Tahoe Resort Activities

Diamond Peak
Tel:775/832-1177
1210 Ski Way

In the heart of quiet, upscale Incline Village, this is a great choice for a low-key, less crowded, less expensive, nonetheless beautiful skiing adventure, with spectacular lake views. Smaller than most resorts in the area, it’s a premier destination for families. Skiing and snowboarding options for kids abound, with a snowboard park and sledding area, a Burton Learn to Ride center for snowboarders, and a snow-play program to entertain the younger ones who aren’t quite ready to hit the slopes. The Diamond Peak Cross Country and Snowshoe Center (same telephone number), east of Incline Village on NV Rte. 431, is gorgeous and even allows dogs to share in the fun in the afternoon. www.diamondpeak.com

Homewood Mountain Resort
Tel:530/525-2992
5145 W. Lake Blvd

Homewood is one of my favorite small ski areas, a homey little resort with 1,260 acres, 56 runs, 8 lifts, and spectacular lake views. It’s a good family resort with child-care for ages 2 to 6 and ski schools for ages 4 to 12. Lift tickets were only $45 last winter on weekdays ($55 on weekends), and children 9 and under skied free when accompanied by an adult. www.skihomewood.com

Mt. Rose
Tel:800/SKI-ROSE (754-7673)
522222 Mt. Rose Hwy

Although Mt. Rose has been open since 1964, I’ve never skied it until recently. Why? Because it wasn’t challenging enough. But since they opened “The Chutes,” Mt. Rose has become the new darling of the Tahoe ski scene. Just 22 miles from Reno and about a 20-minute drive from the lake, Mt. Rose has always been popular with beginner and intermediate skiers, offering 1,300 acres of mostly groomed slopes with the highest base elevation (7,900 ft.) in Lake Tahoe. Now that the wickedly steep and long chutes — with names such as Chaos and Nightmare — are officially open, it’s attracting skiers of all levels. The ski area has seven lifts, including two high-speed detachables, as well as three snowboard terrain parks. Money-saving specials include Two-for-One Tickets on Tuesday, and Ladies Day Thursday, when gals get a full-day ticket for only $29 (holidays excepted). www.skirose.com

Sierra-at-Tahoe
Tel:530/659-7453
1111 Sierra at Tahoe Rd

Tahoe’s third-largest ski area is a great all-around resort, with slightly lower rates than most comparable places in the area. With more than 2,000 acres of slopes, from bunny to expert, Sierra-at-Tahoe features four terrain parks for both boarders and skiers, and 200 acres of backcountry terrain for steeps and deeps. The runs are very wide and well groomed, giving skiers plenty of room to fly down the mountain. On a powder day, don’t miss skiing the trees. If you’re staying on the South Shore, it’s a good alternative to Heavenly Ski Resort. Free ski shuttle service is available from about 40 locations in South Lake Tahoe. www.sierraattahoe.com

Alpine Meadows
Tel:530/583-4232
2600 Alpine Meadows Rd

With more than 100 runs over 2,400 acres, Alpine has something for everyone: kids’ programs, a family zone, and its “wild side” for the double-black-diamond crowd. In addition to its 14 lifts, this low-key resort has a beginner surface lift designed for children, novice skiers, and snowboarders. You can get a great bargain through its Lift & Lodging packages, which provide lift tickets and lodging (tel. 800/949-3296). Alpine also offers ski and snowboard instruction for all ages, excellent snowboarding-terrain parks, snowshoe rentals, and snow-play areas. www.skialpine.com