At the heart of Tahoe lies a sapphire-blue lake so deep that it remains unfrozen all year-round. The breathtaking surrounding scenery is dotted with over a dozen separate ski resorts and countless different ski areas. Its high average altitude helps to make this one of the most snow-sure resorts in the world, providing a beautiful powder covering over this huge ski and snowboard terrain. For non-skiers, the range of alternative activities is stunning. South Lake Tahoe stretches across the California state line into Nevada and as a result, casinos and nightclubs vie for your attention into the small hours. Childcare facilities are excellent here, too, and those looking for a relaxed ski holiday will appreciate the atmosphere of the resorts in North Lake Tahoe. Just about every aspect of a skiing holiday is perfect in Lake Tahoe, making this an excellent choice for a winter holiday.
*Based on Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe
The extent and variety of the beginner terrain across Tahoe is superb. Squaw Valley, for example, has long, gentle beginner slopes that are both sheltered and snow-sure. Sierra-at-Tahoe's excellent nursery slopes also warrant a mention, but beginners will be quite comfortable at any of the Tahoe resorts as the tuition is consistently good across all the resorts.
The wealth of terrain means that intermediates will find plenty of terrain wherever they are. Heavenly is a particular favourite. Piste grooming and signposting is excellent here, allowing for days of peaceful, enjoyable cruising.
Alpine Meadows has a terrain park, half-pipe and super-pipe to challenge advanced snowboarders. The off-piste skiing and snowboarding in Squaw Valley and Kirkwood are thrilling. Steep slopes, chutes and big mogul fields all offer stiff challenges. A guide is recommended to show you the best and most challenging aspects of the Lake Tahoe region.
Tahoe is a great family ski destination because it is so comprehensive. Heavenly resort has a great range of nursery and green pistes. Heavenly and Sierra-at-Tahoe are the only resorts that offer state-licensed childcare for those under 2 years of age. Other resorts offer care for children aged 2 and older, but toddlers must be toilet-trained and their birth certificate is required for proof of age.
Lake Tahoe itself sits at an impressive 1890 metres above sea level. The surrounding mountains tower above it. Some resorts boast summits over 3000 metres and the rest easily top 2500 metres. Skiing and snowboarding at high altitudes is superb here.
Lake Tahoe was one of the first resorts to embrace snowmaking facilities, and now make serious use of it. Diamond Peak has snowmaking facilities on 75% of its runs. Combined with an excellent snowfall average, this helps the season here stretch comfortably from mid-November to mid-May. Some resorts, however, boast opening much earlier and closing much later. Lake Tahoe is certainly worth considering for a last minute, out-of-season, ski holiday.
Lake Tahoe offers so much variety in its après ski. Pretty much anything, from quiet family holidays to partying round the clock is possible. Generally speaking, you will find lively, vibrant après ski in South Lake Tahoe and a laid-back, low-key atmosphere on the North side. The California and Nevada state line cuts right through the middle of Heavenly resort - providing a huge contrast within walking distance. The quiet, ski focused resort of Sugar Bowl is perfect for serious, experienced skiers. No matter where you stay great entertainment is at worst a short drive away. The world-class casinos, live music and stage shows of Reno are enough for even the most tireless of party animals.