Most every year, some of the top resorts—Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and Northstar—see 400” of powder-white snow. And every year, local cross country ski enthusiasts, as well as those from around the world, get in their exercise, enjoyment, and spectacular views. We want to help get you started this year by presenting information on the North Lake Tahoe XC Ski Trails offered by four of the top resorts, organized in alphabetical order.
North Lake Tahoe XC Ski Trails
The original club was formed in 1928. Since then, a lot of changes have taken place. Auburn Ski Club Associates was founded in 1964 to offer “low cost, high quality ski sport programs for individuals and families.” The Auburn Ski Club Training Center was created in 1989, and in 1998 the Auburn Ski Club Education Foundation came to life, to support the work of both clubs. In terms of cross-country/Nordic, Auburn offers 20km of trails. In addition, there are ski programs and clinics for children, teens, and adults.
While the Club encourages you to just come and ski, they are most well known for their various training programs.
In the Tahoe area, some like to call it XC. Call it what you will, Kirkwood is known for its three sections or systems:
- Meadow. The “easiest” of the three. One at 4km and one at 5km (dog-friendly).
- Caples Creek. A few intermediate trails, and three advanced. Two of the advanced are named “Agony” and “Ecstasy”! These two trails lead to the ones of higher elevation on the Schneider system.
- Schneider Trail. Most of the trails here are intermediate, ranging from 2km to 10km.
Looking for a season’s pass to Kirkwood? This link is where you need to head.
In 2012, Royal Gorge was purchased through money raised primarily by Truckee Donner Land Trust and Sugar Bowl, who are now managing this massive set of trails and facilities. All trails are groomed daily, and dog lovers, yes, they have you covered. Their trail system extends in several directions over 200km! Here are some things you’ll want to know.
Their trail map, which you can find here, outlines all trails and all levels of difficulty. There are some steep downhills, which you need to be aware of (also marked on the trail map). There are several warming huts, and restrooms, for your comfort. Some trails are dog-friendly. There are many excellent stopping areas (Vista Points) to take pictures.
One of the more complete and comprehensive websites, and facilities, Squaw-Alpine offers much for the skier. They cater in a big way to cross country skiers. Over the years, they’ve won numerous awards, including for last year’s season, CNNs Best Places to Ski on Earth. Total trail length at Squaw Creek is 18km.
For more information, visit their main site as they update it for the winter, or have a look at the Skiresort.info report.
Billing themselves as a “high quality recreation experience for all ability levels”, this system, all 65km, has nineteen separate trails. Whether skiing or snow-shoeing, you’ll be the Ponderosa Pine or White Fir forest, experience open meadows, and see beautiful Lake Tahoe. There are warming huts for you in just the right locations. And their trails… here’s a sampling of three:
- Silver. Their longest, at 5km. A gentle side, a steeper side, and a fabulous view in the middle.
- Yellow. Their easiest, closest trail. Access to their Yellow Hut (hot chocolate and all).
- Blue. Dog lover’s, this is the trail for you and your beloved animal. Fun descents, steady climbs.
Trails range from “easier”, to “difficult”, to “most difficult”.
With a new facility, this close to home resort offers over 100km of trails for you, immersed in “stunning views”. For their upcoming 2015-16 season, the new facility has great parking, dining, do it yourself services, and a great deck! Here’s information about their trails, but if you’d like to view an interactive site link, click here.
Trails run from “easiest”, to “intermediate”, “difficult”, and “experts only”. You know where you are (if not, check with their helpful staff). ‘Ride’ the Pony Express trail to get yourself started. If you have a little more experience under your belt and skis, try the Sundance trail. Be aware that some of their trails—the Walkabout, for example—are snowshoe only, while others like Glen’s Gallop are for striding only.
This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.