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Preparing for the 20/21 Winter Ski Season

Last updated: July 2023

North Lake Tahoe ski resorts, lodging properties, restaurants and winter recreation sites are gearing up for winter, modifying their operations and expanding health safeguards to guarantee a safe and enjoyable winter season in North Lake Tahoe.

While some ski resorts may differ slightly in their operations, social distancing, mask requirements and capacity limits are being planned across all North Tahoe ski resorts to protect public health during the upcoming winter. North Lake Tahoe is urging guests to visit the websites of individual ski resorts and lodging properties for the most up-to-date information when planning a winter trip. You can also check out the National Ski Area Associations Ski Well, Be Well guide which highlights operational practices most resorts are implementing.

Below is information from regional ski resorts to get you started.

Northstar California

Northstar has re-imaged the mountain experience to keep you safe this season and are excited to welcome you back this winter. They are implementing some changes with safety in mind such as requiring face coverings and modifying chairlifts and gondola practices. They are also managing on-mountain access this season with a reservation system where passholders will receive priority. Ski & Ride School will be open with adjustments in class sizes and must be purchased in advance.

Palisades Tahoe

The Palisades Tahoe team is hard at work prepping for the 20/21 winter season. Their scheduled opening date is Wednesday, November 25th, pending weather and conditions. At this time, they are planning for the winter ski and snowboard season with some potential modifications that promote social distancing, enhanced disinfection efforts in key areas, and modified employee and guest guidelines to address things like face coverings, distance, and other necessary COVID-19 mitigations. They are optimistic that outdoor mountain recreation will continue to be an accepted outlet for fun, fitness and mental health. All operations will meet applicable guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State of California and Placer County Health.

Sugar Bowl & Royal Gorge

Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge are eagerly awaiting winters’ arrival and are anxious to reopen, getting everyone back on the snow. Their top priority is guests’ and employees’ safety, so they spent the past several months deeply focused on developing a responsible operating plan for the upcoming winter season.

Their plan includes significant investments to improve the experience for guests – including the installation of radio-frequency (RFID) access gates at all primary chairlifts and new self-service pick-up stations and contactless payment options, which allow for a touchless ski and snowboard experience. Other significant measures being implemented include capping the number of season passes, limiting the number of daily ticket sales and offering outdoor-only dining to utilize indoor space for warming.  And all lift tickets, lessons and rentals will require advance purchase reservations. 

Resort Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Nov. 27, 2020 

 Diamond Peak 

Diamond Peak hopes to operate as close to normal as possible, with several new protocols and safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of guests, employees, and our community. Check out their “What to Expect this Season” information to gather important pre-arrival information to have the more seamless experience. For instance, all lift tickets, equipment rentals, lessons and season passes will need to be purchased online or via their call center.  Advance purchase is suggested due to limited daily capacities. And they expect to have expanded outdoor food and beverage services and reservations will be required for a few dining locations.

Resort Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Dec. 10, 2020 

Mt. Rose – Ski Tahoe

The safety of guests and staff continue to be a top priority as Mt. Rose prepares for the 2020/21 season. As circumstances change, so will their policies and procedures to ensure they follow the recommended local and national safety guidelines.

Resort Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): TBD 

Homewood Mountain Resort

Homewood is ready to safely welcome you back this winter and have been working hard to adjust operations to make sure you can still enjoy powder turns days after the storm or cruise down groomers on bluebird days. They’ve outlined what to expect this season and are now offering lift tickets for the 20/21 winter. You’ll find information on having fewer skiers per acre by limiting the number of daily skiers and capping season pass sales.  All tickets will need to be purchased in advance online and parking reservations will be required (season pass holders get a spot with their pass).  Homewood plans to open on Friday, December 11, 2020, weather and conditions permitting.

Boreal Mountain California &
Soda Springs

Boreal Mountain California and Soda Springs have put together a great info hub to get you ready for the winter season. With a planned opening day of November 23, 2020 for Boreal, ski and ride season is almost here. Check out their information hub for details on all you need to know including resort access which must be purchased online prior to arrival, updated chair lift policies, season pass benefits and more.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort & Cross Country Ski Center

With winter just around the corner, Tahoe Donner is actively planning for a safe and fun ski season, and are diligently working to open the Downhill Ski Resort mid-December, as snowpack allows and the Cross Country Ski Center as soon as Thanksgiving. Here is current information on what winter will look like at both resorts and expect more details this month.

XC Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Nov. 27, 2020 
Downhill Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Dec. 11, 2020 

Granlibakken Tahoe

Granlibakken is committed to the safety of their employees, guests and community this upcoming ski season. They are implementing a number of modifications to fulfill their commitment such as putting time blocks in place at the sled hill to regulate the number of people, requiring advanced ticket purchases for both sledding and skiing, increasing cleaning and disinfection and conducting daily employee wellness checks.

Sledding Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Nov. 26, 2020
Downhill Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Dec. 13, 2020

Donner Ski Ranch

Donner Ski Ranch will be adhering to the California COVID regulations and are working on making any necessary modifications. During the 20/21 ski season, they will only offer private lessons, and at this point, reservations are not required to ski however that may change during peak seasons. Call the resort or visit their Facebook page for the most up to date information.

Resort Opening Date (weather & conditions permitting): Dec. 8, 2020

Tahoe XC

Tahoe XC is taking extra measures this winter to ensure a successful season. They are closely monitoring the number of trail users and will close ticket sales if capacity is reached. Trail passes, rental equipment and lessons must all be purchased online, in advance, of arrival. Lessons must be reserved at least one day in advance. All guests must wear a face mask in shared spaces and the lodge will be limited to 15 people inside (including staff) at all times. Check out their website for all COVID-19 operations and their safety plan.