Gliding on ice

While Lake Tahoe in the winter is best known for downhill and cross-country skiing, it’s also a great place to don the skates and glide along on the ice.

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Heavenly Village | Courtesy Heavenly Mountain Resort

If the winter produces little snow, but icy temperatures, frozen lakes are certainly an option. If you would like to be assured of your safety, want consistently smooth ice or don’t have your own skates, however, the Tahoe region has a variety of Zamboni-smooth places to skate away without a fear of dropping into the deeps.

Many of these skating spots are in the middle of the action at a ski area or in town, so they can make for a fun interlude before hitting your favorite restaurant or a movie. Be sure to check on conditions and hours before going.

 

NORTH TAHOE

Tahoe City Winter Sports Park
The newest addition to ice skating is the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, located at the Tahoe City Golf Course. For several years, the golf course has provided a sledding hill and groomed trails for skiing and snowshoeing. Now an ice-skating rink has been added to the mix.

The 4,000-square-foot rink opened in mid-December. Skate rentals and lessons are available. There is a restaurant on site, making it the perfect spot for a reasonably priced birthday party or event. | wintersportspark.com

 

OLYMPIC VALLEY

Olympic Ice Pavilion
Squaw Valley ice rink is located at High Camp at the Top of the Tram. This rink in the open at 8,200 feet in elevation offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Tahoe. While it is certainly the largest rink to be found on the North Shore, having to take the tram means that this will not be a quick or inexpensive skate, so plan accordingly. Hockey and figure skates are available for rental. Next to the rink is a swimming pool and hot tub, as well as several food facilities, and of course, all of the skiing opportunities of Squaw Valley. | squawalpine.com

Resort at Squaw Creek
Amidst the swimming pool and spa facilities outside the sumptuous Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley sits a small ice-skating rink. Rentals are available and it makes a perfect spot for a first skate for the kids. A variety of restaurants and shops can be found on the grounds. | squawcreek.com

 

TRUCKEE

Northstar California
This 9,000-square-foot ice-skating rink sits in the middle of the busy Village at Northstar, making it a popular gathering place for families. Skate rentals are available. Before, during and after skating, folks lounge around the fire pits that circle the rink. Nearby are a host of restaurants and shops. | northstarcalifornia.com

Truckee River Regional Park
Just a half mile from downtown Truckee at the Truckee River Regional Park, you will find skating under the pines with music and bonfires. The outdoor facility has overhead lighting, a snack bar and reasonable rates for both the use of the rink and rentals. They have group and private lessons, as well as broomball and hockey for both children and adults. | tdrpd.org

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena
This year-round indoor arena in the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Area offers a NHL-sized sheet of ice, locker rooms, snack bar, retail store, private party rooms and TRX and Pilates fitness rooms.

In addition to public skating, there are figure skating programs, as well as a youth and adult hockey program. There are private and group lessons, as well as hockey league matches and drop-in hockey games where anyone can join in. The arena is also home to the Lake Tahoe Epic Curling Club. | tahoearena.com

The Shops at Heavenly Village
In the middle of the action on the California-Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe sits the Shops at Heavenly Village ice skating rink. It’s open daily throughout the winter. It sits in front of the Heavenly Village Cinema and near the Heavenly Gondola. Skates are available for rental. There is music and lighting, and it is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and shops. | theshopsatheavenly.com

 

Explore Nicole Cheslock’s picks
for winter family fun in the winter edition of Tahoe Powder.

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Tim Hauserman
Tim Hauserman wrote the official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as “Monsters in the Woods: Backpacking with Children” and the children’s book “Gertrude’s Tahoe Adventures in Time.” Most of the year he writes on a variety of topics, but you will find him in the winter teaching cross-country skiing and running the Strider Gliders program at Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area. He has lived in Tahoe since he was a wee lad and loves to be outdoors road and mountain biking, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking and cross-country skiing.