A Quick Guide to Skiing & Snowboarding In Lake Tahoe

Person skiing in California

The winter ski and snowboard season is upon us! We love this time of year and can’t wait to strap on some skis ourselves. As one of the top hotels near Heavenly Mountain Resort, we connect with a lot of skiers and snowboarders each year. Many of them, especially first-timers, have questions about the weather, gear rentals, and more. We’re always happy to help, which is why we compiled some of the most common questions in this handy guide. These will answer your questions about skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe and gets you psyched to hit the slopes.

When do ski resorts open in Lake Tahoe?

Most ski resorts in Lake Tahoe usually open toward the end of November, around the Thanksgiving holiday. Weather depending, ski resorts generally stay open through mid-April or early May. We recommend checking the resort website for official opening dates.

Also, things look a little different this year thanks to COVID-19, so check out our blog for more information about what to expect at Lake Tahoe ski resorts in the 2020/2021 season.

What is the weather like in Lake Tahoe during the ski season?

During the winter season in Lake Tahoe, you can expect a lot of snow, somewhat mild temperatures, and a lot of sunshine.

Most days are sunny and temperatures can rise to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is near perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Toward the end of the ski season, into March and April, you can even expect some high temps in the 50s or higher. On colder days, you’ll get temperatures in the teens and 20 degrees Fahrenheit range. Temperatures also tend to drop at night when the sun goes down as well.

Overall, the weather is somewhat unpredictable in the mountains. We always recommend a pair of sunglasses and dressing in layers to account for the fluctuation of temperatures throughout the day.

What is the average snowfall in Lake Tahoe?

We get a lot of snow here in Lake Tahoe, which is what makes the area such a great ski and snowboarding destination. On average, the average snowfall in Lake Tahoe is 300 to 500 inches of snow — or roughly 25 to 41 feet of snow — per year at the ski resorts.

We get some snow starting in November, but snowfall tends to really pick up in December. You can expect snow well into the spring months, which is why many ski resorts stay open until May.

What are the best ski resorts in Lake Tahoe?

Great question! You really can’t go wrong with any of the ski resorts in and around Lake Tahoe. That being said, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Kirkwood Mountain Resort are popular skiing destinations near our hotel. Heavenly happens to be right in our backyard, so we really love it there.

For more information about the best ski resorts in and around Lake Tahoe, check out Ski California.

Is Lake Tahoe good for beginners?

Absolutely! There are a lot of slopes that are considered easy to intermediate, so they’re great if you’re new to skiing or snowboarding. If you’re not sure which slope is best for your experience level, contact the resort and ask for their input.

You can also sign up for ski lessons at Heavenly and many of the other resorts in the area. This is a great way for beginners and long-time skiers alike to hone their skills and make sure they’re skiing safely.

If you’re new to Lake Tahoe, be sure to check out our tips for planning your first ski/snowboard trip.

Is skiing in Lake Tahoe expensive?

Yes and no. Like any vacation, you have to plan and budget accordingly. Some of the expenses you can expect include:

  • Purchasing or renting ski/snowboard gear
  • Lift tickets
  • Travel and lodging
  • Food and drinks

That being said, there are some easy ways to save money on your Lake Tahoe ski trip and make it more affordable overall. Avoiding peak times, bringing snacks from home, and taking advantage of rewards programs and special rates are all great money-saving options! Be sure to check out our deals and promotions, including our special Winter 20 deal, to save money on lodging during your trip!

Where can I rent skiing and snowboarding equipment in Lake Tahoe?

Renting can be a great alternative to purchasing your gear, especially if you’re not a frequent skier or boarder or you have kids who are still growing quickly. Whether you’re looking for skis, snowboards, outer gear, or other ski essentials, there are a lot of great ski rental options available in Lake Tahoe. Check out these locations:

If you have questions about gear or where to rent, contact our knowledgeable staff here at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel or your ski resort.

What should I pack for a Lake Tahoe ski/snowboard trip?

Of course, you’ll need all your ski/snowboard gear and breathable and moisture-wicking outwear. We recommend dressing in layers to help you deal with the fluctuating temperatures.

Beyond gear and clothes, you’ll also want to think about other necessities, such as phone chargers, cameras, snacks, sunglasses, etc. Since we’re currently still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a mask and hand sanitizer should also be added to your packing list.

Check out our full winter ski and snowboard packing checklist for more packing insights!

Where should I stay in Lake Tahoe?

We may be biased, but we think Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel is the best place to stay in South Lake Tahoe. Our hotel is located near Heavenly Mountain Resort and only a short distance from other great ski resorts in the area, so it’s super convenient. Plus, our suite-style rooms are perfect for relaxing and warming up after a day on the slopes. We offer some great amenities for skiers and boarders, including ski/snowboard valet service!

Of course, your safety remains our top priority during this time. Learn more about what we’re doing to keep you safe during your Lake Tahoe ski vacation.

If you have more questions about skiing in Lake Tahoe, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to answer your questions and can’t wait to see you!

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