Top Ten Winter Activities Around Lake Tahoe for 2019
1. Skiing and Snowboarding
Lake Tahoe is home to world class skiing and snowboarding. Find diverse terrain for all skill levels, whether you’re a beginner, a backcountry adventurer or looking for double black diamond runs. The resorts offer stunning views, terrain parks, lessons, rentals, ski/snowboard events and more.
Nearly all of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts are already open for the 2019-2020 season with new runs opening every day. Get current resort terrain, conditions and info below.
There are no shortage of snowshoe and cross country trails in the Lake Tahoe region nor is there any place more beautiful to experience this family-friendly activity. The Tahoe area has several self-guided trails, XC ski/snowshoe-specific resorts, as well as trails available at many of the popular downhill ski resorts. Check out this list of our favorite trails and resorts, as well as guided tour information in our Top Lake Tahoe Cross Country and Snowshoe blog post.
3. Ice Skating
If winter isn’t complete without an open-air ice skating session, then head to Northstar Ski Resort or Heavenly Ski Resort. Both locations offer tons of holiday cheer as you skate, sip on hot chocolate and take in the surrounding mountain scenery. The lights, festive music, toasty fire-pits and fresh air will surely put you in the Christmas spirit.
4. Shopping in Historic Downtown Truckee
Grab a coffee and stroll through unique shops, galleries, and eateries in Historic Downtown Truckee. Our store, along with other favorites such as Bespoke, Atelier, Tahoe Sports Hub and High Camp Home, offers clothing, jewelry, art, sporting goods, home goods and more. Find one-of-a-kind gifts and beautiful work from local artisans just in time for Christmas. Don’t miss Festive Fridays in Downtown Truckee! The shops stay open later, there’s free parking after 4pm, lots of holiday cheer, activities, sips, treats and prizes. The festivities go from 4-7pm each Friday night in December before Christmas.
5. Holiday Fun at Tahoe Ski Resorts
Head to Tahoe’s ski resorts for family-friendly activities, festive nightlife and special events this holiday season. The villages at Ski Heavenly, Squaw-Alpine and Ski Northstar are beautifully decked out with lights, decorations and music during December. The resorts offer a variety of activities and events including fireworks, live music, visits with Santa and his crew, train rides, performances, and more!
6. Sledding and Tubing
If you want to experience some wintery fun in the mountains without strapping on a board or stepping into skis, try snow tubing or sledding. Many Tahoe ski resorts offer snow tubing including Boreal, Soda Springs, Squaw Valley, Heavenly, and Donner Ski Ranch. But if you want the ultimate in tubing and sledding, head to Adventure Mountain Sledding. With over 40 acres, 15 groomed sledding runs and lots of room to just play in the snow, this winter playland is a must. The rates are affordable and sled, tube, and helmets are available to rent. Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers sledding, tubing and fat bikes in addition to snowshoeing and XC skiing.
7. Hot Springs
Is there anything better than a hot soak after a day on the slopes or a log day of holiday shopping? The Sierra Nevada is home to a variety of natural hot springs that are perfect for relaxing while surrounding yourself with beautiful scenery. Sierraville Hot Springs is just 35 minutes from Truckee and offers hot pools, private tubs, meditation pools, cold plunges and a dry sauna. Grover Hot Springs is part of the CA State Park system. This park offers winter camping in addition to its hot pool and warm swimming pool. Take the drive south to the Mammoth Lakes area and you will find several primitive tubs that have no developed facilities. There is no cost, but it is important to remember to practice good hot spring etiquette and practice LNT.
8. Great Aprés Ski Spots
Whether you’re looking for a good meal, fire-pits with s’mores or a tasty cocktail while you relive your day on the slopes, Truckee and Lake Tahoe have great aprés ski options. Truckee’s Mellow Fellow Pub or Squaw Valley’s Le Chamois & The Loft Bar are great places to meet up with friends and family for drinks and bites. Check out our top ten list of aprés ski activities around Tahoe.
9. Gondola Rides
Do you want to share the very best views of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra? Consider a ride on one of the gondolas (or aerial trams) around the lake for a fun afternoon with the whole family and the most breathtaking views you can find. Squaw Valley and Heavenly ski resorts offer rides to the top where you can get out, explore and take in even more great scenery. Have a snack, cocktail or hot chocolate before making your way back down the hill. You might even catch some live music. This is a remarkable activity to do with family and friends. And don’t forget your camera!
10. Best Spots in Lake Tahoe for Hot Cocoa
While there are great places to get coffee like Zuri Coffee or The Coffee Bar locations in Truckee and Squaw sometimes nothing says the holidays like a steaming cup of hot chocolate piled high with whipped cream. Get some s’mores kits (available right at the bar) to go with your custom drink from the hot chocolate bar at The Overlook at Northstar and settle in by a fire pit. Audra’s Hot Chocolate from Squeeze In has tons of whipped cream and sprinkles and is sure to please the little ones. A few more favorite hot cocoa spots include Revive Coffee and Wine, Sugar Pine Cakery & Cafe, Free Bird Cafe, The Old Post Office and Red Hut Cafe.