Dramatic, snow-covered peaks, a glistening turquoise lake, and sunny California days make Lake Tahoe a popular travel destination in any season. In winter, the area attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over to enjoy the expansive terrain and dry powder. You’ll find a variety of ski resorts in Lake Tahoe for different interests and skill levels, whether you want to freestyle, tackle gladed runs, or teach kids skiing and snowboarding for the first time. Take a look at the top destinations for Lake Tahoe skiing and find other excellent ski resorts in California to plan your winter ski trip.
Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe for family or friends
Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful spots in California, no matter the season. While summer brings all kinds of outdoor adventurers and water sports enthusiasts, skiers and snowboarders dominate the winter season in Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts. Many resorts are found around the lake, all with consistent snow, expansive terrain areas, and fun snow activities. Find out more about ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.
Squaw Valley is a renowned resort that hosted the 1960 Olympic Winter Games. The resort has over 1,400 hectares of skiable terrain with 170 trails for all skiing and snowboarding abilities. The runs are divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced areas, and there’s a special beginner’s area for the first time on the slopes, making it perfect for kids. Snowboarders enjoy the long chutes and steep slopes on the runs. At the base of the mountain, Squaw Valley has a charming chalet village with restaurants, art galleries, shops, and après-ski venues.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort has an idyllic setting befitting its name. The resort has mountains and lakes, as well as 1,942 hectares of skiable terrain and 97 trails. Most of the runs are intermediate, followed by advanced and expert, but you’ll find a few beginner trails that are designed for children and learning skiers and snowboarders. Confident experts can tackle incredible challenges like the Gunbarrel Run and a double black diamond canyon run. The resort also has terrain parks for ski and snowboard freestyling.
Northstar Ski Resort
Northstar Ski Resort is a family-friendly ski area that offers excellent beginner and intermediate areas. The expansive terrain has 100 groomed runs and 20 lifts divided between beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. For glade skiing, you can access the trails that travel through the nearby forest. For snowboarders, Northstar Ski Resort has several terrain parks with jumps, half pipes, and rails to practice. There’s a progression park for beginners to learn the foundation of freestyling. Other activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, telemark skiing, snow tubing, and ice skating.
Other ski resorts in California for family vacation
Along with Lake Tahoe, California’s incredible mountain and lake areas have exciting ski resorts for skiing and snowboarding during the winter season. Find out the other top ski resorts in California.
Mammoth Lakes has numerous ski resorts surrounding Mammoth Mountain, the best of which is Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. With an elevation of 3,369 metres and 1,420 hectares of skiable terrain, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has a long ski season. Over 150 named runs offer slopes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers and snowboarders. For freestyling, the resort has 5 terrain parks with progressive learning areas, so you can try challenging jumps and rails or build the foundation of good trick riding or skiing.
Big Bear Lake
In winter, the spectacular lake and mountains of Big Bear Lake transform into a winter haven for skiing and snowboarding. You’ll find a lot of resorts in the area, but Bear Mountain is one of the most popular. The resort has a 507-metre vertical and 303 hectares of skiable terrain with beginner, low intermediate, intermediate, and advanced areas across Bear Peak, Silver Mountain, and Goldmine Mountain. It’s also home to one of the few Superpipes in California, perfect for freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
Mount Baldy is ideal for family
The Mount San Antonio – Mount Baldy area of the San Gabriel Mountains is home to a lovely vintage-style ski resort that’s ideal for family trips. Mount Baldy Ski Lifts, affectionately known as “Baldy” by locals, has traditional runs, bowls, chutes, and tree runs spanning 320 hectares of skiable terrain. The 26 runs offer areas for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers and snowboarders. If you’re looking for a laid-back ski retreat with the family, Mount Baldy Ski Lifts is the best place.