Tahoe has already experienced its first of many storms and winter is well on its way to set up shop for a few months in the Sierra Nevada. Don’t let Winter take you by surprise – be prepared for the ski season with a few of the tips below.
The Ridge Tahoe will soon be covered in white. Are you ready?
Mark Your Calendar
Do you feel the need? The need to ski?! You’re not alone and you won’t have to wait long until you’re thousands of feet in the sky. Lake Tahoe ski resorts will open this month at Heavenly Mountain Resort (the Hilltrac Skier Express can take you from the Ridge to Stagecoach Lodge), Squaw Valley and Northstar California opening Nov. 17. Kirkwood Mountain Resort opens on Nov. 22 while Sugar Bowl opens Nov. 24.
Tahoe Donner, Homewood and others will open in December
Condition Your Body
Before you pull on your ski boots for the first time since winter, we recommend hitting the gym to begin to acclimate your body to more physical fitness. Exercises like deadlifts, leg presses, squats and running on the treadmill will begin to prep you for the slopes. The Ridge Tahoe’s gym has the equipment you need to get into fighting shape for those epic pow days.
The slopes of Heavenly Mountain Resort are a great place for family bonding. Credit: Rachid Dahnoun/Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Prep Your Gear
Now is the time to tune your board, wax your skis and check last year’s gear for any wear and tear that may prevent you from being safe or comfortable. The Ridge Tahoe Ski Shop offers full-service rentals, tunes and repairs for your gear. If you’ve forgotten your gear or chose to travel without it, you can demo skis and boards!
Care for Your Skin
Winter is harsh even for the happiest skin. Cold temperatures and strong winds can leave you chapped, sunburned and sore. Sunscreen is a must and don’t forget a tube of Chapstick before you venture onto Heavenly or another nearby ski resort. After an unforgettable time on the mountain, a day at the spa is in order. The Elevation Spa will set you up for the pampering you need to recover and recharge for another day on the slopes.
Celebrate the last rays of a successful pow day with drinks or a spa treatment at the Ridge Tahoe. Credit: Brad Scott/Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Another tip? Après ski at the Bear Trap Lounge for Happy Hour! See you on the slopes!
The temperature is dipping, and snow is in the forecast. Though autumn won’t officially end until December 21, it sure feels like winter is here with the arrival of November. Help send off fall and welcome what we hope is a wonderful winter with these November events!
Opening Ski Resorts
Nothing signals the beginning of the winter season like the openings of our favorite local mountains! Heavenly Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley and Northstar California are projected to open on Nov. 17 with Kirkwood Mountain Resort not far behind on Nov. 22. Sugar Bowl is projected for a Nov. 24 opening and Sierra-at-Tahoe is scheduled for a Nov. 25 opening.
Catch some air starting this November at local Tahoe ski resorts. Credit: Lauren Lindley / Ski Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Donner, Homewood and other ski resorts in the area are projected to open in December.
Tahoe has a lively music scene and November is no exception with the Black Dahlia Murder on Nov. 3, the world’s premier country all-vocal band Home Free on Nov. 4, The New Mastersounds with Kung Fu on Nov. 5, Noam Pikelny on Nov. 18, and Abbacadabra – The Ultimate ABBA Tribute Concert on Nov. 24.
Put on your dancing shoes for Abbacadabra this November. Courtesy: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe / Abbacadabra
Beyond concerts, Tahoe also has several other events scheduled for the month of November. These include the UFC 217 Viewing Party on Nov. 4, the 47th annual Evening of Food, Wine and Beer Tasting and Competition on Nov. 10, the 12th annual Reel Rock Film Tour on Nov. 15, the Transworld Snowboarding: Arcadia Premiere on Nov. 17, and the Ron Stubbs Rock N’ Roll Hypnosis Show Nov. 24-25.
The Annual Valhalla Holiday Faire is Nov. 17-19 and the perfect opportunity to get a jumpstart on holiday shopping. 30 local vendors will sell their crafts and artisanal goods while families can enjoy Christmas decorations in the historic Valhalla Tahoe.
Get in the holiday spirit and get your shopping done early at the Valhalla Holiday Faire. Courtesy: Valhalla Tahoe
Starting on Nov. 30, Barton Health’s 9th annual Festival of Trees & Lights begins at MontBleu Resort & Casino. Local businesses and individuals create their own decorated Christmas trees and wreaths while attendees enjoy entertainment including visits with Santa Claus, silent auctions and raffle prizes. The event features holiday fun through Dec. 3 with all proceeds going back into the community.
Check out the Ridge Guide for the latest on-site events and specials.
After a historic snowfall, Lake Tahoe has (mostly) thawed out to reveal rushing waterfalls and cautious wildflower buds. Unsurprisingly, it has also encouraged a mass exodus to Lake Tahoe’s beaches to soak in the Sierra sun.
If you’re visiting Tahoe in May and June, you’re in for a treat with some of the best of summer and winter activities at your fingertips. Check out a few of our favorite spring pastimes below.
With spring melt comes waterfalls. The warm months are ideal times to view Tahoe waterfalls and with so many to see, you may have to make two trips to fit them all in! Some of our absolute must-sees include Glen Alpine Falls, Eagle Falls (with a bonus view of Emerald Bay!), and Horsetail Falls.
Of course, you can always fit in a hike during your waterfall trek. Check out a few our favorite springtime hikes – and always check if the trail is accessible before heading out! There’s a strong possibility of snow still leftover on some trails in the Sierra.
The weather is warmer, which means there are ample opportunities to get out on the biggest draw of the area – the lake! Bear in mind that the water is still cold (it won’t be warm until mid-summer), but there are plenty of ways that you can mostly avoid the water by kayaking, paddle boarding or taking a cruise aboard the M.S. Dixie II. Ridge Tahoe guests receive special discounts with Zephyr Cove Resort.
You can also discover the different ways to explore Tahoe by water on our blog.
Explore the Village
The Heavenly Village is always teeming with special events, live music, delicious food and lively bars. Only a short ride away from the Ridge Tahoe, you can spend a full day exploring the various shops and people watching.
That’s right! While most of the region’s ski resorts are closed, Squaw Valley will remain open through June and the 4th of July. Of course, you can always try your hand at backcountry, too!
No matter which spring activity you choose, the Ridge Tahoe is the perfect home base
Owner Bill Wright is back with his top reasons why you should visit Lake Tahoe and stay at the Ridge Tahoe. For Bill’s previous article, click here.
Bill Wright has been an owner at the Ridge Tahoe for 32 years. And while he could give us more than 32 reasons why he continues to come back year after year, he distilled down his favorite reasons why Tahoe is his second home.
Sunrise at Eagle Falls. Photo credit: Brad Scott
1: The natural geological beauty of Lake Tahoe combined with the Ridge Tahoe Resort’s one of a kind Sierra Nevada scenic mountain ridge setting. Overlooking Carson Valley on the east and Lake Tahoe on the west, the resort offers year-round panoramic views and luxurious accommodations. Lake Tahoe’s deep blue waters, majestic pines, and giant granite boulders make up a landscape apart from anywhere else in the world.
2: The wonderful ski resorts. With seven wonderful ski resorts to choose from, there is no shortage of fresh powder and new views. The two largest and best known, Heavenly Mountain Resort, and Squaw Valley, are easily accessible from the Ridge.
These views, only minutes from your accommodations. Photo credit: Brad Scott
3: Easy and fast access from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to the Ridge and ski resorts. It’s almost four hours from the Boulder, Colorado airport to Aspen and three hours from the Albuquerque airport to the Taos ski resort. Even during snow storms – which normally come in from California in the west – Wright found access to the Ridge Tahoe easy and a joy to drive compared to other ski resort.
“Locals call us ‘Lucky Charms’ because we’ve never needed snow chains on all our trips up the mountain to Lake Tahoe,” Wright said. “I don’t even know how to put chains on tires.”
The access is especially beneficial for individuals who only want to ski Heavenly and want to avoid driving in snowy conditions. Individuals can also forego the cost of a rental car with the South Tahoe Airporter, which transports individuals from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to Lake Tahoe. This combined with the Ridge Tahoe transportation to and from the South Lake Tahoe casinos provides guests with exceptional car-free experiences.
Mount Tallac reflects in Taylor Creek at Kiva Beach in the summer. Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun
4: Lake Tahoe is a year-round vacation destination. Summer water sports, hiking and biking, and winter skiing. Toss in year-round entertainment and you have a non-stop entertainment destination that is ideal for a second home or timeshare at the Ridge Tahoe.
“Even in our youth, we knew the time would come when we wouldn’t be as dedicated winter skiers as we were [at the time],” Wright said. “We wanted to select a location that we could enjoy year-round without skiing.”
5: Lake Tahoe’s bluebird days. On average, there are 249 sunny days per year in South Lake Tahoe, California. The July high is around 80 degrees. The January low is 19. Having learned to ski in frigid night conditions in the Midwest, as well as skiing in freezing Quebec Mont Saint Anne, Canada, Wright and his family fell in love with Lake Tahoe’s mild spring skiing sunshine temperatures.
If this list has convinced you, book your reservation at the Ridge Tahoe to experiences these perks and more.
Skiing to Stagecoach lift at Heavenly Mountain one day in 1983, Bill Wright saw construction on the ridge above. Curious, he decided to check out what was happening above the slopes and what he discovered was the building of the Ridge Resort, of which he became a multi-unit owner within a year. Now a bluebird day skier, Wright has spent the past 32 years visiting the Ridge Tahoe as an owner with his family and enjoying the various amenities available on-site, including the clubhouse and exercise facility.
Bill Wright poses with The Ridge Tahoe sign, 1987
Wright was first drawn to Lake Tahoe when he was exploring the country’s various ski resorts as part of the Columbus Ohio Ski Club. Along with Diane, his wife, they traveled to Taos, New Mexico, Aspen, Colorado, and eventually made their way to the Tahoe region where they discovered the Ridge Tahoe.
“I was an avid skier for 25 years, but I knew the day would come when the daily sunshine report would be of more interest to me than the snow report,” said Wright. His ownership at the Ridge was a natural choice due to his love for spring visits to Tahoe with its incredible skiing conditions and the opportunity to explore the mountain with clear views of the lake.
Diane Wright takes in the sights at The Ridge Tower
The resort, which the Wrights consider to be a second home and also share with their children, Austin and Alyssa, drew them in with its location, conveniences and breathtaking views beyond the skiing conditions outside their front door. Over the decades, the Wright family has spent time at their units with other families and most recently celebrated their daughter’s graduation from college by purchasing bonus time for a family trip touring the Lake Tahoe area.
When they were younger, Bill and Diane enjoyed the exercise facility and racquetball courts, as well as steamy saunas after a day of chilly skiing. However, thirty years later, Wright claims the Clubhouse is truly his favorite place at the Ridge.
“Mostly we just enjoy a cozy place to sit and talk,” said Wright.
Diane and Alyssa Wright enjoy the warmth of a Ridge fire
As an owner for the past 32 years, Wright has seen the Ridge go through some major changes, including the new Bistro for casual dining and the addition of another fireplace sitting area with computer workstations.
“Tahoe now has some wonderful and much more expensive resorts, but none of them can duplicate the feeling of this mountain top location,” said Wright. “We like that the resort maintains a cozy traditional Tahoe decorative décor style in every remodeling project. “
Wright has also gathered a few tips over the years that are applicable to those looking to make the most of their time at the Ridge Tahoe. He recommends visitors and owners alike research Tahoe and the Ridge Tahoe before visiting to find the best activities and sights for them.
Bill Wright discovers the perfect selfie spot at The Ridge Tahoe
“You don’t want to waste time once you get to the Ridge Tahoe learning and debating about where, when and what you should do,” said Wright. He recommends throwing out the calendar in lieu of a flexible schedule that allows guests to experience their vast interests by checking the Ridge Tahoe website, the Tahoe South website and even venturing to Tahoe North if so inclined.
Wright had one final recommendation for all visitors to the area: “Take the time to take some great family photos. Twenty years later you’re never going to say, ‘I wish I’d taken fewer family photos in Tahoe.’”
For most of the country, spring is signaled by budding flowers and warmer temperatures, but for Lake Tahoe, it is heralded by some of the year’s best skiing. With over 500+ inches of snow this season alone, springtime is one of the best times to book your next trip to The Ridge Tahoe, then hit the slopes!
Get pumped for amazing spring skiing! Credit: Ski Lake Tahoe / Lauren Lindley
This winter has been marked by several atmospheric rivers delivering more snow than in the region’s recent history and the ski resorts are truly swimming in powder. Due to the amount of snow that’s fallen in the 2016/2017 season, many resorts are opting to stay open until mid-April and later, which gives you more time to visit the area and experience the historic conditions. South and North Shore ski resorts are prepared to welcome skiers and snowboarders with all lifts fully operational and plenty of terrains open and accessible to explore. In addition to endless terrain options, the weather will also warm up a bit in the spring. Bask in the sun and enjoy bluebird days that don’t leave you freezing after a few runs.
Views for days at Sierra-at-Tahoe. Credit: Ski Lake Tahoe / Kyle McCoy
As well as warmer days and great conditions, spring also does not include any holidays, except for St. Patrick’s Day. No major holidays mean fewer crowds to contend with for all the best lines. All your other favorite winter activities and sports are available during springtime, including ice skating at Heavenly Village, snowmobiling at Zephyr Cove Resort and snowshoeing on the various trails.
This way to spring skiing heaven! Courtesy: Heavenly Mountain Resort
Check out the following ski resorts for a calendar of events and current lift statuses:
Diamond Peak: 775-832-1177
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: 775-849-0704
Northstar California: 530-562-2267
Squaw Valley I Alpine Meadows: 800-403-0206
Homewood Mountain Resort: 530-584-6800
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort: 530-426-9000
Boreal Mountain Resort: 530-426-3666
Tahoe Donner: 530-587-9400
What are you waiting for? It’s time to visit Tahoe and experience the snow the whole country’s been talking about!