North Lake Tahoe invests more than $9 million in capital improvements, avalanche training and snow technology after experiencing the wettest winter on record in 2016-17. With added non-stop flights from Denver and Chicago, the region prepares for the 2017-18 season with new mountain exploration programs, luxe amenities and a wide variety of on and off-mountain events.
Home to 12 downhill ski mountains and six cross-country areas, North Lake Tahoe contains the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America, each with varying terrain and amenities. New programs include Alpenglow Expedition’s Rock Star program, an exclusive back-country tour led by a celebrity athlete and certified avalanche guide; and The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s Aprés Adventurist packages, offering luxury concierge services.
The list below contains new and expanded programs, events and activities in 2017-18.
Resort Open Dates (weather permitting)
Auburn Ski Club Training Center: TBD
Boreal Mountain Resort: Nov. 8
Diamond Peak: Dec. 15
Donner Ski Ranch: Dec. 15
Granlibakken Tahoe Ski and Boarding Hill: Dec. 15
Homewood Mountain Resort: TBD
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Oct. 27
Northstar California Resort: Nov. 17
Royal Gorge: Nov. 23 (TBD)
Soda Springs Mountain Resort: TBD
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: Nov. 17
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort: Nov. 23 (TBD)
Tahoe City Winter Sports Park: TBD
Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort: TBD
Tahoe XC: TBD
New Nonstop Flights to Reno-Tahoe International Airport
Just a 45-minute drive from North Lake Tahoe, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport announced nonstop flights from Denver on Frontier Airlines ($49 one way), and nonstop from Chicago via United Airlines. Additional nonstop routes include:
North: Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose
South: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego
West: Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Boise, Denver, Salt Lake City
Southwest: Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Dallas Love Field, Houston
East: New York (JFK), Chicago (MDW, ORD)
Southeast: Atlanta (seasonal)
Capital Improvements, Parks, Snowmaking
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows invests $4 million in Snow Safety and Technology: Astar 350 B3 helicopter, four new avalaunchers and 13 Gazex “Dragon” installations have been ordered to assist with avalanche control. Mountain operations leaders have received special avalanche training led by the Karakoram Group, which uses a background in elite military training to develop high-performing teams.
Sugar Bowl | Royal Gorge invests $3 million in capital improvements: The resort has renovated the Historic Schule Haus to create a full-service children’s ski and snowboard school. Additional investments have been made in grooming and snow removal equipment, tree removal and snowmelt diversion systems. The resort has partnered with James beard Award-Winning Chef Traci Des Jardins, and has renovated the Nob Hill Cafe (Total investment since 2015: $6 million).
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Invests More Than $2 Million in capital improvements: Renovations include a first-of-its-kind enclosed dual conveyor lift that will offer beginners and children access to Mt. Rose’s learning terrain and protection from the elements. Additional projects include expanded snowmaking and snow grooming capabilities, and facility upgrades at the Winters Creek Lodge base area.
Vail Resorts Commits to Zero Net Operating Footprint by 2030: The “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” by Vail Resorts, parent company to Northstar California, includes improvement to low-energy snowmaking equipment, efficient grooming practices and equipment, future development impact reduction, and improvement on the recycling and composting programs.
Diamond Peak’s new Lakeview Terrain Park: Accessible via the Crystal Express and Ridge chair lifts, the park offers a creative, flowing layout for both skiers and riders. The resort has increased snowmaking and water pressure for its HKD high-efficiency tower snow guns.
New Programs – Aprés Ski/Ride, Backcountry Tours, Expeditions & Training
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe’s Aprés Adventurist Packages offer luxe concierge services that combine the best of indulgence, hospitality, adventure and comfort. Varying package levels include private jet service from San Francisco to the Truckee Airport, premier lodging, heli-skiing, ski valet, champagne toasts and exclusive dining experiences by Executive Chef Mark Jeffers.
Alpenglow Expeditions, ‘Rock Star’ Program
New this year, the the Rock Star Program provides exclusive, back-country access to Squaw Valley I Alpine Meadows for a group of up to four guests. Led by a celebrity athlete and certified avalanche guide, this custom exploration and learning experience takes guests deep into the Tahoe National Forest with excursion equipment provided.
Northstar California Resort, Platinum Piste, First Tracks
Platinum Piste: Skiers and snowboarders with Platinum Season or Day Passes gain access to the exclusive, groomed, location-rotating run every Saturday.
First Tracks: Skiers and snowboarders can begin the day at sunrise with First Tracks, where Adventure Guiding and Learning Center mountain guides take two intimate groups on a tour of the mountain before lifts open to the public.
Diamond Peak’s On-Mountain Interpretive Tours
On-mountain snowshoe tours take place after hours and guides discuss unique plant and animal life, history of the resort and the Lake Tahoe region. Access also includes s’mores and hot cocoa at Snowflake Lodge.
Wellness Weekend at Granlibakken Lake Tahoe, Nov. 11-12, 2017
In partnership with the Chopra Center, Wellness Weekend includes yoga, informational seminars and workshops that inspire and educate the mind, body and soul.
Alpenglow Sports, Winter FIlm Series, Nov. 2016 – Feb. 2017
This film series showcases four famous athletes who tell various tales of adventure from remote mountain ranges across the globe.
Dave Nettle, Nov. 16
Adrian Ballinger, Dec. 7
Chris Burkard, Jan, 7
Hilaree O’Neill, Feb 8
Larry Blanchard, Feb 22
Tahoe City Holiday Hop, Nov. 23, 2017
Guests enjoy wine, snacks, and festive surroundings as a kick-off to the holiday shopping season.
Lake Tahoe Film Festival, Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, 2017
The third annual Lake Tahoe Film Fest includes environmental, Latino, French and special screenings that celebrate the region. With over 30 films across multiple venues, the festival showcases North Lake Tahoe culture while benefitting the Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP). See full schedule, here.
Northern Lights at Incline Village / Crystal Bay, Nov. 30 – Dec. 31
A returning event from the 1990s, the festival of lights showcases Incline Village and Crystal Bay with lighted wreaths on Tahoe Boulevard. Special activities include:
The Crystal Bay Club will host concerts throughout December.
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2: Tahoe Film Fest
Dec. 1: Community Christmas Mixer
Dec. 1: Pray for Snow Party
Dec. 2: Holiday Craft Fair and Community Holiday Celebration
Dec. 9: The MESSIAH presented by TOCATTA Tahoe Symphony
Dec. 9: Brunch with Santa
Dec. 15: Diamond Peak’s Opening Celebration
Dec. 16: Santa Crawl
Tahoe Flow Arts Studio, 5th Annual Holiday Bazaar: eARTh, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tahoe Flow Arts Studio teams with Tahoe City Cobblestone Center in this 5th annual holiday bazaar, including a holiday market, free workshops and a high-caliber mixed media performance of acrobatics, aerialists and dance. Tickets are available at the Tahoe Art Haus: $25 in advance and $30 day-of.
Merry Days & Holly Nights at Squaw Valley, Dec. 15-31, 2017
The Village at Squaw Valley will transform into an “Olde World Christmas” during the two week span of Merry Days & Holly Nights. Festivities include storefronts decorated with vignettes from Christmases past, a torch light parade, fire dancers, a 25-foot Singing Christmas Tree, illuminated ice sculptures, a horse-drawn sleigh and various holiday parties will delight visitors, locals and Olympic legends. Entertainment includes performances by the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, Truckee Dance Factory, Reno Jazz Orchestra and TOCCATA – Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The events culminate on New Year’s Eve with the Squaw Valley Prom.
Alpenglow Sports, Lake Tahoe Backcountry Demo Day, Jan. 6, 2017
As North America’s largest venue for alpine touring, telemark and splitboard, Alpenglow Sports provides a free forum to perpetuate all aspects of in-area and backcountry skiing.
Alpenglow Sports Mountain Festival: Winter Edition, Feb. 17-25, 2018
This nine-day mountain-lifestyle festival is a celebration of human-powered events, clinics, presentations and more. Geared for the beginner and intermediate mountain sports enthusiast, the Alpenglow Mountain Festival will showcase some of the best activities North Lake Tahoe has to offer including backcountry skiing/splitboarding, nordic skiing, fat biking, yoga and film. Athletic events are available for varying ages and ski levels, all of which are free.
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows Hosts 2018 NASTAR National Championships, Mar. 21-25, 2018. The 2018 Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR National Championships includes races and clinics, free concerts, autograph signings by U.S. Ski Team athletes and alumni, competitor raffles/giveaways, awards receptions, team races, and slalom racing. The event marks the first return to the Sierra since 1981, and will build on the enthusiasm of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
North Lake Tahoe Snowfest, March 2-11
Guests enjoy a 10-day celebration including parades, fireworks, live music concerts, a polar bear plunge, the Great Ski Race, a broomball tournament, snow sculptures parties, dining and art at North Lake Tahoe’s 37th Annual SnowFest.
WinterWonderGrass, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, Apr. 6-8, 2018
One of North Lake Tahoe’s largest annual events, the fourth annual WinterWonderGrass Festival returns for three days of world-class Bluegrass/Acoustic Roots music on four stages. The sell-out event includes beer tastings by California and Nevada craft breweries, select wine, spirits, food and family activities under snow covered peaks in the Olympic Valley. Tickets are on sale Nov. 9!
*Passes and Perks
Fly & Ski Free Deal at Squaw Valley I Alpine Meadows: Guests arriving via commercial airline can ski or ride on the day of their arrival for free at Squaw Valley I Alpine Meadows with the Fly & Ski Free Deal.
River Ranch Lodge: Wild Winter Wednesdays – Enjoy half-off nachos and calamari, drink specials and a weekly prize raffle.
Tahoe Biltmore: Go Retro Package – Buy one night at today’s rate ($79), and receive the second night for $4.60 (valid through Nov. 22). For additional offers on gaming, dining and entertainment, click here.
Crystal Bay Club: Enjoy dining specials at the Crystal Bay Steak and Lobster House every Wednesday and Thursday nights. Football viewing, food and drink specials are available in the Crown Room Skybox.
Tahoe Adventure Company: Guests enjoy a starlit snowshoe tour with a professional astronomer.
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: Ski for less than $88/day with the Tahoe Super 4 Pass
Boreal Mountain Resort + Camp Woodward: On select “Feel Good Fridays,” guests can buy a lift ticket for $25, with $5 donated to a charity. Save up to 60 percent when you pre-purchase lift tickets online. Special passes and programs include: Youth Pass, Unlimited Pass, Night Pass, All-Access Pass, Take 3, Ride FREE and private lessons.
Diamond Peak: 2017-18 season pass holders will enjoy 44 complimentary lift tickets at 11 partner resorts across the country this winter, in addition to many other perks.
Donner Ski Ranch: Old School Days – Any Tahoe area season pass holder can ski or ride for just $29 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (excludes February 21-23).
Granlibakken Resort: In addition to specials on lodging, yoga, holiday activities and conferences, newly-engaged couples can save 50 percent off wedding ceremony and indoor reception, Nov – April.
Homewood Resort: Beginners can purchase a $59 First Timer Adult Ski and Snowboard Package, available Sunday – Friday, non-holiday. The package includes a beginner lift ticket, half-day lesson and all-day equipment rental. Returning ski/riders can enjoy a 3-Pack lift ticket for $66 per day.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: Season pass holders receive a long list of perks, including buddy pass tickets for $69 per day.
Northstar California Resort: Guests can purchase lift tickets online up to midnight the night before the big ski day, and save time & money.
Soda Springs Mountain Resort: Guests can reference this guide before they plan a trip, or take advantage of a Family Pass, which includes two Adult Unlimited Season Passes and two Child Season Passes.
Sugar Bowl: Purchase two days in advance and receive $50 off tickets; or enjoy three nights lodging and two Adult 3-day lift tickets for $104.50 per person.
*For additional passes and perks, please visit each resort’s website.
About North Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a crown jewel of the Sierra. Formed approximately two million years ago, it is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest in the United States. North Lake Tahoe spans two states and boasts two dozen beaches, twelve ski resorts, hundreds of miles of biking trails, half a dozen communities, and a growing number of nationally recognized human-powered events, races and festivals. North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village.