Experience Northstar

Plan Your Trip


Book online or call 1.800.GO.NORTH (+1.530.562.1010) to speak with a local expert.

Summer Lift Rides

Summer FAQs

Gondola & Scenic Lift Rides

What time does the lift open and close?

Please note that the last chair down is 1/2 hour before the lifts close. The Season Pass Office and Plaza Bike Shop open at 9:30 a.m. in order for you to pick up or purchase your lift ticket(s). 

» Hours of Operation

How do we ride the gondola?

The summer scenic lift rides are $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 5-12, and free for children 4 and under. We require each guest to have a lift ticket; we ask that you pick the tickets up in the Tickets & Season Pass Office located at the end of the roller rink.  

» Scenic Lift Rides

Can I bring small kids on the lift?

Yes. Small children are able to go on the Gondola however when you reach mid-mountain, we recommend you take the Zephyr Lift gondola cabins to access the mountain further.

What views would you recommend?

Both chair rides have exceptional views! If you are looking for a view of Lake Tahoe, take the Vista chair. The top of the Zephyr Express has beautiful views of  Martis Valley as well as excellent mountain views from the deck of the Zephyr Lodge. The best views on the mountain are from the top of the Lookout Mountain hiking trail that starts at the top of Zephyr Express. From the top of Lookout Mountain you can see Squaw Valley, Sugarbowl, Castle Peak and all the way over to Mt. Rose. As for views of Lake Tahoe, Vista gives a decent filtered view but a short hike up the Tahoe multi-use trail and you get a much clearer picture.  

» Trail Map

Can I take a dog on the gondola?

Yes. All dogs must be on a leash at all times. They can travel in the Gondola cabins on the Zephyr Lift. All guests are required to clean up after their pet and to not leave any garbage or pet bags in the Village or on-mountain. We recommend bringing water + water dish.

How long does it take to get to the top?

The Gondola and Zephyr rides are approximately 10 minutes. The Vista chair is roughly seven minutes. All times vary due to weather and other obstacles and services.

Is there a chairlift that goes to the top of Mt. Pluto?

No. There is not a chair in operation during the summer season to the top of Pluto but you are welcome to hike by access of the Vista chair and the Tahoe multi-use trail.

Can we ride the lift down?

Yes. All pedestrians can ride the lift down. Please note that the last chair down is 1/2 hour before the lifts close.  

» Hours of Operation

What time do I need to be at the top of the gondola to come down?

You want to be at the top of Big Springs Gondola no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled closing time to download. If you do miss the last chair down, Village Run is a quick walk down.


What hiking trails would you recommend for beginners and intermediate hikers?

For guests new to our mountain, Crossover is a place to begin. Take the Vista chair to the Crossover trailhead and hike the trail to the top of Zephyr. At that point, you have two options; continue hiking or download on the Zephyr gondola cabins.

Are there bikers on the hiking trails?

Sometimes. There are trails designated for hikers only, you will find these trails marked in pink on your trail map. There are also trails that are shared with bikers and these trails are marked with a solid line in your trail map; however the shared trails are fire roads so you have plenty of room to share with bikers. We recommend that each guest carries a map while hiking on our mountain.

» Trail Map

Mountain Biking

Can I ride my bike up without a lift ticket, how much does it cost?

Yes. If you do not want to use any of the lifts throughout the day, you are able to bike the mountain trails for free. However, there is a designated uphill route (Village Run to Tryumph) and all guests are required to have a Pedal Pass. Please stop by the Season Pass & Ticket Office. Center in the Village at Northstar to pick up your Pedal Pass before biking our trails. 

» Mountain Biking Rates

Where do I pick up a bike rental?

You will start your rental process at Plaza Bikes in the Village at Northstar (near roller rink), after you have completed payment you will proceed to the Big Springs Gondola Building to the rental shop where you will be fitted for your bike. 

» Bikes, Gear & Rentals

Village Activities, Shopping, Dining, Movies & More

What time does the roller rink open, how and where do I get rentals?

Rink operations are subject to weather and conditions so please call ahead to confirm hours at 530.562.3689. Skate rentals are available at the rental shop located next to Plaza Bikes Gear & Rentals.

» Hours of Operation

What is Retro Skate night and what time does it begin?

Enjoy your favorite music from the 70’s and 80’s and the guest with the best Retro outfit wins a special prize! The fun begins on Fridays from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Is there a movie theater in the Village? What are the movies playing and show times?

The Village Cinemas movie theaters are now open in the Village at Northstar featuring two movie screens, popular Hollywood hits presented in ultra stereo or DTS, elevated stadium seating, and a full-service concession stand. Movie show times and the “now playing” schedule are available by calling 530.562.8800.  

» Movies & Showtimes

Services + Amenities

Where is Patrol located if someone is hurt?

Please visit the Patrol office for non-emergencies. You can locate Patrol at mid- mountain on the back side of the day lodge or call the number on your ticket to have a patroller come to you. In case of an emergency, please call 530.562.3444 or 911 or find a staff member to assist you. If you have a severe medical emergency call 911.

Is there a place to get food at the top of the mountain?

Yes. The Downhill Grill, located on the deck of The Big Springs Day lodge is available for BBQ and lunch items during lift operations. 

» Hours of Operation

When does your summer season end? 

Oct. 1st, 2017 -  weather and conditions permitting.

Do you have summer day camp?

Yes. The Kid's Adventure Day Camp for kids ages 4 - 12 offers a fun, interactive learning experience through nature hikes, games and activities. This children's program is offered weekdays throughout the summer season. Or, you can contact lodging for a list of babysitters and local daycares, or visit our Village & Mountain Amenities web page.

» Kid's Adventure Day Camp 


Did you know that your browser is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our websites we recommend that you upgrade to a newer browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Click on an icon to go to the download page.