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Lake Tahoe is truly one of the most beautiful destinations I have ever been to. I visited North Lake Tahoe in the winter and I seriously haven’t been anywhere that compares to the beauty of this place.
In this guide, I’m going to share all you need to know before you visit North Lake Tahoe in the winter and all that this destination has to offer. Known for its crystal clear water, world-class ski resorts, hiking, and amazing beaches, there is no shortage of things to do here in Lake Tahoe.
This guide is all about visiting North Lake Tahoe in the winter.
HOW TO GET TO NORTH LAKE TAHOE
There are a few ways to get to Lake Tahoe. Depending on what airport you fly into, you have options. If you are in California, Tahoe is a little over a 7-hour drive from Los Angeles (and Las Vegas), and a 4-hour drive from San Francisco.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport: This is the closest airport to Tahoe. The Reno-Tahoe International Airport is about 45 minutes to an hour away from North Lake Tahoe. An easy way to get to North Lake Tahoe from Reno is the North Lake Tahoe Express. You can also rent a car.
Sacramento International Airport: This is where I flew into and it is a drive to get to North Lake Tahoe. Sacramento International Airport is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from North Lake Tahoe. You will either need a rental car or you can take the AMTRAK California Zephyr.
Although this airport is quite the drive from North Lake Tahoe, depending on where you are flying from, Sacramento International Airport has a lot of great flight options. I flew in from Dallas, Texas and my flight into Sacramento was a very reasonable price. I was with a group of friends so we rented a car for the weekend.
HOW TO GET AROUND NORTH LAKE TAHOE
Car: The most efficient way to get around North Lake Tahoe is by car. If you are wanting to explore a lot around the area or even head down to South Lake Tahoe, having a car is your best bet.
Public Transportation: However, if you are staying at a ski resort or in a popular area there are great public transportation options. There are public buses, ski shuttles, and express shuttles that go all around North Lake Tahoe.
Rideshare: Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are also very efficient ways to get around North Lake Tahoe.
WEATHER IN NORTH LAKE TAHOE IN THE WINTER
The weather in North Lake Tahoe in the winter is cold. So pack layers and expect snow. Temperatures will typically be around the 30s and low 40s (Fahrenheit) in December through February. I visited in March and temperatures were a little bit warmer but it was still cold. It snowed almost every day that I was there.
NORTH LAKE TAHOE REGIONS
- Incline Village
- Tahoe Vista
- Carson City
- Carnelian Bay
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WHAT TO DO IN NORTH LAKE TAHOE IN THE WINTER
RELAX AT THE SPA
After a long day of skiing, one of the best things to do is relax at the spa. Get a massage, relax in the hot tub, or go for a facial. There is no shortage of spas in the North Lake Tahoe area.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
Arguably the most popular activity in North Lake Tahoe in the winter, there are plenty of world-class ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.
North Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts:
- Northstar Resort
- Sugar Bowl Resort
- Diamond Peak Resort
- Tahoe Cross-Country
- Sqaw Valley Ski Resort
- Donner Ski Ranch
WARM UP WITH A COFFEE
Warm up with a hot coffee from a local cafe. I stayed near Truckee, so I went to a cafe called, Coffee Bar and it was delicious.
Although you can’t enjoy the beach as you would in the summertime, seeing the snow on the beach is stunning! Head to near the lake and take in the pretty views. I went to a beach in Incline Village near the Hyatt Regency and it was beautiful with all of the snowfall.
If you want a break from the cold and snow, head to the casino for a couple of drinks and slot machines. I went to the Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village.
This is all dependent on the weather. Hiking in Lake Tahoe is definitely the perfect summer activity but during the winter, your trail options will be limited. If it is a sunny winter day, a hike would be a great activity.
There is no shortage of craft breweries in North Lake Tahoe. I enjoyed spending some time at breweries for a nice break from the cold. If you are in Incline Village, check out Alibi Ale Works. There are two locations; one is only a brewery, and at the other, you can order food. We ended up stopping by both and I 10/10 recommend it!
A helicopter ride in Lake Tahoe over Emerald Bay is a fun and unique thing to do! Helicopter rides go out from South Lake Tahoe, about an hour from North Lake Tahoe, so keep this in mind when booking activities.
I had a helicopter tour booked, but we had to cancel due to the snowy weather. This is common in the winter because they can’t fly helicopters if the weather is bad. But if you do have good weather, this would be an incredible experience.
APRÈS SKI HAPPY HOUR
What’s better than après ski after a long day on the slopes? Head to a local bar, restaurant, or ski resort for a couple of drinks!
There are plenty of ski resorts to visit and many of them have all kinds of winter activities including ice skating. I visited Northstar Resort and there was a lot going on!
Another fun activity to do in North Lake Tahoe in the winter is to take a catamaran tour on the lake. You can enjoy the sunset from the water or even book a dinner cruise.
Rending snowmobiles is the perfect winter activity in North Lake Tahoe.
SLEDDING AND TUBING
This is another fun winter thing to do in North Lake Tahoe if you want to do something other than ski.
WHERE TO STAY IN NORTH LAKE TAHOE
- Northstar California Resort
- The Landing Resort & Spa
- Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort
- Cedar Glen Lodge
- Franciscan Lakeside Lodge
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NORTH LAKE TAHOE IN THE WINTER PACKING LIST
I hope this article helped inspire you to visit North Lake Tahoe in the winter. If you have any questions about Lake Tahoe, message me on Instagram, comment below, or email me at email@example.com!
RECOMMENDED TOURS IN LAKE TAHOE
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