The North Lake Tahoe skiing area is made up of 12 ski resorts. Our favourites are Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) and Northstar. Ski scenic tree runs overlook Lake Tahoe, which is the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The lake straddles the California and Nevada border and is wedged between Tahoe and Eldorado National Forests. Graced with 300 days of sunshine each year, it was a popular ski destination with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe in the ’60s. Here we share our view of the North Lake Tahoe ski resorts.
Popular with West Coast celebrities, Palisades Tahoe ski resort has earned itself a big reputation in the US. One of the largest ski areas in North America, it is included in the IKON ski pass. Advanced skiers will find some great skiing here with tree-free bowls, steep chutes and terrain parks. Approximately 30% of the ski resort is black and double-black runs, which ensures plenty of nail-biting off-piste routes.
A highlight when skiing in North Lake Tahoe has to be spotting the far-reaching turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe. The Headwall run in Palisades Tahoe, underneath the Siberia Bowl, has incredibly scenic vistas as you descend. Don’t miss the views at the summit of Snow King and around the south side of KT-22. The resort offers a range of accommodation, from the luxurious Resort at Palisades Tahoe, with its unbeatable ski-in ski-out location in the heart of the village, to the Squaw Valley Lodge, which can accommodate parties of all sizes – ideal for families.
Northstar ski resort is one of the quieter of North Lake Tahoe ski resorts and the ideal ski area if you’re looking for the Tahoe experience without the crowds. The ski resort is well provided for in terms of accommodation with the Hotel Hyatt Regency and the Hotel Iron Horse Lodge, both slopeside. Northstar’s compact size means that each hotel provides easy access to the slopes.
Northstar ski resort is well-known for its excellent terrain parks and has won awards for its great piste grooming. On top of this, the ski resort is also included on the EPIC ski pass.
Northstar offers some of the best skiing in North Lake Tahoe for families. The ski resort offers a wide variety of activities including skating, sleigh rides and tubing that are fun for the whole family. Minor’s Camp offers on-site childcare, and the resident chefs offer free s’mores – the American version of toasting marshmallows on an open fire – every afternoon. If whizzing down steep trails isn’t your style, North Lake Tahoe has the most groomed snowshoe and cross-country trails in North America – you’ll find 40km of groomed trails in Northstar.
North Lake Tahoe, known by locals as the real Lake Tahoe, has a laid-back atmosphere with a string of small towns along the shoreline. The towns exude typical Americana, lined with historic buildings that house cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours.
Enjoy fine-dining and classic dishes made with seasonal ingredients at Restaurant Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton. The chef’s table and tasting counter is a private dining room, perfect for a special occasion. Brewers at Alibi Ale Works’ craft brewery use water from Lake Tahoe in their core beers, including citrusy pale ale and roasty porter.
What if whizzing down steep trails isn’t your style? North Lake Tahoe ski resorts have the most concentrated area of groomed snowshoe and cross-country landscape in North America. You’ll find 40km of groomed trails at Northstar and an extra 18km at the Squaw Creek. Heading into the countryside, keen Nordic Skiers can explore 100km of trails at Tahoe Donner’s Cross Country area. There’s a further whopping 124 acres in the North Tahoe Regional Park.
For more information about skiing in North Lake Tahoe, speak to one of our ski experts on 0207 471 7700.