Tips for Tahoe ski trips

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway to Tahoe or looking to get in as many days on the mountain as you can, you’ll want to maximize your ski vacation to make the most of your trip. Here are some tips from a long-time local.

“You can run the numbers any way you want, but a season pass to a Tahoe ski resort is still the best way to spend your money.”

Plan early | The best time to book your ski vacation is in the summer. Many resorts and lodging properties offer deep discounts for booking your winter trip in the summer. The same is true for your summer vacation; book now.

Skip the holidays | Yes, the kids are on break and your office is closed for the holidays, but it’s also the most expensive time to visit Tahoe. Enjoy great winter deals by booking on non-peak times. Think the week after any major holiday.

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

Go big | You’re dreaming of ski-in, ski-out lodging, time indulging at the spa, amazing meals with to-die-for wine selections, activities for the kids and luxurious amenities. Then, you’ll want to look at luxury resorts on Tahoe’s North and South Shores. You can still find deals by booking during non-peak times.

Book a package | From slopeside lodging at the ski resorts to lakeside digs at smaller, local properties, make the most of your vacation by booking a ski & stay package. Look for properties further away from the resorts for the best deals (even in Reno, Sparks and Carson City). Don’t forget to ask about local shuttle services, too.

Ski lease | If you make more than a couple ski trips to Tahoe each winter, then a ski lease might be perfect for you. Many run from November to April and you can come whenever you can escape the office for a ski trip. Consider sharing the lease with another family or a group of friends.

Buy a pass | You can run the numbers any way you want, but a season pass to a Tahoe ski resort is still the best way to spend your money. Passes will pay for themselves in a few trips, and if you want to explore other ski areas, most passes come with days at other resorts.

Ski on the cheap | Nearly every local downhill and cross-country ski area offers discounted ski days throughout the season. Most are benefits for local nonprofits and are offered at deeply discounted rates. Check out Skiing for Schools with Excellence in Education Foundation, as well as discounted ski days through the Sierra Avalanche Center and Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Check out deals throughout the season at

Pitch a tent | Yes, you can camp in Tahoe in the winter at Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore and save big. Book your spot early and enjoy cross-country trails outside your tent, with the shores of Lake Tahoe a short walk from the campground.


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Katherine Hill
Katherine first moved to Tahoe in 1998 and has been in love with the Tahoe Sierra region since. She has been in the journalism field for more than 25 years and has worked for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines, as well as online publications and Web sites, as an award-winning writer and editor. In the fall of 2013, Katherine became only the third owner of the Tahoe Weekly magazine, and today serves as its Publisher and Editor In Chief. She currently serves as the President of the Tahoe City Downtown Association and is a member of the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council and the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Commission.