Destinations Magazine

Best Places for Winter Sports Around the Tahoe Basin

By Twothirstytravellers @2thirstytrav

Northern California is renowned for many things: the majesty of the ancient Redwoods which tower above you, perfect for camping out with horses; the production of some of the world’s finest wines produced in Napa and Sonoma Valleys; and the cultivation of some of the planet’s finest medicinal cannabis in the Emerald Triangle, and the booming multi-billion dollar industry that has sprung from it. Still, in spite of all of the amazing aforementioned natural beauty in the northern part of the state, you might plan your next trip to the area by booking vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe.

With its crystal clear, blue waters, many consider the crown jewel of the region to be Lake Tahoe not just because it is absolutely gorgeous, but because of all the activities, summer or winter, that come with it. Whether you are on a road trip up the amazing coastline to northern California, driving up or state highway 1 and decide to veer towards Tahoe for a visit to its bevy of gourmet restaurants and incredible vistas in the warmer seasons, or if you are there to take advantage of some world class ski resorts, there absolutely no way to get bored in the region.

With that in mind, the Sierra Nevadas in the Lake Tahoe region offers a lot of stiff competition in terms of skiing destinations. Let’s take a look at some of the best ski resorts in the area.


Squaw Valley

Amongst the thirteen or so contenders, Squaw Valley has some of the most name recognition by virtue of the fact that it hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960. Though many years ago, it has built on that momentum for, amongst other things, being one of the only places with long, steep runs for the more advanced skiers and snowboarders out there. Its friendliness for winter sports experts notwithstanding, beginners will find bunny slopes and kinder inclines whilst being able to enjoy the beautiful vistas while the snow lasts regularly into the Springtime.

Alpine Meadows

Meanwhile, nearby Alpine Meadows is a place for vacationing families to enjoy playgrounds for children and magical chalets. For those snowboarders and skiers who are inclined towards the extreme side of the sport, there are wide open bowls to get serious air and show off your skills.


Kirkwood is home to some of the most difficult terrain and some of the driest snow in the region, and indeed on the continent. Those skiers and snowboarders who enjoy off-piste exploration will enjoy carving deep trails in some diverse topography some 35 miles south of South Lake Tahoe proper.

Sugar Bowl

Another well-recognized name amongst the fabulous selection of ski resorts in the Tahoe region, Sugar Bowl is received well by locals for reasons other than its evocative name. A tradition of regularly seeing bushels of snow over four separate peaks for 75 years has kept it a local favorite. Another distinguishing feature is its policy to let back-country explorers wander without limitation; no boundaries makes for a choose-your-own-adventure feel across 1,650 skiable acres.

And there you have it: with some of the best ski resorts listed, you really can’t go wrong. Happy skiing!

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