For over 20 years, Incline Village on the Northern Shore of Lake Tahoe has been my winter wonderland. With a couple of ski resorts within a few miles along with lots of snow play places and indoor activities, it hard to beat. Add lots of condos along with a casino for adults, visitors can easily enjoy a week of winter fun. Here’s my top ideas for what to do in Incline Village during the winter.
Top Activties to do in Incline Village in Winter
- Skiing or Snowboarding
- Hand Feed a Chickadee
- Cross Country Skiing
- Take a Sleigh Ride
- See a Movie
Where to Ski Near Incline Village
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe
With a base elevation of 8,260 feet, Mt Rose is the highest resort at Lake Tahoe. It’s usually the first resort to open every year and the last to shut down. Mt Rose Ski Tahoe offers a big resort feel at a value price point. That’s why it’s a favorite among locals. Even better, for visitors staying in the Lake Tahoe basin, it doesn’t suffer from the traffic issues that other big resorts have when headed back to the lake.
For more advanced skiers and boarders, here is your resort for double black diamond runs. Head to the Chutes area for those runs. This resort can get windy and will be colder than the lake level so check the weather before heading out. Parking is right outside the lodges.
|Base Elevation: 8,260ft.||Summit Elevation: 9,700ft.|
|Vertical Drop: 1,800ft.||Skiable Acres: 1,200|
|Type of Terrain||Percentage of Runs|
|Total Named Runs:||60|
2 high speed 6-pack, 2 high-speed quads, 2 triples, 2 surface lifts
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe for Kids
My kids love the Wizard lift that drops them off in the Enchanted Forest area, packed with lots of green runs that wind through a treed glade. I love this area since it’s a kids’ destination and not a green run (slow zone) tacked on to the bottom of more advanced skiing. Keeping kids away from the older and faster skiers and boarders, is a must for me.
On the downside, Mt. Rose doesn’t offer a full-day kids program, instead it features two-hour lessons that are better suited for school-age kids and not the preschool crowd. The lodge lacks luxury but I love the fact I don’t battle traffic to get back to Incline Village. It offers a bar though there’s no après generally.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest at 22222 Mt. Rose Hwy (Hwy 431) 25 minutes from Reno, Nevada.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort
Diamond Peak, another local’s favorite, sits in the heart of North Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village. Boasting some the best views of the lake, it’s a must for a blue bird day. I love to carve powder through a glade in the evergreens while grabbing glimpses of a pristine lake that never freezes.
When the weather is windy, this resort’s lowered runs are sheltered. Since the elevation is lower, the temperatures are higher. Diamond Peak Ski Resort opens a littler later than other resorts in the area.
|Base Elevation: 6,700 ft.||Summit Elevation: 8,540 ft.|
|Vertical Drop: 1,840 ft.||Skiable Acres: 655|
|Type of Terrain||Percentage of Runs|
|Total Named Runs:||30|
|Lifts:||1 high-speed quad, 2 quads. 3 doubles and 1 surface lift for ski school.|
Diamond Peak for Kids
During the weekends and school breaks, Diamond Peak will be covered in kids. It caters to families and parents can share a lift ticket. The local kids come here with their classmates. It also offers free skiing for kids 6 and under. You see why the locals flock to the resort.
The majority of the runs are in blues and blacks. The Schoolyard lift is your beginner green area. The Lodgepole lift (green) to the run of the same name the main run back to the lodge.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort is located in Incline Village at 1210 Ski Way. Limited parking at resort and an open-air trailer shuttles skiers to the the string of nearby parking areas. An enclosed ski shuttle bus picks-up at several locations across Incline Village.
Read More about Lake Tahoe
Free Sledding near Incline Village at Lake Tahoe
Capture the nostalgic charm of finding a perfect sled hill in the largest national forest outside of Alaska. Find hills for everyone from bunny-suited toddlers to dare-devil teens. Best of all it’s free.
Tahoe Rim Trail Head–Find off-highway parking and a year-round restroom. Located in Tahoe Meadows, a year-round outdoor destination about seven miles from Mt. Rose Ski Resort. It’s just pass the Mt. Rose Summit on the Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) on the way to Incline Village.
Spooner Summit—With off-highway parking and a steep hill, this area attracts a crowd quick during school holidays and weekends. Find parking in front of the sledding hill and along the short access road off the highway but no restrooms. Located just pass Spooner Summit on U.S. Highway 50 at the turnoff for Nevada Highway 28.
Preston Field and Playground–Another option if the roads are icy. It’s free and there’s an off-highway parking lot. It’s not super fun for the older kids but for younger kids, it’s great. Located at 700 Tahoe Blvd., just pass Mt Rose Highway.
Read More about Lake Tahoe
Where to Go Snowshoeing in Incline Village
If you can walk, you can snowshoe. It’s an easy winter sport to enjoy. Find cheap daily rentals in town that strap on to regular winter boots. My favorite part, you can explore scenery that’s off-limits due to snow depth.
Spooner Lake State Park
Spooner Lake State Park offers several types of winter trails, multi-use, cross country skiing and snowshoe. The Lakeside Trail offers level terrain, perfect for first-timers. Or make a loop around Spooner Lake on the Lakeside Trail. For cross country skiers, the Meadow Trail can’t be beat for scenery–ski through a postcard.
Open year round from sunrise to sunset. Located at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Nevada Highway 28. Admission $10 per car.
Mt Rose Meadows
Another place for snowshoeing is the Tahoe Rim Trail trailhead in Mt Rose Meadows. So if the kids are sledding, take the snow shoes and explore too. It’s a good place for dog snow play too. It’s just pass the Mt. Rose Summit on the Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) on the way to Incline Village.
A new addition to the Mt Rose Meadow is groomed snow shoe trails. Located Chickadee Ridge area, a charming spot where the Chickadees land on your outstretched hands, find snowshoeing trails that access the 17-km of groomed multi-use trails, even dogs are welcome. Find lots of people using the trails from kids in toboggans to serious cross-country skiers.
Tahoe East Shore Trail
Connecting Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park, the Tahoe East Shore Trail is a 3-mile multi-use trail that is open during the winter (depending on weather). Park your vehicle at the self-pay parking lot at Ponderosa Ranch Road.
Where to Cross Country Ski
Another popular winter sport, cross country skiing, or nordic skiing, is a great way to explore the outdoors. Nevada Nordic is partnerning with several park areas to maintain trails throughout the winter season.
Mt Rose Area–Find miles of trails near the Ophir Creek trailhead and Chickadee Ridge. Best of all, the trails are multi-use and free to use for skate and classic XC skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing and leashed dogs are welcome. Find parking along on the Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) on the way to Incline Village.
Spooner Lake Nevada State Park–Though not free, Spooner Lake offers groomed XC trails. Located at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Nevada Highway 28. Admission $10 per car.
Sleigh Rides at Lake Tahoe
Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
One of the most photographed places in Lake Tahoe is beautiful year round though image exploring it on a sleigh ride. Each winter Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park hosts horse-drawn sleigh rides.
From November through March, find Borges Sleigh Rides with their Amish-made sleighs and Belgium draft horses. The Borges Family has offered one hour and 30-minute sleigh rides along the shore of Lake Tahoe for 50 years. Reservations required and prices start at $20.
State Park admission is an additional $10 per car. Located at 2005 Nevada Highway 28 near Incline Village.
Indoor Activities in Incline Village
Incline Village Cinema is located at 901 Tahoe Blvd. and show first-run movies.
Stillwater Spa is located inside the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and one of the largest spas in the area. Located at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Hyatt Recency Lake Tahoe Resort offers a mountain themed casino that’s a favorite with locals as well as guests.
Where to Eat in Incline Village
A favorite for 20 years, it serves up family friendly fare. Start with the buttermilk fries and follow with a salad, burgers or their chicken strips, all outstanding. The dining room is small so expect a wait. Austin’s is located at 120 Country Club Dr. #24, across for the Hyatt Resort. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Inclined Burgers and Brews
Tucked into a strip center find a small restaurant with good burgers, lots of beers and a few wine-by-th-glass and a kids menu. A patio area overlooks the parking lot and the 7-11 next door. Though don’t let the lack of ambience deter you. It’s packed most of the time. Breakfast available along with take-out. Located at 901 Tahoe Blvd. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Drink Coffee Do Stuff
An independently owned coffee and tea shop with an excellent mocha along with all the barista-made favorites. Find light snacks and bottled beverages as well. Located at 907 Tahoe Blvd. #20A. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lone Eagle Grille
Enjoy upscale dining with Lake Tahoe as a backdrop. Enjoy an New American menu packed with locally-sourced ingredients. Full wine and cocktail list available.
Open for dinner daily and serving lunch Thursday to Monday. Reservations recommended for dinner. Located across from the Hyatt Regency at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Raley’s Grocery Store sells inexpensive outdoor winter gear like gloves, hats and plastic sleds. It also features a large selection of wine, beer and liquor along with lots of grab-and-go items in the deli. It’s a fully stocked grocery store with a pharmacy. Located at 930 Tahoe Blvd.
Where to Stay in Incline Village
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino
With 422 guest rooms, suites and cottages with direct access to Lake Tahoe, the Hyatt offers a AAA Four-Diamond resort perfect for family getaways. I found several restaurants on the property and the Lone Eagle Grille offers lake views and a fine dining menu.
The Stillwater Spa is one of the largest spa facility in the area. Grand Lodge Casino offers adults an upscale mountain-themed casino that tempts locals and travelers alike.
Hyatt offers a free ski shuttle and a kids camp for kids 5 to 12. Located 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Sometimes winter surprises visitors. To fully enjoy the Lake Tahoe area 4WD or AWD vehicles are necessary outfitted with snow tires. The entire area is under chain control frequently. Though find chains and have them installed at the Cheveron Incline Village gas station at 898 Tahoe Blvd.