Winter storms mean perfect powder at local ski resorts
Reno-Tahoe is home to some of the premiere ski and snowboard resorts on the planet, and with snowfall totals thus far well above those of the last few years, skiers and snowboarders alike have been clamoring to get up the mountains and to area resorts. Even this early in the season, many mountain resorts are reporting snow levels at or greater than the totals for all of last winter. Take advantage of the fresh and ample recent powder and head up the hill for a day on the slopes.
The closest resort to town, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe offers lessons, specialty clinics and shuttles from town up the mountain. The resort has also partnered with several local casinos, like the Silver Legacy, to bring ski and stay packages to guests.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 E then merge on I-580 S/US-395 S to the Mt. Rose Highway. Follow it for about 12 miles, and the resort will be on your left.
Special features: Lodges are at the highest base elevation on the mountain, and the resort hosts regular races and challenges.
Got kids? Kidz@Rose presents multi-session youth programs for ages 4 through 13.
Don’t miss: Ladies’ Day Thursdays, with $29 lift tickets for both skiing and boarding, plus women’s-only clinics.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 8/8
The summit above Donner Lake holds Donner Ski Ranch, a family owned and operated ski resort with 500 acres of terrain suited for all skill levels.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W for about 30 miles, and take exit 184 for Donner Pass Rd. Make a left onto Donner Pass, and DSR will be on the right in seven miles.
Special features: A lodge, ski school, weekly specials and group rates.
Got kids? Check out the tubing hill, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., equipment included.
Don’t miss: Old School Days Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday where ticket prices are discounted for both lift tickets and lessons.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 5/8
From mountain-top beginner runs to internationally-renowned intermediate-advanced bowls and trails, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows offers multiple terrain parks for all skill levels, special events all season long and nighttime skiing adventures.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow to CA-80 S in Truckee. Take exit 185, and follow CA-89 S and Squaw Valley Rd. to Olympic Valley.
Special features: In addition to the top-of-the-line skiing and boarding, Squaw has a resort full of amenities like a spa, fine dining and their new Wanderlust Yoga Studio.
Got kids? With aerial tram rides, tubing hills, ice skating and mini snowmobiles, even kids who don’t ski will have a great time.
Don’t miss: The ski in/ski out Starbucks, located right on the mountain.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 36/42
Settled on the Sierra Crest, Kirkwood’s location gives it the diverse terrain it’s become famous for.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 E then merge on I-580 S/US-395 S and CA-88 W to Kirkwood Meadows Dr. for approximately 80 miles. Follow Kirkwood Meadows Dr. to the resort.
Special features: The Kirkwood Inn, a log cabin built and serving food and drinks since 1864.
Got kids? From beginner to expert, Kirkwood’s Junior Ski and Ride School and their JETS programs are recognized as some of the best in the state of California.
Don’t miss: Expedition Kirkwood, featuring private mountain tours via CAT vehicles, a discovery series and backcountry awareness clinics.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 13/15
The over 2,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain at Homewood are sheltered by Ellis Peak, keeping the resort free of whipping ridge winds.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow to CA-89 S in Truckee. Take exit 185 to CA-89 S/W Lake Blvd. in Homewood.
Special features: Snowboarding and skiing with unobstructed views of the lake from every slope.
Got kids? Homewood offers a ski school for little ones, and a family and friends program where families up to five people can learn together.
Don’t miss: Their lake-front dining options, plus half-price dinner Monday specials, free s’mores and a whiskey dinner.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 8/8
Tubing hills, lodges, dining and a 2.4-mile gondola ride are available at Heavenly, in addition to the 97 trails the resort currently has groomed and ready for skiers and snowboarders.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 E and merge on 1-580 S/US-395 S, take exit 38. Continue to take exit US-50 W for about 30 miles to the resort.
Special features: Bustling nightlife and after-ski entertainment options include free concerts, parties at the top of the gondola and themed-night events.
Got kids? The resort teaches kids in a fun and engaging way in their ski school, and offers on-site child care facilities so parents can have some solo shredding time.
Don’t miss: Heavenly has an abundance of ski and stay packages suitable for families, bachelor/bachelorette parties and group bus trips from the Bay Area.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 24/28
Cross-country, downhill, snowboard and snowshoe runs and treks happen on the resort’s currently-opened 3,095 acres.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow it for 30 miles to CA-267 E/CA-89 S in Truckee. Take exit 188 to continue onto CA-267 E for seven more miles to Northstar.
Special features: Besides stellar skiing and boarding, Northstar has programs for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, Telemark skiing and fat bike rentals for use on the cross country trails.
Got kids? A tubing hill just above the gondola promises to keep kids happy, and the resort’s certified child-care facilities can give parents a break to sneak away to enjoy the mountain or the dining options available.
Don’t miss: Twilight and stargazing snowshoeing tours led by local astronomer-poet Tony Berendsen.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 15/20
“High alpine adventure” is promised on the four peaks and 100+ trails of Sugar Bowl Resort.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow to Donner Pass Rd. in Truckee; continue on Donner Pass for about eight miles to Sugar Bowl.
Special features: The resort partners with several ski busses and ride sharing services from both Reno and the Bay Area, making access to the lodging, lesson and rental deals even easier.
Got kids? Classes for all skill levels include homemade organic lunches and guaranteed small class sizes.
Don’t miss: The Backcountry Adventure Center, hosting professionally-guided outings, programs and seminars.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 13/13
Trails and terrain are now 100 percent open at Sierra thanks to recent winter storms, and rewards programs and ski-pack deals make it an affordable trip up the mountain.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 E and merge on I-580 S/US-395 S. Take Pioneer Trail left, and continue on to US-50 W to Sierra.
Special features: Miles of snowshoeing trails are maintained by the resort, and rental equipment is available from the Base Lodge.
Got kids? Blizzard Mountain has two tubing lanes, plus expanded snowplay areas for kids of all sizes to enjoy. Mountain trails geared to kids in the form of Adventure Zones include special terrain elements and education on local history and animals.
Don’t miss: Sierra’s food options to refuel after a long day in the snow include grills, pubs, a BBQ joint and Mama’s Kitchen, featuring home-style fare.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 8/14
Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe make this Incline Village resort a must-visit during the winter season.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 E and merge on I-580/US-395 W to NV-431/Mt. Rose Highway and on to Country Club Dr. to Ski Way.
Special features: Partnering with the Incline Village Recreational Senior Program, Diamond Peak is holding special ski clinics through March for ages 55 and up.
Got kids? A child ski center for ages 3 to 7, and ski and snowboard school for 7 and up will help prepare the little ones for fun on the slopes.
Don’t miss: The Last Tracks Wine and Beer Tasting Series takes tasters up the last chairlift to the Snowflake Lodge to enjoy drinks and apps before skiing or boarding back down during sunset.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 5/7
Nominated for Best Ski Resort by USA Today, Tahoe Donner’s downhill and cross country trails are 100 percent open and ready for exploring.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W, travel about 30 miles to exit 184 for Donner Pass Rd. Turn right on Donner Pass and left onto Northwoods Blvd.
Special features: Actually a large homeowner’s association, Tahoe Donner operates a wide variety of facilities and amenities, many of which are open to the general public.
Got kids? Tahoe Donner’s snowplay area offers sledding and tubing, plus the Snowplay Café, a food truck on site with hot food and drinks.
Don’t miss: Ready for some indoor fun? The resort is holding a Winter Golf Academy with teaching and coaching in their virtual golf facility.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 5/5
Boreal’s seen over 300 inches of snow this season so far, with a nationally-recognized beginner’s program allowing even new skiers to get on the mountain and take advantage of the powder.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow to exit 176 toward Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Rd. Turn left and then right on Boreal Ridge to reach the resort.
Special features: $15 Fridays, with discount lift tickets for active military and college students.
Got kids? Private and traditional lessons, plus special lessons at the Woodward Terrain Park are available for children just starting out with skiing and snowboarding.
Don’t miss: Neff Land, a pirate-themed terrain park with over 30 ridable features.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 6/8
California’s longest-running ski resort, Soda Springs promised a relaxed environment perfect for families new to skiing.
Directions from the Reno Arch: Take N Virginia to I-80 W and follow to Donner Pass Rd. Follow Donner Pass east for one mile to the resort.
Special features: The resort specializes in lessons for those of all ages who are learning to ski, with affordably priced packages.
Got kids? Planet Kids, for those aged 8 and under, features tubing, lesson areas and snow volcanoes, plus dedicated snowplay areas.
Don’t miss: Tube Town, with 20 tubing lanes and a 400-foot surface lift to the top.
Lifts open as of Jan. 28: 2/4