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Not a Skier? Not a Problem

January 04, 2022

5 Winter Wonderland Activities in Lake Tahoe Besides Skiing

The sun-kissed ice is a kaleidoscope of color. Alabaster white snow blankets ages-old Alpine forests and the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ jagged peaks. You can see your crystalline breath as you breathe the scent of pine and you know in an instant Lake Tahoe is someplace special.

Many high-end travelers who want to go skiing or snowboarding head to Lake Tahoe as much for its ambiance as its ski resorts. Everything is pristine. In fact, Lake Tahoe is considered to be one of the cleanest and clearest bodies of fresh water in the world. So clean and clear that several communities on the Nevada side (the lake belongs to two states, Nevada and California) pump drinking water right out of the lake.

Of course skiing makes up a large portion of why the who’s who converge on Tahoe in the winter, but there are so many other things to do besides riding the powder – and that's important for a non-skier among skiing family and friends.

Here are five activities we uncovered in Lake Tahoe non-skiers and skiers taking a day off can do:

Ride the Gondola

For a very relaxing, mind-blowingly beautiful view, grab a ride on the Heavenly Resort Gondola. The 2.4 mile trek up the mountain is sure to be one of the most memorable jaunts while you’re in Lake Tahoe. It’s comfy and warm inside the gondola cabin and you can disembark when the journey stops at the halfway point to hop over to the observation deck for some magazine-worthy snapshots. Grab a hot espresso or a cup of cocoa at the coffee bar while you browse the gift shop and enjoy the enchanting view. Grab the gondola up to the peak for the most glorious vista point lookout over Lake Tahoe.

Heavenly Ski Resort gondola and sightseeing deck

Give Yourself the Gift of a Hot Springs Soak

Nevada has more than 300 natural hot springs on public and private lands. If you want something a little more on the wild side, a trek to one of the many Northern Nevada hot springs might be just what you’re looking for. With options ranging from hot spring resorts to remote natural pools, it’s time to discover hot springs near Reno Tahoe that are calling your name. Just keep these things in mind before you visit any remote hot springs:

· Dress accordingly, bring towels, robes and a blanket for after your soak;

· Leave any place, especially wild places, better than you found them;

· Many remote hot springs do not have clothing rules, so you may see others enjoying the restorative waters in the buff. Just be prepared for that;

· Be mindful of private property boundaries and fences;

· Part of the fun is actually researching and finding these remote hot springs, so keep them secret and don’t share on social media;

· Safety first. Always check the water temperature.

If being a hot springs explorer isn’t your thing, head to Dave Walley’s Resort – a mountain lodge with five famed hot springs. After your soak, relax with a drink at the bar or get a soothing massage before going back to more relaxing moments at your luxurious Lake Tahoe accommodation at Villa Harrah with its incredible water view. Artful and contemporary, black exposed beams highlight spaces while LED lighting imbues areas with a delectable nocturnal glamor. Youthful and seductive, this home is ideal for lavish entertaining.

Hot spring pool at David Walley’s Resort (Source: HolidayInnClub.com)

Get Wild on a Snowmobile Tour

For some real adrenaline-inducing euphoria, a private snowmobile tour with Lake Tahoe Adventures takes you over 15 miles of groomed trails through woods and along snow-filled meadows. For something really enchanting, ask for a moonlit tour. To avoid hypothermia, dress warmly and smartly. If you have your children with you, check out Thunder Mountain Kids Snowmobile Park at Kirkwood – thrilling for any child.

Thunder Mountain Snowmobile Park at Kirkwood

The Thrill of Tubing

Heavenly Ski Resort has a 500-foot tubing hill at the top of the gondola. Tubing is the ideal winter family activity and the hill has a convenient magic carpet to take you and your tube back up to the top. Riders must be more than 42 inches tall to ride – shorter riders and young children can enjoy the mini-tubing hill adjacent to the main hill in Adventure peak. You could also visit TubeTahoe, a place especially for tubers. Machine-groomed lanes are some of the longest in the area. One thing is certain – tubing is tons of fun and a lot of laughs for the whole family.

Snow Tubing in Lake Tahoe (Source: TahoeSouth.com)

The Snowshoeing Scene

Snowshoeing is a terrific option for anyone wanting to experience the splendor of a winter wonderland without the fear of falling down a ski slope. This is an activity all family members can do as long as they can walk with a wide stride. Lake Tahoe has a wonderful assortment of snowshoe excursions. Here are some favorite sites:

· Mt. Rose

· Spooner Lake

· Donner Pass

· Carson Pass

· Camp Richardson

· Northstar Resort

· Sierra-at-Tahoe

· Alpine Meadows

· Kirkwood

Snowshoeing Lake Tahoe has been a local pastime for decades. (Photo courtesy of Camp Richardson)

Whether or not you’re a skier, Lake Tahoe has much to do in the winter. When you want to explore some of those options, leave it up to LVH to plan your itinerary with your wishes in mind. Ensuring you have the best experiences possible is our primary consideration.


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