In Your Backyard: Tahoe North in Winter
In this edition of "In Your Backyard," FOX26 Sports Anchor Nick King is spending a couple days in the snow at North Lake Tahoe. The lake is so big - 22 miles long, 12 miles wide - there are two distinct territories, the south shore and the north shore. Tahoe North is considered the more family friendly side of the lake, although this does not at all mean there's not much going on.
At Northstar California, you can go fat tire biking. Yes, you can ride a bike on snow, thanks to tires that are twice as wide as those on a typical mountain bike. At Northstar's Cross Country Ski Center, bike rentals available, with 35 kilometers of trails ranging in terrain from green to black diamond. Those trials are groomed nightly, and it's best to get out early in the morning, before the sun softens the snow. This is a great workout to start the day, and at Northstar, you can get climbing through the snow covered trees and pretty quickly get rewarded with some great views.
Nearby Squaw Valley is famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. That pretty much speaks for itself if you're a skier or snowboarder, but even if your group doesn't want to hit the slopes, you can get a great look at the legendary resort by taking a 10 minute aerial tram ride up some 2,000 feet. Once you reach 'High Camp,' there's dining, shopping, an Olympic museum and access to a mid-mountain pool and hot tub.
Back at the base of Squaw is another option for the family - snow tubing.
If you are skiing, many locals will tell you Homewood Mountain Resort is a hidden gem. The mountain is sheltered by Ellis Peak, so it's known for being protected from the typical high-ridge winds. So even during a snowstorm, there are almost no lift holds, which means a lot of opportunity for great powder days. And of the 13 ski resorts at Tahoe, Homewood is the closest to the actual lake. On a clear day, it can look you're skiing or snowboarding right into the lake.
With 8 lifts and 64 runs, Homewood is much more of an intermediate mountain - again, a family feel. But it also recently introduced Snowcat Adventure tours. Here, groups of 10 can experience backcountry terrain above the resort's traditional ski boundary. That terrain includes tree runs, steeps, powder bowls and glades suitable for a first-time backcountry skier.
Finally, in such an active community - you have to think health & wellness. Tahoe Flow Arts Studio offers classes in yoga, aerial arts, and flow, fitness & dance. This might well be out of your comfort zone, but that can be a good thing.
For this trip, Nick stayed at Northstar Resort, which offers a nice, central location to any activities in North Tahoe, and convenient shuttle service to the base of the mountain at Northstar.