How Much Snow Did Tahoe Get – The Latest Totals and Forecast

Lake Tahoe, a stunning alpine lake straddling the California-Nevada border, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and, of course, its snow.

Each year, snow enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the winter season, hoping for bountiful snowfall to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.

Recently, the question on everyone’s mind has been: “How much snow did Tahoe get?” As winter sports are some of the most entertaining activities in Tahoe, In this post, I will provide the answers you seek.

Key Takeaways

  • Lake Tahoe’s snowpack levels are currently at 44% of normal, affecting local ecosystems and winter sports conditions.
  • The region offers a wide variety of ski resorts, each with different snow depths and trail availability, catering to all skill levels.
  • Recent snowfalls have significantly contributed to the base depths at various resorts, enhancing skiing and snowboarding conditions.
  • The economic and recreational activities in Lake Tahoe heavily rely on annual snowfall, making it essential for local businesses and tourism.
  • Sustainable practices and safety are crucial for preserving Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty and ensuring a safe, enjoyable winter season for everyone.

Current Snowpack Levels

Lake Tahoe Snowpack Level

Surrounding Lake Tahoe, the snowpack levels are sitting at 44% of what’s typically expected.

This figure gives us an idea of how much snow has accumulated compared to the average year.

Annual Snowfall Averages

On average, Lake Tahoe enjoys a generous 265 inches of snowfall annually.

This accumulation makes it a winter wonderland for both locals and visitors.

Ski Resort Insights

Boreal Ski Resort - Tahoe

Ski resorts around Lake Tahoe are the best sources for up-to-date information on snow depths, which trails and lifts are open, and the current weather conditions.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Boreal Mountain Resort: Boasts a base depth of 116 inches, with all trails and lifts in operation.
  • Diamond Peak: Reports a base depth between 30-45 inches, also with full accessibility.
  • Heavenly: Has a base depth of 41 inches, with 84% of its trails open for adventure.
  • Kirkwood: Shows off a base depth ranging from 66-74 inches, with full access to trails and lifts.
  • Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe: Features a base depth between 40-60 inches, welcoming skiers on all trails.
  • Northstar California: Has a varied base depth of 8-72 inches, with 95% of trails open.
  • Palisades Tahoe: Presents a base depth between 33-87 inches, with 92% of trails ready for action.
  • Sierra-at-Tahoe: Offers a base depth of 52-73 inches, with no trail left unopened.
  • Soda Springs: Proudly has a base depth of 94 inches, fully operational.
  • Sugar Bowl Resort: Provides a base depth between 56-105 inches, with 94% of trails open.
  • Tahoe Donner: Has a comfortable base depth of 45-54 inches, with every trail welcoming visitors.

Recent Snowfall and Forecast

Recent snowfalls have brought joy to the area:

  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort: 67 to 93 inches
  • Kirkwood Mountain Resort: 77 inches
  • Heavenly Mountain Resort: 42 inches
  • Palisades Tahoe: 70 inches
  • Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe: 58 to 79 inches
  • Northstar California Resort: 59 inches

Why Is Snow So Important Here?

Lake Tahoe Snow - Forecast

1. Water Supply and Ecosystem Health

Snow acts as a natural reservoir, slowly releasing water into the ground as it melts, which replenishes streams, rivers, and ultimately, Lake Tahoe itself.

This process is crucial for the survival of local flora and fauna, ensuring they have the water needed to thrive.

2. Economic Impact

The economic vitality of the Tahoe region during winter months heavily relies on snow.

Ski resorts, local shops, restaurants, and hotels all depend on the influx of tourists attracted by the snow-covered slopes.

A good snow season can spell success for these businesses, contributing significantly to the local economy.

3. Recreational Activities

From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and sledding, the variety of recreational activities available in Tahoe during the winter is vast.

The depth and quality of snow can significantly affect these activities, with more snow allowing for a wider range of options and better conditions.

What Can We Do to Help?

Given the importance of snow to the Lake Tahoe region, it’s essential to consider how climate change might impact future snowfall patterns.

Engaging in environmentally friendly practices, supporting sustainable tourism, and contributing to conservation efforts can all play a part in preserving Lake Tahoe’s winter wonderland for generations to come.

Safety First

With varying snow conditions across Tahoe’s ski resorts and wilderness areas, safety becomes paramount.

Always check the latest weather and avalanche reports before heading out. Ski resorts like Heavenly, Palisades Tahoe, and Boreal Mountain Resort offer resources and tips to keep visitors safe.

Wearing the proper gear, staying within marked trails, and respecting resort guidelines ensure a fun and safe experience for everyone.


How does Lake Tahoe measure snowfall?

Snowfall in Lake Tahoe is measured using snow stakes, automated sensors, and manual readings by resort staff and meteorologists to ensure accurate and comprehensive snow depth data.

Are there beginner-friendly ski resorts in Tahoe?

Yes, many Tahoe ski resorts have beginner-friendly slopes and offer lessons for first-timers, including Northstar California and Sierra-at-Tahoe, making them perfect for learning.

What’s the best time to visit Tahoe for snow?

The best time for snow in Tahoe typically ranges from December to March, with peak snowfall usually occurring in January and February.

Do I need snow chains to drive to Tahoe in the winter?

Yes, during winter months, it’s often required to have snow chains or snow tires for your vehicle when driving to Tahoe, especially during and after snowstorms, for safety.

How can I stay updated on Tahoe snow conditions?

For the latest snow conditions, check the official websites of Tahoe ski resorts or use weather apps and local news sources dedicated to the Tahoe region for real-time updates and forecasts.


With the current snowpack at 44% of normal and a mixed forecast ahead, it’s a reminder of the unpredictability of weather and the importance of sustainable practices to preserve our natural wonders.

The ski resorts around Lake Tahoe are doing their part by providing up-to-date information and ensuring the best possible experience for visitors, regardless of the snow conditions.