Your 2020/21 Winter Guide to Truckee-Tahoe Ski Resorts

Mask up to ski and ride at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Photo credit: Kate Abraham/Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

While some things will always stay the same – epic terrain, deep powder – the slopes look a little different this winter. This guide to Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts will help you understand the latest changes and what to expect during your visit. Before loading up your skis, be sure to check our Know Before You Go page for daily travel updates and the current status of Truckee.

The 2020/2021 winter season is all about planning. Day-of ticket sales have been discontinued at all California ski resorts and you’ll need to reserve rental gear, ski lessons, lodging, and tickets ahead of time. Plan ahead by booking your reservations early, the best way to enjoy a stress-free trip.

Ski Well, Be Well.

To keep you safe this winter, Ski California and the National Ski Areas Association have come up with a set of simple industry-wide guidelines, Ski Well, Be Well, to ensure a healthy and fun winter season for all. Here are some of the changes you can expect at Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts as well as resorts across California:

  • Face coverings are required whenever physical distancing cannot be achieved. This includes both indoor and outdoor spaces, except when eating or drinking.
  • Physical distancing is required on chairlifts, gondolas, and lift lines. Ride with your family or household members.
  • Hand washing/sanitizing stations will be readily available. 
  • Come prepared to make your car your base lodge. Pack extra layers, snacks, and warm beverages and expect limited indoor facilities.

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows does not plan to require reservations. However, to prevent crowds and congestions, they are limiting the number of daily lift tickets available online and temporarily eliminating walk-up sales. Shops, lodges and restaurants will continue with operations per Placer County’s reopening status and you can expect simplified menus on-mountain, with grab-and-go meals and expanded outdoor seating options. A variety of half-day ski and snowboard lessons will be available, with a reservation. Visit midweek for the best experience and most availability. A two-layer face covering is required at all times.

  • Reservations are not required for season pass holders at this time.
  • Daily lift tickets must be purchased ahead of time, online, and will primarily be available midweek.
  • Ski & snowboard lessons must be reserved at least 36 hours in advance.
  • Rentals must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Limited indoor dining will be available when permitted, following Placer County’s reopening status.

Northstar California Resort

Don’t forget to make a reservation before you ski or ride Northstar California Resort. This winter, a reservation system is in place to give skiers and riders the space they need with pass holders getting priority access. For the best availability, book daily lift tickets early. Full-service bars will be closed, however, packaged beer and wine will be available at various locations, along with grab n’ go foods. Parking in the Village View and Castle Peak parking lot is free this year.

  • Reservations are required for lift tickets and pass holders. Learn more.
  • Cashless Transactions Only
  • Ski & Snowboard Lessons will be available, with adult and child lessons and a six-person capacity. Lessons must be purchased in advance
  • Optional reservation process for rentals with expanded delivery services.
  • Northstar is focused on the skiing and riding experience, so some favorite activities will be paused this season, such as snow tubing, ice skating, and s’mores.
  • Limited indoor dining will be available when permitted, following Placer County’s reopening status.

Sugar Bowl Resort

Long known for its small town, uncrowded feel, Sugar Bowl is taking steps to maintain that experience by limiting the number of daily lift tickets and season passes. Plan ahead and purchase your lift ticket online, before arriving at the resort. Tickets will not be available on-mountain. Indoor access will be limited to 15 minute increments at warming zones. Come prepared with everything you need to make your car your base camp in any weather conditions – extra layers, snacks, hot drinks, etc. New this season are RFID gates, allowing touchless scanning.

  • Reservations are not required for season pass holders.
  • Reservations are required for lift tickets which are only available online, in advance.
  • Cashless transactions only.
  • No indoor dining.
  • Private ski & snowboard lessons available with a reservation.
  • Rentals must be reserved in advance.
  • Placer County COVID Information 

Boreal Mountain California

A phased arrival system will be in place for day ticket sales, with a limited daily capacity. Tickets must be purchased online before arriving at the resort. Self-serve ticket kiosks will be stationed in various locations for a contactless pick-up.  Season pass holders will have priority access to skiing and riding. Expect outdoor dining options with expanded seating and to-go food options. Indoor warming stations will only be available for 20 minute blocks. Tubing will be offered at reduced capacity.

  • Reservations are not required for season pass holders.
  • Daily lift tickets must be purchased ahead of time, online.
  • Private ski & snowboard lessons must be reserved 24 hours in advance.
  • Rentals are open with modifications. 
  • No indoor dining.
  • Advanced reservations required for Tahoe Tubing at Boreal.
  • Nevada County COVID Information

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort

Celebrating 50 years of skiing this year, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort has provided families with a unique and affordable ski experience – with wide-open bowls and plenty of gentle beginner terrain. This season the daily number of day passes will be capped to help maintain social distancing and the uncrowded slopes Tahoe Donner has always been known for. Additionally, private lessons from their experienced high-quality instructors offer a safe and fun learning opportunity. 

Come prepared to make your car your base lodge, as indoor access will be extremely limited. Food will be available for online purchase and pick up at the Downhill Grill. Outdoor seating will be available, however, there will be no indoor dining. New this year are on-mountain picnic locations, perfect for refueling on-the-go.  

  • Reservations are not required for season passholders.
  • Daily lift tickets, lessons and rentals must be purchased ahead of time, online.
  • Private ski & snowboard lessons will be available with a reservation. 
  • Outdoor restrooms will be available. 
  • No indoor dining.
  • Masks covering your nose and mouth will be required in the parking lot, in lines and anywhere social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Shuttle buses will be available to get you from your car to the chairlift area, but the short walk is a great warmup! Face coverings and social distancing protocols will be enforced.
  • Nevada County COVID Information 

Homewood Mountain Resort

This season Homewood Mountain Resort is embracing something they have always been known for, fewer crowds or as they like to say “fewer skiers per acre.” To manage capacity, season pass sales have been reduced by 25% and lift ticket sales will be capped each day. Skiers and riders should be prepared to plan ahead and purchase daily lift tickets online, there will be no on-site ticket sales. On-mountain dining is made easy this year with a new online ordering system. Place your order on the lift, take a couple laps, then pick up your takeout when you receive an alert that your food is ready! Guests are encouraged to use their car as their base lodge. This year Homewood has implemented RFID ticketing, scanning, and kiosks for contactless ticket pick-up.

  • Daily lift ticket purchases must be made online.
  • Reservations are not required for season pass holders.
  • Parking reservations are required with daily lift tickets. 
  • Private ski & snowboard lessons will be available for purchase online and through the phone.
  • Rentals will be pre-teched prior to arrival and available for purchase online. 
  • Dining outlets now offer online ordering and takeout options.
  • Limited indoor dining will be available when permitted, following Placer County’s reopening status.

Cross Country Ski Areas

Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center
Open
COVID-19 Information

Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort
Open
COVID-19 Information

Ice Skating Rinks

Truckee Ice Rink
Open

Village Ice Skating at Northstar California Resort
Closed