Tahoe Donner Ski Ranch
Donner Ski Ranch is one of the region’s first ski resorts – and the only one to win bragging rights for the longest regular ski season for the past three years. Plus, Donner Ski Ranch has managed to maintain the same simple, relaxing atmosphere since its first rope tow pulled skiers up the hill in 1937.
The tiny, friendly resort is situated high atop Donner Summit on historic US Route 40, and remains one of California’s last family-owned-and-operated ski resorts. In fact, you may even find the resort’s owner manning one of the chair lifts. Guests always feel welcome taking a seat at one of the picnic tables scattered over the wooden planks of the old lodge’s deck and warming up with a bowl of chili or slice of pizza (or homemade pie!) before heading back up the hill.
Things to Do at Donner Ski Ranch
Donner Ski Ranch isn’t fancy, and that’s just the way they like it. Belly up to the Old 40 Bar & Grill for hearty eats, pick up gear at the rental/retail shop, and have a blast at the tubing park that’s perfect for kids of all ages. It’s all part of the old-school focus that puts visitors’ ski and snowboard experiences above all else. And more than anything, it’s a throwback to a simpler time when a day at the slopes meant short lines, easy parking, and great value.
Donner Ski Ranch Tubing Hill
There’s snow way you won’t have tons of fun on the Donner Ski Ranch tubing hill. Snow tubing is made extra easier here, as a moving carpet effortlessly shuttles you to the top of the hill where snow tubes are already supplied. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun winter day or you’re in need of snow options sans ski or board, Donner Ski Ranch is here to help you make some magical memories.
Family Activities at Donner Ski Ranch
So, is Donner Ski Ranch the best Lake Tahoe basin ski resort for kids? Yes! There’s no better place for kids and beginners than this charming, offbeat spot, which stretches more than 500 acres over ever-changing terrain. The resort sits at a base elevation of 7,031 feet (one of the highest base elevations in the Sierras) and features more than 1,000 feet of vertical, meaning intermediate skiers and snowboarders also enjoy plenty of action.
There are 52 trails between the front and back sides of the mountain, 16 of which lean easier and 18 more difficult (plus 18 “most difficult” runs). Six chairlifts and another moving carpet will get you where you wanna go when the 400 inches of annual snowfall are calling your name.
In keeping with the beginner-friendly atmosphere, Donner Ski Ranch offers both private and group ski and snowboard lessons along with “learn-to” packages for every level. And if you’re looking to teach your kid(s) yourself, they have an affordable option for that, too.
For the most current information on lift tickets, lessons, and visiting Donner Ski Ranch, contact the mountain directly prior to your visit.
CityNorth Lake Tahoe