For those headed to Lake Tahoe for a winter getaway, Incline Village, Nevada, is one of the handful of towns ringing the lake in which many visitors stay. Known for its amazing views of the lake that never freezes, the North Shore’s Incline Village is hard to beat for convenience. It is closest to the Reno International Airport and two ski resorts within a few miles of town. Here are my top things to do in Incline Village in winter.
Top Things to Do in Incline Village in Winter
Skiing or Snowboarding
Hand Feed a Chickadee
Go on a Winter Hike
Cross Country Skiing
Take a Sleigh Ride
See a Movie for the Kids
Hit the Slots or Spa for the Adults
Incline Village offers lots of snow play and sledding areas for free places to play in Incline Village. For indoor activities, there’s a movie theater, dining and a luxury hotel and casino.
Where to Ski Near Incline Village
Skiing or snowboarding is one of the Top Things to do in Incline Village in Winter. With top resorts within a few miles of town, visitors enjoy fewer crowds even on busy weekends.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort
For the closest place to ski, the Diamond Peak Ski Resort is in Incline Village, a local favorite. Boasting some of the best views of the lake, it’s a must for a bluebird day. I love to carve powder through a glade in the evergreens while grabbing glimpses of a pristine lake that never freezes.
It offers a shuttle that stops at several places in Incline Village so it is convenient for those staying in town. Best of all, its runs are varied so the skiing and boarding is varied. Since Diamond Peak is less known, it is less crowded, even on holiday weekends.
When the weather is windy, this resort’s lower runs are sheltered. Since the elevation is lower, the temperatures are higher. Diamond Peak Ski Resort opens a little later in the season 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:
|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 by 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. This is 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 the 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.
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. It is one of the Top Things to do in Incline Village in Winter.
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. In my experience, most skiers are staying in Reno and head down the mountain at the end of the day, not back to the lake.
For more advanced skiers and boarders, this is your resort for double black diamond runs. The Chutes area features gates so no one will accidentally find themselves on a double black diamond.
The skiing and boarding at Mt. Rose are varied so it attracts a variety of people from beginners to seniors. It offers a bar though there’s no après generally.
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:
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.
Mt. Rose offers half-day and full-day kids programs. Best suited for school-age kids and Mt. Rose doesn’t offer a daycare.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest at 22222 Mt. Rose Hwy (Hwy 431) 25 minutes from Reno, Nevada.
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. Lake Tahoe offers terrain 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 past the Mt. Rose Summit on the Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) on the way to Incline Village.
With off-highway parking and a steep hill, this area attracts a crowd quickly 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 past Spooner Summit on U.S. Highway 50 at the turnoff for Nevada Highway 28.
Preston Field and Playground
If the roads are icy, then stay in town. 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 past Mt Rose Highway.
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 snowshoeing. 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 beaten 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 is $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 past the Mt. Rose Summit on the Mt. Rose Highway (Hwy 431) on the way to Incline Village.
Feed a Bird at Chickadee Ridge
A new addition to Mt Rose Meadow is groomed snowshoe trails. The snowshoeing trails include 17 km of groomed multi-use trails, and everyone is welcome, even dogs. Just be mindful of the groomed cross-country ski tracks. Find lots of people using the trails from kids in toboggans to serious cross-country skiers.
At the Chickadee Ridge area, Chickadees will land on your outstretched hands. If you offer bird seed, trail mix or crushed granola bar and stand still the birds will gather. Remember the birds will stay away if you bring a dog.
To find Chickadee Ridge, zoom in on the Mt. Rose Meadows area on a map app. Off-highway along the road. You will need snowshoes to reach this area.
Take A Winter Hike
Along Lake Tahoe, the walking paths are plowed. Snowshoes aren’t required to explore the winter landscape.
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 the weather). Park your vehicle at the self-pay parking lot at Ponderosa Ranch Road.
Walkers will find a paved path along Lakeshore Boulevard that offers peaks of Lake Tahoe along with some of the largest estates on the lake. Parking is found at the south terminus of Lakeshore Boulevard.
Where to Cross Country Ski near Incline Village
Another popular winter sport, cross-country skiing, or Nordic skiing, is a great way to explore the outdoors. Nevada Nordic is partnering with several park areas to maintain trails throughout the winter season. Generally, where you can cross-country ski, you can also snowshoe.
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 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 is $10 per car/$15 for non-residents.
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 imagine exploring it on a sleigh ride. Each winter Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park hosts horse-drawn sleigh rides.
From November through March, Borges Sleigh Rides brings their Amish-made sleighs and Belgian draft horses. The Borges Family has offered one hour and 30-minute sleigh rides along the shore of Lake Tahoe for 50 years. Reservations are recommended though walk-ups are accepted. Prices start at $20.
Located at 2005 Nevada Highway 28 near Incline Village. State Park admission is an additional $10 per car/$15 for non-residents.
Top Indoor Activities in Incline Village
Incline Village Cinema
See a first-run movie in a two-screen theater.
Located at 901 Tahoe Blvd.
Stillwater Spa is located inside the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort. It is one of the largest spas in the area.
Located at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Hyatt Regency Casino
The Grand Lodge in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort offers a mountain-themed casino. It’s a favorite with locals as well as guests since it lacks the flashy deco of most Nevada casinos.
Located at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Where to Eat in Incline Village
A favorite for 20 years, Austin’s Restaurant serves up family-friendly fare. Start with the buttermilk fries and follow with its salads, burgers or chicken strips, all outstanding. The dining room is small so expect a wait.
Austin’s is located at 120 Country Club Dr. #24, across from 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. However, don’t let the lack of ambiance deter you. It’s packed most of the time. Breakfast is 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. There are several locations across the Lake Tahoe basin.
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 a New American menu packed with locally sourced ingredients. Full wine and cocktail list available.
Open for dinner daily and serving lunch from Thursday to Monday. Reservations are recommended for dinner. Located across from the Hyatt Regency at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Raley’s Grocery Store
The 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 spas 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 at 111 Country Club Dr. at Lakeshore Blvd.
Sometimes winter surprises visitors. To fully enjoy the Lake Tahoe area a 4WD or AWD vehicle outfitted with snow tires is necessary. The entire area is under chain control frequently. Though find chains and have them installed at the Chevron Incline Village gas station at 898 Tahoe Blvd.
Before heading out check out road conditions at NVroads.com for tire chain requirements. I use Nevada’s website for the Lake Tahoe region since it’s easier to use on a mobile device than California’s website.