Downhill and cross-country fans alike will find the best of both worlds at Tahoe Donner Ski Area. The friendly ski resort is located off Interstate 80 near Truckee, just five miles from Donner Lake. And with its selection of downhill runs, enormous cross-country center and snowplay area, there really is something for everyone.
On the slope side, Tahoe Donner features 14 runs stretched over 120 skiable acres. The ski area is known as the best place for families and beginners thanks to its non-intimidating runs, of which 40 percent are designated as novice and 60 percent ranked as intermediate. The wide-open, uncrowded slopes are accessed by one quad chair, one double chair and two conveyor lifts.
The expansive cross-country center at Tahoe Donner, which is truly exceptional, is made up of 48 trails covering 114 kilometers over 4,800 acres. Sixteen trails are for beginners, 24 are for intermediate skiers, four are reserved for advanced skiers, one for experts, two are designated as wilderness trails and groomed for diagonal striding only, and two trails are snowshoe only.
Five warming huts, the day lodge and the cookhouse are perfect spots to take a break and warm up. The Tahoe Donner Lodge features authentic home cooked food at its Alder Creek Café, as well as a rental shop and trail information. The Euer Valley Cookhouse, an easy three-and-a-half kilometer ski from the lodge, transforms from a basic warming hut on weekdays into an eatery on weekends and holidays. Staff is also on-hand for trail recommendations.
As one would expect of a resort known for being beginner-friendly, Tahoe Donner Ski Area offers exceptional lessons and schools. The Snowflakes Ski School is a two-and-a-half hour program designed especially for children ages three to six that includes ski equipment, lift tickets and specialized instruction. Ski and snowboard packages for beginners and intermediate skiers and riders are also available for older children and adults. And thanks to arecent expansion, guests continue to enjoy a spacious rental area with more equipment, a quick computer sign-in system and efficient new boot dryers. The mountain also offers family-friendly events all season long.