SPECTACULAR SKIING IN NEVADA THIS WINTER
The ski season opens in November and runs through to April and with more than 33 feet of snow annually, unlimited nightlife and the stunning scenery of Lake Tahoe, it’s no wonder that hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Nevada each year. The best skiing in the state is at Lake Tahoe where many Olympic athletes train on the slopes surrounding the lake, and many holidaymakers flock to each year to try their hand at skiing and snowboarding. The most famous Tahoe ski resorts are Squaw Valley USA, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and Heavenly Mountain Resort, which straddles the Nevada-California state line, but there are actually over 15 ski resorts surrounding the lake, and all within a quick drive from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
DIAMOND PEAK SKI RESORT
On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Diamond Peak Ski Resort has runs that feel like they’ll end in the lake’s shimmering blue water. Few other resorts boast these spectacular lake views and a monthly full-moon ‘Last Tracks’ event is the best way to experience this. During Last Tracks, skiers ride a lift up to the mountaintop lodge just before sunset to enjoy wine and appetizers and then ski down freshly groomed trails as the sun sets over the lake. For more information, please visit www.diamondpeak.com.
MOUNT ROSE – SKI TAHOE
Nevada’s other north shore ski resort is Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe, the “locals’ favourite.” Mt. Rose boasts some of the most challenging runs at the lake, the triple-black-diamond ‘Chutes’. These near-vertical runs test even the strongest skier and boarder. Besides boasting some of the toughest terrain at the lake, Mt. Rose is gathering attention as a top eco-ski resort: and recently won a 70% environmentally friendly rating from the Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition, who encourage skiers to visit the resort and support their initiative, The Green Rose programme, which is dedicated to maintaining the resort’s eco-friendly status, with ongoing initiatives ranging from recycling to habitat protection. For more information, please visit www.mtrose.com.
HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT
On the south shore of Tahoe, you’ll find the vast Heavenly Mountain Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Right in the heart of the action, its gondola lifts off from the main street of the city of Stateline, where you’ll find casinos, hotels, nightclubs, shopping and dining. The area surrounding the gondola is called Heavenly Village, and this is where non-skiers can relax and unwind all day sipping hot chocolate, shopping and watching the action. There are also plenty of options for those who would rather keep two feet safely in their own shoes. Rent snowshoes to explore the mountainside, jump on a giant inner-tube, or sled and slide on the snow to bring out your inner child. Nearby Zephyr Cove (www.zephyrcove.com) offers snowmobile tours through the snowy Tahoe backcountry, or visitors can fly down the mountain in the Heavenly Flyer, a 3,100-foot zip-line ride, the longest ZipRider in the continental United States. For more information, please visit www.skiheavenly.com.
APRÈS SKI NEVADA STYLE
When the lifts close and the sun sets that’s when the “après ski” fun begins. Nevada ski resorts are 24-hours of fun and adventure. With the exceptional skiing, winter activities, and nightlife, it’s easy to see why Lake Tahoe is one of the premier ski destinations in the world. Nearly every Lake Tahoe hotel, casino and ski resort has its own après ski event. The south shore hotels, including Harrah’s, Harveys, MontBleu, Horizon and Lakeside Inn, put together post-ski drink specials, music, contests and giveaways to keep the party going all night long. On the north shore, the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe’s Cutthroat Saloon is always a hot party after the ski resorts close with food and drink specials and giveaways.
NOT JUST SKIING IN NEVADA’S WINTER WONDERLAND
Nevada means ‘snow covered’ in Spanish, and certainly lives up to its name during the winter season. With over 400 inches of snow, 24,000 acres of ski runs, 18 resorts, and a huge selection of fine dining and entertainment for the all important après ski, Nevada offers a huge range of winter activities for all holidaymakers.
Snowmobiles are the new way of getting around town. Leave the skis at home, hop-on the motor engine and get up to speeds of 150mph on snow and frozen lakes. The perfect way for a self-given tour of the stunning forests, hills and lakes Nevada has to offer. Feel the wind in your hair and effortlessly glide through the snow as you race through one of America’s favourite backdrops. Reno Outdoor Tours (www.wildsierra.com) offer an introduction and tour of Snowmobile adventures exploring various trails of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe. Prices start at USD $169.00 (approx: £107) per person based on a group of two and vary with group size. Price includes food and beverages.
Round up the huskies and be pulled by these majestic animals through a snow covered Nevada. The young and young at heart will never forget the feeling of dogs barking, fast as the wind as they maneuver through the pines, winding down the trail. Visitors will be dropped at a staging area for photos and petting the dogs. This is a great adventure for couples and families. Sierra Adventures (www.wildsierra.com) offer dog sledding tours. Prices start from USD $249 (approx: £159) per person based on group of two and vary with group size.
Take to the hills in a tobogganing adventure and race downhill to find the ultimate champion. Nevada offers a number of tobogganing runs, which can be enjoyed by every member of the family. Away from created tracks, adventurists can enjoy a day of fun tobogganing down the mountain sides on regular sleds. Adults can get back to their childhood, while introducing their children to activities they used to enjoy. Getaway from the video games and motor sports and opt for something more environmentally friendly this winter. For more information, please visit www.tahoebest.com.
HORSE AND CARRIAGE RIDES
Nevada is home to almost half of the nation’s free-roaming wild horses and you could spot them in their natural habitat while being pulled by your own horse and carriage. Experience this romantic adventure either privately or part of a group tour with friends and be swept away by Nevada’s winter wonderland. Horse and carriage rides are the perfect activity for an anniversary or even a proposal that no-one could say no to. The beautiful horses are a wonderful way to get away from the busy towns and back to nature. For more information, visit www.sleighride.com.
Rink on the River at Reno is an enjoyable activity for everyone. Mingle with the locals and other visitors in the heart of the city for festive fun, and indulge in a group lesson to get your skills up to scratch. The rink is open every day, dependent on weather conditions, during the winter season (Nov to Feb), with extended evening hours on the weekends. Tickets start from USD $5.50 (approx: £3.50) and skate rental is $2.50 (approx: £1.60). For more information, please visit www.reno.gov.
Conversion rate USD $1 = GBP £0.63. Prices converted at time of press.
The above image is credited to “Heavenly Mountain Resort”
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