Heavenly Ski Resort
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Heavenly Mountain Resort is located next to the city of South Lake Tahoe straddling the Califonia - Nevada border.
Huge. Spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the high desert of Northern Nevada. Lots of different terrain. Great tree skiing. Plenty of sunshine. Massive snowmaking system. Lots of high speed lifts.
Lots of sunshine(the snow doesn't really like that). Busy on weekends and holidays. Sub par on-mountain dining. Big town lacks traditional mountain town character.
Phone: 1 775 586 7000
Fax: PLEASE EDIT
Postal: PO Box 2180 Stateline NV 89449 USA
Drive from San Fransisco (5hrs), Sacramento(2hrs), Reno (1.5hrs) by car. Greyline service town frequently Get bus from Reno airport (every hour) Harrah's Casino has free bus service from San Francisco, Sacremento, and other towns in CA.
The entire Lake Tahoe area is heavily overbuilt and has a bigger summer than winter season. Hence, there is a lot of lodging available, especially timeshares. Cost is very reasonable. On the California side, both bases are only a short shuttle bus ride from nearly all lodging in the area.
Heavenly has 3 bases, two in CA and the other in NV. The mountain is extremely widely spread out, and snowboarders will be groaning about the long walks to get from one section to another. Advanced double black terrain is mostly in the Mott and Killebrew Canyons on the Nevada side. Mott has its own slow chair. Killebrew will give you more advanced vertical and choices, however, this requires riding 2 lifts and a long nasty traverse at the bottom. There is also the famous Gun Barrel at the California base which is a long steep usually heavily moguled headwall under several lifts. There is ample grooming and plenty of terrain for all levels. Intermediates can roam on blue groomers everywhere. Limited indoor dining options and no dining options at all at the summit. In bad weather, the lifts connecting the 2 sides of the mountain can close leaving you stranded and forced to take the bus back to your car.
Heavenly is now owned by Vail, so check for passes that are good at multiple mountains. This year (2011), day passes at Heavenly were also valid at Northstar at Tahoe, but this is a good 45 minute drive away.
California base lodge. Boulder base. Stagecoach base. Undercover paid parking is available at the Gondola base.
Heavenly adjoins the connected and fairly sizable towns of South Lake Tahoe in California and Stateline in Nevada. Being in gambling ready Nevada, Stateline is home to a handful of casinos, if that is your inclination. Scenic helicopter tours, sleigh rides, snowmobile tours, paddlewheel tours on Lake Tahoe
The area is a significant summer resort as well, so you will find plenty of eating and accommodation options.
Bars & Entertainment
Runs range from genuine beginners, through to steep double blacks with moguls that they never groom. The altitude at the highest points can be an issue for us lowland folks from Australia. Altitude sickness can be a real issue. Stamina can be impacted for even the fittest.
Nevada Side - Boulder Bowl which is accessed through the Nevada base area of Boulder provides the only beginer area on the Nevada side. It's status as a beginer run could be questioned as the steeper pitch in the middle of the run could almost be labeled a blue.
California Side - Beginer skiing can be found on First Ride at the California base, Patsy's at the top of Gunbarrel chair and Maggies and Mombo off the top of Powderbowl Express chair.
Top of the Gondola (Adventure Peak) - Probably Heavenly's best first timer run is accessed through the Big Easy lift, a slow purpose built beginer quad chairlift that isolates learners from other faster mountain riders.
More groomed runs than you can poke a stick at. The only lift not accesible by a groomed run would be Mott Canyon chair on the Nevada side.
Anywhere it's not flat (and there are flat areas). South facing slopes get cooked quick on sunny days, try to get an early start.
Out of Bounds
Heavenly allows out of bounds riding throught designated back country gates. These areas are unpatrolled and cost of rescue will be your responsibility. It is ill advised to use these gates without a guide.
One gate near the top of Olympic Express chair provides access to the area under the Heavenly Gondola offering close to 3000 vertical feet of the finest tree skiing imaginable. At the end of the run skiers/riders simply ride the Gondola back up.
The Fullstone gate, near the top of Killebrew Canyon provides access to the terrain on the Carson Valley (Nevada) side of Heavenly. When the snow extends to the valley floor almost 5000 feet of vertical is possible. Getting back to the resort? Well that's up to you, good luck.
Parks & Pipes
California Side - East Bowl, Gunbarrel, Waterfall. Nevada Side - Little Dipper.
Head for Killebrew Canyon!