Ski season is upon the Sierras

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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While it came a little later than some seasons, Mother Nature’s Christmas gift to the Sierra mountains was a pretty big package and well worth the wait. With well-producing storms bringing plenty of white stuff to the mountains over the recent holidays, it is prime time to grab the skis and snowboards and head up Interstate 80 toward the South Lake side to a trio of quality resorts.

The South Lake Tahoe region is home to several world-class ski resorts and acres of backcountry trails, so you can glide down groomed slopes or take a cross-country tour of the winter woods. One of the unique attributes that Lake Tahoe offers skiers that many resort towns do not is the simple fact, when the day of skiing comes to an end, there is still plenty to do with a night on the town, including fine dining, entertainment and more.


Sierra at Tahoe

Ask any local what they love about Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort and, aside from the average 480 annual inches of fresh powder a year, 2,212 vertical feet, access to Huckleberry Canyon, state-of-the-art terrain parks, wind-protected slopes, and well groomed slopes, they’ll tell you it’s “the vibe.”

Sierra-at-Tahoe upholds some of the highest standards of fun and the unexpected, aimed at preserving the original soul of skiing and riding. The resort focuses on providing one of the best on-mountain experiences. From learning to ride programs, to award-winning terrain parks, there is something for the whole family to enjoy without breaking the bank. Boasting 2,000 acres and 2,212 vertical feet of dynamic terrain with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe from the summit and one of the deepest snowpacks in the region, plus access to expert off-piste terrain in Huckleberry Canyon and incredible tree runs.


Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort

Where: 1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road, Twin Bridges

Contact: 530-659-7453, Shuttle transportation from Stateline, the Y, and Meyers For shuttle details visit: Sierra Resort is a partner in recreation with the Eldorado National Forest.


Heavenly Mountain Resort


Heavenly Mountain Resort is for those who are up for first chair and are still going strong well after last call. With 4,800 acres full of off-the-grid terrain and incredible views of Lake Tahoe, you can go big and forge your own path. It’s so big, you can ski two states in one day. With 34 miles of wide-open groomed cruisers, 1,600-foot plunges in the double-black-diamond canyons, and the most outrageous tree skiing in North America, the choices are endless.

Overlooking the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is one of the most unique snowsports destinations on the planet.


Heavenly Mountain Resort

Where: 3860 Saddle Road, Stateline

Contact: 775-586-7000,


Kirkwood Ski Resort


Located along scenic Highway 88, its base elevation of 7,800-feet, assures skiers more annual snowfall. Kirkwood is recognized by winter purists and national media alike for the quality of its snow and terrain variety.

Known for its pristine beauty and action-packed expeditions and events, winter fun includes skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, sled dog tours, and backcountry expeditions. An ideal location for weddings and corporate meetings, the Kirkwood Village includes boutique shopping, live music, and dining.

Tucked away about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood is out of the way but the reward is well worth the effort of finding it.

The unique location atop the Sierra Crest combined with elevations ranging 7,800 to 9,800 feet creates a predisposition to receive the lightest, the driest, and plenty of snow.  With 2,000 feet of vertical drop, and over 2,300 acres of terrain.

In the summertime, Kirkwood turns into a picturesque high alpine adventure playground. World-class rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and fishing are all just within a stone’s throw of the resort.


Kirkwood Ski Resort

Where: 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive, Kirkwood

Contact: 209-258-6000,