Winter in the Sierra 2019/20
Are your feet twitching yet? Do you find yourself daydreaming about powder filled face shots? It’s time to break out your gear, because winter is coming and we hear it’ll be a BIG one! Whether for the first time or the nth time, call Carson Valley your winter launch pad.
Conveniently located at the doorstep of Lake Tahoe, the Valley makes for the perfect start and end to any day in the mountains. It’s your ideal base camp with high value lodging options, food to please every palate, hot springs, salutes to early area pioneers and much more. How about world class spirits to cap off a day on the slopes?
Ski & Snowboard Resort Highlights
Carson Valley is nestled right at the base of the Sierra Nevada (at 4,700 ft.). Need help getting the most out of your snow season? We’ve got you covered with this partial list of nearby Snowsport Activities.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Opening Day: Nov. 22
The terrain varies at Heavenly, with 97 trails ranging from wide-open cruisers to plunging 1,600-foot chutes. Enjoy the convenience of 28 chairlifts around the mountain, including:
- Nine high-speed lifts.
- 4,800 skiable acres—the most in Lake Tahoe.
- 3,500 vertical feet (1,067 meters)—unmatched on the West Coast.
- 10,067 feet in elevation (3,068 meters)—the highest in Lake Tahoe.
- Cross the state line between California and Nevada.
- Two terrain parks.
Push yourself in expert areas (and local favorites) Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon. And with three access gates around the mountain, there’s no shortage of intense backcountry terrain.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Opening Day: Nov. 27
Known for its double black diamonds, bowls and chutes, this mountain isn’t just a riders winter playground, but bikers too. Kirkwood’s Cross Country and Snowshoe Center have opened 37 miles of groomed trail to fat bikes, available for rental through the center.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Opening Day: Oct. 25th
Investing $1.5M in improvements, the area added nine new snowmakers and installed new lift gates equipped with RFID technology. The new system allows for people to easily reload tickets or upgrade passes. Available now, “SKI-GIF” Fridays. After noon, tickets will cost $49 and include live entertainment and bar specials.
Driving just a little bit farther results in equally impressive rewards.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Opening Day: Dec. 12
This new terrain park is ready with new features for every skill level, with more snow making capabilities than before and a new ParkPro groomer to keep the snow lookin’ fresh. Diamond Peak offers the fourth most skiable vertical in Tahoe.
Northstar California Resort
Opening Day: Nov. 22
A year-round mountain resort near Truckee, featuring 3,170 skiable acres, 20 lifts, 100 ski/snowboard trails, 8 of the nation’s best terrain parks, the largest and most powerful snowmaking system near Lake Tahoe, and the largest lift-served mountain bike park in Northern California.
Squaw Valley/ Alpine Meadows
Opening Day: Nov. 15
These world renowned mountains have even more to offer their guests, specifically the finished Treeline Cirque chairlift. A $10M detachable, high-speed quad chair, this lift will take skiers and riders from the base area to Sherwood Ridge. Alpenglow Expeditions will offer guided snowshoe tours of Shirley Canyon or the backcountry for guests at Squaw. After their mountain adventures, guests can get drinks from a restored ‘70s era Squaw Valley tram cabin, Tram Car Bar.
*All opening dates are proposed and weather permitting.
A day of playing in the snow deserves a drink and requires fuel. (Or is it the other way around?) Fill up for your day at Katie’s Country Kitchen inside Carson Valley Inn. Open 24 hours, they have a generous menu selection anytime to match your food cravings.
DST Coffee is a local favorite. Serving baked goods and coffee, this place begs for you to unwind and warm up.
After your big day on the slopes, you can truly fill up at J.T. Basque Bar and Dining Room. Get ready to join the family. Once you sit down, the family-style meals only get bigger and bigger. The Picon Punch, a traditional basque cocktail, will certainly warm you up, but you’ll want to top off with an ultra-premium spirit at Bently Heritage Estate Distillery.
Warm up at 1862 David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort. Enjoy a soak and relax in the natural hot spring pools. Surrounded by mountains with picturesque views and restaurants on property, this get away will become your go-to lounge spot.
Stroll main street and pop into a local boutique or antique store. You might find the perfect one-of-a-kind gift.
Interested in history? Walk through the Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville museums to learn about the early start of the towns. Ever heard of Snowshoe Thompson? Before there were lifts he was traversing the Sierra.
Now get out there! And don’t just take our word for it. Save this helpful Google Map List and explore Where to Stay lodging options. We’re here to help dial in your base-camp and create your ideal legendary winter vacation.