What to Know About Skiing in North Tahoe: Your Quick Guide


What to know about skiing in Tahoe, one of the top skiing destinations in California and beyond.

Posted on November 20, 2023

Lady Skis Through Trees on a Powder Day at Northstar California

Skiing at Lake Tahoe is a world-famous experience, thanks to the sheer beauty combined with excellent skiing suitable for the whole family. It's the skiing hotspot that only gets better, with improvements happening all the time, from new gondolas to faster chairlifts and so many activities to indulge in. Add to that some of the best naturally occurring ski weather in the world, and Tahoe ticks all the boxes for the perfect ski holiday. Here's what to know about skiing in North Tahoe and how to prepare for your next trip. 

Skiing at North Lake Tahoe 

Why is North Tahoe such a desirable destination for skiing? It's partly due to the powder: Resorts can enjoy between 500 and 600 inches of snow at times, yet in between the storms that regularly top up the slopes, there are beautiful blue skies and clear days ideal for playing out on the slopes. In fact, Tahoe sees around 300 days of sunshine every year. In addition, recent years have seen record snow levels, making Tahoe a top destination for anyone into winter sports and outdoor activities. 

Skiing at Northstar means enjoying slopes that are regularly groomed, making them smooth and serviceable right through the season. Over 3000 acres of slopes and woods provide an expansive winter adventure playground for skiers of all ages. Long runs like Logger's Loop sweep gently through the woods, giving nature lovers a sporty way to enjoy the outdoors this season. 

When the sun goes down, Tahoe knows how to party! In typical California style, there's always fun to be had at North Tahoe's clubs and casinos. 

The Lake itself is something of a marvel as no matter how cold the weather drops, the lake itself never freezes. This is because the lake is so massive, it stores enough residual heat to prevent a full freeze. If you're lucky, you might see some partial or very thin ice from time to time – don't be tempted to walk on it, though! The snow and the lake are intrinsically linked, as snow runoff feeds the Truckee River and other tributaries, and evaporating water from the lake returns to the clouds that bring the powder. 

Skiing For All Levels & Abilities 

North Tahoe provides skiing opportunities for all levels – from novice to expert. Green and blue zones support beginners, making the Tahoe region an ideal choice for families with kids. At Northstar, around 60% of the runs are rated as blue, so there's a huge focus on safety and enjoyment. There's even a well-respected ski school that helps kids find their feet – literally, sometimes! 

Yet there's plenty for the intrepid adventurer too. Black runs are well-groomed enough to let intermediate skiers edge out of their comfort zone and stretch themselves. These also provide plenty of sport for advanced skiers to let go and enjoy themselves. At other parts of Tahoe, you'll find alpine cornices and cliffs that make even the experts a little cautious! Of course, you can always talk to a staff member at your chosen resort to find out what routes and areas will suit you and your party best.  

Mountain Activities For All at Northstar 

Skiing at Northstar is about safety and fun. If you have family members who don't want to ski, there are plenty of other activities available. At our Nordic Center, discover 35 kilometers of scenic trails that are perfect for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking and more. Lessons and equipment rentals are available for all ages. The trails open up to views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding valley like nowhere else on the mountain, so be ready to capture some special photos. Looking for an action-packed but less strenuous adventure? Head to Village Hike and Tube for snow tubing and slide down our groomed tubing trails - thrills and laughs guaranteed. 

Guests can also enjoy the cozy, self-contained village with multiple amenities, keeping warm with a hot chocolate and friends while others are out enjoying the slopes. Enjoy s'mores by the ice rink fire pits, or take a trip to the top of the mountain for a daily champagne toast – the "Tōst." Not into champagne? No problem – grab a sparkling apple cider instead! All lovers of winter activities will find something to their liking at Tahoe – skiing is just the beginning. 

Learning to Ski at Northstar 

How do you get ready for your skiing trip to Tahoe? Firstly, don't worry about your ability (or lack of!) when it comes to skiing. Lessons are readily available for a range of abilities. 

Remember to plan some time for other activities. There's an impressive dining scene at Tahoe, and you can enjoy ski bars, cafes, and retail therapy, as well as shows and exhibits that vary from resort to resort. Your skiing trip can be a full winter vacation as well as a sporty getaway. 

If you're going as a family, find out what everyone wants to get out of the trip before you go. If mum is an expert snowboarder, but dad doesn't really want to stray away from the Village, then that could cause friction if you only find out after you arrive! Make a plan so that everyone gets to enjoy some of the many facilities Tahoe has to offer. 

Make use of public transport facilities if you can, to avoid getting stranded by the weather. Transport providers will have their finger firmly on the pulse of when storms are happening and can keep you updated and safe. Finally, always check with your chosen resort to find out if there are any precautions or preparation you should be making for that resort, and if they can give you any recommendations for where to stay as a couple, family, or group of friends. 

Northstar, Where Family Adventures Meet Natural Beauty 

Northstar is your home away from home in the mountains, for playful and fun adventures in a welcoming environment. The beauty of the scenery coupled with the depth and frequency of the snow make Tahoe skiing perfect for any family that wants to make memories together. Plan your visit to Northstar for a world class skiing experience.