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Heavenly: Insider Ski & Snowboard Tips
California’s largest resort offers much in the way of ski terrain. Beginner’s will be pleased to read that the beginner slopes, which make up around 20% of Heavenly’s skiable terrain are situated further up on the mountain – as opposed to the traditional base/foothills – meaning they are treated to a unique high alpine experience.
For intermediate skiers and boarders, we suggest checking out California Trail, Orion and testing the legs on Big Dipper. For advanced riders, since 35% of terrain is for you, there’s plenty to explore. Our first point of call is the open steeps of Milky Way Bowl and surrounding runs (read: chutes) around Mott Canyon.
Heavenly is just over one hours drive south of Reno International Airport, and is perched on the California/Nevada state border. Highway 580 now connects the airport to the resort town of South Lake Tahoe, so it’s never been easier to get to. Alternatively, Heavenly can be accessed by a 5 hour drive from San Francisco. Interestingly, if you make your way there by plane, and present your boarding pass and photo ID to Heavenly guest services, you’ll receive a free afternoon lift ticket valid on the same day from 12:30pm to 4:00pm.
Heavenly has lodgings to suit all comers, from upscale South Lake Tahoe hotels on the Californian side to condos and more economical motels. Over on the Nevada side of town exists the Stateline casino hotel, which is great value for money.
Heavenly: Restaurants & Apres
Amongst Heavenly’s famous hotel casinos and numerous dining establishments, you can be sure there is a restaurant that will meet both your budget and tastes – from several award-winning steakhouses and seafood restaurants to contemporary American, Asian or Italian.
After a hard day of skiing and having satisfied any hunger, it’s time to party even harder and we recommend unbuckling at Tamarack. This après hotspot not only features incredible happy hour specials−at half price drinks−but also features plenty of live DJs. If you really want to hit the town, on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe, casinos abound.
Heavenly: Non-Skiing Activities
Heavenly is a unique resort in that its off-mountain attractions include a casino and a massive lake. If gambling at the casino and 24hr nightlife isn’t your thing, more family oriented action can be found on beautiful lake Tahoe. Unlike other North American mountain lakes such as Banff and Whistler, which tend to freeze over and enable ice skating and the like, one can fish or even take a paddle streamer cruise on the lake.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
The downside is there are quite a few flat runs if you are new to the mountain, so we found ourselves unclipping a lot. There are also a lot of rocks; got two nice scratches on my board.