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Gear Up for Lake Tahoe Cross-Country Skiing

Last updated: July 2024

Lake Tahoe boasts the largest concentration of cross-country ski areas in North America. With so many places to go, it’s smart to plan ahead, making sure you have the right clothes, skis and poles to enjoy it. You’re welcome to bring your own gear or just head our way and rent what you need when you arrive.

So what gear do you need? Where are the best spots to go? Listen in as we chat with Tahoe Dave’s Ski Tech Logan Knutzen on everything you need to know about cross-country skiing in Lake Tahoe.

Where to Find Your Gear

Tahoe Dave’s Ski and Board Shop is our go-to for all things skiing from gear to local advice. They have multiple locations in Tahoe City, Kings Beach, Olympic Valley and Truckee. Each one has everything you could need for a great day in the snow. Skis, snowboards, boots, bindings, cross-country and downhill gear, snowshoes, goggles, gloves, jackets, pants and bibs are all at the ready for pick up, drop off or exchange.

Crosscountry Skiing Tahoe Dave's

Our Picks

Match up the numbers in our cross-country skiing collage to the gear recommendations below.

  • 1: Rental skis recommended by a professional based on your skill level.
  • 2: Sunglasses with solid grip.
  • 3: Thermal jacket.
  • 4: Thick, roomy beanie.
  • 5: Comfortable, durable gloves.
  • 6: Adjustable, weatherproof pack.

Where to Go

A local favorite is Tahoe XC in Tahoe City, which offers a wide variety of trails and clinics for all levels. Skiing is free for anyone over 69 and younger than 10. They also offer classes, a ski clinic and rentals should you need them.

As far as resorts go, top spots include Nevada Nordic, with more than 100 kilometers split into 56 picturesque trails. Five warming huts are also along the way. Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort is another prime spot for cross-country skiing. It’s the largest trail system in California, with 200 kilometers of trails, gear to rent, a ski school, 10 warming huts, a café and a full-time ski patrol.

For all things Nordic, check out our Lake Tahoe Nordic Skiing page loaded with lists of Nordic ski resorts and areas, maps and shops.

Make a Clear Difference

While you’re taking in all the unique natural beauty, be sure not to leave anything behind.

There’s also a Tahoe trend for regenerative travel, where you not only sustain the area but leave it better than you found it. You could learn about the area at the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, participate in a cleanup or in gathering research, or just shopping local.

TART Connect is a very eco-friendly way to get around Lake Tahoe. You just download the app to your phone, and then you’re hooked up to a free curb-to-curb, on-demand shuttle service.

There are so many inviting places to stay in Lake Tahoe with several right on the shore for even easier access to the lake. You can also stay further up the mountain or in any of the 12 surrounding towns. Check out more know-before-you-go tips to help preserve Lake Tahoe.