Dec. 29, 2016 to Jan. 11, 2017 | A magical Tahoe winter

Skiers enjoy the mountainous vistas from the trails at Tahoe Donner Cross Country. Photography by Matt Chappell, Tahoe Donner. | TahoeDonner.com

There’s something magical about winter in Tahoe. The sun glistening off the snow-capped mountains, the morning frost that twinkles like fairy dust, trees heavy with freshly fallen snow, frozen ponds and ice rimming the edges of the Truckee River, animal tracks in the fresh powder, the serenity of a trek into the forest and the ever-changing face of Lake Tahoe that morphs into a new form of breathtaking beauty with each passing moment. These are just part of the magic of a Tahoe winter.

Locals and visitors rush to grab fresh powder stashes and get in as many laps as possible at the region’s world-class downhill resorts, but there’s also another way to enjoy the winter beauty. Slow down, put on a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis and explore the forests and meadows ringed by quiet solitude. Head to one of our local Nordic centers – we have the largest concentration in North America – and enjoy the groomed trails for a quick workout, a challenging climb or a leisurely jaunt in the hills and meadows. Our annual Nordic Ski Guide has the details on the region’s cross-country ski areas, including many with free access to ski trails.

Pack a picnic, make new friends at the warming hut, bring the entire family including your four-legged kids, explore a new part of Tahoe and enjoy the adventure.