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. The 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 […]

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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.

The 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 who with his brother Fred, operated the Klein Ski School, which is now part of Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, contacted Austrian ski champion Hannes Schroll to let him know about the land and the possibility of fulfilling his dream of building a ski resort in the area.

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 essential requirements for a ski resort. The lack of snow is quite ironic as the ski resort is named after the sugar-like snow that is native to the area. 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. Currently, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has skiing and snowboarding on four mountain peaks, Mt Judah, Mt Lincoln, Crow’s Nest Peak, and Mt. Disney named after Walt Disney’s honour. Today, Sugar Bowl continues to attract adventurous winter sports enthusiasts who are drawn to its authentic, community-based experience.

On the Slopes

  • 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. 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. 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. The Cub Tracks program starting from the age of four all the way to adult lessons includes group, signature private lessons, and women’s clinics, where you can gain the confidence needed.

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 of 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Town of Truckee offers a fixed transit route throughout the winter season (mid-Dec through Mar) which operates 7 days a week from 6:05 am to 6:05 pm 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 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: Nov 30 to Apr 21

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

Local Transit Service

Getting Here from Bay Area