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Lake Tahoe's best ski resorts

Published August 4th, 2015

Legendary Lake Tahoe sits right on the border of California and Nevada, home to no less than 18 great ski resorts.

Skiers and boarders flock in droves over the winter months to enjoy the huge snowfalls of fluffy powder and famous steep runs. The most difficult decision anyone makes is selecting which amazing resort to visit first.


North Lake Tahoe


You’ll find the majority of ski resorts on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re a skier or a boarder, first-timer or pro, there are plenty of places for you to hit the powder and have some fun.

Northstar

Home to legendary US snowboarder Shaun White, Northstar is a 1,214-hectare ski resort with high-end luxury accommodation. There’s great all-round skiing for all abilities, as well as off-piste runs for the more adventurous. If you’re interested in performing tricks, head to the 6.5-metre-high super pipe where you’ll find many of America’s young ski and snowboard elite practicing some impressive moves.

Riding the ski lift at Northstar (All images: Getty)

Sugar Bowl

One of the closest ski fields to San Francisco, Sugar Bowl is a medium-sized ski resort with lots of advanced terrain for experienced powder hounds. As one of the first ski resorts in America it has a proud history and has been a popular spot for the Hollywood elite and Bay Area socialite snow bunnies over the last 70 years. Sugar Bowl gets some of the best powder in Tahoe and lift prices are lower than some of the other larger resorts.

Squaw Valley

Tahoe’s second largest ski area, Squaw Valley is the place to head for challenging slopes and super long runs. There’s over 2,428 skiable hectares here, including 270 marked trails. The bustling apres ski scene at the European-inspired Alpine village makes the resort a popular party destination. Squaw Valley has one of the longest ski seasons in the US, so it’s a great place to head for some sunny spring skiing and boarding.


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Challenge yourself at Squaw Valley

South Lake Tahoe


If you’re into black jack and craps, the South Tahoe area will have more to offer than just powder. The bustling casino district of Stateline offers all sorts of ways to spend your money. Right in the middle of all the action you’ll find the huge gondola ready to whisk you away to one of America’s top ski resorts, Heavenly.

Heavenly

Tahoe’s loudest and proudest ski resort, Heavenly lives up to its name. Sitting right on the California-Nevada border, the huge resort’s epic terrain is matched only by its scenic mountain beauty. On one side you can ski overlooking the vast sparkling green lake, and on the other side you’ll see the high desert of Nevada stretching for miles. Heavenly has four terrain parks perfect for mastering impressive tricks, and if you’re visiting in April, you’ll get a chance to join in the super-fun Red Bull Snow Warz weekend.

The views are one of the highlights of skiing or boarding at Lake Tahoe

Kirkwood

Kirkwood is a great budget option with hikeable terrain and wide runs popular among snowboarders. It also gets more snow than any of its surrounding resorts. There are plenty of great back-country runs within an easy hike from some of the main lifts, so you’ve got a good chance of scoring epic powder. Stay on the mountain to catch the first lifts, or if you’re on a tight budget there are lots of affordable options in South Lake Tahoe, with a $5 shuttle bus to ferry people to-and-from the mountain all day long.

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.