarding to be had in Lake Tahoe, boasting the highest concentration of ski resorts within 100 miles in North America. In fact, few places on the continent offer such a diverse range of ski experiences. From the budget-friendly slopes of Donner Ski Ranch to the luxurious resorts of Palisades Tahoe and Heavenly Mountain. Lake Tahoe is a place for everyone from apres ski bunnies to powder hound fanatics. Here’s the rundown of each ski resort and a Lake Tahoe ski resorts map to give you a lay of the land.
Where To Start
If it’s your first time visiting Lake Tahoe or you just want to learn more on what there is to do (in any season), how to get here, and what to expect, be sure to read our Lake Tahoe Travel Guide. We talk about everything from the biggest festivals of the year such as the Shakespeare Festival to weather phenomenon such as “Miracle March” and must see sights like Emerald Bay.
Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Map
This interactive Lake Tahoe ski resorts map highlights all the Lake Tahoe ski areas and resorts that exist in both California and Nevada. Click on any of the markers to obtain more information about them. You can also download a printable version of the map by clicking on the button below:
Boreal understands that it may not have the huge vertical that its siblings do, but its slopes are perfect for beginners and freestyle fanatics. It’s home to the region’s first and only all-mountain terrain park. Throughout out the season, its parks balloon to include more than 100 features including a half-pipe. Their terrain parks are built in a way that it offers something for first timers to seasoned vets throwing backside 720’s with ease.
Vertical drop: 500 feet, 380 acres, 400 inches annual snowfall; Boreal Resort Website
Base Elevation: 7,200 feet
Donner Ski Ranch
Nestled on Donner Summit, this charming ski area is all about positive vibes and a laid-back atmosphere. You’ll find daily tickets, season passes, and packages are at prices up to 75% lower than other regional resorts. This makes it the perfect spot for a budget-friendly family getaway. With diverse terrain, stunning 360-degree views, and minimal lift lines, your visit is sure to leave you with beaming smiles. And whatever you do, don’t miss out on a slice of homemade pie at the Old 40 Bar & Grill after your day of adventure.
Vertical drop: 781 feet, 435 acres, 400 inches annual snowfall; Donner Ski Ranch Website
Base Elevation: 7,031 feet
In Tahoe, where many ski areas boast views of the Sierra sapphire, Diamond Peak stands out as arguably one of the best vistas in the region. Descending the iconic Crystal Ridge trail off Crystal Express, it feels as if you’ll ski right into the sparkling waters. With the panoramic view unfolding before you, you’ll understand why Mark Twain deemed it “the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” Managed and owned by the quiet hamlet of Incline Village, Diamond Peak provides fantastic fall-line skiing minus the hustle of its larger counterparts. Plus, if you stay at the Hyatt Regency in town, a convenient shuttle drops you off right at the lodge.
Vertical drop: 1,840 feet, 655 acres, 325 inches annual snowfall; Diamond Peak Website
Base Elevation: 6,700 feet
Norwegian for a hill sheltered by trees, Granlibakken isn’t just a ski area. It’s a tranquil mountain retreat offering guests the perfect setting to ski or learn to ski. While the property has added modern amenities over the years, Granlibakken retains that classic Tahoe ambiance. The ski and snowboard hill, serviced by two surface lifts, features a bunny slope accessed by a rope tow and an intermediate trail accessible by a Poma. Visitors staying at Granlibakken Tahoe can delight in a 50% discount on sledding and lift tickets at this historic Ski Hill.
Vertical drop: 300 feet, 74 acres, 200 inches annual snowfall; Granlibakken Website
Base Elevation: 6,350 feet
Heavenly stands out as one of the largest ski areas in the region. It’s the second biggest in acreage and home to the most substantial vertical drop. As such, there’s something for everyone. Experts head to Killebrew Canyon to take on steep fall-line skiing. Intermediates have their choice of what they want from the terrain around the Dipper chair to the Sky Express lift. Beginners, on the other hand, can find their haven in the Enchanted Forest next to the California Lodge. Regardless of your skill level, the name “Heavenly” makes perfect sense the moment you reach the top. Hint: It’s all about the breathtaking views.
Vertical drop: 3,500 feet, 4,800 acres, 251 inches annual snowfall; Heavenly Website
Base Elevation: 6,657 feet
Homewood Mountain Resort
For those seeking peak-to-shore skiing in a laid-back atmosphere at the best value, Homewood is the spot. Just a few miles north of the iconic Emerald Bay, its unobstructed views of the lake rank up there with Diamond Peak’s, and its within easy reach of the charming West Shore. Homewood is renowned for some of the best sheltered glade skiing on storm days. And compared to other Tahoe resorts, you’ll likely have the powder mostly to yourself. Notably, they also offer cat skiing, the only one of its kind in the Lake Tahoe Basin. All of this makes Homewood one of the best places to ski on a powder day during your Tahoe ski trips.
Vertical drop: 1,650 feet, 1,260 acres (plus 750 acres of cat skiing), 450 inches annual snowfall; Homewood Website
Base Elevation: 6,230 feet
Compared to its sibling Heavenly Mountain in South Lake Tahoe, there are no big casinos. No expansive views of Lake Tahoe. No wild all nighters. What it does have is snow and lots of it. Due to it having one of Tahoe’s highest base elevations (7800′), it typically gets some of the most snow in the region. While there’s terrain catering to both beginners and intermediates, this place truly shines for experts. Over 68% of its terrain is rated advanced or expert, creating a haven for powder hounds yearning for natural playful terrain. Keep in mind, though, that the drive is no joke. In stormy conditions, it’s advisable to check Caltrans to ensure the pass is open for a smooth drive.
Vertical drop: 2,000 feet, 2,300 acres (plus 750 acres of cat skiing), 500 inches annual snowfall; Kirkwood Website
Base Elevation: 7,800 feet
For years it was a cruiser’s hill with well-groomed trails that gave you a bird’s eye view of Reno’s metropolitan area. But what truly propelled this destination into the limelight is the introduction of the “Chutes” zone. With over 1,000 feet of north-facing slopes boasting sustained pitches averaging 40-55 degrees, it has become a focal point of the mountain’s allure.
Then there is its high elevation. Perched at 8,260 feet above sea level, it’s base elevation surpasses the summits of many of Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts. And when a Pineapple Express is dousing the region with heavy wet snow, this is your escape valve to ride some powder. Only 25 minutes from the Reno-Tahoe Airport, you can get off the plane, grab your skis, and be on the slopes the same day for a few laps.
Interesting fact: Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe isn’t on Mt. Rose. In fact, it sits on Slide Mountain looking AT Mt. Rose.
Vertical drop: 1,800 feet, 1,200 acres, 350 inches annual snowfall; Mt Rose Website
Base Elevation: 8,260 feet
Northstar California Resort
For a dollop of luxury on your family vacation, Northstar California Resort has you covered. The pedestrian village is filled with boutique shops, restaurants, outdoor fire pits perfect for enjoying s’mores, and even an ice-skating rink. Reminiscent of Keystone’s trail setup, you’ll discover primarily trail-cut runs with an impressive array of tree-skiing suitable for all skill levels. The Backside features widely spaced trees for intermediates to dip their edges into glade skiing. While there isn’t any scare your pants off terrain, for those looking for a bit of “bite”, head to Lookout Mountain. Within its 200 acres, you’ll find steep runs, tree skiing, and views of Truckee’s Martis Valley and the surrounding peaks.
Vertical drop: 2,280 feet, 3,170 acres, 350 inches annual snowfall; Northstar Website
Base Elevation: 6,330 feet
Palisades Tahoe | Alpine Meadows
What is there to say about this legend that hasn’t been already said. It’s been the beating heart of extreme skiing for decades. A place that pushed athletes like Shane McConkey to the forefront. Off piste terrain that keep iconic pros such as Jeremy Jones’ skills honed and ready for the next major adventure. There’s a reason why this place is nicknamed “Squallywood.” It has eye popping steeps, receives metric tons of snow, and you can see almost all of the terrain from the lift. Translation: Ski like everyone’s watching because they are.
Proudly proclaiming itself as the “king of spring”, it has earned this moniker. Always pushing to close when the snow melts, that can be as late as July 4th and even later in some years. What really helps solidify Palisades Tahoe’s crown is the spring party scene which ramps up during this time of year.
Vertical drop: 2,850 feet, 6,000 acres, 400 inches annual snowfall; Palisades Tahoe Website
Base Elevation: 6,200 feet
Let’s address the elephant on the slopes – Sierra-at-Tahoe was once widely celebrated as one of the best mountains for tree skiing, thanks to its lush old-growth conifers. Unfortunately, a few years ago it got hit HARD during the Caldor Fire, resulting in the loss of most of its iconic trees. While the terrain has changed, the old vibes of our home mountain are still very much the same. And the park crew continues to make some of the most creative jump lines throughout the season, complemented by one of the few remaining half pipes still standing in Tahoe.
What awaits you now is a mountain transformed into a giant playground of natural terrain. West Bowl has become an intermediates powder mecca of waves to slash and open slopes to let ‘er rip. For the experts, Jack’s Bowl still begins with the signature glade skiing of yore but now finishes with launch-worthy cliffs. And Preacher’s Passion without its trees allows you to descend the steep terrain as if bouncing down Kootenay Pillows.
Vertical drop: 2,212 feet, 2,000 acres, 400+ inches annual snowfall; Sierra-at-Tahoe Website
Base Elevation: 6,640 feet
Harkening back to an era focused solely on skiing, Sugar Bowl manages to seamlessly blend classic skiing charm with modern amenities, boasting high-speed lifts and impeccable grooming. Despite being founded by Walt Disney, don’t expect a “disneyfied” resort here. The snowbound village is simple, featuring a few ski chalets, the Inn at Sugar Bowl, a child-care center, and a ski shop – and that’s about it.
What you will discover, however, are four mountains with over 100 trails awaiting exploration. For the quintessential Sugar Bowl experience, kick off from the summit of Mt. Lincoln and descend Silver Belt to Steilhang. This route once hosted the legendary Silver Belt Giant Slalom, attracting the world’s best ski racers from 1940 to 1975. As the closest major resort to the Bay Area, it’s a good idea to visit Sugar Bowl for a mid-week getaway.
Vertical drop: 1,500 feet, 1,500 acres, 500 inches annual snowfall; Sugar Bowl Resort Website
Base Elevation: 6,883 feet
Established in 1931 as one of North America’s original ski resorts, this destination caters perfectly to both beginners and families. With a cozy atmosphere and two major lifts providing access to all its terrain, families can confidently explore the expansive 200 acres without the stress of navigating complex layouts. Moreover, it proudly boasts the title of having the best snow park in Tahoe – Tube Town and Planet Kids.
Vertical drop: 550 feet, 200 acres, 400 inches annual snowfall; Soda Springs Website
Base Elevation: 6,750 feet
Here’s another fantastic Lake Tahoe destination, perfect for families and first-timers eager to hit the slopes. The spacious and uncrowded slopes are well-suited, with 40 percent designed for novice skiers, while the rest cater to those at the intermediate to advanced levels. Don’t forget to take a well-deserved break and refuel at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub – an award-winning, bistro-style spot offering menus influenced by both French and Pacific Rim cuisines.
Vertical drop: 600 feet, 120 acres, 400 inches annual snowfall; Tahoe Donner Website
Base Elevation: 6,750 feet
Honorable Mention: Sky Tavern
Although it has lifts and trails like a ski area, it isn’t a ski area in the way most people think about it. Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 20 minutes from Reno, Sky Tavern it is the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America.
Embark on the perfect ski vacation with a variety of terrain, abundant snowfall, cozy lodging options, breathtaking scenery, easy accessibility, and a plethora of non-ski activities. Whether you’re seeking delectable dining options or a vibrant nightlife scene, Lake Tahoe has it all. Discover the unmatched charm of this winter wonderland – your ideal destination for an unforgettable skiing and snowboarding adventure.