Let it Snow! Plan Your Snow Activities this Winter

Winter is here which means it’s time to plan your winter trips. Pull your winter equipment out and get ready for another legendary season.  you are a hot shot skier, or your preference is to sit by a window and watch the skiers and boarders fly down the slope while you enjoy a warm drink with a fire crackling merrily behind you, take some time to enjoy the snow.

Lake Tahoe 

The Tahoe area is known for winter adventures that range from extreme to easy going. While Tahoe is home to over a dozen ski areas, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to keep everyone entertained on and off the hill — from snow tubing and ice skating to fishing and hot tubbing. And since the snow usually sticks around until spring, you have plenty of time to enjoy them all! Give the kids a break from their ski boots, and spend the day sledding at a family snowpark. Or take in the stunning vistas on snowshoes or on the miles of cross country skiing trails. Those seeking a faster pace will be thrilled with professionally guided — or self-guided — snowmobile tours amid the stunning scenery of the Sierra Mountains.

Snowshoeing

I was introduced to snowshoeing last winter while on a trip to Wyoming. My friend, Jon Fowkes, a Wyoming native, took me on a stunning walk/hike on trails that faced the Tetons. It was spectacular, and to my surprise, it was fun. It doesn’t take as much adrenaline as skiing or boarding and isn’t as physically exhausting as cross country skiing. You can be as leisurely as you want. The High Sierra in winter provides many excellent guided snowshoeing options. Whether you are looking for a leisurely naturalist-led trek covering skills, techniques and lots of natural history, or a more strenuous ascent of a nearby peak, Tahoe Adventure Company can arrange it! Your guide will offer fascinating natural and human history information along the way as well as complete instruction and safety information. No experience necessary!

A winter sunset over snow-covered pine trees and a creek

Fishing? Yes!

While not on the top of my winter activity list, yes, there is fishing on Lake Tahoe from December to April. The Mackinaw feed throughout the day and it is the perfect time to catch some fish! Who knew? A few local fishing charters that cater to visitors in the winter are Sierra Fin Addicts located in Incline Village, Captain Chris’ Fishing Charters operating out of the Tahoe City Marina, and Mickey’s Big Mack charters in Carnelian Bay. All include fish cleaning and fileting, so you can take your catch of the day straight to the grill!

Ice Skating

Grab your skates (or rent them) and hit the ice at Tahoe City Winter Sports Park.  On top of ice skating, you can sled, snowshoe, and cross-country ski.  Grab a bite to eat and a drink at Cafe Zenon while you are there.  

At Northstar Ski Resort, during the summer it’s a roller rink and during the winter months, an ice skating rink! Located in the heart of the Village, the skating rink is free for all and if you don’t have your own skates, you can rent a pair for $10. After taking some laps around the rink, relax at one of the surrounding fire pits and maybe even enjoy a cocktail!

The Truckee River Regional Park located close to downtown Truckee has an ice rink with a perfect atmosphere! Enjoy skating under tall pines, complete with bonfire, overhead lights, and music!

Snowmobiling

Okay, I have done this a few times at different resorts in California and Nevada. I was taking photos and videos of different runs, checking safety signs and other directional cues. This was when I was communications director of California Ski Industry Association. I will admit that it was fun, but it is noisy. I prefer quiet sports, so this is not my favorite. For those of you who love it, you can sign up for an exciting snowmobile adventure with Lake Tahoe Snowmobile Tours. They have been providing tours in the North Lake Tahoe area since 1985 and are North Lake Tahoe’s premier snowmobiling operation.  The tours are designed for all ages and ability levels. We have over 100 miles of trails that travel through the pristine National Forest offering spectacular views of the entire fabulous Lake Tahoe.

Sledding or Tubing

Everyone can have fun tubing and sledding. There’s no particular skill involved here, just point downhill and go! 

  • Playland Tubing, Boreal Mountain Resort’s tubing park, offers snow tubing with convenience to produce nothing but smiles for the whole family!
  • At the Tubing Hill at Northstar Ski Resort, enjoy an exhilarating ride down their 200-yard hill. Tubes and riders are transported by tow lift to the top of the hill.  
  • Palisades Tahoe Snow tubing is located at SnoVentures Activity Zone in the base area, adjacent to the parking lot. It’s a perfect place for the kids, and when they’re done, warm up at the SnoVentures Lodge! Check out Disco Tubing where Palisades Tahoe takes snow tubing to a whole new level!
  • Located in Tahoe Donner, the Snowplay area offers a full day of fun for the family with sledding, tubing, hot cocoa, & fire pits.
  • For some good ol’ fashioned sledding, check out the Granlibakken Sled Hill located at Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City.