Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, California

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Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in California & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 1500ft/457m, total trails 103, closest airport 46mi/74km, lifts 13, & more. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is located near Norden, California on Interstate 80, west of Truckee. The beginnings of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, as it is known today, started way back in […]

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Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in California & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 1500ft/457m, total trails 103, closest airport 46mi/74km, lifts 13, & more.

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is located near Norden, California on Interstate 80, west of Truckee. The beginnings of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, as it is known today, started way back in 1923 when Stephen and Jennie Pilcher purchased the land from the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1937, the land was put up for sale, and Bill Klein contacted Austrian ski champion Hannes Schroll to let him know about the opportunity. At this time Bill Klein and his brother Fred, who were also from Austria operated the Klein Ski School serving the Sierra Club on Mt. Lincoln, which is now part of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. As Hannes Schroll started to attract investors to his vision of a ski resort complete with a Tyrolean style village, it quickly became apparent that it needed a name. It was discovered that the snow in the area was very fine almost sugar like in appearance, hence the name Sugar Bowl was born. On December 15, 1939 Sugar Bowl Ski Resort was ready for its debut, however, the opening day did not go as planned as someone forgot to inform Mother Nature that snow was one of the key requirements for a ski resort. Finally, on January 4, 1940 Mother Nature cooperated and now the rest is history. Sugar bowl Ski Resort was the first ski area in California to install a chairlift and continues to be a trendsetter today.

On the Slopes

  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has over 103 trails, 1650 acres of skiable terrain and 500in/1270cm of annual snowfall. When you venture on to the slopes of Sugar Bowl you are joining some of Hollywood’s elite, including Walt Disney and Robert Stack, who have graced the slopes in the past. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has four mountain peaks, Mt Judah, Mt Lincoln, Crows Nest Peak and Mt. Disney named after Walt Disney’s honour.
  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has gained a reputation as a mountain offering a significant amount of advanced terrain on runs as Silver Belt, East Face, Gold Rush and Avalanche. These runs and many more will provide you will that heart pumping adrenaline rush you may be seeking. Keep in mind your limits; once you are in this area, there is no turning back.
  • Don’t let the advanced trails signs keep you away from Sugar Bowl Ski Resort as over 60% of the terrain offers a wonderful family-friendly experience. Sugar Bowl Ski Resort provides a great selection of terrain for all ability levels, whether you are new to snow sports or an intermediate skier or boarder who is looking for a new challenge in the areas of Henderson’s Bowl or Trailblazer.
  • If you are looking for terrain park action then check out The Switching Yard, which is serviced by the dedicated Mt Judah Express lift. The Yard is divided into 3 Parks, Golden Gate, Coldstream and Caboose, which feature boxes, rails, spines and jump lines. The parks are geared for every level of competitor, from those just starting out or to riders looking to enhance their skills. Remember to choose the terrain park that is suited to your skill level.
  • The Sugar Bowl Ski and Snowboard School has various lessons and programs to introduce you to the world of snow sports. Including the Cub Tracks program starting from the age of four (4) all the way to adult lessons - group, signature private lessons and women’s clinics, where you can gain the confidence needed to enjoy your time on the slopes.

Off the Slopes

  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort provides a big mountain environment with a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. There are various slope-side lodging options at the base, which means more time to enjoy all that is Sugar Bowl. You’ll also find great shopping options and various establishments for food and beverage from casual fare at Sierra Vista Bar and Grill to fine dining found at The Dining Room at the Lodge. All this combined with great terrain should make your experience complete.
  • The nearby town of Truckee provides a nice alternative to staying on the mountain. Truckee offers a great selection of dining options from casual to fine dining, lodging choices and shopping in unique outlets where you can find the perfect souvenir to remember your visit.
  • Some great alternatives to a day on slopes include the Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski area, which offers lessons and features over 120mi/200km of trails ranging from the Van Norden Meadow to the challenging Point Mariah Lookout. Also popular are the trails designed for snowshoeing that allow travel within an old growth forest and Snow biking, the winter version of mountain biking, as well as, newest addition the fast growing sport of Snow Kiting.
  • It is easy to get to Sugar Bowl Ski Resort since there are three airports in close proximity, Reno, Sacramento and San Francisco. You can also take the Bay Area Ski Bus or the take advantage of the Zimride Ride Share program. Use the Helpful Links Section below to discover all the options available to get you to this fine resort.
  • The Town of Truckee offers a fixed transit route throughout the winter season (mid-Dec through Mar) which operates 7 days a week from 6:05am to 6:05pm between Henness Flats, downtown Truckee, Donner Lake and the ski areas of Boreal, Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch and Soda Springs. Use the Helpful Links Section below to find fares and schedules.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Closed

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
1500 ft / 457 m

Base Elevation:
6883 ft / 2098 m

Summit Elevation:
8383 ft / 2555 m

Skiable Area:
1650 acres

Average Snowfall:
500 in / 1270 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Weather Conditions

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 103

Beginner: 18 (17%)

Intermediate: 46 (45%)

Advanced: 27 (26%)

Expert: 12 (12%)

Terrain Parks & Pipes: 3

Snow Cross: No

Super Pipe: No

Half Pipe: No

Jib Park: Yes


Ski & Snowboard School: Both

Rentals & Repairs: Yes

Parking:  Free

Retail Shops: Yes

Children’s Ski Programs: Yes

Women's Ski Programs: Yes

Adaptive Ski Programs: Yes

Childcare: No

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Reno NV , 46mi / 74km

Nearest Major City:
Reno NV, 42mi / 68km

Nearest Town/City:
Truckee CA, 11mi / 18km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Dec 6 to Apr 22

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: Open Daily

Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 4:00pm : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 13

Gondolas: 1

Express Quad Chairs: 5

Quad Chairs: 3

Triple Chairs: 1

Double Chairs: 1

Surface Lifts: 2


Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Reno-Tahoe Intl Airport  (RNO)
Distance: 46 mi / 74 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Sacramento Intl Airport  (SMF)
Distance: 100 mi / 162 km
Ranking: Least Convenient

Contact Info

Central Reservations: N/A

Direct Phone: 530-426-9000

Snow Phone: 530-426-1111

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging

Nearby Lodging

Tourism Site

Local Transit Service

Local Transit Map

Ski Resort Shuttle