Tahoe Sierra Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Guide | Winter 2019-20

Courtesy Tahoe Star Tours

This season’s guide has everything you need to know about all the nordic ski and snowshoe areas in the Tahoe Sierra. Be prepared before you go or find that perfect resort that suits all your needs.


Courtesy ASC Training Center

ASC Training Center

Jan. 5 | 10th Mtn. Biathlon
Jan. 12 | Paco’s Freestyle
Feb. 2 | Chuck Lyda Biathlon
Feb. 17 | President’s Cup Freestyle
March 4-15 | Cross Country Junior Nationals

ASC Training Center is open to the public with trail access available from Wednesday to Sunday each week. No dogs are allowed.

Combined Alpine & Nordic | ASC Training Center is a nonprofit winter sports facility and one of the few combined venues for Alpine, Nordic, biathlon and snowboard in the United States.

Biathlon | ASC has the only Olympic distance, year-round Biathlon range in the West, with winter and summer programs, as well as group and private clinics. ASC also offers the hard-to-pass USBA Red Book Certification for biathletes.

The Deals | Season passes are only $129 for adults and include unlimited access to the cross-country trail system, use of the Training Center facilities, five discounted guest tickets and five free nights of skiing or riding at Boreal Mountain Resort.


Bijou Community Park

Centrally located in South Lake Tahoe, Bijou features 4km of marked trails that is mostly flat and great for beginners at Bijou Community Park.

Free access | There is no fee for skiing or snowshoeing. No rentals or services are available on site.

Fun for all | The park features a historic railroad exhibit, skateboard park and fenced dog park.

(530) 542-6056

Camp Richardson

Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 21 & April 18 | Snowshoe Cocktail Races

Camp Richardson’s Mountain Sports Center provides 10km of groomed and marked trails for beginners to experts. Several trails head out from the center looping through the open forest to the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake. Two other shorter trails meander through the grounds of the resort and along the shores of Lake Tahoe.

Snowshoe Cocktail Races | Think you have what it takes to run with a full cocktail tray in hand through obstacles up and down the beach at The Beacon Bar & Grill while wearing snowshoes? There are prizes for the fastest (and cleanest) at the obstacle course finish line.


Clair Tappaan Lodge

This rustic Sierra Club lodge is located near the top of Donner Summit. There are 14km of trails heading out from the back door of the lodge and up to the area near the back of Boreal Ski Resort.

Guests ski free | Skiing is free for lodge guests and rentals are available. Trail passes for non-guests are $15.

Explore the back country | Clair Tappaan Lodge operates four back-country huts – Benson, Bradley, Ludlow and Peter Grubb –for year-round recreational use. Each hut provides rustic accommodations for about 15 people and includes a sleeping loft, wood stove and outhouse. Each hut can be reached in one day or less from the nearest road by an average group with good weather. Reservations fill up fast and all huts may be difficult to locate in heavy snow years.


Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Memorial State Park has more than 16km of trails throughout the park. Although the trails are not groomed, visitors can make his or her own route to Schallenberger Ridge, Coldstream Canyon or along the shores of Donner Lake.

Free trail access | Access to the trails is free; parking is $5. Dogs are welcome but must be on leash.

Sierra history | Be sure to check out the new Visitor Center built a few years ago featuring local history and an amazing bookstore with something for all ages.

Annual parking pass | Purchase a Tahoe Regional Parking Pass for $75 good at all of the state parks in the Tahoe region for a year – D.L. Bliss, Donner Memorial, Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point, Emerald Bay and Kings Beach State Recreation Area.



Courtesy Granlibakken


Dec. 31 | New Year’s Eve Party
Feb. 17 | Tru Retreat
May 15 | Kaia Fit Retreat

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers can explore the historic resort’s 74 acres. Follow a 1.5-mile trail around the property and a groomed access trail to Paige Meadows (flat-groomed, without stride-skiing tracks) when weather and snow conditions permit.

Kids sled free | Kids younger than 3 sled for free.

The Deals | Unlimited sledding pass is $100; lodging guests receive half-off sledding and lift tickets.



Courtesy Hope Valley Outdoors

Hope Valley Outdoors

Jan. 18 & March 14 | AIARE Rescue Course
Jan. 24-25 & March 13-14 | Backcountry Ski Touring
Feb. 11-13 | AIARE Level 1 Avalanche course
March 6-8 | AIARE Level 2 Avalanche course

Hope Valley Outdoors, or Hope Valley Cross Country, is a sustainable, off-the-grid, small winter resort operating out of a yurt at Pickett’s Junction in Hope Valley offering guests great outdoor winter recreational opportunities.

Owner Joyce Coker launched the yurt to offer her cross-country skills and back-country knowledge to help visitors explore the outdoors and improve his or her skills.

Hope Valley Outdoors offers cross-country skiing, back-country skiing, snowshoeing, rentals and guided tours. Hope Valley maintains a limited number of trails around the Yurt. Trails are skier packed and easily accessed, along with limited grooming for classic cross-country skiing.

Free trail access | Trail access is free, but donations are needed to maintain operations. Services are provided by check or cash only; there’s no cell service.



Courtesy Kirkwood

Kirkwood’s Cross Country & Snowshoe Center

Jan. 10-11, Feb. 8-9, & March 8-9 | Moon Light Snowshoe Trek
Jan. 11-12 |Learn to Ski Month half-price weekend
Feb. 14 | Scott Hudson Relay Race
March 7-8 | Operation Rebound: A Winter Sports Clinic for Veteran Athletes
Jan. 18, 25; Feb. 1, 15, 22, 29; March 14, 21, 28 | Sunset Snowshoe Trek

Kirkwood’s Cross Country & Snowshoe Center offers 60km of groomed trails at 7,800 feet featuring spectacular scenery and three interconnected trail systems nestled in a beautiful alpine valley.

Fat Bikes | Rent a fat bike or bring your own to explore three interconnected trail systems.

Guided tours | Along with daily lessons, Kirkwood offers guided cross-country and snowshoe tours.

Historic eats | Finish the day with a scrumptious meal at the historic Kirkwood Inn, opened in 1864. Visit TheTahoeWeekly.com; click on Local Flavor to read about Tahoe Weekly’s recent visit to the Kirkwood Inn.

Dogs welcome | Dogs are allowed on the High Trail located behind the Kirkwood Inn and the Outer Loop on the meadow for only $5.



Courtesy LTCC

LTCC Nordic Center

The Nordic Center on the campus of Lake Tahoe Community College provides up to 7km of trails for classic and skate skiing. The trails provide views of Freel Peak and Job’s Sister.

The center is operated by volunteers, and trails are groomed several times a week. Dogs are welcome; dogs must be leashed at trailheads and in parking lots. The center offers a variety of day and season passes.



Courtesy Tim Hauserman

Nevada Nordic

Nevada Nordic is a nonprofit organization bringing a groomed cross-country ski presence back to the state of Nevada. Trails are offered at several locations in the region and are groomed and open depending on conditions.

Trails are operated at Tahoe Meadows near the Mount Rose summit off Highway 431 with 2km of groomed skate trails (plans are in the works for classic trails), and at Spooner State Park on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. Future plans are for a trail to be offered in the Incline Meadows area. Check for updates and grooming reports at facebook.com/inclinemeadowsxc.



Aaron Rosen | Northstar California

Northstar Cross Country, Telemark and Snowshoe Center

Dec. 28, Jan. 18 & 25, Feb. 15 & 29 | Stargazing Snowshoe Tours
Dec. 29, Jan. 19, Feb. 16 | Family Snowshoe Tours
Dec. 29, Jan. 19, Feb. 23, March 9 | S’moresapalooza
Jan. 4 & 11; Feb. 1, 8 & 22; March 7 | Twilight Snowshoe Tours

Northstar California provides 32.5km of Nordic terrain right in the middle of a world-class downhill ski resort.

Telemark skiers welcome | Northstar is one of the few resorts offering a full line of downhill telemark equipment and instruction.

Family friendly | Northstar offers an optimal place where families can enjoy all of their favorite activities such as cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, ice skating and more.

Kids ski free | Kids 4 and younger ski free.

Fat tire biking for everyone | Northstar offers fat tire bike rentals, as well as rentals for pedal assist e-bikes.

Stargazing Snowshoe Tours | All ages can join in an easy to moderate snowshoe walk with an unobstructed view of the cosmos. Stargazing Snowshoe Tours end at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe with telescope viewing and hot beverages.



Daphne Hougard | North Tahoe Regional Park

North Tahoe Regional Park

Free access | Trail access is free, but parking is $5. No rentals are available on site.

Snowshoe tours | Guided snowshoe tours are offered through Tahoe Adventure Company including full moon, sunset and star tours. Visit tahoeadventurecompany.com upcoming dates.

Sled hills | North Tahoe Winter Adventures operates the main groomed sled hill and a sled is included with a sled hill ticket. A children’s sled hill is located at the entrance of the park and is not groomed; bring your own sled or tube.

Snowmobile track | The park boasts a snowmobile track for those wanting to try out a snowmobile; personal snowmobiles are not permitted.

Ropes course | Tahoe Treetop Adventure Park consists of 70 tree platforms connected by a variety of bridges and/or ziplines open on select dates in the winter. Visit tahoetreetop.com for details.

Grooming | The trails are groomed about three times a week and has a new snowcat/groomer for this season. Check the North Tahoe Regional Park Facebook page every Friday for weekend park updates.



Courtesy Resort at Squaw Creek

Resort at Squaw Creek

Until Jan. 1 | Magical Memories
Dec. 27 | Holiday Mixology Craft Cocktail
Dec. 27 | Glow Golf
Dec. 28 | Sunset Snowshoe Tour
Dec. 29 | Disco Skate
Dec. 30 | Sled Races
Dec. 31 | New Year’s Eve Bash

Venture onto the 18km of groomed trails at Resort at Squaw Creek for a quiet refuge from the crowds of Olympic Valley where the views of the mountains are spectacular. The trails are just outside the door of the resort to enjoy between spa appointments, a visit to the skating rink and dining at one of the restaurants.

Sledding | Enjoy a day of sledding on the designated hill beyond the Squaw Creek chairlift. Sleds and snow boots can be rented at the Nordic Center.

Ice skating | Glide around the resort’s outdoor ice rink with a view of Squaw Valley’s six peaks. Rentals for figure and hockey skates, as well as helmets, are available.



Courtesy Royal Gorge

Royal Gorge

Dec. 28, Jan. 4, 11 & 18 | Demo Days
Dec. 28 & Feb. 29 | Intermediate Skate Clinic
Jan. 10 & Feb. 8 | Full Moon Ski & Snowshoe Tour
Feb. 15 | Advanced Skate Clinic
Feb. 22 | Women’s Skate Clinic

The largest cross-country ski area in North America, Royal Gorge is known for its sweeping views of the Northern Sierra and eight distinct trail systems. Featuring 92 trails with more than 140km of groomed, tracked trails for human-powered outdoor recreation spread across 6,000 acres, guests of all ages and ability levels are invited to try classic cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing.

Nine warming huts offer respite from the elements and a chance to take a break and soak in the peaceful tranquility of the mountains.

Kids ski free | Kids 12 and younger ski free, and ages 13 to 22 receive one free trail pass with every paid adult trail pass.

The Royal Gorge | One of the most breathtaking experiences in the Tahoe Sierra is skiing to The Royal Gorge. The Gorge is one of the natural wonders of the Sierra – a 4,417-foot deep gorge that is the namesake for the ski area.



Courtesy Johnsville Ski Bowl

Plumas-Eureka State Park

Jan. 19, Feb. 16 & March 15 | Longboard Revival Races

Plumas-Eureka State Park in the Lost Sierra offers 12km of groomed trails for skating and classis skiers, along with three designated snowshoe trails that are snowmobile groomed. The trail system is managed by Plumas-Eureka State Park Association volunteers and trail maps are available at each trailhead. Visit plumas-eureka.org for grooming reports and information on the trails.

Free trail access | The use of the trails is free, but donations are requested to maintain the trails for $5 per day or $20 for the season.

Longboard races | The Plumas Ski Club hosts the Historic Longboard Revival Races each year at the Plumas Eureka Ski Bowl at Johnsville in the park. The races are open to everyone. Visit plumasskiclub.org for details.

Skiing with Fido | Dogs are not allowed on the main trails, but a separate dog trail is groomed and accessible across from the Jamison Trailhead, a beginner, 1 mile out and back trail.



Courtesy Sugar Pine Point State Park

Sugar Pine Point State Park

Jan. 11, Feb. 8 & March 7 | Full Moon Tours

The Ed Z’berg/Sugar Pine Point State Park is a spectacular spot to cross-country ski and snowshoe along the dense forests of the West Shore or along Lake Tahoe’s shores. The park offers more than 20km of marked cross-country ski trails for all levels.

Follow the path of the Nordic events of the 1960 Winter Olympics in what is now Sugar Pine Point State Park. Starting at the Blue Trailhead, visitors will come across a series of interpretive panels that share the region’s Olympic and Nordic skiing history found at the park. For trail conditions, call the snow phone at (530) 525-9528.

Free trail access | Use of the trails is free; it is $5 to park. No dogs are allowed.

Winter camping | Sugar Pine Point is one of the only winter campgrounds open year-round in the Tahoe area, offering 16 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis.

Full Moon Snowshoe Tours | Explore the forests and shoreline at night during a guided Full Moon Tour. Book at sierrastateparks.org.

Annual parking pass | Purchase a Tahoe Regional Parking Pass for $75 good at all of the state parks in the Tahoe region for a year – D.L. Bliss, Donner Memorial, Ed Z’Berg Sugar Pine Point, Emerald Bay and Kings Beach State Recreation Area.



Courtesy TCPUD

Tahoe City Winter Sports Park

The Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers ice skating, sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and is a great spot for family fun. Enjoy the on-site restaurant Café Zenon for a bite to eat or a warm drink. The park provides 4km for both skating and striding, as well as a snowshoe loop/walking trail.

The park is an inexpensive way to entertain the kids and enjoy family time together. Spring for all-access season passes for the entire family; it’s inexpensive and great fun.

Take it to the ice | Take advantage of the youth hockey clinics and the adult Broomball League.

SnowFest! fireworks | The Winter Sports Park will be the site of the annual SnowFest! fireworks in early March.



Courtesy Tahoe Cross Country

Tahoe Cross Country

Jan. 1 | New Year’s Pancake Breakfast
Jan 12 | Old Skool Klassic Race
Jan 26 | Tahoe Rim Tour
Feb 2 | Shooter Bowl Sunday Women’s Laser Biathlon Relay
Feb 14 | Share the Love Valentine’s Day Ski
Feb. 15-23 | Alpenglow Mountain Festival
Feb. 23 | Alpenglow 20k
March 1 | The Great Ski Race
March 15 | Kevin Murnane Scholarship Fund Drive
April 12 | Easter Egg Hunt & Customer Appreciation Day

Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area celebrates 20 years of operating as a nonprofit ski area in Tahoe during the 2019-20 winter season. Stunning lake views along the trails at Tahoe Cross Country make it one of the area’s best spots for cross-country skiing. The ski area offers lessons and equipment rentals for cross-country, skate skis and demos.

Free lessons | Try the free beginner cross-county lessons on Mondays with free beginner skate skiing lessons every Wednesday during non-holidays.

Ski free | Youth ages 18 and younger ski for free, as well as seniors ages 70 and older.

Track your progress | Track yourself on the new interactive trail map from tahoexc.org while you ski or snowshoe. Details online.

New trail cam | A new web camera has been installed at the trailhead on Yellow Trail. Navigate to all the web cams, weather and snow gauge by clicking the camera icon on the top corner of the website.

Carpooling program | Sign up with staff to get your Carpool Punch Card. Claim a punch every time you carpool with two or more adults in one car and claim incentives for every five punches.



Ryan Salm | Tahoe Donner

Tahoe Donner Cross Country

Dec. 31 | New Year’s Eve Snowshoe Tour
Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 21 | Wax Clinic
Feb. 9 | Tahoe Donner Challenge
Feb. 23 | Captain Nordic’s Dress-Up Day
March 22 | Sierra Skogsloppet Race

Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center offers more than 100km of world-class trails open to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking.

Kids ski free | Youth ages 6 and younger ski for free.

Dinner time | Alder Creek Café and Trailside Bar at the Cross Country Ski Center will be open nightly for dinner serving a mountain casual menu with beer and wine options.

Skills clinics | Try out 4-Week Skills programs that include Learn to Skate, Sisters in Skating, Seniors Learn to Ski, Weekend Clinics and Technique and Fitness.

Expanded grooming | Grooming conditions are at the peak as a result of expanded grooming with new PistenBully machines last year and trail and road work over the summer.

Expanded snowmaking | Preparations have begun to expand snowmaking at the Cross Country Ski Center in 2020.

The Deals | Tahoe Donner is including Bonus Days at partner resorts for passholders including four days at Diamond Peak and two days at Homewood Mountain Resort.