In Your Backyard: Ski Heavenly

Of the 13 ski resorts around Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain Resort is regularly listed as the most visited. Heavenly has the highest summit at Tahoe, 10,067 feet, and is simply the largest in the area.

In this edition of "In Your Backyard," FOX26 Sports Anchor Nick King is skiing at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Heavenly is located on Lake Tahoe's south shore, about a 4.5 mile drive from Fresno. There are 13 ski resorts around Lake Tahoe, but it's not hard to see why Heavenly is regularly listed as the most visited of the 13.

Heavenly has the highest summit at Tahoe (10,067 feet), and is simply the largest in the area, with 4800 skiable acres. 29 lifts take you to 97 different runs, including one that goes for 5.5 miles.

Plus, when you ski Heavenly, you can say you were in two states - half the mountain is in California, half in Nevada. Relatedly, you can look to the east and see the desert, then to the west, one of the bluest bodies of water in the world.

Even if you're not a skier or snowboarder, anyone can ride the gondola up 2.5 miles to an observation deck with some incredible views. If you keep riding that gondola up, try lunch or happy hour at Tamarack Lodge. At an elevation of 9,150 feet, Tamarack has live music and drinks Monday-Thursday, then the Unbuckle Apres Party on Friday's and Saturday's from 3:30-5:30 p.m. This is part of what makes Heavenly one of the top mountain party scenes.

Heavenly Mountain Resort averages 360" of snow a year, but the wild 2016/17 season saw 612" by March 7. It's believed to be the wettest winter Tahoe's seen since 1903.

The other nice thing about Heavenly is the location - at the base of the mountain, where you pick up the gondola, is Heavenly Village. Here there are dozens of options for shopping and eating, and hotels and casinos are only a short walk away. For this trip, Nick stayed at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel, which is incredibly convenient. It's close enough to the gondola that you can easily make the walk in ski boots, and leave all your gear in the hotel room for the day.

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