On Friday night, as we sat gridlocked for an hour at the chain control checkpoint on Highway 80 just 15 miles outside of Tahoe, the snow and ice taunting our increasingly useless windshield wipers, we predicted a sad and skiless weekend. But, as we do, we made the most of it. Should you get stuck in Tahoe in a winter storm, find some fun by taking a walk in our (snow)shoes.
Spring Break is typically celebrated on the beach, but these five mountain locations less than 350 miles from San Francisco can give you a unique spring trip experience. Whether you want to do some spring skiing, drink and dine, hike and bike or mellow out in a hot spring, these mountain destinations are close to home.
Forego Route 80’s Tahoe-bound traffic, and escape to Telluride, Colorado with your sanity intact. Here the slopes are still rugged and untamed, and the southwestern climate ensures light, fluffy snow. With runs so pristine, you won’t want to leave the mountain—and with so many restaurants and cafes, there really is no need.
In the Bay Area, the lines between outdoor gear and city wear are blurry. There aren't many other places where you see an abundance of North Face jackets at bars and Lululemon pants on the bus. Come winter, when weekend warriors take a powder to get to powder in Tahoe, their clothes must be snow tested and city approved. Enter Pop Outerwear, a San Francisco-based company that designs for “the 9-to-5'ers that dream of snow.”
Goodbye Tahoe. Hello California.
That’s the track Northstar resort is taking after the recent decision to make an adjustment to its moniker.
“There was a massive line of debate on whether we should make the change,” said Bill Rock, the resort’s chief operating officer. “But (the change) is a statement of where the brand is going.”
So, instead of going to Northstar-at-Tahoe, a popular Truckee-area destination for San Francisco snowsports enthusiasts since its opening in 1972, skiers and snowboarders will now be making tracks at Northstar California (that little star logo seen around the resort has been tweaked a bit as well).
There's a first time for everything. After a historical season, novelty skiing — and riding — will be in full effect this Fourth of July in Lake Tahoe. If May skiing didn't satiate your snow appetite, there's more, lots more. The last time I spent the 4th in Tahoe I tubbed down the river, wakeboarded, and hiked. This time, I can do all of the above...and SKI.
The typical Tahoe weekend plan goes like this: Scramble to get as much work done by noon on Friday as is humanly possible, then load up the car, cross the Bay Bridge, and pray you'll make it to Truckee in less than six hours. If there's snow, chains, or an accident anywhere along the route, settle in for the long haul. Spend Saturday skiing and drinking, wake up Sunday with an altitude-hangover headache, and reverse the trek on Sunday.
But what if you've got kids in tow—and not the kind of superhuman toddlers who can whiz down a blue slope in their baby skis at 30 mph, but regular, old-school carpet crawlers who just want some snow angels and sleds?