Top Ski Resorts in Tahoe South
Lake Tahoe has received its first significant storm of the year and the forecast is calling for a snowy December ahead. For all the skiers and riders out there this is like music to their ears, and the local ski resorts will be open before December. The only question you may be asking yourself is "where do I go?". We've got you covered with the inside scoop for the best terrain at all the ski resorts around Tahoe South. So load up, strap in, and get ready for the endless smiles to begin!
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort is the biggest resort on the list with 4,800 acres of skiable terrain that straddles California and Nevada. The two states provide the perfect diversity with Carson Valley views on one side and forest and lake views on the other. The Heavenly terrain is made up of well-spaced Jeffrey Pine trees and the perfect balance of varied terrain and ski runs. The Mott and Killebrew double-black-diamond canyons both feature technical areas with challenging chutes and the most outrageous tree skiing in North America. The Milkyway alpine bowl can provide an ear to ear smile as you hit the perfect powder run.
Of course, not all of Heavenly’s forested slopes are black-diamond runs or canyons. First-time tree-skiers can cruise through Orion’s Belt Trees, which is located to the right of the Orion’s Belt trail and is the perfect tree-skiing for developing your skills. From there you can progress into the steeper trees under the Olympic Express chair, and when you're ready to hit the black-diamond runs then Aries is just as demanding as those you’ll find in other resorts. One thing you can say is that Heavenly is never a boring place!
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Kirkwood Ski Resort has 87 marked trails, 2,000 feet of vertical drop (the base elevation is 7,800 feet, and the summit is at 9,800 feet), and 2,300 skiable acres serviced by 15 lifts, so there is terrain for every level. Intermediate skiers and boarders will spend most of their time on the backside or mid-mountain, while experts head straight to the top. The two-mile-long ridgeline on the summit provides ample opportunity for fun drop-ins. Head to the Eagle Bowl for the best powder runs, and those looking for a thrill won’t want to miss the world-famous “The Wall” double-black-diamond run that features steep chutes, gullies, and cliff drops.
But don't be scared off from the resort if you're just learning, there is a balance of terrain for those who don’t want terrifying chutes and steeps. The designated beginner area is tucked away so you can develop your skills at your own pace. For the intermediate riders, some areas aren’t too intimidating despite fierce trail names like "Ditch of Doom” and “Trench of Terror”. Kirkwood is a low-key resort without the glitz and glam, but often has some of the deepest powder in North America.
Sierra At Tahoe Resort
Sierra-At-Tahoe is the smallest resort on the list boasting 2,000 acres and 46 trails, and 9 chair lifts as well as a handful of surface lifts. But don't let the size fool you, they feature some unique riding terrain and it's not uncommon to find hidden powder pockets deep into the afternoon. The terrain is separated into three regions, Grandview that offer views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, West Bowl, and the backside. For advanced riders, Sierra at Tahoe has great tree skiing thanks to nicely spaced old-growth forests of red fir trees that weren’t attractive to the early settler loggers. The steep trees off Preachers can provide some magical morning powder runs, and the boulders in Jack's bowl can provide awesome pillows on a powder day.
Sierra Tahoe is also renowned for Huckleberry Canyon, a 320 acre gated backcountry area that’s inside the resort boundaries. This experts-only area has an abundance of steeps in the form of bowls, chutes, rock drops, pillows, cornices, and cliffs too. Sierra's diverse terrain features many beginners runs with the "Sugar & Spice" run offering 2.5 miles to master your skills. They also feature a dedicated beginner area near the main base lodge with magic carpets and chairlifts nearby serving green trails. Officially, fifty percent of the trails are for intermediates and West Bowl offers some really fun cruisers runs. Sierra-At-Tahoe is known for it's laid back and fun vibe. It's both loved by families and locals alike.
The ski resorts around Tahoe South will be open before December and with more snow activity in the forecast the season is starting off strong. Now that you have the inside scoop on each resort there's no reason to stay away. So what are you waiting for? Grab your gear, pack up the car, and hit the road up to Lake Tahoe for an epic adventure! When you're done slaying the powder and need a relaxing hot tub to rejuvenate your sore muscles and get the best sleep in our comfortable rooms, book online or contact our in-house reservation team at 1.800.877.1466