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By: W. Dire Wolff

North Shore - Lake Tahoe Resorts
Boreal Mountain
Sugar Bowl
Donner Ski Ranch
Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley
Homewood
NorthStar
Diamond Peak
Mount Rose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boreal Mountain

Boreal Mountain has some the easiest access of all the Ski Resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. Visitors from the San Francisco Bay and other Central California areas find it’s location off Interstate 80 on the eastern side of Donner Summit a convenient destination for a one day ski trip. The location also provides a nice last day of skiing after a more extended stay in Tahoe, before making the drive back home. But it’s not just the location that makes Boreal Mountain one of Tahoe’s favorite resorts. Skiiers and snowboarders find lots of good skiing at a fair price.

Boreal is open from 9 o’clock in the morning to 9 o’clock at night, and is known for it’s great skiing, day or night. The well lighted slopes make this a one of kind place for skiing and snowboarding at night.

Snowboarders can expect to find plenty of room to make their moves in Boreal’s snowboard parks. For the more advanced boarders, there is plenty of action to be found at the area’s Half Pipe.

Skiiers of all ability can find plenty of well maintained slopes with easy chair lift access. There is even a special area for families, known as the Family Terrain Zone.

Boreal Mountain has it’s own ski lodge for those people that want to spend more time at the resort. But plenty of other lodging is available a short drive away in the town of Truckee and the surrounding areas.

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Sugar Bowl

The Sugar Bowl resort was founded in 1939 by Walt Disney and was the first resort in California to offer usage of a chairlift. It also had the first gondola in North America. Today Sugar Bowl is one of Tahoe’s nicest out of the way resorts. The resort features world class ski runs, two terrain parks, a half pipe, and great skiing for even those just beginning their interest in snow sports. This location was pick by Walt Disney and his associates for it’s natural beauty and varied terrain, in an attempt to provide a magical ski experience for the resort’s visitors. The nice little touches, like the classic gondola reminds visitors of the resorts Disney heritage. It also is one of the places in Lake Tahoe that manages to be covered with the most snowfall.

Sugar Bowl is one of the prime ski resorts in the Donner Summit area. Located a short drive off Interstate 80, east of Truckee and close to Donner Lake, vacationers can find ample lodging in the surrounding area or choose to stay at the recently completed lodge at the foot of the recently expanded Sugar Bowl slopes on Mt. Judah.

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Donner Ski Ranch

A stone throw from Sugar Bowl Ski Resort lies a quiet out of the way ski area called Donner Ski Ranch. If you want to get away from the crowds and don’t need all the hype of the larger resorts then Donner Ski Ranch is worth trying. Although the resort is not one of Tahoe’s largest, it still offers a good deal of skiing and snowboarding for people of all ability. Some people find the thrill of getting off the trails and gliding through the trees at Donner Ski Ranch to be worth the trip. More adventurous Snowriders can find a half pipe is available to them. While others can enjoy a day of honing their skills on the several well groomed ski run and slopes.

Located down the road from Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch is another place to visit in the Donner Summit area. Located a short drive from Truckee and Donner Lake, so there are plenty of motels, inns, and cottages to stay in the surrounding area or there is also a Ski Lodge at Donner Ski Ranch.

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Alpine Meadows

Why do I always think this place is called Alpine Valley? Maybe it’s the relaxed atmosphere that makes me think that is well suited for our kind of people. Coming south down Interstate 80 from Truckee, California you find some of the best resorts in the Tahoe region. One of these great resorts is Alpine Meadows.

Although skiiers have always reigned supreme at Alpine Meadows, Snowborading is being encouraged at this 2000 acre resort with over 100 designated ski runs. Alpine Meadows features challenges of Snowboard Half Pipe riding and has developed a terrain park. Perhaps even more exciting is the ungroomed, all natural terrain areas known as Adventure Zones. This provides boarders the chance to get off the beaten track without the danger of exploring uncharted wilderness. The Adventure Zones feature a wide array of gullies, rocks, and open bowls to experience. Alpine Meadows has the feeling of the laid back California fast lane that seems to symbolize the snowboard elite.

The skiing at Alpine Meadows offers a wide range of terrain and experiences. Beginners and families can get started at the bottom of the mountain on some tame runs. Experts can challenge the expert runs that include expansive bowl skiing, ridge top falls, backwoods powder, and some challenging mogul covered slopes. The resort is very friendly to skiers of intermediate ability, and provides a good selection of runs that allows gradually advancement of skills to move into the more challenging expert runs. From expansive bowls to quiet backwoods trails, Alpine Meadows offers a generous selection of downhill fun.

Coming down Highway 89 south from Truckee, Alpine Meadows is just 13 miles. Or you can stay at the lake in Tahoe City and have just a 6 mile drive north. This gives vacationers the option of staying in Truckee or closer to Lake Tahoe itself. Of course many cottages and condos can be rented closer to the resort, or there is always the option of finding a place to stay at Squaw Valley.

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Squaw Valley

The Squaw Valley Ski Resort sprawls out over 4000 acres of snow. This resort known for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1960, is one of the most well known ski areas in California. Providing some of the steepest maintained slopes in the world, this world-class ski area is often the jewel of Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Although the lift ticket prices are high, the selection and quality of the resort makes it worth a visit. This is the resort where people come to see who is hot in snowrider community, and you’ll find more than a few peacocks fanning their tail feathers. It the shiniest gem of the Tahoe resorts.

But don’t let the sense of luxury, high priced lift tickets, and talk of crowds scare you away from trying this place at least once. You may find that after spending one day at Squaw Valley, you’ll make this your exclusive resort of choice. Over half of the ski area is easy enough for beginner and intermediate skiers. The resort provides vast wide open bowls and the type of groomed runs you would expect at such a resort . Advanced skiers can find many challenges waiting on the steep, but groomed expert runs. Yet amid all the crowds and maintained areas, many secret off the way adventures can be navigated by skilled snowriders cruising through the trees in deep powder.

For family members and friends that don’t want to try their luck on the slopes, Squaw Valley also offers ice skating.

Coming down Highway 89 south from Truckee, Squaw Valley is just 13 miles. Or you can stay at the lake in Tahoe City and have just a 6 mile drive north. But with a variety of hotels and condos available at the foot of the slopes, there is no need to spend time driving to and from the resort during a stay there.

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Ski Homewood

A little south of the small town of Tahoe City on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, there is small cluster of fine ski resorts. For a small resort, Homewood has a lot to offer. There’s not as many chairlifts as the bigger places, but the lift tickets and concessions are much cheaper here. Some of us enjoy being at place where you get a feel of the locale, have a great view of Lake Tahoe, lots of tree lined runs, and not have to deal with the crowds. There are lots of nooks and crannys to explore at this fun little resort.

Homewood is perched in the mountains on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Almost every run provides the snowrider with a wonderful view of the clear, blue, pristine water. The resort is geared to provide a local feel and is run by an environmentally sensitive management staff. The timber lined slopes and trails provide a rustic setting for both skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Homewood is a great little place to get away from it all.

The North Shore near Homewood is really a cool place to stay. There are many cabins, little inns, and motels in the area around Homewood and Tahoe City. For those so inclined , there are all kinds of cool taverns spotted along the highway.

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Northstar-at-Tahoe

Although Northstar-at-Tahoe stands out in some people’s minds as a great family oriented ski resort, but it is a lot more than that. All of the resorts mentioned here provide all sorts of great programs for children and younger adults. What makes Northstar a little more unique is the wide range of activities beyond snowboarding and skiing, such as cross-country courses, snowshoeing, and ice skating, the resort provides and promotes from one central location. The resort features great places to stay, dining, and even a delicatessen. Families or friends can find something to do even if downhill action, isn’t there bag.

The Northstar resort features some after hours activities such as night skiing 's and riding on the resort’s half pipe. You can enjoy the night stars above the mountain forest by taking a walk with snowshoes, or sitting by a bon-fire with a hot drink. Like the other resorts, there is also the usual bars and restaurants to enjoy a drink, hot chocolate, or coffee after a long fun day of snowriding.

Just 6 miles north of Lake Tahoe on Highway 267 you will find Northstar-at-Tahoe. You can get there from the lake or a short drive south from Interstate 80 on Highway.

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Mount Rose

Towering some 9,700 feet above sea level, the highest lift access to snow covered skiing and snowboarding can be found at Mount Rose. Located in Nevada on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Mount Rose provides over 40 different runs with the longest ski run at the resort being a full 2.5 miles in length. Since this resort is tucked away in the Northern Mountains above Lake Tahoe, some people find this a much less flashy place to get away from the crowds and tourists.

The resort’s history got started long before the first chairlift was erected on the mountain. Locals carried their skis on their backs and climbed the mountain on snowshoes to enjoy the virgin snowy powder that covered the logging trails. Some 60 years later access to the slopes is not nearly as difficult, as it was for Mount Rose’s first skiers. Today’s visitors will find that the newly expanded highway 395, makes this the closest ski resort to the airport in Reno, and an easy drive to other areas Lake Tahoe.

Lodging can be found close by at Incline Village, Nevada or at any of the little towns or hamlets along Tahoe’s North Shore. Perhaps there’s not as much nightlife as compared to some other areas in Tahoe, but friends or families can always make their own. For what can be better, than sharing in the preparation of nice meal and enjoying some hot drinks around a crackling fireplace with people you care about? But that’s not to say one cannot find plenty of good food and fun times to be had a the restaurants and pubs in and around Mount Rose.

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Diamond Peak

Diamond Peak, like most of the Tahoe resorts, features many activities that make it a great place for families and friends to have an exciting day that everyone will enjoy. Not only can the visitor find downhill skiing and snowboarding, but there is also great cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. There are challenging runs for the experts, and great places and programs for younger snowriders and those new to the sport.

Like all area’s of the Lake Tahoe area Diamond Peak is surrounded by many types of lodging. You can rent a wonderful home in the mountains, find a nice condominium, and yet you are still close enough to access the casinos’ hotels. Diamond Peak is close to Incline Village and Mount Rose, providing easy access to the Airport in Reno, Nevada and all the other great establishments of Lake Tahoe’s North Shore Community.

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South Shore Resorts