What ski resorts in Lake Tahoe are on the Epic Pass?

Northstar > Heavenly > Kirkwood

Total Travel Time: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes

“As [Lake Tahoe] lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface, I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.” – Mark Twain

There’s just something different about skiing in California. The sun is brighter, the snow falls in feet (not just inches), and the the overall vibes are as laid back and free flowing as they come. Lake Tahoe is also home to one of the best road trip options for Epic Pass holders in North America and if skiing three world class resorts sounds like a good time, we’ve got the perfect route for those who want to maximize their time in Lake Tahoe.

For most, this winter road trip begins by flying into the Reno International Airport and renting a car, something a Ski.com Epic Pass Concierge is happy to arrange. If you’re traveling from the Bay Area or Sacramento, we’ve got San Francisco > Lake Tahoe as well as Sacramento > Lake Tahoe directions if you need them.

Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay Road Trip
Emerald Bay on the south shore of Lake Tahoe | Photo Credit: Michael

Our 65+ Mountain Travel Experts can book your lodging, equipment rentals, or anything you might need while on your Epic road trip around Lake Tahoe. Get a free quote today. 

NORTHSTAR AT LAKE TAHOE

Lake Tahoe Road Trip
When it comes to mountain vistas, Lake Tahoe is hard to top | Photo Credit: Northstar California Resort

Reno > Northstar – 45 minutes travel time

Stop To Eat: Full Belly Deli | Truckee, California

Northstar at Lake Tahoe is one of the best family friendly resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. Situated on the northern side of the lake, the base area is complete with world-class accommodations, restaurants, and boutiques, making it a perfect option for those looking to kick up their feet after a long day on the slopes. The slopes themselves offer skiers or riders a great variety of groomed terrain, with tons of options for intermediates, making it the perfect warm up for your road trip ski vacation.

Best Known For: Lengthy cruisers, jaw dropping vistas, upscale lodging and restaurants 

Terrain Breakdown: Green – 13% | Blue – 60%| Black – 27%

Where to stay: Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe, Great Bear Lodge 

HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT

Heavenly Road Trip
California and Nevada, two states, one world-class ski resort | Photo Credit: Heavenly Mountain

Northstar > Heavenly – 1 hour travel time

Stop To Eat: Whitecaps Pizza | King’s Beach, California

Ask anyone where to find the best winter views of Lake Tahoe and they’ll tell you, nothing beats Heavenly Mountain. The views from the towering 10,067 feet Heavenly Mountain are the highest available in the region and offer guests consistent snow conditions throughout the year.

When you’re done exploring the larger than life ski domain, which straddles the Nevada, California state line, the base area and nearby casinos in South Lake Tahoe offer guests uniquely lively nightlife options that can’t be found anywhere else in ski country. If you’re looking for a more low-key option, head west along the South Shore until you reach Emerald Bay State Park, which features easily one of the most beautiful views in Lake Tahoe.

Best Known For: The best views of Lake Tahoe, lively aprés ski scene, pristine slopes

Terrain Breakdown: Green – 20% | Blue – 45%| Black – 35%

Where to stay: Zalanta Resort, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

KIRKWOOD MOUNTAIN RESORT

Kirkwood Road Trip
Some of the best snow and steeps in North America | Photo Credit: Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Heavenly > Kirkwood – 50 minutes travel time

Stop To Eat: The Getaway Cafe, South Lake Tahoe, California

After living it up at the previous two locations, which both feature world class resort amenities and lodging, it’s time to focus on the skiing and riding. Your legs are getting stronger as the road trip continues, and what better way to test your technique than on the legendary slopes of Kirkwood Mountain Resort?

Known for being a skier’s mountain, the “Wood” as locals call it features some of the best steeps in North America as well as a meteorological positioning that sees more average annual snowfall than nearly anywhere else in the area. Visiting Kirkwood is a must for experts but its intermediate terrain is also top notch, and serves as the perfect place to progress your off-piste skills. After the day is done, Kirkwood features some great ski-in ski-out lodging but if you’re looking to keep the party going, we recommend returning to the South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Best Known For: Steep & deep, abundant snowfall, being a skier’s mountain

Terrain Breakdown: Green – 12% | Blue – 39%| Black – 49%

Where to stay: Mountain Club (ski-in ski-out), Harrah’s Resort and Casino (South Lake Tahoe)


Ski.com’s 65+ Mountain Travel Experts are ready to plan the perfect road trip ski vacation for you and yours. Get a free quote that covers everything from your Epic Pass to flights, rental cars, lodging, and more.