Although visitors don’t arrive by train as they did decades ago, Soda Springs Winter Resort still reminds skiers and snowboarders of a simpler, friendlier time. The small resort is located on scenic Donner Summit in the northern Sierra Nevada and has become a family favorite for winter recreation. Visitors can ski and snowboard, snowshoe, sled, and tube on slopes that have earned a reputation as being perfect for beginners and families.
This season, the family-friendly mountain experience gets even better. The resort’s ever-popular Tube Town has expanded lanes and a new 400-foot moving carpet, which means less waiting and more tubing. Plus, the newly renovated, expanded and relocated Planet Snow Kids at Soda Springs is better than ever, bursting with tube carousels, a mini-snowmobile track, a mini tubing area and even a volcano!
Two lifts access the mountain’s 16 runs. Thirty percent of the trails at Soda Springs are designated as beginner runs, 50 percent qualify as intermediate and the remaining 20 percent are considered advanced. The resort sits at a base elevation of 6,700 feet and tops out at 7,325 feet, making for a relatively small vertical drop that sets Soda Springs apart from some of the more intimidating Lake Tahoe ski resorts. The mountain’s friendly, wide-open beginner slopes are perfect for learning a new skill, and Soda Springs offers private or group lessons for both children and adults.
In addition to its friendly downhill slopes, the mountain features two terrain parks. The “Kids X” Park is just right for beginner shredders, with junior-sized jumps and banks, while the “Triple T” Park offers more advanced jumps and a funbox. Soda Springs is also known for its tubing flumes, both of which are serviced by two tube tows. The Little Dipper is perfect for kids, while the Tube Express offers a thrill for kids at heart. Mini snowmobiles for kids ages six to 12 are also on offer for a tour around Soda Springs’ circular track.
Other amenities at Soda Springs Winter Resort include a base lodge complete with cafeteria, sun deck, rental and repair shop, and a ski instruction center.