Lake Tahoe is enjoying the largest snowpack in 22 years. With such an insane base, several ski resorts are extending their ski seasons into June, and possibly even to the 4th of July.
This means not just excellent spring ski conditions, but also the opportunity for those magical "dual days" when the weather is perfect for both winter and summer fun. Go skiing in the morning, and kayaking or hiking in the afternoon. At night, hit up the area's best and newest restaurants and bars.
North Shore: Ski, Swim + Summer Barbecue
According to the National Weather Service, Mount Rose Ski area, on the Nevada side of the lake, officially has the most snow in North America with nearly 700 inches of snowfall! Mount Rose is popular for beginner runs, and its Winter's Creek Lodge has views of the Truckee Meadows and quick access to hot pools and springtime hikes. Head down Mount Rose Highway and check out the gushing waterfall at Reno's Hunter Creek Trail, or relax in the private chakra baths at Steamboat Hot Springs. // Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, 22222 Mount Rose Highway (Reno), skirose.com
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are both boasting around 620 inches of the white stuff. Add a lift ticket and rentals to a private ski lesson for only $69. Afterwards, soak your sore legs at 8,200 feet at the High Camp Pool & Hot Tub (pictured at top). For dinner at Six Peaks Grille, chef Tim Hmay serves produce from the resort's Rooftop Roots garden. Try a Garden to Glass" cocktail such as the Asian pear mule with Tahoe Blue vodka, lemon, and ginger beer. // Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, 1960 Squaw Valley Road (Olympic Valley), squawalpine.com; Resort at Squaw Creek, 400 Squaw Creek Road (Olympic Valley), squawcreek.com.
Northstar California has a season total of 607 inches of snow and some of the longest and best beginner runs on the north shore. Plus, both the Resort at Northstar and the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe have yearround outdoor heated pools with stellar views of the peaks. The pulled-pork sandwiches with housemade barbecue sauce and coleslaw at the Ritz's Backyard Bar & BBQ will remind you of summer, especially if you partake in the bar's dual season cocktails like the house-made mulled wine with cloves, cinnamon, orange and nutmeg. Pour the same mixture over ice for a spicy sangria when the weather is warm and sunny. // Northstar California, 5001 Northstar Drive (Truckee), northstarcalifornia.com; The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, 13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Court (Truckee), ritzcarlton.com.
South Shore: Board, Sail + Soak
Heavenly glistens with 4,800 skiable acres primed for beginner and seasoned boarders. Newbies should start at Groove for its smaller rails and wedges; others can play all day on the tubing hill. Not feeling the snow? Get your sea legs on the Tahoe Bleu Wave, a luxurious 70-foot yacht with lunch cruises to Emerald Bay in winter and spring. // Heavenly Lake Tahoe, 4080 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (South Lake Tahoe), skiheavenly.com; // Tahoe Bleu Wave, 300 U.S. Highway 50 (Zephyr Cove), tahoebleuwave.com.
If that chilly wind picks up, the south shore's newest Joie de Vivre hotel, Hotel Becket beckons with indoor hot tubs, a sauna, and private beach. (Remington, the resort's Bernese mountain dog, is happy to meet your pets. At happy hour, use the Facebook phrase of the day for $1 deals at Ten Crows BBQ, or taste the summery organic cream soda and root beer at Moonhouse Brewhouse. // Hotel Becket, 4003 Lake Tahoe Boulevard (South Lake Tahoe), hotelbecket.com; Moonhouse Brewhouse, 2040 Dunlap Drive (South Lake Tahoe), moonhousebrew.com
West Shore: Snowshoe, Stand Up Paddle + All-Day Pho
Start the weekend early with a Friday night sunset snowshoe tour (through April) with Tahoe Adventure Company—your guide will lead you through deep, snowy forests while discussing Tahoe's history. If you miss out, rent your own shoes at West Shore Sports and tackle the peaks yourself. If you want to experience summer in winter (and don't mind wearing a wetsuit), take the Discover Paddleboarding Tour with TAC. (You can also rent your own SUP or kayak from Watermans Landing in Carnelian Bay.) Even though Lake Tahoe never freezes, the lake doesn't fill up with speed boats until July, so while paddling on the clear, cold spring waters of the lake, you'll have the place to yourself. // Tahoe Adventure Company, 7010 N. Lake Boulevard (Tahoe Vista), tahoeadventurecompany.com.
The new Tahoe City Winter Sports Park offers sledding, ice skating, fat-tire biking, and cross-country skiing all in one location. For less than $20, rent sledding discs for the single man hill or skates for the lakeside ice rink. The Winter Sports Park also has a pet-friendly snowshoe track and a separate trail for Fat Bike riding. While the lake level snow lasts, these Fat Bike trails will be the smoothest and most unique bike trails at the lake. // Tahoe City Winter Sports Park, 251 N. Lake Boulevard (Tahoe City), wintersportspark.com
After a day at the Sports Park, you won't have to go far for dinner. Check out the newly opened Cafe Zenon, located right next door. The menu is eclectic—think Vietnamese French dip, arancini with arrabiata sauce, and a kimchee hot dog with Polish sausage and cream cheese. Finish the night with wine tasting ($12) at Uncorked Tahoe City. The Lompoc Pinot Noir of Santa Rita Hills tastes like summer, but will warm up chilled fingers. // Cafe Zenon, 251 N. Lake Boulevard (Tahoe City), cafezenon.com; // Uncorked Tahoe City, 475 North Lake Boulevard, Suite 151 (Tahoe City), teloswine.com/uncorked-tahoe-city.
This article was originally published in March 2017.