View 5-day forecast for Northstar in Truckee, California
View Northstar Mountain Bike + Hike Park trail report
View Northstar Mountain Bike + Hike Park trail report
View Northstar golf rates, and reserve tee times online
View resort hours of operation
View live web cams at Northstar - on the mountain and in the Village at Northstar
Purchase lift tickets & season passes, and reserve lessons & rentals online
Subscribe to Northstar E-News for updates on special events, lodging deals, ticket discounts and more
Facebook Twitter Vimeo Instagram
Northstar California's Mountain Master Plan Northstar California's Mountain Master Plan

Northstar Mountain Master Plan


Northstar California™ Resort Submits Mountain Master Plan for Environmental Review, Previews Future On-Mountain Improvements

Mountain Master Plan Features On-Mountain Projects Designed to Improve Guest Experience and Recreational Opportunities, Protect and Enhance Environmental Resource Values


TRUCKEE, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2012 – Resort officials are sharing Northstar’s Mountain Master Plan (NMMP), outlining what the future holds with regard to on-mountain improvements and additional recreational opportunities at the preeminent destination resort in North Lake Tahoe. The plan, submitted to Placer County for environmental review, outlines mountain improvements proposed at Northstar over the next 20 years that are consistent with guest feedback and designed to enhance the overall experience, as well as the environment.

"The Northstar Mountain Master Plan (NMMP) illustrates an exciting next step in our vision for the future of Northstar, and includes plans for new lift served skiing and riding on Sawtooth Ridge, improvements to the way guests access the mountain, and more activities for people to enjoy when they visit Northstar," said Bill Rock, chief operating officer of Northstar California Resort.

The Northstar Mountain Master Plan proposes new ski terrain, lifts, skier facilities and additional recreational opportunities, as well as upgrades to existing ski terrain and facilities. It was developed using environmental principles and management strategies established in Northstar’s Habitat Management Plan (HMP), a resource management guide that was developed in collaboration with the local environmental community to conserve and enhance the natural resource values of Northstar lands while allowing for current and planned future land uses in a manner that is compatible with those values.

An important component of the proposed NMMP is the resource management and enhancement of lands in the northwestern section of the resort that borders Sawtooth Ridge, public lands to the west and the Martis Valley, making it a significant protected area. This area will be managed using the HMP guidelines to conserve and enhance the natural resource values. Implementation of the HMP includes areas managed primarily for conservation over specific areas that lie outside resort infill areas, forest health enhancement measures that have been and will continue to be implemented, and additional measures, as appropriate, to mitigate impacts to biological resources that may be identified through the environmental review process.

Northstar wants to maintain its competitiveness as a resort destination by upgrading existing services, amenities and operations. This includes providing a better balance of skier amenities, improving lift technology, and increasing the variety and mix of recreational activities. We will do this by implementing a plan that respects and adheres to the habitat and land use goals defined in the Northstar Habitat Management Plan (HMP).

The NMMP proposes the following improvements:

  • Lift access to the advanced terrain and gladed back country terrain located on Sawtooth Ridge, which will help diversify and balance the terrain choices available to resort guests;
  • Approximately 300 acres of new ski trails accessed by seven new lifts. New terrain will offer increased diversity through proposed traditional and tree island trails as well as gladed tree skiing, and will be located on the eastern and western slopes of Mt. Pluto, the northeastern slopes of Sawtooth Ridge, and Lookout Mountain;
  • Improved quality of snow surface conditions through additional snowmaking coverage, further enhancing the resort’s snowmaking system with new and improved technological and energy efficiencies;
  • On-mountain skier service site improvements to provide additional seating, restrooms and enhanced food service;
  • Improved skier circulation within existing terrain through trail widening, skier bridges and existing lift upgrades.

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) examining the proposal is being prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statutes and guidelines, and Placer County’s Environmental Review Ordinance. The EIR will identify feasible mitigation measures to reduce or avoid impacts, will consider project alternatives, and will evaluate the project’s potential to contribute to cumulative impacts in the region.

"Local environmental organizations have worked closely with us to review our proposed master plan and ensure its consistency with the resort’s Habitat Management Plan. It is extremely important to us to continue enhancing the guest experience while also protecting the environment. We look forward to reviewing the plans with the public and local leaders to receive further input," said Rock.

The Notice of Preparation of an EIR has been distributed by Placer County, seeking public review and comments on the NMMP. To review the NMMP, please visit http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/EnvCoordSvcs/EIR/NorthstarMMP.aspx.

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, existing and proposed ski area maps and the complete Mountain Master Plan proposal, please visit www.NorthstarCalifornia.com/masterplan.


Master Planning Process

The Northstar Mountain Master Plan was developed through years of diligent planning and collaboration by Northstar and community stakeholders. The timeline below illustrates the evolution of the Northstar Mountain Master Plan.

View EIR Timeline (.pdf)

» View the complete Northstar Mountain Master Plan Timeline


Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Timeline

30-day Public Scoping Period ended 12/5/2012 at 5 p.m.
Draft EIR preparation: Summer/Fall 2013
45-day Public Comment Period for Draft EIR: November 26, 2013 – January 13, 2014
North Tahoe RAC Public Meeting: December 12, 2013 @ 6:00 pm, Tahoe City PUD, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City
Placer County Planning Commission Public Meeting: January 9, 2014 @ 10:20 am, Placer County Hearing Room, 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn
Final EIR completed June 9, 2014
In Progress

Final EIR Certification and Conditional Use Permit/Entitlements

  • North Tahoe RAC Public Meeting to review EIR: Tentatively June 12, 2014 @ 6:00 pm, Tahoe City PUD, 221 Fairway Drive, Tahoe City
  • Placer County Planning Commission Public Meeting: Tentatively June 26, 2014 @ 10:00 am, North Tahoe Events Center, Kings Beach
  • Placer County Board of Supervisors Public Meeting: July/August 2014

*Timelines are subject to change dependent upon Placer County document preparation and review timeframes.

» http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/EnvCoordSvcs/EIR/NorthstarMMP.aspx


Frequently Asked Questions

Details related to how and when the public can submit comments to Placer County officials regarding the plan will be forthcoming once the plan is submitted to Placer County for review.

» NMMP Frequently Asked Questions


Northstar Mountain Master Plan

View proposed winter usage map (.pdf)

» View proposed Northstar Mountain Master Plan (.pdf)


Media Contact

Rachael Woods




Low: 42° High: 68°
Low: 47° High: 73°
Low: 40° High: 67°
Low: 39° High: 72°
Low: 44° High: 54°
Low: 49° High: 63°
Low: 51° High: 80°
snow.com Information about all seven of our mountains in one place.
Buzz Get the latest articles, videos and photos from our mountains.
EpicMix Connect with friends. Track your day. Share your story.