Whether you’re firing up a snowmobile or dropping into a perfect Ruby Mountain line, admiring the most beautiful alpine lake in the world with a warm bevy in hand or jumping aboard a two-horse open sleigh with the fam, fun winter finds beckon cold weather travelers to the Silver State. Any time of year, plan your wintry escape here.
Winter Sports in Nevada
Snowshoeing the Spring Mountains, Tahoe Skiing in Nevada, Riding in the Rubies and Beyond
With an outdoor recreation scene as diverse as the landscape itself, expect the unexpected in Nevada, with hot and cold weather fun in every city and town. Sure, the Mojave Desert boasts sunshine year-round, but we bet you never imagined one of Nevada’s tallest peaks is 40 minutes off the Strip, with amazing skiing, snowshoeing, and schmancy resort living. Or, that Reno serves up primetime Sierra Nevada powder at Tahoe’s highest base resort.
Northern, Northwestern & Southern
Lake Tahoe Wintertime Wonderland
If there’s anything better than taking in views of Big Blue from above, while riding a freshly groomed corduroy ski run—will someone loop us in? Lake Tahoe is one of the largest, and most beautiful alpine lakes in the world, so it’s no surprise that millions of people from all corners of the planet come here to get a piece of great summertime and winter family activities every single year. Split between California and Nevada, the Lake Tahoe basin offers dozens of ski resorts to get your vertical drop on. But as with everything else, Nevada always finds a way to stand out in a crowd, and offers the highest base at Mt. Rose Ski Resort and some of the most insanely impressive views of Tahoe at Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Both located in North Lake Tahoe near Incline Village, this duo is where the locals go. Expect affordable day passes, friendly and relaxed vibes, crowdless runs, and some of the best terrain in Tahoe.
You can’t visit Tahoe in the wintertime without heading to Mt. Rose Meadows, just north of Incline Village. Filled with some of the best sledding, tubing and snowshoeing ops for everyone from first-timers to snowy savants and everyone in between, consider this HQ for winter sports for kids in the area. Rent sleds and snowshoes in Reno or Lake Tahoe, then head for the meadows. If you’re up for something a little more ambitious, channel your inner Snow White with a one-mile snowshoe trek to Chickadee Ridge, where wild birds will land on an outstretched hand for the selfie of the century.
Across the lake, “big” doesn’t even begin to describe Heavenly. As one of Tahoe’s other go-to ski resorts in Nevada, this behemoth mountain spans 4,800 acres and a state border, as one of the largest ski resorts in the United States. Ogle wide-angle vistas of Lake Tahoe, ski over the Nevada-California state line, ride the Heavenly Gondola, and kick back in the 14,720-square-foot Tamarack Lodge for some of the best on-mountain restaurants in the skiing world. Be sure to hit Heavenly Village for great shopping, open-air ice skating, and horse-drawn sleigh rides, and live the true mountain resort lifestyle Tahoe is known for.
Ride the Rubies
One of Nevada’s best kept secrets is found in northeastern Nevada’s rugged, unblemished, and completely gorgeous Ruby Mountains, home to some of the driest, fluffiest powder in North America. Recreate in the Rubies year-round, with some of the best hiking and backpacking, alpine lake floating, native mackinaw fishing, and, of course, one of its most adventurous anchors: heli-skiing. Situated about 30 minutes from downtown Elko, head to the tiny ranching community of Lamoille to grab a ride from Ruby Mountain Heli Skiing.
The oldest family-owned heli-skiing enterprise in America offers the memory of a lifetime with this luxury outfit by heli skiing in Nevada’s Ruby Mountains. A chopper carries you high into the Rubies and drops you off—don’t worry, you don’t have to jump out of the helicopter—to ski or snowboard somewhere along the lines of 200,000 acres of pristine powder. No lift lines or tracks in sight around here. From wide open bowls to adrenaline-jumping fall lines, there’s terrain for all ages and skill levels at Ruby Mountain Heli Skiing. Some of the best snowmobiling in Nevada is in Lamoille Canyon, and if you’re after a more relaxed wintry adventure in the Rubies, be sure to bring your snowshoes—there’s plenty of untouched, crowd-free, snowy terrain to wow you all the way home.
Fun Winter Activities in the Las Vegas Area
Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the universe—but not just on the Strip. Just 40 mins beyond the metro area, Mt. Charleston climbs to nearly 12,000 feet, and is Nevada’s 5th-tallest peak. The mountain’s higher elevations make for a great summer reprieve from sweltering Mojave temps, and is an even better wintertime destination with Lee Canyon. Yep, you read right—a real Las Vegas ski and snowboard resort, less than an hour from Sin City. Literally the coolest place in Vegas, get the first chair, book a complimentary coaching session, and pose next to the on-mountain “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign before heading back for a night on this anything-you-want adventure town—the stuff après-ski dreams are made of.
Rising from the spectacular Spring Mountains, Mt. Charleston sets the stage with endless fun winter activities. Hit the slopes at Lee Canyon, snowshoe through the Springs, or even ice climb Mary Jane Falls when conditions are right. Speaking of climbing, the Spring Mountains are home to the dazzling Red Rock Canyon—a world-class rock climbing destination that is one of Nevada’s best wintertime sports. From November to April, some of the best climbing conditions await, when the rock surface is cooler to the touch and the area is less crowded. If you’re after more “green” than white, join the club with great snowless southern Nevada-based winter golf at award winning courses in Mesquite, Boulder City, and Las Vegas at some of the best winter golf destinations in the US.
True Tales & Travel Tips
Snow Me the Way
Winter wonderland? Yep, that’s us. We’re home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding you’ll ever find, plus endless snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even sledding opportunities. And if that’s not magical enough, the horse-drawn sleigh rides and Snow White-style photo opps at Chickadee Ridge oughta do the trick.