Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe!
Lake Tahoe & Mammoth are easily my top two favorite ski spots in California ~ & Lake Tahoe may have the edge over Mammoth simply for its lake views! In this post, we’ll find all the “Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe,” where you can literally drive up, drop off your skis (or snowboards), & basically NEVER have to get back in the car again! We’ll tour the lake, checking out five of Tahoe’s finest ski resorts: Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Homewood, & Northstar. Luckily, there’s a ski-in/ski-out option at all of them!
Map of Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts
- Heavenly: Spectacular views, terrain for all levels ~ but can get really crowded.
- Kirkwood: TONS of advanced terrain & the best powder in Tahoe! 45-minute drive from the lake.
- Squaw Valley: Olympic heritage & notorious steeps, with a killer base village to play in ~ but lift lines can be long.
- Homewood: Smallest ski resort with mainly advanced & intermediate terrain; great lake views.
- Northstar: Best intermediate terrain in Tahoe, & most wind protection; great for families.
The Ridge at Tahoe (Heavenly)
Mountain Club at Kirkwood
Resort at Squaw Creek (Squaw Valley)
One Village Place (at Northstar)
West Shore Cafe & Inn (at Homewood)
1) The Ridge Tahoe, at Heavenly Ski Resort
Heavenly is the 5th LARGEST ski resort in North America!! It’s HUGE!!! Some locals give it a bum rap for the crowds & its “pretentious” vibe (since it was bought by Vail Resorts) ~ but honestly, to me, the views at Heavenly win out. And if you like to party & have a few after-ski drinks, South Lake Tahoe (where Heavenly is located) gives you the most nightlife options. The only ski-in/ski-out resort at Heavenly is The Ridge Tahoe ($119+). You’re minutes from the slopes & have two restaurants, a spa, screening room, indoor & outdoor pools, tennis courts, & a mini-golf course to keep you busy!
Heavenly is Perfect For = Skiers & snowboarders who love VARIETY!! You could spend a week at Heavenly & never ski the same run. And South Lake Tahoe gives you plenty of nightlife options.
2) Mountain Club at Kirkwood
Kirkwood is THE best mountain in Tahoe for killer conditions: there’s deep powder here more often than anywhere on the lake, & because it’s a 45-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe ~ it’s not as crowded. Kirkwood gets the 3rd highest amount of snowfall of any resort in North America, which is why conditions are so amazing! And locals love it: you’ll run into more of them than tourists here.
As for ski-in/ski-out options at Kirkwood, you’ve got two choices: 1) Mountain Club at Kirkwood, & 2) The Lodge at Kirkwood. Neither are particularly glamorous ~ but let’s face it, no one’s coming to Kirkwood for glamour! Kirkwood is for die-hard ski lovers who want to be on the mountain ALL. DAY. LONG.
Kirkwood is Perfect For = POWDER lovers & those who love skiing & boarding in pristine, uncrowded conditions!
3) Resort at Squaw Creek
When we were kids, my parents dropped us off at Squaw Valley to ski ~ & they took off to play golf in Nevada! Ha! These were the days before “helicopter parenting” was the norm. So, while Squaw is known for killer steeps & a MASSIVE amount of terrain: it also works for beginner & intermediate skiers. Squaw has around 4,000 ski-able acres across 6 peaks, making it the largest ski resort in California. And though it gets crowded, nearby Alpine Meadows is much quieter, & with better protection from the wind. So…there’s truly something for everyone here.
The Village at Squaw Valley is one of the most fun base areas: with ample luxury lodging options. My pick for the top ski-in/ski-out here is the Resort at Squaw Creek ($160+). This hotel sits on 200 prime acres at Squaw’s base, & the ski lift is just steps from the lodge. You’ve also got a first-class spa, championship golf course, activities for kids, heated pools, & a yummy breakfast buffet.
Squaw Valley is Perfect For = The terrain is great for pretty much everyone ~ but the village excels for those seeking high-end lodging options.
4) West Shore Cafe & Inn, at Homewood
Homewood is the smallest ski resort on this list, with 85% of the mountain considered intermediate to expert (+ 5 terrain parks)! So, Homewood isn’t the best spot for beginners ~ though they do have a long, 2-mile beginner run called “Rainbow Ridge.” But you’ll have more fun at Homewood if you’re at least an intermediate skier…then you’ll really be able to appreciate those gorgeous lake views!
In keeping with the intimate vibe, you’ve got one ski-in/ski-out option here: the West Shore Cafe & Inn, which is located right across the street from Homewood. You can’t beat the lake views here, & their lakeside restaurant is wonderful. Perfect for romantic getaways ~ less so for families.
Homewood is Perfect For = Those seeking a more intimate ski experience, but still with a LOT of variety in (mainly intermediate & expert) terrain!
5) One Village Place by Welk, at Northstar
Finally, we come to Northstar, which may be the best ski resort in Tahoe for families: as 60% of the mountain’s 100 runs are intermediate! There are also 8 terrain parks, & if you hate skiing in poor conditions: nowhere in Tahoe is better protected from the wind than Northstar. Throw in an ice skating rink & tons of dining options in the base village, & Northstar is a family-friendly winner.
There are 4 ski-in/ski-out hotels at Northstar, but my pick is One Village Place by Welk. Rooms here are upscale & spacious villas, with kitchens & living rooms ~ & the gondola is literally 20 feet from the ski storage: & it’s all enclosed & covered…making for an uber-easy ski-in/ski-out experience!
Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe
I hope this list of the “Best Ski-In Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe” has been helpful for your planning! Let me know your personal favorites in the comments below : )
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