Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Find the Perfect Lake Tahoe Ski Resort for Your Trip

USA, California, Lake Tahoe, two men downhill skiing, rear view
Downhill Skiing at Lake Tahoe. Karl Weatherly / Getty Images

The best Lake Tahoe ski resort for your trip depends on your skiing style - and what part of the lake you want to be near after hours. 

You can find links to a ski resort map and each of the resorts mentioned here in the section at the end of the article.

Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resort for Families

Ski magazine once called Northstar-at-Tahoe the "epicenter of laid-back family luxury" and it's Lake Tahoe's undisputed champ for a family ski resort, with a childcare center for kids 2 to 6 years old. They don't have to be potty trained, and they take the kids for full or half days. Parents receive pagers so they can be alerted if something urgent arises. 

For after-skiing fun for the whole family, Northstar has a bungee trampoline, an ice skating rink, tubing, and outdoor fire pits for making s'mores. 

Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resort for Expert Skiers

Squaw Valley was the Winter Olympics Committee's choice for the 1960 games.  Today, it's still one of the largest ski areas in the United States and an extreme skier's paradise" with expansive, steep terrain.

Tight chutes, KT-22 peak, and Moseley's Run's non-stop 2000-foot vertical feet descent are enough to challenge even the world's top skiers. But don't be intimidated. Intermediate and beginning skiers will find plenty to enjoy here, too.

Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts for Snowboarders

Northstar-at-Tahoe has a terrain park that's the best at Lake Tahoe according to BayArea.com. If you want to learn more and learn it faster, you can enroll in their Burton Snowboard Academy. The pros like it too: The USASA National Snowboarding Championships and Van's Pro Snowboard Invitational have held their events at Northstar.

Try Heavenly at South Lake for long snowboard runs and great views. It may not be the best place for beginners but is good if you have some experience.

Best Lake Tahoe Ski Resort for Scenery

Heavenly offers a panoramic view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. In fact, the views are so beautiful it's a wonder anyone can ski instead of gawking at their surroundings.

Ski magazine says: "Heavenly’s brand of high-energy skiing is a unique mix of big terrain (4,800 acres), lake views, and Vegas-style partying." Heavenly's South Lake Tahoe location also makes it the best place to combine skiing and nightlife. That is if you have any energy left for partying after a day of skiing.

Best Overall

The list above sorts the resorts by type, but you might also be interested to know that readers at onthesnow.com rate these Lake Tahoe ski resorts best overall: Kirkwood, Squaw Valley and its sister property Alpine Meadows, along with Heavenly.

When asked to vote in a poll asking their favorite Lake Tahoe ski resort, 2,600 TripSavvy readers:  Heavenly got 22% of the votes, followed by Kirkwood and Alpine. The rest got approximately equal percentages, but Mt. Rose came in last at just 6%.

Lake Tahoe Ski Resort Closest to Sacramento and the Bay Area

Soda Springs is the first resort you will reach when traveling east on Interstate 80 in California, right at the Donner Summit. It's a small Lake Tahoe ski resort that offers skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and mini snowmobiles for the kids. 

It can also be a cost-saving alternative to the larger Lake Tahoe resorts, but visitors' opinions are split. Read both positive and negative reviews on Yelp and also check what people have to say on Tripadvisor before you decide to try it. 

What You Need to Know About the Resorts

If you want to see where these resorts are located, check this Google map. For reviews, reservations, snow reports, activities and current specials, use these resources:

Northstar-at-Tahoe

Squaw Valley Resort

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Alpine Meadows

Soda Springs