This winter, road trip or fly to South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where fresh air and fresh powder await. And when we say powder, we mean it! Heavenly Ski Resort receives an average of 360 inches of the white stuff each winter, transforming this corner of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into a veritable playground. Throw the skis on the car and bundle up for a weekend—or a whole week—of nonstop fun. There’s plenty of room in South Lake Tahoe for the whole family this season.
This story was created in partnership with Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.
Ski South Lake Tahoe’s world famous resorts
Home to Heavenly, Kirkwood, and 13 other ski resorts, Lake Tahoe is known globally as a destination for alpine skiing and snowboarding. After all, there are very few places on the planet where you can ski down five-star runs and get a suntan on a sandy beach, all in the same day! Our favorite place to ski is Heavenly Ski Resort, a unique bi-state resort that straddles the state line between Nevada and California. Board the chair in Cali–tips up!–and de-lift in the Silver State. You’ll even be able to peek into the other side of the Sierra Nevadas from the top of the resort, should your laps take you that high.
Catch some views on the Heavenly Mountain Gondola
For those who don’t enjoy gravity’s pull, jump onto the Heavenly Mountain Gondola. Welcome to skiers and non-skiers alike, you’ll be able to share the alpine experience with every generation in your party. Be sure to get off at the Observation Deck, where jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe below make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Then, enjoy a stop at Tamarack Lodge base area. For lunch, Tamarack Lodge serves up delicious meals. Tuck into meals such as smoked tri-tip steak or chili to keep you fueled for an afternoon of fun.
Enjoy the serenity of nordic skiing or snowshoeing
There’s nothing more peaceful than going for a cross-country ski or snowshoe while in a bustling mountain town. South Lake Tahoe is home to miles of groomed trails offering world-class nordic skiing. Strap on your skinny skis and hit the corduroy! We recommend exploring Rabe Meadow. You can even ski on the shore of the lake if there’s enough snow! Wherever you go, enjoy the sound of nothing but your own breath and the click of your skis as you glide through the winter landscape.
Twirl under the stars at the rink
Looking for an activity you can do right in town or with easy access to seats and snacks? The Edgewood ice rink is now open to the public to provide even more outdoor activities through the winter! If you’re concerned about a bruised tailbone, take a guided snowshoe tour before grabbing a small bite at the Champagne Chalet. Or head to the ice rink in the middle of Heavenly Village, near the base of the gondola. The rink is surrounded by shops and restaurants as well as fire pits—perfect for parents or grandparents to stay warm while the kids cut laps. Plus, you’ll be provided with a wristband for all-day enjoyment in case you desire a little flexibility in your schedule. After dark, the rink is decorated with a smattering of lights. It truly is a festive scene. The only thing missing is hot chocolate!
See the mountains by utility terrain vehicle
For those seeking an added bit of excitement this winter, climb aboard a guided utility terrain vehicle (UTV). These ice-chewing machines are like monster trucks designed for the toughest winter conditions, and they offer an alternative way to explore the mountains. Take the Heavenly Mountain Gondola to meet your guide at the Tamarack Lodge base area. From there, you’ll go on a wild ride to Blue Sky Terrace. You’ll get a whole new vantage on Lake Tahoe (over 9,000 feet below) and learn about environmental efforts in the area at the same time. Did we mention you can fit the whole family in one UTV? Kids 8 years old and over are welcome to join!
Enjoy year-round South Lake Tahoe life
Because of the gargantuan size of Lake Tahoe, it doesn’t freeze in the winter. That means that while you might not want to go for a swim, you still get to enjoy the beautiful hues of turquoise and emerald the lake is known for! Pick up a coffee at Clyde’s and stroll the beach at Zephyr Cove, or journey to Emerald Bay where vistas abound. Depending on conditions, you might be able to hike the mile down to Vikingsholm, a Scandinavian castle built in 1929. It’s a true Lake Tahoe icon. Or if the trail is clear, hike to Eagle Falls. After your adventure, relish a decadent dinner at the Edgewood while watching the sun set over the Sierra Nevadas across the lake.
Take advantage of being in Nevada
Not only is Lake Tahoe exceptionally beautiful from the Nevada side, but it also offers some unique benefits. At the time of writing, Nevada allowed indoor dining at limited capacity (reservations required at most restaurants). This contrasts to neighboring California, where dining is restricted to outside only.* And of course, Nevada is one of the only places in the nation where gambling is legal state-wide! Partake in the fun at the casinos on the state line, such as the Hard Rock Hotel. No matter what your plans are in this region of Tahoe South, there is no shortage of space for every winter activity imaginable.
*Please check for up-to-date travel restrictions for your destination before your trip.