- Elevated between 6565 ft and 10066 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 3 highest elevated Ski Resorts in California. The vertical drop from summit to base is 3501 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in the USA is 1184 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Heavenly is among the 5 best rated Ski Resorts in the USA.
- It is among the 10 most family-friendly ski Resorts in the USA.
- Season starts on Nov 16 and ends on Apr 21 (156 days). Average season duration in the USA is 118 days.
- During the season (from Nov 16 till Apr 21) the average snow depth at Heavenly is 84 ". Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average base depth of 100 ". This makes Heavenly the ski resort with the best snow conditions in California.
- Heavenly features 75 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in the USA is 69 sunny days. December is the sunniest month with an average of 18 sunny days. This makes the ski resort one of the 15 sunniest in the USA.
- Offering 4797 acres of slopes and terrain, Heavenly is among the 10 largest Ski Resorts in the USA.
The Ski Resort
The ski area Heavenly straddles the state line between California and Nevada, right next to Lake Tahoe. The runs here extend up to an altitude of 3,086 m, offering unparalleled views over the lake.
Perfect for Beginner Skiing
From South Lake Tahoe, you can take a gondola lift up into the ski area. Once on the mountain, you should first take a moment to savour the incredible panorama from the viewpoint platform before you take to the slopes. The mountain station is also home to a nursery area for beginners as well as a snow tubing course. At California Lodge as well as Boulder Lodge, both of which can be accessed directly by car, there are also designated practice areas for kids and beginners.
Challenging Runs for Advanced Skiers
Advanced skiers and snowboarders can look forward to exploring a wide range of challenging runs in Heavenly. The trails running down from the Stagecoach Express and Dipper Express are particularly worthwhile. If you like a real challenge, we suggest making your way to the highest point in the ski area. From here, you can take the Ridge Run to the Canyon and then on to the Sky Express. From there, you can push on until you reach Maggie’s Piste.
Tons of (Double) Black Diamond Runs
Experts will love the black diamond and double black diamond runs in the ski area. There are several located down the mountain from the Sky and Gunbarrel Express lifts. Elli’s trail is also well worth trying, as its generous length demands some serious stamina.
Freeride fans won’t be disappointed in Heavenly either. The ski area is a true “snow hole” and half a metre of new snow overnight is not uncommon. Powder fans can take to the white stuff first and foremost in the Milky Way Bowl as well as in the area around Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon. However, these zones are only accessible on foot and not via the lifts.
Snowboarders and Freestyle Skiers
Snowboarders and freestyle skiers can look forward to four terrain parks in Heavenly as well as a super pipe. The Groove Park is the best place to start for beginners. This park is populated with small and simple rails, boxes and wedges. Kids can also try out some tricks next door in the Progression Park.
Advanced riders head for the Ante Up Park. This is located below the Tamarack Express and, aside from a selection of great obstacles, also offers unparalleled views over Lake Tahoe. Real experts hit the High Roller Park, which is located between the Sky Express and Canyon Express lifts. Here, there is a huge super pipe alongside kickers, rails and boxes.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
In Heavenly, hungry skiers and snowboarders have a choice of seven mountain restaurants, bars and cafes. A varied range of different dishes is, for instance, available at the Tamarack Lodge at the mountain station of the gondola lift. This is also home to the legendary Unbuckle après-ski parties. You can also take a break in the California Lodge & Bar next to the Gunbarrel Express lift. Meanwhile, Café Blue at the middle station of the gondola lift serves small snacks to keep you going.
Most Difficult Runs
The ski area offers runs down into the valley towards all valley stations except the gondola station. In other words, skiers still have every opportunity to wind their way down the mountain after the lifts close. The longest run in the entire ski area is the trail from the Sky Express down to California Lodge – some 8.8 kilometres in length and boasting an altitude difference of 1,070 meters.
The most challenging trail is probably the 2-kilometre run down from Mott Canyon. Generally speaking, Mott Canyon offers the most difficult terrain in the entire ski area.
The mountain station of the gondola lift is also home to a snow tubing course. Expect white-knuckle action as you slide across the snow in a plastic tube – great fun for all the family. South Lake Tahoe is offers visitors the unique opportunity to take a snowmobile tour. Racing through the backcountry up to an altitude of 9,000 feet with over 100 PS underneath you is a pretty unforgettable experience. This tour also provides views of the region which would otherwise be inaccessible on foot.
However, a helicopter tour offers an even more breath-taking spectacle, with views over the lake and the mountains from a bird's eye perspective.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
The Cliché, located next to the Presidents Lounge, is the most elegant and upbeat cocktail bar in the entire Lake Tahoe region. A must for visitors to the ski area is the Fire and Ice Bar in Heavenly Mountain Village. It is truly the après-ski destination in this region. Another spot not to miss is the famous Hard Rock Cafe which is also located on Lake Tahoe.
Dining and Restaurants
The Edgewood restaurant in the hotel of the same name in South Lake Tahoe is known far and wide for its outstanding food. The Forest Buffet is said to have the best buffet on Lake Tahoe, and, thanks to its location on the 18th floor, it offers up truly unparalleled views to boot. The Sage Room Steak House is known for its western atmosphere as well as excellent cuisine.
If you are travelling to the ski resort by plane, the nearest airport is around 100 kilometres away in Reno. From there, you can take a shuttle service to South Lake Tahoe. These shuttle buses depart 11 times a day.
By car, take the US 395/580 towards Carson City. At Exit 57B, take the exit towards Virginia City/Carson City/South Lake Tahoe. Leave this road at exit 38 and keep right onto Fairview Drive. Then turn left onto South Carson Street and then right again onto Lake Tahoe Boulevard.