One of the most intimate and nostalgic skiing or snowboarding experiences in the Lake Tahoe basin can be had on a little hill known as Granlibakken. The friendly slopes are part of the charming Granlibakken Resort, a family-owned lodge and conference center set on 74 wooded acres in a mountain valley just minutes from Lake Tahoe.
Opened originally by a renowned Norwegian ski jumper in the mid-1940s, the ski hill quickly grew popular with both tourists and locals, even hosting the 1952 Junior Olympics among other events. When the resort came under new ownership in the late 1970s, it flourished as the resort’s original vision grew to include first-class service and accommodations.
Whether for work or play, a visit to Granlikken, a Norwegian term describing a hill sheltered by trees, is truly a pleasure. The resort features ten skiable acres with one main run that is serviced by a single rope-tow lift. Three hundred feet of vertical drop takes skiers and snowboarders from the summit elevation of 6,610 feet to the base of 6,310 feet. The cozy size of the ski hill itself keeps larger crowds at bay, while the modest vertical drop makes Granlibakken a great place to learn a new skill. Group and private lessons are available in morning or afternoon sessions.
Granlibakken also maintains limited hours, with the ski hill open Friday through Sunday seasonally, every Christmas and New Years’ and during mid-February holidays. In addition to downhill skiing, the resort boasts easy access to popular nearby trailheads for miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing terrain. Granlibakken also maintains a dedicated snow play area, open daily, which is machine-groomed and perfect for families. A small fee grants access to the snow play area and to a saucer rental for sledding.
Amenities at Granlibakken include a rental shop and old-fashioned warming hut, both of which are open daily, and a snack bar that keeps the same hours as the ski hill. As modest as the ski slopes are, the serenity, beauty and nostalgic experience at Granlibakken is hard to beat. Add to that the lowest ticket price of any resort at the lake, with adult rates just over $20 for a full day, and it’s easy to see why many people spend their time on this beautiful, low-key hill.