Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe & Mammoth are my top two favorite ski spots in California ~ & Tahoe may edge out Mammoth simply for its lake views. In this post, we’ll discover all the “Best Ski-in Ski-Out Resorts in Lake Tahoe,” where you can literally drive up, drop off your skis or boards, & 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.
And luckily, there’s a ski-in/ski-out option at all of them…
Overview 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 lake.
- Squaw Valley/Palisades Tahoe: Olympic heritage & notorious steeps, with a killer base village & some of Tahoe’s most lux resorts. (Note: Squaw Valley was re-named Palisades Tahoe in 2021.)
- Homewood: Smallest ski resort with mainly advanced & intermediate terrain; great lake views.
- Northstar: Best intermediate terrain in Tahoe & good 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) Ridge Tahoe Resort, at Heavenly
Heavenly is the 5th LARGEST ski resort in North America!! It’s HUGE!!! Some locals give it a bum rap for its crowds & “pretentious” vibe (since it was bought by Vail Resorts) ~ but to me, the views her win out. And if you like to party & have some after-ski drinks, South Tahoe 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 & boarders who love VARIETY!! You could spend a week at Heavenly & never ski the same run. And you’ve got LOTS of dining & nightlife options in South Tahoe.
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. And because it’s 45-minutes from South Tahoe ~ it’s typically not as crowded. Kirkwood gets the third highest amount of snowfall of any resort in North America, which is why conditions are so amazing.
Locals love it here: you’ll see more of them than tourists.
As for ski-in/ski-out options at Kirkwood, you used to have two choices ~ but now they’re both under the same name: 1) Kirkwood Mountain Resort. The good news is: you’ve got a TON of lodging choices here. From luxurious condos to 3-BR townhomes with fabulous mountain views. There’s a wide variety in furnishings here, as many of these condos are individually-owned. 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!!!
3) Everline Resort & Spa (at Squaw)
When we were kids, my parents dropped us off at Squaw Valley (which is now known as Palisades Tahoe, or Olympic Valley) to ski ~ & they took off to play golf in Nevada! While Squaw is known for killer steeps & a MASSIVE amount of terrain: it also works for beginner & intermediate skiers. Squaw’s got around 4,000 ski-able acres across six 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.
The Village at Squaw Valley is one of the most fun base areas, with many great apres-ski spots. And you’ll find plenty of luxury lodging here too. The top ski-in/ski-out at Palisades Tahoe is Everline Resort & Spa (formerly the Resort at Squaw Creek) ~ which sits on 200 prime acres at Squaw’s base, just steps from the ski lift. You’ve also got a first-class spa, championship golf course, activities for kids, heated pools, & a delicious breakfast buffet at Everline.
Squaw Valley is Perfect For = Terrain is great for pretty much everyone ~ but the village excels for those seeking high-end lodging options.
Other Ski-in/Ski-Out Hotel Options in Squaw Valley/Palisades Tahoe: Palisades Tahoe Lodge ($150+) offers rustic mountain chic, while Red Wolf Lodge at Olympic Valley ($124+) is great for families on a budget, as rooms have kitchens.
4) West Shore Inn, at Homewood
Homewood is the smallest ski resort on this list, with 85% intermediate to expert runs (+ 5 terrain parks)! So it’s not 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 (almost) ski-in/ski-out option here: West Shore Cafe & Inn, which is located right across the street from Homewood’s ski base. You’re right on the lake at West Shore, with wonderfully romantic & cozy rooms….click here to see all your room choices. And their lakeside restaurant is excellent. This is a perfect spot for romantic getaways ~ not as great for families.
Homewood is Perfect For = Couples seeking romance & advanced terrain.
5) One Village Place, at Northstar
Finally, we come to Northstar, which is the best ski resort in Tahoe for families. 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. Throw in an ice skating rink & tons of dining options in the base village, & Northstar is a family-friendly winner.
There are four ski-in/ski-out hotels at Northstar, but my top pick is One Village Place by Welk. Rooms are absolutely gorgeous & spacious villas, with kitchens & living rooms. And the gondola is literally 20 feet from ski storage! Plus, it’s all enclosed & covered…making for a very easy ski-in/ski-out experience.
Other Ski-in/Ski-Out Resorts at Northstar = Constellation Residences at Northstar (large condos + nice outdoor pool), Timber Creek Lodge (a little more rustic), & Northstar Lodge by Welk Resorts (beautiful resort with outdoor fire pits, pool, & hot tubs).