Skiing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think Reno, but the “Biggest Little City in the World” is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Reno/Tahoe area gets more than 500 inches of the white stuff every year. There are 18 ski resorts within a short drive from the entertainment and nightlife in the Biggest Little City. That’s the highest concentration of ski and snowboard resorts in all of North America. This makes Reno an excellent base for snowy winter adventures.
Surprisingly, the city of Reno only sees an average of 23.5 inches of snowfall a year, but drive a couple miles to the mountains and you’ve got incredible access to ski resorts that receive upwards of 40 feet of snow annually. Plus, Reno is an ideal choice for someone looking to experience it all, thanks to the city’s array of outdoor and indoor activities.
The unique Sierra Nevada Mountains feature runs and trails and terrain parks for every level of skier or boarder and every degree of talent. There are challenging moguls and powder chutes for veterans, spectacular half-pipes and terrain parks, rails and trick jumps for snowboarders, and bunny trails for the little ones.
Mt Rose is the closest ski resort to Reno – only a 25 minute drive away. Mt Rose Ski Tahoe (as it’s officially known) has a great family vibe and is largely a locals’ ski area. There’s no lodging on-mountain so most stay in Reno lodging.
You can also ski Reno at Diamond Peak which is fantastic for beginners and is also very family oriented. Diamond Peak Ski Resort is a little past Mt Rose (37 miles away). If you’re looking to experience the area’s best and biggest. head 90 minutes southwest to Heavenly Ski Resort in southern Lake Tahoe. Catering to every experience level and boasting 4,800 acres of terrain, Heavenly is the highest and largest resort in Lake Tahoe. Other resorts to explore include Northstar, Kirkwood and Squaw Valley. Experience some of the most technologically advanced lifts and snow equipment at Squaw or enjoy the ultimate ski village at Northstar. Whatever type of resort you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it just a short drive from Reno.
If you don’t happen to ski or snowboard but still want to explore this winter wonderland, then there is a multitude of other options. Many resorts in and around Reno and Lake Tahoe offer other winter options. Sleigh rides, ice skating, snowmobiling, ice-skating, snowshoeing, and dog sledding are also great ways to actively explore these beautiful regions.
Some of the Resorts in the Area
Mt. Rose – 22.9 mi.
Donner Ski Ranch – 32.6 mi.
Diamond Peak – 34.0 mi.
Tahoe Donner Downhill – 42.1 mi.
Boreal – 44.5 mi.
Sugar Bowl – 45.0 mi.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows – 46.7 mi.
Soda Springs – 47.9 mi.
Homewood Mountain Resort – 55.7 mi.
Check out a few more reasons why Reno is the best destination for a winter skiing
- Summit elevations range from 7,350 to 10,100 feet. That just about guarantees 20-foot snow packs and ski seasons that can last from November until long into from shorts & tank top season.
- With a variety of ski resorts and unique mountain range, everyone from beginners to advanced riders are guaranteed a fantastic time, not to mention incredible views.
- Even if you’re off the slopes you’ll find ice-skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling with unbeatable views.
- Staying in nearby Reno gives you an impressive selection of hotels to stay at with luxury spas, entertainment, and great stay-and-ski packages.
When you get back to Reno after a long day of skiing or riding, treat yourself to one of the 1,200 different culinary options waiting for you in the city and it won’t come as a big surprise to learn that casinos are ranked as the No. 1 attraction in Reno. More than 60 gaming locations inhabit this city of 200,000.
No, Reno may not be the first destination you think of for a ski vacation but it should be your last!
(This post originally appeared as a guest post on FamilyTravelUS.com)