With Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows open to the masses, winter is official under way in Lake Tahoe. But what if a visitor doesn’t ski or snowboard? With countless must-dos and sees, guests will certainly be looking beyond their skis for winter fun.
Fancy Fannette Island in the Winter: Emerald Bay is one of the most visited sites in the world – and the visitors don’t stop coming just because it’s winter. Covered in a blanket of white, the pristine blue lake and Emerald Bay’s accompanying Fannette Island are a sight to behold in the colder months. However, before venturing out to Emerald Bay, please check current road conditions as the highway closes during storms.
It may be possible that Emerald Bay is even more striking in the winter. Photo credit: Brad Scott
Cruise Big Blue: The M.S. Dixie II rides the waves throughout the year and offers an alternative way to spend a winter’s day or evening in Tahoe South. The M.S. Dixie II departs daily on a sightseeing cruise and on Saturday evenings for a dinner cruise. Cruise guests will visit the iconic Emerald Bay during the day trips, which allows visitors to strike off two must-sees in one trip.
Dashing Through the Snow: Since 1967 Borges Sleigh Rides has delighted visitors of Tahoe South with sleighs that go “over the meadow and through the woods” with incredible snowy views of the lake. The ride even takes guests on the original Pony Express. Available for parties of two to 20, Borges will entice a feeling of holiday magic and child-like whimsy.
Trace portions of the original Pony Express aboard the horse drawn carriage. Photo credit: Jamie Kingham
Check Off Your Holiday List: The Shops at Heavenly Village offer something for everyone with retailers like Patagonia, Earthbound Trading Company, Up Shirt Creek, Village Toys, What a Girl Wants and many others. Visitors will easily finish shopping for their holiday list in this one-stop shopping and entertainment center. Other retailers for unique and personal gifts include GaiaLicious Boutique and Wildwood Makers Market on Harrison Avenue in South Lake Tahoe.
See the World Differently on Snowshoes: For those that prefer the flatland when it comes to winter sports, snowshoeing is a delightful option for individuals of all skill abilities. Camp Richardson is one option for snowshoe exploring along the lake’s Southwest shores and forests. Guests of the Ridge can also take advantage of the terrain around the Ridge to find quiet trails of untouched snow on the Valley View Hike (weather permitting).
Gain a different perspective on snowshoes. Courtesy: Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
Ridge Activities for All: A winter retreat can easily be spent at the Ridge Tahoe with activities to fill each day. The Activity Guide is updated weekly with new programs and adventures that all Ridge guests can take advantage of while visiting. Wallyball, pilates, dermatology seminars, movies in the Ridge Tahoe Theater and many other activities are offered on-site and complimentary for guests.
How will you explore Tahoe this season?
Planning a Tahoe South ski trip but having a hard time deciding which mountain to explore? Why choose only one? Luckily visitors don’t have to limit themselves because Ridge guests are minutes away from a winter playground. We’re showcasing the best of skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe, so visitors can experience at least two during a long weekend stay.
Make your turns at Heavenly Mountain starting Nov. 23. Photo credit: Matt Gibson
Heavenly Mountain Resort: Just a quick shuttle trip from the Ridge
brings guests to the base of Heavenly Mountain Resort, the premier mountain spanning Nevada and California. With 97 runs, there is something available for every skill level and age group. Stagecoach is accessible from the Ridge Tahoe from the Hilltrac Skier Express. Opening day is Nov. 23.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort: Kirkwood Mountain Resort hosts 2,300 acres of terrain ranging from mild beginner runs to expert high angle grooming. This resort also offers renown cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails.
Sierra at Tahoe: The third-largest resort in Tahoe South, Sierra at Tahoe offers terrain for varying difficulties and suited for multiple generations of skiers and boarders. Located 12 miles south of South Lake Tahoe, this resort is known for being extremely beginner friendly with milder runs and conditions. This mountain features daily and seasonal passes, as well as group rates for parties of 20 or more. Sierra also provides 3-PAKs for consecutive ski days, with no holiday or weekend blackout dates. The 2016 season will begin when conditions allow.
The powder starts flying on Nov. 18 at Mt. Rose Ski Resort. Courtesy: Mt. Rose
Mount Rose Ski Tahoe: Located in North Tahoe, Mount Rose Ski Tahoe is the only resort with 360 degree views of Truckee Meadows and Lake Tahoe. With runs for all skill levels, this mountain leans more towards the intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. In addition to daily, beginner and seasonal passes, Mount Roses has special deals including Two’fer Tuesdays, Ladies Day Thursdays, Military Tickets and Ski the Day You Fly. Opening day is Nov. 18.
Northstar California: This resort is not only a great pick for downhill skiing, but is a favorite for cross country skiers as well. Located closer to Truckee, Northstar California features unique courses and premier terrain parks.
Heavenly Mountain Resort, Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Northstar California are part of the Vail family, with pass packages allowing visitors to mountain hop with ease. When ski bunnies stay at the Ridge they can easily rent gear or get a quick tune up at the Resort Sports Ski & Snowboard Shop to start making their turns.
Ready for the winter? November and early December are perfect months to visit Tahoe South, as there is an abundance of merriment with winter events celebrating snow, adventure, music and family fun. Even if you’re not racing down the slopes on your skis or snowboard, Tahoe South has you covered for entertainment during the chilly months ahead!
Sierra-at-Tahoe is hosting the annual Sierra Snowball Fight: A Dodgeball Tournament to celebrate the upcoming ski season. The event at Steamer’s Bar & Grill includes live music, giveaways and drink specials, Nov. 10.
Pray for snow parties aim to bring the white stuff all season!
With Heavenly Mountain and Kirkwood Mountain opening Dec. 18, it’s time to fill your free time with plenty of activities to get you stoked for the winter season. The Fresh Ketch will host their annual “Pray for Snow Party” on Nov. 17. The second annual Blizzardfest at Beach Retreat and Lodge will summon the snow gods to provide precipitation early and often. The “Pray for Snow Party” hosts games, vendors, raffle contests and live music from jazz funk artist Scott Pemberton, Nov. 19. Raffle proceeds go to the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless.
The Tahoe Adventure Film Festival fuels outdoor passion by premiering short edits from the industry’s best adventure sports films at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa, Dec. 10. The festival captures the intensity and thrill of outdoor activities ranging from skiing/snowboarding, climbing, biking, surfing, along with a night of DJs, break-dancers and giveaways. It may just inspire you to take up a new hobby!
Ignite the winter season during Winter Ignite at Heavenly Village. Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort
Winter Ignite rings in the holiday season at the Heavenly Village with a high-energy performance from Cold War Kids, an American indie rock band from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The free concert by Heavenly Mountain Resort serves as a celebration for winter adventures on the mountain combined with 24-7 nightlife and entertainment. The after party is at Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe with dancing, live music and drink specials.
Here’s to a great winter season of entertainment!
Skiers and snowboarders are eagerly gearing up for the winter season – and for good reason! With the first few snowfalls already under its belt, Lake Tahoe and the Ridge are ready to welcome shredders of all levels to experience the sweet Sierra pow. You’ll want to plan your trip now as Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort open Nov. 18 with more following suit shortly thereafter.
Drop into some powder opening day at Heavenly, Nov. 18. Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort / Photo credit: Rachid Dahnoun
One-Stop Ski Lodge
Worry only about carving lines when you stay at the Ridge with inclusive on-site amenities and resources. The Resort Sports Ski & Snowboard Shop fulfills all rental needs, with the newest and highest quality equipment available at various performance levels. Services include ski and board rentals, hot waxing, tune-ups, repairs, ski accessories and clothing rentals and ski locker storage.
Children will be delighted when they hop aboard the Hilltrac Skier Express! Ridge visitors can conveniently access the Skier Express to speed up their arrival to Heavenly. This enclosed gondola is easily accessible from the resort and drops visitors off at the Stagecoach Chairlift. There are also complimentary ski shuttles to both the Stagecoach and Boulder Lodges.
Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.
Insider Tips Before Hitting the Slopes
Before you’re officially on the mountain facing a glorious run of white, it’s important to ensure you follow a few general rules for maximum safety and fun.
- Dress warmly: Wear layers under the ski jacket and pants that are tighter to the body and insulate heat. Another great option is using hand and foot warmers to stay cozy. Remaining comfortable during a chilly ski outing will not only make the adventure more enjoyable, but will help prevent injuries if falls occur.
- Make sure the gear fits: Utilize the Ridge’s ski shop resources and ensure all gear, helmets, goggles, boots, etc. fit correctly. Equipment that is too big or small will make skiing uncomfortable and can be a safety hazard.
- Falling without injury: Even the best skiers trip and fall on the mountain; what’s important is to position the body in a way that minimizes pain or potential injuries. Tuck the body as much as possible and wait until the movement has stopped before trying to stand.
- Move to the sides of the runs: If a break is needed or you’re waiting for friends to catch up, be helpful to other skiers and snowboarders by pausing on the sides of the runs. This prevents frustration from other mountain users and makes it less likely for accidents.
- Stretch before and after: Take a few minutes in the morning and afternoon to stretch and heal the body. This helps loosen up the muscles and joints so you are more limber.
- Sleep: The beds at the Ridge are mighty comfy so guests should take advantage of a good night’s sleep to prepare the mind and body for action-packed days!
- Hot cocoa: Dare we say this is the most important tip? Nothing toasts an accomplished ski day quite like a warm mug of hot cocoa shared with family and friends.
Rejoice for snow at the Ridge Tahoe!
Helpful Mobile Apps
- Heavenly GPS Ski and Snowboard Trail Maps: This app provides detailed maps, descriptions and conditions of all Heavenly Mountain Resort runs and trails. Users can track their progress and share their mountain days on social media platforms.
- Ski Pursuit: Record data and statistics such as speed, duration and distance to track activity. Set a personal goal and try to beat it with this app’s help.
- Action Shot: Capture fast runs, tricks and jumps seamlessly and with minimal editing.
For more information on passes, conditions and resort details visit Heavenly Mountain Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. See you on the slopes!
With two snowfalls already under its belt in October, Tahoe South is ready for winter to descend upon the Sierra Nevada and blanket the region in white. Winter is not only a wonderful time to experience the outdoors via snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing, it’s also an ideal time to get married in the mountains with gorgeous year-round venues and breathtaking backdrops.
If you’re a fan of the colder weather, a winter wedding provides a range of benefits and opportunities for an unforgettable fête with your family and friends.
Benefits of a Winter Wedding
- Your wedding has a little bit of magic. From freshly fallen flurries to the magic in the air from the buzz of the holidays, wintertime nuptials have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the event feel electric.
- Oh, the accessories! With chillier temps comes more clothing and accessory options. If you’re less of a strapless gown gal and more of a faux fur stole or cape, then a winter wedding should be considered to fulfill your sartorial wedding dreams. Not to mention you can add fun holiday-themed flourishes through your décor.
- Do you love hot cocoa and hot apple cider? While these would be out of place at a summer or spring wedding, they are an ideal beverage of choice for a winter wedding. Heartier meals are also a fitting option for dinner, so break out the comfort foods!
- Tahoe South is an ideal setting for a wedding regardless of the weather, but winter provides a unique perspective on the beloved Basin – and endless photo ops. Opt to throw snow in the air for a candid shot with the wedding party or pose among snowcapped trees with your beloved for unique photos you’ll cherish in any season.
- Tahoe South and The Ridge Tahoe are a great option for a honeymoon. Imagine the convenience of saying “I do” and settling into your honeymoon almost immediately afterwards. Take your sweetie for a couple of turns down the mountain, take a cruise to Emerald Bay on the year-round M.S. Dixie II and enjoy après ski options at a variety of restaurants for a taste of the local culinary scene.
The Ridge Tahoe is currently running a special for a winter wedding. If you’re ready to take the plunge, book with us! A Winter Castle Rock Ceremony and Reception includes a cocktail reception, a romantic lighted ceremony backdrop, a floral package and even more. Book by Nov. 24, 2016 to receive a choice of a two night stay in a one-bedroom suite or a complimentary champagne toast during the ceremony.
If you would like more information about winter weddings, call Blair Butler at (775) 588-3553, extension 3160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of snow bunnies and shredders mourning the end of a truly incredible winter season.
It’s hard to believe the ski season is coming to a close when Tahoe South has been pelted with new snow this past weekend, but it’s true – you only have a little over a month left to make your mark on the mountain of your choice (and there are so many in the Tahoe region). Heavenly and Northstar close April 17, Kirkwood April 10 and others will be announcing closing dates as time goes on.
While we may be sad that our days will soon be filled with sand instead of soft snow (we know we can’t really complain), there’s still time to make the most of winter. Here are our recommendations for giving winter the proper farewell.
Don your fanciest mountain gear
We’ve all seen them – the riders dressed in tutus, gorilla suits and capes cutting down the groomers. Many riders partake in a Gaper Day where they dress in their most outrageous clothing to ride, so why not join them? Riding is all about having fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously with this one and just go for it!
Take the express lane
Take the express lane via the Hilltrac Skier Express.
Ski in and ski out of Heavenly’s Stagecoach Chairlift with the Hilltrac Skier Express, located only steps from your room at The Ridge Tahoe. This chairlift will deliver you, your friends and your gear right to the trails.
Eat your way through après
Celebrate a successful day on the mountain with great après at places like Base Camp Pizza and Azul Latin Kitchen among others. Himmel Haus offers German fare and huge beers to satiate any hungry rider, plus they host events like Blackout Bingo and Open Mic night to help you kick back after an adventurous day. The Divided Sky is another great option, as it is a locals’ favorite with a relaxed vibe and great sandwiches to refuel your stoke levels.
A Hot Toddy by the fire at Base Camp Pizza. Courtesy: Base Camp Pizza
Consider enjoying your après at The Ridge with happy hour from 4 – 8 p.m. every day at the Tahoe Lounge.
Unbuckle and party
Nothing culminates an ending like a party and no one throws a party like Heavenly. Unbuckle at Tamarack is an adults-only party that combines thumping bass with adult beverages, tasty Tamarack-only treats and the Heavenly Angels. If you’ve never partied at 9,150 feet this is your time to do it.
Good luck with your last month of riding in Tahoe South!