From sweeping alpine views from the top of ski slopes, to mountain villages jumping with nightlife, Lake Tahoe stands out as one of the best winter destinations in the West.
Lake Tahoe, one of the deepest in the world and ringed by Sierra peaks, stands out as a must-see on beauty alone, particularly when deep snow blankets the region in winter and well into spring. Not surprisingly, an array of mountain resorts ring the lake, offering skiing, snowboarding, and a host of other ways to play in the snow.
One of the biggest resorts at Tahoe—and in all North America—is Heavenly Resort , encompassing 4,800 acres of skiable terrain on the south side of the lake, a place so expansive it actually straddles two states. A resort this big has something for everyone: 34 miles of trails that include wide-open, groomed cruisers, super-steeps at Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon, beautiful tree skiing, and the unforgettable Gunbarrel face—a right of passage for any expert skier. Boarders will find plenty of places to play, with terrain parks with a host of features dotting the mountain.
Heavenly’s not just for skiers and boarders; day-trippers can ride the comfortable Heavenly Gondola to go tubing on a lift-accessed super-hill, or just take in the gorgeous views. If all this activity makes you hungry, no worries. Head to the stunning Tamarack Lodge (easy walking distance from the top of the gondola) where offerings include a burger topping bar with pesto-sautéed mushrooms, the Smokehouse Grill, and other surprisingly gourmet options. Lakeview Lodge, walking distance from the top of the Gunbarrel Chair, serves up a jaw-dropping view with its menu of hearty mountain fare at Gunbarrel Grill, including an elegant lunchtime buffet. FYI, locals swear by the lobster rolls.