Powderhounds, snowshoe hares, Olympic dreamers, or just casual winter enthusiasts that want to experience snow, Lake Tahoe is the perfect winter destination for you. No matter what type of frozen (or non-frozen) shenanigans you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in Lake Tahoe. Here’s a full run-down of some of the snow play activities you can do and tips on where to do them.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Mother nature and old man winter have truly blessed Lake Tahoe like no other place for snow activities especially skiing and snowboarding. Heck, we think our little part of the world is the BEST for skiing. Why? For starters, we have the best weather to ski in, storms come in FEET, and there’s a vast assortment of resorts to choose from. And if that isn’t enough, here are 5 reasons why we think Lake Tahoe is the best in the West.
Where To Go Skiing
Hopefully, we got you excited about the idea of skiing or snowboarding this winter. But Where-Oh-Where should you go? If you’re looking for views, Heavenly is a must. For trees, Sierra-at-Tahoe can’t be beaten. And powder hounds will adore Kirkwood. If you want a more in-depth review of what each major resort provides around the lake, head over to our article: A South & North Lake Tahoe Ski Guide – Rundown Of What To Expect. One more thing. Don’t forget to check out the 9 iconic trails every skier should try to hit at our south shore resorts.
What To Expect For The Upcoming Season
We know… the upcoming 2020-21 ski season is definitely going to be an “interesting” one. Each resort is making plans for the upcoming Lake Tahoe 2020/21 ski season. Here’s the latest information they’ve shared on what to expect at Lake Tahoe ski resorts for the upcoming winter.
Cross-Country Or Nordic Skiing
If the idea of flinging yourself down a mountain and letting gravity do the work seems a bit intimidating, you can turn it down a notch by trying cross-country skiing as one of your snow activities. You’ll get a great workout. Spend some time in the great outdoors. And of course, take in the beauty that is this majestic place.
Where To Go Cross-Country Skiing
The options on where to go cross-country skiing are quite endless, especially during mid-season. For residents, once there are more than two feet of snow on the ground at lake level, they venture to the Mountain Sports Center at Camp Richardson. Located just below Mt. Tallac, the scenery of this impressive peak and on the shores of Tahoe is what put this destination near the top of the list. If the snowpack hasn’t reached two feet just yet, head up to Kirkwood Resort. At an elevation of 7,800’ above sea level, it’s a great option for early or late season. The trail pass includes a vast network of trails with three warming huts including the Kirkwood Inn (est. 1864).
Not feeling coordinated enough to take on cross-country skiing? No problem! You should try Snowshoeing. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. You’ll get a chance to marvel at the spectacular views and break a sweat in the crisp mountain air. Open meadows and tree-lined trails are easily accessible throughout the community.
The mountains are avalanche country and so can be a dangerous place. If it’s your first time in a winter environment, we recommend staying on marked trails. You can get lost quickly or put yourself and your family in a risky situation. As mentioned above, a good option is Camp Richardson or consider heading over to Hope Valley Outdoors. Each winter they serve up more than 60 miles of trails that take skiers and snowshoers whisking through valleys, meadows, and mountain trails.
For fun snow activities where you just want to get outside without a lot of time or effort, snow tubing should be pretty high up on the list. As they sound, snow tubes are oversize inner tubes with a cut-out section in the center.
Where To Go Snow tubing… Safely
Despite the thrill of just picking a hill covered in snow and sliding down it with a sled or snow tube, we recommend going to an authorized and maintained slope instead. Nearly 20,000 kids get injured annually because the areas chosen aren’t cleared of obstacles. You can still do your best Griswold impression from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation but come home safe and happy by visiting one of these places that will provide a safe environment.
What is fun, family-friendly, and a great romantic outing? Ice Skating! Besides those that grew up on the ice, the rest of us lace up every once in a while, meaning we all can enjoy it at our own pace. And no spot is as picturesque for ice skating in South Lake Tahoe as Heavenly Village with holiday lights strung all around and music playing. Ice skates are available for rent, and you can even buy day or season passes.
Another great family activity to consider when visiting “Big Blue” is snowmobiling. If you have a few hours to enjoy being outside, we HIGHLY recommend taking the guided tour from Zephyr Cove. The two-hour tour provides panoramic views of Lake Tahoe’s cobalt blue waters that very few others get a chance to see during this time of year. For those with only a bit of time or just want to try the sport, you can rent a snowmobile for 30 minutes and take it on a racetrack. For more ideas on how to saddle up, head over to our Snowmobiling in South Lake Tahoe article.
It may not be a snow activity per se, but it’s as old and intertwined with the culture of skiing since the downhill technique was honed. Après started in people’s homes but quickly transitioned into ski clubs such as the Christiana Club in Oslo, Norway. This tradition spread all across the Alps and evolved into what we know today. Here’s a few après ideas such as gourmet hot cocoa as well as some lesser known winter activities like curling to consider. For more of a traditional après scene, here are our 5 favorite firepits near Heavenly.