Guide To Truckee and Lake Tahoe Spring Skiing
If you haven’t noticed, the 2022-23 ski season is the stuff of legends. Since early November, a constant parade of storms have provided the white gold skiers and snowboarders cherish. Regardless of what the rest of winter holds, with so much snow on the ground, there is one thing that's for certain - epic Truckee and Lake Tahoe spring skiing.
Spring Offer: Get a FREE $100 Gift Card
Experience spring in Truckee-Tahoe! VTT will sweeten the deal by giving you a FREE $100 gift card to shop local when you book midweek Truckee lodging between March 1-April 30th. Get the Midweek Spring Skiing Lodging Offer.
Spring Skiing In Truckee-Tahoe Is Special
Before we jump into why spring skiing is THE time to visit, let’s talk about the elephant in the room - powder. Yes, there’s nothing better than the holy grail of skiing, but it does have a dark side. With a lot of snow comes challenging road conditions and chain controls. This also translates to bumper-to-bumper traffic both on the highways as well as the lift lines. Truckee and Lake Tahoe spring skiing, on the other hand, is like a celebration of a winter well skied. Warm sun, non-existent lift lines, and what we cherish almost as much as powder - corn snow!
Many skiers think it’s mashed potatoes, but it isn’t. When it forms correctly, it resembles something like frozen corn kernels hence the name. In most mountain ranges across the world, corn snow is as elusive as powder or more so. Not so in the Sierra Nevada. Our mountain range creates some of the best in the world due to our weather. Starting around March and lasting into May or possibly later this season, when you catch it right, it’s the next best thing to powder. Follow this guide on how to harvest corn, and you’ll become a pro at finding this amazing type of snow.
Not Just About Skiing
If you love skiing and snowboarding but hate feeling cold, this is when you want to visit. By the vernal equinox, the storms’ fury is reduced drastically. Instead of freezing your fingers off, you can expect warm sunshine and plenty of daylight. This provides you the opportunity to not just ski but also do a variety of sports. Go snowboarding in the morning followed by a bike ride. In the afternoon, enjoy a standup paddle board session on Lake Tahoe and then finish it up with a bit of après or a soak in a hot tub. The options are limitless.
Best Time For Kids To Fall In Love With Snow
Spring coincides perfectly with kids’ spring break. If it’s your kid’s first time on the slopes, you can’t pick a better time of year to visit. Kids don’t like feeling cold, and as we said above, the weather in spring is perfection. You’ll also find less busy slopes meaning less stress for both you and your kids. And since the best snow conditions aren’t always in the morning, you can take your time getting to the mountain. Enjoy a leisurely pancake breakfast at one of our family friendly restaurants. Finally, reward yourself with a bit of “me” time and get them a lesson.
It’s a Celebration!
The perfect weather translates to BIG events. In late March, you have the WinterWonderGrass Festival, a multi-day bluegrass and roots music festival at Palisades Tahoe. Then on the 1st weekend in April, ski tourers and splitboarders rack up as many human-powered laps as they can in a day to the top of Mount Lincoln as part of the Sugar Bowl Uphiller. Finally, there’s arguably the most iconic spring event on the planet - the Cushing Crossing at Palisades Tahoe, a hilarious pond skim that draws a costumed crowd.
Spring Skiing Resorts
Check the Truckee-Tahoe Travel Alert for updates on ski area closing dates.
Proudly proclaiming itself as the “king of spring”, it has earned this moniker. Always pushing to close when the snow melts, which can be as late as July 4th and maybe even later this season. What really helps solidify Palisades Tahoe’s crown is the spring party scene which ramps up during this season.
Northstar California Resort
Think of Northstar as the yang to Palisades’ yin. Nestled amongst the trees overlooking the majestic Martis Valley, this is the resort to visit if you’re looking to relax, disconnect, and recharge. You still have access to countless indoor and outdoor activities but at a slower pace.
Sugar Bowl Resort
Sugar Bowl is all about skiing and snowboarding. Located near Donner Summit on old Highway 40, the ski resort contains four mountains to explore and over a hundred trails to ski and snowboard. Harkening to an era where it was solely about skiing but still keeping on pace of modern skiing with amenities such as high speed lifts and excellent grooming.
Tahoe Donner is a perfect Lake Tahoe spring skiing destination for families and first timers wanting to get out on the slopes. The wide-open, uncrowded slopes are designated as 40 percent novice and the remainder rank as intermediate to advanced. Be sure to take a break to refuel at The Lodge Restaurant & Pub – an award-winning, bistro-style spot with menus featuring French and Pacific Rim influences.
Boreal Mountain Resort
Fanatics for park laps will swoon over Boreal Mountain Resort. Home to not just one or two but NINE parks, Woodward Tahoe, AND Peace Park Tahoe. It’s become THE place to be when it comes to terrain parks and freestyle progression. It’s also a great place for new riders to learn and families to explore in an inviting atmosphere.
Backcountry Skiing and Splitboarding
Along with the veritable smorgasbord of ski resorts, Truckee and its surrounding mountains provide ample amounts of backcountry skiing opportunities. Some of the iconic spring touring destinations include places such as Castle Peak and Mt. Judah. Be aware when heading beyond the boundaries of a ski resort, it becomes YOUR responsibility. Be sure to take an AIARE class, obtain the proper safety gear (beacon, shovel, and probe), and find a mentor or go with a Truckee-Tahoe local ski guide.