Not everyone wants to throw themselves down a mountain on a pair of skis. For those people who want to enjoy the flatter surfaces of life, there are several cross-country skiing areas in the Tahoe area. Most of these areas are fee-based and have groomed, maintained trails and offer loads of open space and fresh snow.
The resort offers 50 miles of groomed trails that are mostly intermediate. Rentals are available and there are several warming huts along the paths. Dogs are allowed.
There are over 25 miles of beginner and intermediate trails at Northstar’s cross country ski area. There are several warming huts and picnic tables along the trails. Northstar also offers a biathlon area, lessons and full moon snowshoe trips.
Squaw has over 400 acres of groomed trails that encompass the area’s meadows and foothills. Squaw has rentals, lessons and cross-country and snowshoe tours.
There are over 60 miles of trails at Tahoe Donner with access to hills, valleys, meadows and forested areas. Tahoe Donner offers a children’s ski program as well as rentals and lessons.
Royal Gorge has over 40 miles of cross-country area in their pine-tree covered park. There are warming huts along the trails and a rental area with restaurant and bar.
By far the largest cross-country ski area in Tahoe, Spooner has over 9,000 acres and about 55 miles of skiing wonder. Lessons and rentals are available. There are two backcountry cabins available for overnight rental and are only accessible by cross-country ski or snowshoe.
Hope Valley Outdoor Center
No fees (donations only) are required for the over 6o miles of ungroomed, but marked trails in this area just south of Lake Tahoe. Rentals are available at the trailhead and moonlight and daylight tours are offered. You can stay or eat at the local Sorenson’s Resort down the road.
This area near Tahoe City offers 40 miles of cross-country skiing with lake views. Warming huts and some dog trails are available as well as rentals and lessons.
Tahoe Meadows, at the summit of the Mt. Rose Hwy. is where most locals go to cross-country ski. This area has no fees, but the trails are not groomed. There are several flat areas and rolling hills for some backcountry exploring. The only amenity is a bathroom near the parking area.
Photo Courtesy of [marioanima/Flickr]