As fall turns the corner to winter, it’s hard not to ponder what the ski season will bring. We love this time of year and can’t wait to strap on some skis ourselves. We connect with a lot of skiers each year. Many of them, especially first-timers, have questions about the weather, gear rentals, and what it’s like to ski Palisades Tahoe.
Palisades Tahoe is the most well-known of the Tahoe resorts and was the host of the 1960 Winter Olympics (formerly as Squaw Valley). There is a lasting legacy of ski culture from that which attracts and cultivates some of the best skiers in North America. Most people would rate it as the best ski resort in Tahoe.
A few years ago, Palisades Tahoe’s ski resort area based on Olympic Valley (then known as Squaw Valley) merged with Alpine Meadows, creating the biggest skiing and snowboarding basin in the area. It spans more than 6,000 skiable acres and features 42 lifts, 270 trails as well as the European-inspired Village.
The ski area snowfall averages 450 inches each season, offering skiers one of the longest ski seasons in Lake Tahoe (often through the 4th of July) and establishing the mountain as a top destination for spring skiing.
There is a lot to choose from at Palisades Tahoe but the most popular lifts are Shirley Lake, Gold Coast, and Siberia. This is where most of the intermediate terrain is. Advanced and expert skiers have a lot more to choose from at lifts like KT-22, Headwall, Silverado, Emigrant, and Granite Chief. They do a great job with steep grooming there, so even lifts like Olympic Lady usually have at least one way down that is groomed.
Terrian Breakdown: 25% beginner, 42% intermediate, 33% advanced
Transportation at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resorts
The Palisades and Alpine Meadows base areas are connected by free shuttles and a new Base to Base gondola that just opened last season. Get your camera ready because the photo opportunities are abundant from that bird’s eye view! This season, parking reservations are required on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday periods. Remember to visit parkpalisadestahoe.com to make your reservation.
Two resorts for one ticket. Palisades Tahoe offers daily tickets, 4-Day Lift Packs and season ticket packages.
Daily ticket prices vary, and we suggest comparing ticket costs and look up the cost of lift tickets for each age group and look for the cheapest days to ski by month. An advance ticket for a Tuesday or Wednesday can be 40% off of a holiday weekend ticket price bought with only a few days’ notice. Use that search tool to find the best price. Just like certain airlines that may have “only 3 seats left at this price” next to a discount fare, the same goes for discount lift tickets at the resort. Nothing puts the pressure on more than the “only 6 left at this price!” warning.
Palisades Tahoe also is part of the Ikon Pass, which includes Steamboat and Aspen Snowmass resorts in Colorado and other California ski resorts such as Mammoth and Big Bear Mountain Resort. The Ikon Pass offers access to over 50 ski resorts worldwide and can be purchased early before the ski season is underway if you plan to do a lot of skiing.
Palisades Tahoe has everything from groomers to chutes, and everyone is guaranteed to find something suitable for their skill set.