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Skiing in the North Tahoe Basin

Our favorites:
Squaw and Alpine --> webcams
Sugarbowl --> webcams
Royal Gorge cross country
Tahoe Donner downhill and cross country

Links to ski areas and more:

We have a collection of trail maps on the living room bookshelf. Squaw Valley offers free magic carpet rides to kids learning to ski/board, and rumor has it, to their parents mid-week, in their SnoVentures base area. 

Cross-country trail suggestions by Tahoe Dave’s: Tahoe Donner trail behind our house is XC skiable in winter (find summer trail map in our collection) and from it there are some great slopes for backcountry skiing (note you need to buy a trail pass if you stray onto the official TD XC trail system off to the north).

We have a few saucers you may borrow to slide around. The meadow next door is great for little kids. Bigger hills can be found in Tahoe Donner from Teton Way, the Glacier Way parking lot and the Swiss Way access toward the TD golf course. You may use our snowshoes for walking on hiking trails. The TD golf course is off-limits to walking, XC skiing or dogs, unfortunately.

Tahoe Donner has an organized sliding and snowplay area for a fee at the Trout Creek Recreation Center (bring our TD transferable guest cards). Squaw Valley, Boreal, and Soda Springs Ski Areas also offer tubing. 

Passes and deals:
The absolutely best deal is to buy a season pass well before the ski season. The versions with some black-out dates (at times that are too crowded anyway) will be paid off after skiing about 4 days.

If you can’t do a season pass, consider purchasing a multi-day package. Other deals: Sugarbowl offers a “Core Daily Pass” that gives you $15 off your lift ticket for the rest of the season with no black-out dates, and discounts at Royal Gorge X-C ski area, which they manage. REI and Costco stores around the Bay Area may sell discounted lift tickets; Wild Cherries (Truckee coffee shop) and some other local businesses sell discounted tickets. Homewood Ski Area offers some deals if you buy tix online, and the others do at times. Try also Sliding on the Cheap or get SnowBomb’s Tahoe Card. Diamond Peak (Ski Incline) and Squaw Valley give a discount to season passholders from other resorts, even if your pass is blacked out.

Downhill equipment can be rented from Tahoe Dave’s (downtown Truckee and at the Squaw turnoff from Hwy 89) and at the ski areas. Cross Country equipment can be rented from Tahoe Dave’s, Paco’s on Donner Pass Road, and at the XC ski areas. Snowshoes can be rented at the Tahoe Donner snowplay area (and taken offsite), Tahoe Dave’s, and Backcountry Sports.

Weather forecasts:
Open Snow, Tahoe edition (subscription not necessary)
Tahoe Weather Geek
Weather Underground for Norden, CA (Donner Summit)

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© Jeffrey Paduan 2019