Lake Tahoe rivals the Rocky Mountains in offering some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in North America. Although skiing is not cheap – lift passes can cost well over $60/day and ski/snowboard rental $30–35 – most resorts offer decent-value pass/rental/lesson packages or multiday discounts, especially if booked in advance online. Cross-country skiing is also popular, with rentals around $20 and trail passes in the region of $15–30.
Reachable by shuttle from Southshore, 2 miles from the casinos, or via the gondola on Hwy-50, next to the state line 775 586 7000, skiheavenly.com. Prime location and sheer scale (85 runs and 29 lifts) make this one of the lake’s most frequented resorts, and it also offers the highest vertical skiing served by a lift in the area.
Squaw Valley USA
Squaw Valley Rd, halfway between Truckee and Tahoe City 530 583 6955, squaw.com. Thirty-three lifts service more than 4000 acres of unbeatable terrain at the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Non-skiers can take the cable lift and use the ice-skating/swimming pool complex for the day.
Soda Springs, 10 miles west of Truckee 530 426 3871, royalgorge.com. The largest and best of Tahoe’s cross-country resorts has 204 miles of groomed trails.
Nevada, at the intersection of Hwy-50 and Hwy-28 775 749 5349, spoonerlake.com. The closest cross-country resort to South Lake Tahoe has lake views and 63 miles of groomed trails.