Heavenly Mountain Resort, California

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Heavenly Mountain Resort in California & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3500ft/1067m, total trails 97, closest airport 70mi/113km, lifts 28, & more. The ski resort is located in South Lake Tahoe on the California Nevada border on Lake Tahoe’s southern shore. On a clear day, from just about anywhere on the mountain, you will […]

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Heavenly Mountain Resort in California & Escape2ski provides info on; vertical drop 3500ft/1067m, total trails 97, closest airport 70mi/113km, lifts 28, & more.

The ski resort is located in South Lake Tahoe on the California Nevada border on Lake Tahoe’s southern shore. On a clear day, from just about anywhere on the mountain, you will witness the most spectacular view from any ski area in the world.

Long before skiing and winter recreation was popular in the area, gambling attracted visitors to South Lake Tahoe as casinos and hotels began to open on the Nevada side in 1944.

As it is known today, Heavenly Mountain Resort opened to the public on December 15, 1955, with the Gunbarrel chairlift, two rope tows, and several trails under the name Heavenly Valley. The ski areas history dates back to 1953 when a small ski area (Bijou Ski Run) had two rope tows and a few trails leased to Chris Kuraisa when he moved his family to Lake Tahoe.

After a successful first season, Chris Kuraisa had the vision to expand the ski area up on Monument Peak, which at 10,067ft/3068m makes it the highest summit elevation of any Lake Tahoe Ski Area. Chris created partnerships with several casino owners to help raise money to begin his expansion plans.

After many years of ownership, in 1964, Chris Kuraisa sold his ski area to Hugh Killebrew, a San Francisco lawyer. He saw even more potential for the ski area by expanding the ski runs into Nevada. The Killebrew family would operate the ski area for just over three decades. On January 1, 1968, they would expand the resort into Nevada, making Heavenly Mountain Resort the first ski area to offer skiing in two states, California and Nevada. In 1977, they added Snowmaking and, in 1990, installed a chairlift in Mott Canyon to service the expert terrain.

In 1997, another ownership group purchased the resort, and in December 2000, they opened the gondola that connects the City of South Lake Tahoe with the ski area. Five years later, in May 2002, Vail Resorts purchased Heavenly Mountain Resort and have operated this facility ever since. Vail is committed to service excellence and has set the standard for others to follow.

Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the most popular skiing and snowboarding facilities in North America. It features two base areas on its Nevada side and one on the California side, plus the famous Heavenly Village located near the heart of South Lake Tahoe.

On the Slopes

  • Heavenly Mountain Resort can be seen as having five distinct sections for skiing and snowboarding. They include the advanced and expert terrain found in the Milky Way Bowl, Mott Canyon, Killebrew Canyon on the Nevada side, and the infamous mogul run known as Gunbarrel, located at the California Lodge area, plus The Face and East Bowl.
  • There is a vast selection of intermediate terrain that makes up 45% of the skiable area with trails known as California Trail, Cosmic Wave, Big Dipper, and Canyonland. The majority of the Chairlifts are located on the California side.
  • There are four different areas dedicated to beginners on the mountain, two on the California side and two on the Nevada side, each having their own chairlifts.
  • Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon are areas that are steep and deep with access through gates. Widow Maker, Promise Land, and Rocky Point are just a few of the named runs in these “Expert Only” areas, and as their names imply, it is best to know your capabilities before entering into this area.
  • Heavenly Mountain Resort has two terrain parks, both located on the California side of the ski area. The Groove Park is the smaller park that offers rails, boxes, wedges, and small jumps. Next is the medium park, known as Re-Mix, where you can enjoy your park experience on rails, boxes, a wall, and larger jumps.
  • The Heavenly Ski and Ride School has a dedicated team of professional instructors who have the skills to get you on the slopes for the first time or help improve your skill level by offering instruction with the latest techniques. Available are group, adult, children, and private lessons, plus adaptive programs with specially trained instructors.
  • The Ridge Tahoe is located at 7500ft/2286m above sea level in Stateline is on the Nevada side of Heavenly Mountain Resort. It’s the only on-mountain lodging at Heavenly. It is near the Stagecoach chairlift with access via an eight-passenger cabin monorail system that takes you to the chairlift in about three minutes. The 11-acre property features hotel rooms, condo units, and a full list of amenities that include a restaurant, indoor and outdoor pool, jacuzzi’s, full-service spa, and more.
  • The Heavenly Village is conveniently located alongside US Highway 50 (aka, Lake Tahoe Blvd). It is not a ski-in/out village, but a village gondola will get you up on the slopes for skiing and snowboarding in about 10 minutes. This self-contained village features lodging properties by Marriott that is only a short walk to the gondola. Gondola Vista and the Zalanta Resort at the Village properties are less than a 10-minute walk to the Heavenly Village Gondola.

Off the Slopes

  • South Lake Tahoe has over one hundred lodging options that range from hotels, motels, vacation homes, and five well-known casino brands. The casinos are located in Stateline, on the Nevada side of South Lake. The casinos are Harvey’s, Harrah’s, Hard Rock Hotel, Mont Bleu, and Lakeside Inn.
  • There are several day lodges, including the California Lodge, Stagecoach Lodge, Tamarack Lodge, Lakeview Lodge, plus others where you can enjoy food and beverage throughout the day or enjoy apres’ ski at select lodges.
  • The Adventure Peak is located at the top of the Heavenly Village Gondola. Here, you will find the tubing hill complete with a dedicated lift, plus the Ridge Rider Mountain Coaster for family fun.
  • Other off-mountain activities include a visit to Tahoe Snowmobiles with a tubing area, Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and the Adventure Mountain Lake Tahoe Snow Play Area for tubing and sledding. Visit the Helpful Links section for more info.
  • One of South Lake Tahoe's added benefits is the nightlife, where you can enjoy entertainment at one of the many casinos after the slopes have closed. There is an endless number of slot machines and hundreds of tables located on South Lake Tahoe's Nevada side.
  • Heavenly Day Care is a licensed facility with professionally trained staff for children aged six weeks to six years old. They provide games and other activities while you are out on the slopes, with a ski option for children ages 3 to 5. The daycare is located in the California Lodge at the main base area. Call 530-542-6912 for more info.
  • Tahoe Transportation District provides bus service throughout the South Lake Tahoe area. It is a fare paid service that has convenient stops at key locations. Visit the Helpful Links section below to get more transit information.
  • Airport transportation is available from South Lake Tahoe and Heavenly Mountain Resort with South Tahoe Airporter. Visit the Helpful Links section below to view schedule times, pick-up locations, and prices.
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Mountain Information

Current Status: Open

Mountain Essentials

Vertical Drop:
3500 ft / 1067 m

Base Elevation:
6567 ft / 2002 m

Summit Elevation:
10067 ft / 3069 m

Skiable Area:
4800 acres

Average Snowfall:
360 in / 914 cm

Trail Map

Snow Report

Mountain Terrain

Total Trails: 97

Beginner: 19 (20%)

Intermediate: 44 (45%)

Advanced: 18 (18%)

Expert: 16 (17%)

Terrain Parks: 2

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: Yes

Day Lodges: Yes

Restaurants: Yes

Distance from...

Nearest Airport:
Reno NV , 70mi / 113km

Nearest Major City:
Reno NV, 62mi / 100km

Nearest Town/City:
South Lake Tahoe CA, 3mi / 5km

Mountain Operations

Season Dates: Nov 12 to Apr 23

Skiing & Snowboarding: Both

Open Days: Open Daily

Hours of Operation:
9:00am to 4:00pm : Sat-Sun, 8:30am to 4:00pm : Hours maybe subject to change.

Night Skiing: No

Lift Ticket Prices


Lift Information

Total Lifts: 28

Trams: 1

Gondolas: 1

Express-6 Chairs: 2

Express Quad Chairs: 8

Quad Chairs: 1

Triple Chairs: 5

Double Chairs: 2

Surface Lifts: 8


Mountainside: Yes

Within 20mi / 33km: Yes

Closest Airport(s)

What our Convenience Rankings™ mean

Reno-Tahoe Intl Airport  (RNO)
Distance: 70 mi / 113 km
Ranking: Most Convenient

Sacramento Intl Airport  (SMF)
Distance: 116 mi / 187 km
Ranking: Least Convenient

Contact Info

Central Reservations: 1-800-432-8365

Direct Phone: 775-586-7000

Snow Phone: 775-586-7000

Helpful Links

Official Ski Resort Site

Mountainside Lodging

Local Transit Service