Best Tahoe trails?

WA, OR, AK, NORCAL

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ftmsb
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Best Tahoe trails?

Postby ftmsb » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:37 pm

Hello all. I'll have one day in early February this year to xc ski (skating) in the Tahoe area, and I'm just seeking opinions on the area. All things being equal (meaning, snow conditions being good -- or at least the same -- everywhere), what one trail network would anyone recommend for a visiting skier? Any location more worth the trail pass fee than the others?

Thanks in advacne for any input.

singletrackmac
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Location: North Lake Tahoe

Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby singletrackmac » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:15 am

I live in North Lake Tahoe and if you want great views along with a good amount of trails try Tahoe Cross Country in Tahoe City. They have 65km on 20 trails inside the basin with great lake views. I think it's $23 all day.

If thats not enough, Tahoe Donner cross country has 50+ tails over 100km. I think they have Olympians on staff and everything. $26 all day.

And if you need more trails then that, Royal Gorge in Soda Springs is the largest
Xc ski resort in the country and has been ranked number one by Snow Country Mag. They have everything, including 200km on 60+ trails in 6000 skiable acres. $27 all day.

Arburn ski club is not as big as these others with 10 trails with 20km, but there all day fee is only $10 and I have heard it is a nice resort.

Most good xc ski resorts will be around $25 all day. There are no fee and low fee (under $10) resorts/ski areas like North Tahoe Regional park, Granlibakken ski area, Donner Memorial State park and Sugar Pine Point but trail conditions can very greatly at these places.

There are some XC ski resorts and areas in South Lake, but no where near the amount of resorts and trails as in the North Lake area. Plus, North Lake is a much nicer part of the lake than South Lake.

Have a great trip!

ftmsb
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Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby ftmsb » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:01 pm

Thanks for the input! Any can't miss trails at the above resorts? As a local, if you could only ski in the area one more day, what would you piece together?

I've become used to free trail access here in Anchorage (if you don't count annual donations to NSAA!), but I recognize that grooming isn't free and am happy (or at least resigned) to buy a trail pass where ever we end up spending the day!

singletrackmac
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Location: North Lake Tahoe

Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby singletrackmac » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:53 pm

I also generally stick to the free or donation xc ski areas. I live across the street from the the free North Tahoe Regional Park xc area, and they groom daily, but don't hit every trail everyday so you need to be ready for trail conditions changing. I ski with metal edges which makes non recently groomed trails easier for me to deal with. This park has 11km of trails, but they are not marked well.

If I only had the one day, trail fees didn't matter and all ski resorts had good snow, then I think I would choose Tahoe Cross country due to the stunning lake views. They have way more than enough trails for one day and the views are literally breath taking. This is by far the best xc ski resort in the lake basin, and if your going up to Lake Tahoe to ski, it won't feel like the full experience unless you get to see Lake Tahoe. As far as the best trails, I wouldn ask someone who works there or who is a local that has a season pass.

Auburn, Tahoe Donner and Royal Gorge are not in the basin, so no or very limited lake views. However, they get a lot more snow than in the basin, so if snow levels are an issue the weekend you head up, you may want to call Tahoe cross country to see if all trails are open.

Have a trip and post some Tahoe pics!

hegel
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Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby hegel » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:03 am

I agree with everything that singletrackma writes. I ski in the North Lake Tahoe area too. May I just add that Royal Gorge does have stunning views, just not of the Lake. Also, the snow quality at Tahoe xc and the other resorts tends to be quite different given certain conditions. Royal Gorge is mostly above tree line and sits at the crest of the Sierras; it's more susceptible to wind, sun and melt/freeze cycles than Tahoe xc imo. The latter sits down from the crest in the basin near the lake and has a lot more tree coverage. It's also more protected from wind. I think that this helps the snow to stay more consistent. Royal Gorge and Auburn do receive more snow than Tahoe xc so if there's a snow shortage they tend to have better coverage.

Enjoy your trip! The $23.00 trail fee is worth it.

Nevada
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Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby Nevada » Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:40 pm

I'm a little southeast of South Tahoe. I agree the north shore is probably a better destination for cross country. I'm not aware of any touring centers in the south. There are ungroomed trails for sure. Ok, I just read that Camp Richardson has 10k groomed trails - not much. I usually ski offtrack, so the abundant wilderness around Hope Valley and Carson Pass is all I generally look for, but I enjoyed taking my whole family to the Kirkwood Cross Country touring center (80km of groomed trail) last weekend. They had a big discount on the trail passes and a free 1 hour lesson for National Trails Day.

Because I ski with a family of four, day passes and season passes are pretty expensive. Even with discounts for the kids, a day can cost me over $80, and a season is well over $600. With the discounts and free lessons, last weekend was well worth it, but I probably won't have another chance to do it again until next year. The groomed slopes are nice for the family to work on skills. My kids, 8 and 9 really improved their turns, and my wife was able to get skills for a lot more control on descents. Those skills would have taken a lot longer to acquire on soft snow.

So I'm definitely interested in places that are free or that only ask for donations. I could pay something, but $80 is too much for day passes, especially if we'll only be there a couple of hours.

I am checking out North Tahoe Regional Park for sure. Are there any other free or donation places?

sil_val_xc
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Re: Best Tahoe trails?

Postby sil_val_xc » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:42 pm

Check Marcus Libkind's website, http://www.backcountryskitours.com/, for a great list of places to ski. Don't forget a Sno Park permit, required for parking in many locations.


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