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Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort Guide

Northstar-at-Tahoe, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForIntermediates, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift2,620m8,596ft
Resort Height1,930m6,332ft
 Nearest AirportsReno Tahoe and Sacramento
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One of the most up and coming resorts by Lake Tahoe and indeed in all of North America, recently adding new lifts, more terrain, world class hotels and other facilities such as a rare North American biathlon range.


The American ski resort of Northstar-at-Tahoe is at an altitude of 1,930m6,332ft.

Northstar-at-Tahoe has direct access to 63 marked pistes, served by a total of 12 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 1,930m6,332ft, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,620m8,596ft, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Northstar-at-Tahoe?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Northstar-at-Tahoe.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Northstar-at-Tahoe

Ski Area Stats

Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Number of runs
Cross Country
Total Length
50km31 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,620m8,596ft
Lowest Piste1,930m6,332ft
Resort Altitude (Northstar-at-Tahoe)1,930m6,332ft
Max Vertical690m2,264ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Northstar-at-Tahoe
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Northstar-at-Tahoe Overview

Northstar is one of Lake Tahoe's bigger resorts, thanks to a gradual expansion over the past 30 years. It's owned by the Vail Resorts, which also owns Heavenly to the south. Northstar has a fast, efficient lift system (which has been constantly improved to a very high standard in recent years) and an intimate, friendly feel. Northstar has had an exciting renaissance over recent years and has added a new base village since 2006. This incorporates up-market ski-in, ski-out condominiums, shops, restaurants and they hope a lively après ski scene centred on a year round ice rink and stylish fire pits. As a further enhancement Northstar added luxurious Ritz-Carlton Highlands for the 2009-10 season.

Through all this development Northstar has made a pledge to achieve environmental excellence through a newly created Sustainability Program and through various other environmental management programs.

If you are trying different resorts in Tahoe, remember Northstar is an especially good bet on bad weather days, due to its wind-sheltered location and heavy tree cover.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'The Rapids'.


Although much of Northstar's terrain is graded intermediate and easy, there are several steep sections, most notably Lookout Mountain, which added five black-diamond runs, Prosser, Stampede, Gooseneck, Boca, and Martis (named after reservoirs visible from Lookout Mountain) to the area thanks to a new quad a few seasons back. Before that the backside of the mountain and the East Ridge with its short sharp blacks like the chute dropping down from it, were the main advanced ski areas, the former home to the mile long Rapids run, right under the Backside express quad, one of the toughest on the mountain.

If you're looking for a long cruiser with postcard-worthy views of Lake Tahoe, take East Ridge to Logger's Loop to The Woods. It's 2.9 miles of gentle intermediate terrain, which offers the perfect warm-up or end to your ski day. Especially since it takes you down the least-crowded run back to The Village.

For Off Piste since Lookout Mountain was added to the lift system (it was previously accessed by snowcat, and before '97 only by hiking up), one of the main off piste attractions is no longer technically qualified as such. There are however other powder routes and tree runs which the ski school can guide you to (be wary of going in to closed areas unguided though if you don't want to risk losing, at the very least, your lift ticket). Saw Tooth Ridge offers off-piste tree runs filled with endless powder but is only open when conditions permit. Other than a private hire, Northstar-at-Tahoe offers free ride camps for skiers and riders of intermediate standard and above looking to learn new skills and perfect old ones. U.S. Freeskiing Champion Jamie Burge is based here.

Northstar-at-Tahoe offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate skiers.


Northstar also has a strong reputation for its boarding culture, thanks to its attitude, its lift system, its snow, terrain and its parks with their bumps, jumps, jibs, tabletops and half-pipes. There's a huge Superpipe on Lower Drop Off at Mid-mountain which was ranked in Transworld Snowboarding's top ten pipes in North America. Master terrain park designer Chris Gunny Gunnarson is based here. He's designed parks for events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding (which returned to Northstar for winter 05-06), the World Championships of Snowboarding and for numerous resorts around the world.

Location and Map

Where is Northstar-at-Tahoe?

This ski resort is in Placer, California, United States.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Northstar-at-Tahoe is Reno Tahoe, 68 minutes drive away.

Sacramento airport is also within three hours drive.

Reno Tahoe is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 12 ski lifts are able to uplift 19,400 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 65 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Northstar-at-Tahoe open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November, and usual closing is Mid April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Northstar-at-Tahoe, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Northstar-at-Tahoe Tourist Office for the latest.

Aprés Ski

There are several bars dotted around the mountain and down at the base. The Summit has two bars and True North the Timbercreek has an après ski bar that is often busy when the lifts close. However, The Village, with live entertainment every weekend is the main apres venue. It carries major sporting events on multiple flat-screen TV's as well as loads of drink and appetizer specials.

Free ice skating is also offered throughout the year.