Your Winter Adventure Guide: Exploring North Lake Tahoe this Winter – On and Off the Slopes
February 13, 2024 | Jill Amen
As snow blankets our shores and mountains this season, North Lake Tahoe emerges once again as a haven for winter adventurers seeking both adrenaline-pumping experiences on the slopes as well as cozy, family-friendly activities off the beaten path.
It begins at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, a basecamp for all winter adventure in North Lake Tahoe. With dozens of options for every type of winter enthusiast, MLRTahoe is at the epicenter of it all—minutes from world class ski resorts, snowmobiling, XC skiing and all winter play, fun and entertainment. Whether you’re an avid skier, a snowboarder, mountaineer or simply love to play in the snow, there’s something for everyone this winter.
Skiing and Snowboarding
North Lake Tahoe is renowned for its world-class ski resorts, boasting diverse terrain suitable for all skill levels. With 11 resorts in North Lake Tahoe, there is no shortage of options for skiers and snowboarders alike. Some of our resorts can see over 400 inches of snow in a given year, attracting skiers and boarders from all over the world.
Each resort has particular characteristics and features that attract certain ‘downhillers’. For example, for challenging slopes and runs try Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley and Alpine) and Mount Rose. Mount Rose’s Chutes offer some of the longest vertical runs in North America. And, we mean steep terrain. You will get 1000+ feet of north-facing slopes with pitches from 40-55 degrees. For family-friendly to expert try Northstar California, which is centrally located and near Truckee.
Smaller resorts such as Homewood Mountain Resort on the West Shore are very family friendly and offer some wind protection along with awesome mountain and Lake Tahoe views. Diamond Peak offers jaw-dropping views of Lake Tahoe and a vertical drop of 1,840 feet, which make it the fourth longest drop in the Lake Tahoe area. It also caters to families of all abilities.
Boreal, Sugar Bowl, Soda Springs and Tahoe Donner–all near Truckee– also have some unique offerings. Boreal Ski Resort is the first and only all-mountain terrain park in the Lake Tahoe region. Sugar Bowl is a world-class mountain resort that features four peaks and 95 runs spread out over 1,500 acres.
For those with a passion for adventure and craving that adrenaline rush, embark on an exhilarating journey through Lake Tahoe’s pristine backcountry where miles of untouched powder and breathtaking alpine scenery await. There are also great opportunities for split-boarding on your own up the mountain. Or, why not take a snowcat to get there? Either way, skiers, boarders and mountaineers can climb or glide down steep chutes, navigate serene forests, and challenge themselves on diverse terrain.
The backcountry is beautiful and offers the ultimate winter adventure, but it can also be dangerous and challenging. It is important to know your terrain. Avalanches, elements and shorter days can be real considerations when going ‘back country’. The best way to experience the backcountry is with avalanche trained pros and experienced guides who will lead you to these hidden powder stashes and untouched slopes—all providing a safe and unforgettable adventure for thrill-seekers.
Take a break from the slopes. Beyond the ski resorts, North Lake Tahoe offers dozens of off-the-slope adventures waiting to be explored for both enthusiasts and families. And many offer free or low costs options compared to daily lift ticket prices.
XC Skiing and Snow Shoeing: There are so many benefits to these activities that we can’t list them all. These sports are great for kids and adults of all ages and fitness levels, with varying degrees of challenge depending on the terrain. Both engage the upper and lower body, as well as the core muscles, making it an excellent full-body workout. It will definitely elevate the heart rate. It can also be a safer alternative to downhill sports. Less speed, less crowds, less impact. Plus, both of these sports are very accessible in North Lake Tahoe. They require less equipment and cost than downhill skiing, and are often enjoyed on terrain that is free or with nominal day passes. Just as importantly, XC skiing brings a direct connection with nature in peaceful and beautiful settings.
Maybe it is time to embark on a scenic snowshoeing or cross-country skiing adventure through the region’s pristine forests and meadows. North Lake Tahoe rental shops offer cross-country skis and snowshoes rentals, while some resorts and tour providers, like Tahoe Adventure Company, offer guided snowshoe tours—even under the stars.
Here is a list of some of the most popular and accessible snow parks in North Lake Tahoe:
Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center (TDXC). One of the top cross-country centers in North America, it spans more than 2,800 acres, and offers snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals, and lessons.
TahoeXC. Located near Tahoe City this park has exceptionally well-maintained groomed trails in the midst of the forest with warming huts along the way. Great for classic and skate skiing. Some trails are even dog-friendly and there are also snowshoe trails as well. The park offers day and season passes for a small fee. Those under 19 and over 70 years are free.
Nevada Nordic near Mount Rose offers a local donation-based groomed trail and open meadow system accessible for everyone.
North Tahoe Regional Park is very family friendly, free and always fun for everyone.
Fun for the Family
Sledding: For a fun afternoon, grab a sled –no charge for MLRTahoe guests–and head to one of the sledding hills close by such as North Tahoe Regional Park. Choose your thrill level and find the perfect photo op for the family’s snow play day! Also, try Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, but make a reservation during the high winter season.
Build a Snowman: For a memorable family outing, try our ‘Snowman Snowdown’ Winter event and contest throughout the winter at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort. Build your own snow creature on the beach. Get imaginative with lots of fun tools, props that you can grab directly from the MLRTahoe resort office.
Snowmobiling: For the ultimate winter thrill, embark on a guided snowmobile tour through the backcountry, where you can race through snow-covered forests and take in panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Ice Skating: Head up to Northstar Calfiornia for some ice skating in the village. Or, head up to Tahoe City’s Winter Sports Park for a great day or evening of slipping, sliding and blading. Both are ideal for families.
Après Ski and Nightlife
After a day on the slopes, unwind and indulge in the vibrant après ski scene that North Lake Tahoe has to offer. Cozy up by the fire with a hot cocoa or craft beer at one of the many slope-side lodges, where live music and breathtaking mountain views create the perfect ambiance for relaxation.
For those looking to continue the party into the evening, explore the lively nightlife options in the surrounding towns of Truckee, Tahoe City and Crystal Bay. From quaint pubs and wine bars to bustling breweries, casinos and concert venues, there’s no shortage of places to celebrate a day well spent on the mountain. Check out these dining options during your stay.
Feel the Local Vibe – Exciting Events for Winter 2024
Discover the region’s rich history and culture at the Tahoe Maritime Museum or explore the quaint shops and art galleries that line the streets of downtown Truckee and Tahoe City. Check out these 2024 Winter events and Festivals not to miss.
North Lake Tahoe SNOWFEST: Thursday, Feb 29th thru Sunday, March 10, 2024
This unique ten-day festival is one of the largest winter mountain festivals on the west coast. In its 42nd year, this event celebrates the best of North Lake Tahoe with over 40 events including live music, parades, snow golf tournaments, polar bear swims and dog pulling contests to name a few.
WinterWonderGrass: Friday, April 5th thru Sunday, April 7, 2024
An annual music and beer festival that combines bluegrass and acoustic music with craft beer tasting in a winter mountain setting at Palisades Tahoe. Beyond the music and beer, WinterWonderGrass often features other activities and attractions, such as art installations, food vendors, workshops, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
TART Connect is North Lake Tahoe’s free curb-to-curb, on-demand shuttle service that follows a shared ride model and promotes sustainable transportation within the destination. To find a ride, download the TART Connect app or call (530) 553-0653.
Your Destination Awaits at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort
So, this winter gather your loved ones, head to the ultimate winter destination on the shores of North Lake Tahoe. All you need to stay and play is here at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, a cherished destination where families return year-after-year for the beauty of Lake Tahoe, personalized service and a big serving of Greek hospitality!
-Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort Your Tahoe Home – Basecamp for your next Tahoe adventure.