Split down the middle by the California and Nevada border, Lake Tahoe boasts of over 300 days of warm sunshine, 396 inches of annual snowfall, 18 world-class ski and snowboarding resorts, incredible golf courses, fantastic hotels and casinos, and of course, beautiful blue Lake Tahoe itself. The skiing and snowboarding in Lake Tahoe is arguably the ‘Best in the West’! Beautiful sunshine, deep powder, long groomed runs all make Lake Tahoe and its many world class ski resorts a very special place to ski! Tahoe is also a very popular wedding and honeymoon destination, namely on Valentine’s Day.
My first glimpse of Lake Tahoe is one I’ll never forget; crystal blue waters, perfect sandy beaches surrounded by a spectacular alpine forest. What secrets does this view hold? It was time to discover all that Lake Tahoe has to offer. The first part of the adventure was simply getting there! The 2.4-mile ride up the mountainside in the Gondola left me fascinated. The second part of the adventure was the park itself, complete with snow tubing, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and a 25-foot rock climbing wall! And since I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to skiing, I tried snow tubing. There’s nothing better than gliding down a slope on a tube, feeling the cold spray of snow in your face! In the tubing area, tubes and riders are transported by tow lift to the top of the hill. Tubing is located
mid-mountain just above the Gondola. Nothing beats racing family and friends down the hill in a gigantic doughnut.
The best time to visit Tahoe depends most from what you want. If you don’t want to ski, then the best time to visit Lake Tahoe is summer, when the margins of the lake become great beach centers and temperatures don’t freeze. September and October (and mid-Spring) are also very good months, without big crowds. These are also the cheapest months for accommodation. But if you want to ski, then November through May are the best months.
During the ski season, the drive to Lake Tahoe can turn into a never-ending, slogging crawl. Taking a bus is one way you can relax and let someone else deal with it. The nearest commercial airports are Sacramento (about 2 hours away) and Reno, NV (30 minutes away). You may often hear people speak of North or South Lake Tahoe. North Lake Tahoe lies mostly in California, and is best accessed via I-80 to CA 267. South Lake Tahoe is the larger area, with more hotels and restaurants. It’s partly in each state, with gambling casinos concentrated on the Nevada side.
For the winter storms that can dump massive amounts of snow on the roads leading to Lake Tahoe, making car chains a pre-requisite.