Heavenly – Kirkwood – Lake Tahoe – Northstar 




Heavenly really does seem heavenly with skiing up to 3060m and a 1067m vertical drop. Nestled on the Nevada/California border on the southern side of Lake Tahoe this spread out resort offers the biggest vertical drop on the West Coast. The California side is quite subdued compared to the Nevada side, which is filled to the brim with casinos and restaurants. The ski area is made up of 20% beginner runs, 45% of intermediate runs and 35% expert/advanced runs.

Nine peaks make up a skiing area of 97 pistes over 4800 acres (California’s largest resort). Ski holidays in Heavenly are not the best place for beginners – there are plenty of easy blues at resort level but going all the way up to the top will be daunting. The ski school is excellent, however, and confident beginners and early intermediates will love Heavenly. Intermediates can cover the whole mountain and it is a great place to ease one’s way into powder skiing – which is what the experts on ski holidays in Heavenly come here for. The mountain has a reputation for some of the finest powder runs on the West Coast. The longest ski run on the mountain is 8km. Snowboarders will love the powder bowls and there is a half pipe on the California side and a border X and fun park on the Nevada side.

Kirkwood – ” The Wood “

Magical, raw, expansive and remote, Kirkwood is truly legendary. With the deepest, driest snow around as well as some of North America’s most diverse and challenging terrain, the mountain offers big mountain riding with a small-town attitude.

Upon arrival, you’ll be immediately introduced to adventure and challenge. You’ll revel in discovery from exploration. And you’ll experience personal satisfaction in overcoming new challenges. Tucked away about 35 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood is a reward well worth finding.

Our unique location atop the Sierra Crest, combined with elevations ranging from 7,800-9,800 feet, create a little something we like to call the K-Factor–a geographical predisposition to receive the lightest, driest and most plentiful snow in Tahoe.

In the summer, Kirkwood turns into a picturesque high-alpine adventure playground with world class rock climbing, mountain biking, disc golf, fishing and hiking amidst fields of wildflowers all within a stone’s throw of the resort. In the fall, turning aspens make a beautiful backdrop that will take your breath away.

Lake Tahoe

Skiing Lake Tahoe has to be one of the most unique experiences. Surrounded by an endless sea of peaks, the lake sparkles like an iridescent ocean of aquamarine. Lake Tahoe spans the Nevada/California border, and includes casinos and exciting nightlife on the Nevada side. All the way around the lake you’ll find lodging, shops, restaurants and more ski areas in one region than anywhere else in the United States.

Snowfall is measured in feet rather than inches due to the heavy accumulations these areas often receive. When it’s not snowing, count on California sunshine and amazing lake views.

Access to the other resorts (Sierra at Tahoe, Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows, Squaw and Northstar) is easy by both road and water so every day on the slopes can be different. 

 Northstar at Tahoe

Northstar consistently receives acknowledgement as a top family ski resort. With 60 percent intermediate, or blue terrain, and enough beginner and expert runs to keep everyone satisfied, Northstar at Tahoe is an ideal ski destination for a family or large group with varied skiing ability. The many kid-friendly activities, like snow tubing, pottery and candle making and ice skating seal the deal for families. It’s also a popular destination for park skiers and snowboarders, with seven world-class terrain parks. In fact snowboard phenom Shaun White calls Northstar home. If you’re lucky you may catch him training on the resort’s 22-foot halfpipe. The Burton Snowboard Academy and Burton Riglet Park are also attractive programs for aspiring snowboarders and little jibbers. 

With 60 percent of the resort’s 98 runs are designated blue, the overwhelming preponderance of Northstar terrain is best suited for intermediate skiers. Most intermediates will spend their day on looker’s left (if you’re in front of a trail map) side of the mountain. Intermediate skiers also get the Northstar’s longest trail, Logger’s Loop at 1.4 miles. The vast majority of blue runs at Northstar are perfect groomed cruisers, but there are a couple zones that are quite convenient for intermediates looking to challenge themselves. Northstar, in general, isn’t considered to be a steep mountain, so there isn’t a better resort for intermediates to challenge themselves. From the top of the Comstock Express chairlift, skiers should head left off of the chairlift and begin descending down East Ridge. Off the left side of the run, they’ll see several black trails. All of these are on the shorter side and lead into blue, and even green, trails.