Despite summer fires, Tahoe ski resorts are opening for season
Nov 9, 2021
tahoe ski resorts

Palisades Tahoe, formerly Squaw Valley Ski Resort in California, has opened for the 2021-22 season. Photo courtesy Palisades-Tahoe.

If you’re wondering how the wildfires in California might impact Tahoe ski resorts this season, listen up.

The fires near Lake Tahoe started in mid-August and weren’t fully contained until mid-October. They scorched nearly 350 square miles of the Sierra Nevada and consumed hundreds of homes.

But most Tahoe ski resorts weren’t affected, and snow skiers shouldn’t notice much difference. And now is a good time to support the region.

Lake Tahoe boasts the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America. Ski resorts are opening on time, and a few are opening even earlier than usual, thanks to an October storm dropped a foot and a half of snow on the mountains.

Opening dates at Tahoe ski resorts

Lifts are already turning at Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) and Boreal Mountain Resort. The opening marks only the third time in Palisades Tahoe’s 72-year history that the resort has opened for the winter season in October.

Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain will open Nov. 19, and Sugar Bowl Resort opens Nov. 26.

Kirkwood, the resort most impacted by the summer fires, is on track to open Dec. 3. Diamond Peak Ski Resort opens Dec. 9. Opening dates have not been announced at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Homewood Mountain Resort.

Read more: What’s new at ski resorts this season?

Anyone with an Epic Pass can use it to ski Heavenly, Northstar, and Kirkwood. The Ikon Pass covers Palisades and Alpine Meadows.

Austin travelers interested in checking out the area can hop a new daily non-stop flight from Austin to Reno. The American Airlines flight departs Austin at 7:55 p.m. and arrives in Reno at 9:32 p.m. The return flight departs Reno at 6 a.m. and arrives in Austin at 11:22 a.m. From the Reno airport, it takes about 45 minutes to get to either the North Shore or South Shore of Lake Tahoe. From there, it’s just minutes to the slopes.

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