There are few things better than waking up on a bluebird day after a several feet of snow had fallen from the night before.
Winter in Tahoe is simply magical and the staff at Cedar House, all of whom are outdoor enthusiasts, is here to assure that your visit exceeds your every expectation. Tahoe is a mecca for snow activities and offers incredible diversity in winter recreation. Our mountains provide limitless opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing and climbing, plus much more. There is something for everyone, whether you come to the mountains to relish in the quiet of a snowy alpine forest, or to have an adrenaline pumped day shredding the slopes of one of the dozens world class resorts that surrounds Lake Tahoe. Your perfect winter escape is just a phone call away. 530.582.5655.
T3 ADVENTURES – Our in house adventure company (formerly known as Tahoe Trips & Trails), offers guided single and multi-day excursions year round in Lake Tahoe and beyond. T3 utilizes the best in local knowledge, offering guests an authentic outdoor adventure. In winter, come with us on a snowshoe hike – climbing a snowy peak to catch that one of a kind view of Tahoe’s majestic winter paradise. T3’s website is currently undergoing construction as we develop our NEW summer trekking adventure clinics. Stay tune for that exciting announcement. Meanwhile, feel free to call the Cedar House at 530.582.5655 for more information. If you wish to explore the winter trails on your own, T3 has snowshoe equipment available to rent , exclusively for Cedar House guests only.
CORPORATE OR CUSTOM TRIPS – Cedar House and T3 Adventure can help you create the perfect corporate retreat. With irresistible trails, fresh mountain air, pure water and unbridle exploration – Tahoe is the ideal location to host your next business retreat. Who says that you can’t mix business with pleasure! For more information, please click our MEETING’s link or call Patty at 530.582.5655.
NORTH AMERICAN SKI TRAINING CENTER (NASTC) – www.skinastc.com - Improve your skiing with the best trainers on the best mountains and resorts worldwide. NASTC is a performance ski school , offering multi-day, full immersion and adventure ski training clinics for intermediate through advance skiers taught by members of the PSIA National Demonstration Team and AMGA certified Guides. NASTC and Cedar House have partner together for many years to offer guests unparalleled service in both adventure, ski training and lodging. Contact NASTC direct at 530.582.4772 – or check out their list of winter clinics on their website.
NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA | 10-min drive | Beginner to Intermediate Terrain | “family friendly and great tree skiing”
The resort is known to be very family friendly. Since most of the runs at Northstar are “blue” (intermediate), many families ski together, as well. Northstar might not have the steepest runs, but it definitely has some of the longest well-groomed runs in Tahoe. The Backside and Lookout Mountain stay less crowded throughout the day and offer the steepest skiing/riding at Northstar. If you like tree skiing/riding, Northstar is your mountain. All the trees also make this resort your best bet on a windy day. The trees offer great protection, while other resorts place lifts on wind hold. Northstar’s terrain parks are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world! There are several different parks, from beginner- to-pro levels. If you always wanted to hit a rail or a box, but you could never find one that didn’t look too scary, this is where you can start becoming a “jibber.”
SUGARBOWL SKI RESORT | 20-min drive | Beginner to Advanced Terrain | “usually receive the most snow”
Sugar Bowl sits atop Donner Summit and occasionally has the best snowfall around. Its location can be a bit of a “double-edged” sword, however. As our winter storms typically blow in from the West, Sugar Bowl is the first resort to have fresh powder! It can also be very windy, with blizzard-like conditions, during a storm, which means some of the lifts could be on “wind hold.” Like Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl is considered a “local’s” mountain and a skier’s mountain as it is not a resort but a true ski area. Although it is family-friendly with an excellent ski school for children and plenty of easy intermediate runs for the whole family to enjoy, Sugar Bowl is also known as a mountain for extreme skiers. From heart-pounding chutes to gentle groomers, progressive terrain parks and side-country pursuits, you will find it all at Sugar Bowl!
ALPINE MEADOWS SKI RESORT | 25-min drive | Beginner to Advanced Terrain | “big mountain, few people”
Alpine Meadows is known as the “locals” mountain, probably because you don’t find a “scene” here like at other resorts. It is also a skier’s mountain and not a ski resort. Because it is not one of the “premiere” destinations in Tahoe– like Squaw or Heavenly– you don’t get the big crowds. Alpine Meadows is located next to Squaw Valley, so the snow and the terrain is sort of similar to Squaw. There are plenty of rock faces and steep drops. Alpine is a great place for a group of people to go to that have different levels of skiing /riding expertise. The better skiers/snowboarders that are looking for challenging terrain can find it next to a very nicely groomed easy run where the beginners can go. Alpine Meadows, like Squaw Valley, is a more aggressive mountain. You have to watch out for some crazy-fast skiers and snowboarders that just fly down the slopes.
SQUAW VALLEY USA | 25-min drive | Beginner to Advanced Terrain | “huge mountain, great village, lots of history”
The Squaw Valley Ski Resort is one of the largest and most high-concept ski areas in the US, and was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is the second-largest ski area in the Lake Tahoe Basin (after Heavenly), boasting highly-advanced chairlifts , as well as the only “funitel” in the U.S., with a base of 6,200 ft, and spread across 6 peaks and 4,000 acres, Squaw tops out at 9,050 ft above sea level. With bountiful maritime snowfall–often receiving 40+ ft, the granite-laden terrain of Squaw Valley is a mecca for “Big Mountain” (a.k.a. steep) skiing/riding. Squaw is a very aggressive mountain and is home to the KT-22 chairlift – voted best in North America by Skiing Magazine! It is also home to the longest run on the north shore: “Mountain Run” - 3.2 miles long. Due to the high elevation of Squaw Valley and all the exposed ridges, they sometimes need to place lifts on “wind hold.”
TAHOE DONNER SKI RESORT | 20-min drive | Beginner to Advanced Terrain | “affordable family fun for kids and adults”
Tahoe Donner is located in the upper region of Truckee, California. Tahoe Donner Association manages two ski areas (one for x-c skiing) and two restaurants during the winter, as well as other amenities that are open to the public during the summer. Tahoe Donner Ski Area is committed to being “the best place for family fun and learning.” Wide-open bowls, uncrowded slopes, great beginner terrain, excellent grooming, and a friendly, courteous staff await all. Tahoe Donner is one of the best ski areas for children to learn how to ski and snowboard as they are one of the few resorts in the area that start teaching kids as young as 3 years old to ski. They also boast some nice views of upper Truckee, the Martis Valley, the wester crest of Lake Tahoe, and the Carson Range.
MT. ROSE SKI RESORT | 40-min drive | Beginner to Advanced Terrain | “best views of Lake Tahoe and lots of snow”
Mt. Rose features the highest base elevation (8,260 ft.) of Lake Tahoe’s 18 ski and board resorts. With nearly 1,200 acres and 8 lifts, including two high-speed six-seat chairlifts, it offers some of the best terrain in the Lake Tahoe basin. Mt. Rose tops out at 9,700 feet, with an average annual snowfall of 400 inches. Fifty percent of the trails at Mt. Rose rank as beginner and intermediate runs, while the remaining half are designated for advanced and expert skiers and riders. “The Chutes” contain some of Tahoe’s longest, continuously steep pitches and they see little skier/rider traffic compared to the other resorts with similar terrain. The views from Mt. Rose, of Lake Tahoe and the Washoe Valley, are spectacular on a clear day! Mt. Rose recently opened its new Winters Creek Lodge on the Slide Mountain side and besides some great views, it offers some great food, too.
Every cross-country (XC for short) ski area has its own unique charm. From the extensive trail system and beautiful vista views of the nation’s largest x-c ski resort, (Royal Gorge), to several privately-owned ski areas around the Lake Tahoe basin that offer spectacular panoramic views of the lake from varying elevations. You can “stride” or “skate” in open meadows, explore secluded valleys, climb scenic overlooks or follow meandering mountain streams through aspen and pine forests to frozen alpine lakes. Great pleasures abound in Lake Tahoe for back country skiing and the adventurous can even sign up for full moon tours or overnight snow camping.
TAHOE DONNER CROSS COUNTRY | 20-min drive
Tahoe Donner is a great area for Cross Country Skiing and offers rentals and lessons. Dogs are allowed on the following trails: Cup of Tea, Piece of Cake and Dogonit.
ROYAL GORGE CROSS COUNTRY SKI RESORT | 20-min drive
Known as North America’s largest Cross Country Skiing Resort, Royal Gorge is endless array of Sierra wilderness. Dogs are allowed on Snoops Loop trail. Rentals and lessons available.
TAHOE CROSS COUNTRY SKI AREA | 35-min drive
Dogs are allowed on Special Green trail and Blue trail at Tahoe XC. Rentals and lessons available.
NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA CROSS COUNTRY SKI AREA | 10-min drive
Rentals and lessons available
TIPS: It is a good idea to take along a few things that always come in handy when you are out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
Be sure and have plenty of water (at least a quart per person/per hour). Take extra food or energy bars. Carry a compass and a trail map and know how to use them. If you have a small first-aid kit, take that along as well in your day pack. If it is sunny, you will need sunscreen and lip balm. Some people carry poles for extra stability and to propel them forward more easily.
Your number one priority should be to keep your feet dry! Wear socks made from moisture-wicking material like wool, silk, or polypropylene. For snowshoeing, your boots should be stable and comfortable. (Water-proof hiking boots are your best bet and gaiters are essential to keep the snow out of your shoes.)
On your body, think layers! Your first layer should be lightweight and breathable and the outside layer should be waterproof (in colder weather, a second layer should be insulating such as lightweight fleece or wool).
ALWAYS CARRY A HAT AND GLOVES AND WATER.
RESORT BACKCOUNTRY / SIDECOUNTRY SKIING
Earning your turns is one of the best things about the backcountry/sidecountry. Traveling in these areas without the proper gear and knowledge however is not recommended. Sugarbowl offers tours of surrounding terrain in the Donner Summit area and multi-day tours. Northstar will be venturing into the Sawtooth Ridge area introducing skiers / riders to the future terrain planned for the resort. Northstar will also be offering snow cat accessed skiing, to accommodate those powder hounds who are not up for a hike.
Squaw Valley, Sugarbowl, Alpine Meadows and Northstar all have Gates which allow you to access their “sidecountry.” It is recommended to check with the each resort on the conditions of the sidecountry day-of.
NASTC (NORTH AMERICA SKI TRAINING CENTER)
The World’s #1 Adventure Ski School. NASTC is a performance ski school offering multi-day clinics for intermediate through expert skiers, taught by PSIA Demonstration Team members and AMGA ski guides. NASTC offers all-mountain free skiing clinics at resorts all over the world. They also offer backcountry skiing skills courses and guided ski mountaineering. They are dedicated to providing upper level skiers with the best instruction at the world’s premier mountains.
PACIFIC CREST SNOWCATS
Come explore deep into the backcountry with Pacific Crest Snowcats—Lake Tahoe’s only snowcat-assisted backcountry skiing and snowboarding service. Experience the best snow conditions in the area on our steep north-facing runs. The terrain, visited initially, inspired their operation; and you too will be inspired when you ski with them. The open slopes and tree runs will remind you of the best “off-piste” areas at your favorite ski resort. The longest run is fifteen-hundred feet (our average run length is 1200 vertical feet) and begins near 8,000 feet, through nicely spaced trees and long vertical clearings left by historic logging crews. The Spring “corn” is managed to provide smooth “corn” throughout the late season. The steep terrain is second-to-none in the area and has entertained some of the best snowboarders and skiers around. The snow stays fresh for days and days. The guides have never taken a group down a run with tracks! Pacific Crest Snowcats also provides guided snowshoe tours, moonlight tours, and fully customizable tours.
Just around the corner from the hotel is the Hilltop area, where the very first ski lift was built in the Truckee area. The area just above the Cottonwood restaurant is privately owned, but the owner is a friend of The Cedar House Sport Hotel, therefore our guests are welcome to go sledding up there. To get there, go left out of our driveway, make a left onto Old Brockway Rd and follow the road straight up until you have trees to the left and right of you. Park your car somewhere on the right side and make your way through the trees onto the open slope like area. We have a few saucers that our guests can borrow.
Northstar, Squaw Valley, Boreal, Alpine Meadows and Soda Springs offer a designated area for tubing. All resorts rent tubes; you cannot bring your own tubes. Tubers have to be at least 42 “tall.
SODA SPRINGS SNOWPLAY AREA
Soda Springs is a small resort off of Highway 80 close to Sugar Bowl Ski Area. They have a snow-play area designed for children ages 8 and under, with snow carousels and tubing. This is a great place for children to play in the snow, and for learning how to ski and snowboard. There are instructors on site, but they encourage parents to be there for your children’s first turns. They also have “mini-snowmobiles” for children 6—12 yrs old to ride on their circular track; helmets are provided.
Royal Gorge, Tahoe CrossCountry and Tahoe Donner each have dog-friendly trail(s). Dont forget that we rent snowshoes at the Front Desk of the Cedar House. We have a brand new inventory of “Tubbs” Snowshoes which are revered as some of the best, if not the best brand. Rentals are $15/day per pair.
NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA | 10-min drive
Phone Number: 530.562.1010
- 65 km of the cross-country trail system
- Entire mountain accessible
- Snowshoe Rentals at the Cross-Country Center
ROYAL GORGE | 20-min drive
Phone Number: 530.426.3871
- North America’s largest cross-country ski resort
- 90 groomed trails
- 1 dog friendly trail
SQUAW VALLEY | 25-min drive
Phone Number: 530.583.6300
- 18 groomed km
SPOONER LAKE | 35-min drive
Phone Number: 775.749.5349
- Very picturesque
- 9000 acres in the Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
- 90 km trail system
TAHOE DONNER | 20-min drive
Phone Number: 530.587.9484
- 100 groomed km
- 3 dog friendly trails
TAHOE CROSSCOUNTRY | 35-min drive
Phone Number: 530.583.5475
- 65 km trail system
- 2 dog friendly trails
All the below mentioned wilderness snowshoe trails are dog friendly. Dont forget that we rent snowshoes at the Front Desk of the Cedar House. We have a brand new inventory of “Tubbs” Snowshoes which are revered as some of the best, if not the best brand. Rentals are $15/day per pair.
CASTLE PEAK AREA | 20-min drive | moderate to challenging terrain
Castle Peak (elevation 9,103) is one of the icons of Donner Summit. This mountain is visible and easily accessible from nearby Interstate 80. The hike begins on the south side of Interstate 80 at the Castle Peak exit/PCT parking lot. Go underneath the Freeway and turn left towards the Boreal Inn, the parking lot is located at the end of the street. A Sno-Park permit is required for parking, this can be purchased online and printed at the front desk. Start hiking on the PCT(Pacific Crest Trail) until you come to a junction, make a left towards Castle Pass and I-80. You will go through a tunnel underneath the freeway. In a mile and half you’ll reach a junction you can stay on the PCT towards Peter Grubb Hut/Castle Peak or turn right towards Summit Lake and Frog lake overlook. Keep in mind that there are several snowmobilers that enjoy this trail as well in the winter. Your inclination may be to follow a random trail, but it may lead you into the abyss or an avalanche area so keep to the path where people have been snowshoeing.
MARTIS CREEK WILDLIFE AREA | 5-min drive | easy terrain
This is a 4-5 mile loop trail around a meadow bordering Martis Camp and the Northstar Golf Course. The trail starts on the right side off of highway 267, look for a blue “don’t drink and drive” sign, the parking lot turn out is right after the sign. There is a gate that is closed in the winter, you park in front of the gate and walk past the gate to the trailhead. You can do the loop counter clock wise or clock wise. The clockwise options allows for great views of the Donner mountain range.
DONNER MEMORIAL STATE PARK | 15-min drive | easy terrain
There are a few trail options in the state park, one is the trail that starts off of Donner Pass Road. Park along the fence on the left side of the road after the state park entrance. Follow the trail towards the bridge, cross the bridge and follow the trail along the lake all the way to china cove.
The other trail option starts behind the Emigrant Trail museum and will take you through a meadow. For this trail you can pay for parking to park inside the park or park along the road and walk into the park.
BROCKWAY SUMMIT TO SPUR VIEW TRAIL OVERLOOK | 15-min drive | moderate terrain
This trail is part of a Tahoe Rim Trail section it is 3 miles total in and out. The trail offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe right from the start. The parking lot is off of highway 267 on the right hand side shortly after you get to the top of Brockway summit and start descending. There is a brown sign with a hiker by the parking lot. The parking lot is small and can only hold about 10-15 cars. After you park, cross the street go up the forest road, the trail head will be at the left hand side. Follow the trail up through the forest, after about a mile you will come to a junction, turn left at the junction to reach the overlook. If you like to continue hiking go back to the junction and go straight onto the TRT.
COLDSTREAM CANYON | moderate terrain
This trail starts off by the Chevron Gas Station off of Donner Pass Road.
Park along the fence across from the hotel. There is a closed gate, the road behind the gate is the access to the canyon. If there is snow on the road you can snowshoe on the road, if not you can snowshoe on the trail to the left of the road. At the end of the paved road follow the forest road to the left, there will be a junction, follow the trail to the left along the canyon. The trail will start to climb from here and will take you to 2 ponds that are connected and will continue counterclockwise around the ponds. This is a beautiful roughly 5.5 mile loop that provides a wilderness feeling and beautiful views.
TRUCKEE REGIONAL PARK THE VILLAGE AT NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA HIGH CAMP AT SQUAW VALLEY USA
There is an ice skating rink in the Truckee River Regional Park, which is located just a few hundred yards from the hotel. It is a charming, little, traditional ice skating rink. They offer skate rentals, public and private lessons, as well as a snack bar. In the evenings, enjoy a bonfire and music. To get there, go left out of our driveway and follow the road for 0.5 miles, turn right at the sign shown in the picture at right. The Ice skating rink is at the end of the parking lot on the right-hand side.
In the center of the Village-at-Northstar, there is a 9,000 square foot ice skating rink. Use of the rink is complimentary, and skates can be rented for $5/pair. Surrounding the rink are multiple fire pits with comfortable seating. Another feature at the rink is a stage – playing live music on weekends. Also located around the ice skating rink are three outdoor bars to serve you! (try a “Snuggler” – hot chocolate and peppermint Schnapps) Sold at most shops and bars in the Village-at- Northstar are Smore’s Kits – which are great for sitting around the fire after a day of riding or skating.
The Olympic Ice Pavillion at Squaw Valley is located at High Camp, at 8,200 feet, next to the swimming lagoon. The rink offers great views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area while skating. The Olympic Ice Pavilion is also environmentally friendly, utilizing the most technologically advanced refrigeration system of its kind.
TRUCKEE REGIONAL PARK
THE VILLAGE AT NORTHSTAR CALIFORNIA
HIGH CAMP AT SQUAW VALLEY USA
BEFORE HEADING TO SNOW COUNTRY
- Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.
- Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures.
- You may need to add concentrated windshield washer fluid to the windshield washer fluid reservoir to prevent an icy windshield.
- Check your tires. Make sure they are properly inflated and the tread is in good condition. Always carry chains. Make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. You might want to take along a flashlight and chain repair links. Chains must be installed on the drive wheels. Make sure you know if your vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.
- Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial de-icer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free you car if it is “snowed in”, sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands.
- It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them.
- Weather conditions may warrant detouring traffic from the main roadway. It is strongly suggested that drivers always keep an updated map containing the areas of travel.
- If you have a cellular telephone, pre-load the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) phone numbers for convenient, updated road conditions.
- Put an extra car key in your pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.
- Allow enough time. Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter that other times of the year, especially if you encounter storm conditions or icy roads. Get an early start and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Keep your gas tank full. It may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad storm or you may be caught in a traffic delay.
- Keep windshield and windows clear. You may want to stop at a safe turnout to use a snow brush or scraper. Use the car defroster and a clean cloth to keep the windows free of fog.
- Slow down. A highway speed of 65 miles per hour may be safe in dry weather, but an invitation for trouble on snow and ice. Snow and ice make stopping distances much longer, so keep your seat belt buckled and leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. Remember to avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
- Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter by weather conditions. Slow down and watch for other vehicles that have flashing lights, visibility may be so restricted during a storm that it is difficult to see the slow moving equipment.
- When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. Be alert to any possible exhaust or monoxide problems.
- R1: Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles.
- R2: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels. (NOTE: Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)
- R3: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.
- You must stop and put on chains when highway signs indicate chains are required. You can be cited by the California Highway Patrol and fined if you don’t. You will usually have about a mile between “Chains Required” signs and the checkpoint to install your chains.
- Control areas can change rapidly from place to place because of changing weather and road conditions.
- The speed limit when chains are required is 25 or 30 miles an hour.
- When you put on chains, wait until you can pull completely off the roadway to the right. Do not stop in a traffic lane where you will endanger yourself and block traffic.
- Chain Installers: If you use the services of a chain installer, be sure to get a receipt and jot the installer’s badge number on it. Remember, chain installers are independent business people, not Caltrans employees. Having the badge number may help with any misunderstandings later. Chain installers are NOT allowed to sell or rent chains.
- When removing chains, drive beyond the signs reading “End of Chain Control” to a pull-off area where you can safely remove them.
CALTRANS HIGHWAY INFORMATION NETWORK (CHIN)
Caltrans officials urge you to check road conditions often. To help keep abreast of changing conditions, Caltrans operates the Caltrans Highway Information Network which motorists may telephone – 800.427.7623 – for up-to-the-minute information in California and Western Nevada (Lake Tahoe/Reno Area). The network is updated as conditions change, and is voice-activated for safety and convenience.