Heavenly is unique among North American ski resorts. Straddling the California/Nevada state line and located on the edge of Lake Tahoe the views are truly incredible. On one side of the mountain you feel like you are about to ski down to the Nevada desert floor whilst on the other you are faced with stunning Alpine scenery leading down to the Lake. Coupled with a relaxed California vibe and the incredible value of the accommodation, Heavenly is a firm favourite with everyone who visits the area. We go back year after year!
The resort is an easy 4 hour drive from San Francisco (although why not take a night or two in the city as well?) to the town of South Lake Tahoe, at the base of the ski area. The town offers a good range of hotels and also large townhomes so it is perfect for couples, families and groups. The majority of our customers have a hire car so getting around is never a problem but there is also the free resort shuttle.
Another dimension to Heavenly is the casinos on the Nevada side of town. Coming down from an incredible bluebird powder day on the mountain to then go and win your fortune in the likes of the Mont Bleu or Harveys makes for a pretty epic trip! There is a good buzz at this end of town and there are some fantastic bars (try the enormous margheritas in Cabo Wabo).
If you are looking for a more sedate pace then the hotel rooms and condos on the lakeshore are in the perfect location. There are also some great restaurants down here – the Riva Grill is wonderful for a special occasion.
In terms of the skiing there is a huge variety to be found in this area. Heavenly itself is the biggest resort in California with around 80% of the terrain aimed at intermediates and above. The resort has everything from tree skiing areas for those taking their first turns off piste to the Gun Barrel which is a must for all those who think they have moguls sorted – your knees won’t thank you that evening!
The snow is plentiful – when it snows, it really snows – and California isn’t known as the Sunshine State for nothing. Lake Tahoe boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year so make sure you pack your SPF 50 as winter sun takes on a new meaning here.
And the variety doesn’t stop there. Within an hour’s drive of Heavenly you can ski up to 7 other resorts on the same lift pass. For those looking for a bit more adventure Kirkwood and Squaw Valley are a must whilst Northstar has some of the best park terrain in North America and great skiing for families. The entire area is ideal for those looking to do a Safari on a budget or even for those just looking to do a longer trip.
Additionally Heavenly can be combined with Mammoth as a full California Safari and also the cities of San Francisco, Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
Insider's guide to Heavenly ski resort
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