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Northstar California Vacation | Winter Holiday Tips Northstar California Vacation | Winter Holiday Tips

Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season


Everyone wants to make the most of their holiday vacation. Northstar knows that the holidays are a very special time, but they can also get a little hectic. That's why we've created this list of tips for enjoying Northstar to the fullest during the holiday season.


Planning Your Trip.

1. Purchase lift tickets online in advance.

Buy lift tickets online 3 days in advance and you'll receive the lowest prices - guaranteed. Purchase 7 days in advance and you can skip the ticket window. If you wait until after you arrive, you will pay full price at the ticket window. Please note that a lift ticket purchased at Northstar is valid only at Northstar. A lift ticket purchased at Heavenly is valid only at Heavenly.

2. Make advanced reservations online.

Reserve rental equipment, adult lessons and lesson packages, children's lesson packages or child care online in advance to ensure availability and be more prepared for your visit! Reservations need to be made 24 hours or more in advance. When you get here, enjoy breakfast at TC's Pub and receive a Fast Pass valid at Big Springs Gondola!

» Northstar Lift Ticket Rates

» Reserve Lessons Online

» Reserve Rentals Online


Getting Here.

1. Arrive early and leave before 3 p.m. or after 6 p.m.

Arrive early and get closer parking spots, the best selection of rental gear and fresh tracks!  If you don't leave before 3:00 p.m., we recommend hanging out in the Village and enjoying Northstar's après ski scene at Tavern 6330', The Chocolate Bar, TC's Pub, Rubicon Pizza Company, Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, or the Cabana Bars around the rink.

2. Utilize drop off zones, free parking for shopping/dining, and valet parking.

Northstar California offers two traffic drop-off zones – one for busses and shuttles and the other for private vehicles, which helps to smooth out traffic flow and avoid congestion. Private vehicles can pull up to the Village and take advantage of Northstar’s valet parking service, or unload their passengers and all of their gear before they park the car. We also offer free 2-hour parking directly across from the Village for guests shopping and dining in the Village.

» More on Après

» More on Parking 


Making the Most of Your Time On the Mountain.

1. Take a lesson or purchase a Fast Pass priority lane ticket.

Don't waste any time waiting in lift lines! Book a lesson with our Ski + Snowboard School and get advanced to the front of the line with your instructor! Or access the priority "Fast Pass" lane with a one-day Fast Pass ticket for only $40 sold at any ticket window. A valid lift ticket or season pass is also required.

2. Ride the Village Express chair to Mid-Mountain.

Intermediate or better skiers and riders can avoid the crowd in the gondola line that tends to form during the holidays and take the Village Express chair instead. This high-speed quad is located behind the gondola building and drops guests off at mid-mountain in minutes.

3. Ski the mountain like a local with these expert tips:

  • Catch first chair on Tahoe Zephyr Express and ski Pioneer 2-3 times. It's the first sunlit run on the mountain.
  • When it warms up a bit, take Tahoe Zephyr Express and ride Lookout Link to Lookout Mountain. Ski Washoe a few times then head up Martis Camp Express and back to the Frontside via Schwarzstrasse to The Face.
  • Ride Tahoe Zephyr Express again and take Drifter to the Backside. Jump on Backside Express to the summit then ski West Ridge to Lookout Road and back to Drifter. You can enjoy a few groomed runs this way.
  • After looping that series of runs a few times, focus on the sunny front side. Ski West Ridge to Luggi's down to Comstock Express lift. This is possible several times before lunch.
  • After lunch move over to Vista Express and ski/ride Logger's Loop for the best possible snow conditions all day long.

4. While you're visiting us, we encourage you to observe Your Responsibility Code:

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

» Interactive Trail Map

» Mountain Safety


Eating Lunch on the Mountain.

1. Eat lunch before 11:30 a.m. or after 2 p.m.

After a full breakfast at the Lodge at Big Springs, guests can pick up a snack-to-go to power them through the noon hour and eat a late lunch once the crowds have dissipated. When everyone else is on the mountain, head to TC's Pub, Earthly Delights, The Chocolate Bar, Baxter's Bistro, Euro Snack, Rubicon Pizza Company or Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar in the Village at Northstar – always a good bet for avoiding the lunch rush. 

» More on Dining Options 


Finishing It Off Right.

1. Ski in the morning and go ice skating in the afternoon!

Spend the morning ripping up the slopes, then replenish with lunch in the Village before relaxing by the rink and skating the remainder of the day away.

2. Enjoy Bloody Marys, BBQ, music + movies!

  • Try one of the numerous Bloody Marys we offer around the mountain and in the Village.
  • Dine outdoors at Summit Deck + Grille or Zephyr Lodge.
  • Relax to live music at the Lodge at Big Springs in the afternoon.
  • Pig out on FREE s'mores in the Village at 3:30 p.m. or complete your day at Backyard Bar + BBQ, Tahoe's newest alfresco ribs-and-beer joint with ski-in, ski-out access on the deck of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe at the top of The Big Easy lift.
  • When night falls and your legs need a rest, laugh and cry to the latest blockbuster hit in the Village Cinemas.

» More on Ice Skating 

» Bloody Mary Showdown

» More on Dining Options

» More on Après

» Village Cinemas Movies + Showtimes


Storing Your Gear.

1. Consider a 3-day or weekly Private Locker Membership, or enjoy FREE Overnight Ski/Board Storage!

Our weekly and 3-day Platinum Level Private Locker memberships offer hassle-free, conveniently accessed ski and gear storage in the Village at Northstar™ with exclusive members-only benefits like a private family locker room with room for up to four (4) people, endless tunes, valet ski/board check, concierge service, and more! Day lockers and storage are also available for storing smaller items such as jackets, lunches and purses! If you need to store your skis or snowboard overnight, free yourself from the hassle of schlepping them around by checking them into Northstar's FREE overnight ski and snowboard storage located near the Gondola exit.

» More on Private Lockers

» More on Day Lockers

» More on Overnight Storage


Northstar wishes you a wonderful holiday season!


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