In an area with nearly a dozen ski resorts, Lake Tahoe offers lots of variety in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California and Nevada. After skiing in the Lake Tahoe area for over 20 years, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Resort remains a personal favorite. It’s a under-the-radar resort for most first-time visitors to Lake Tahoe, see why locals continue to flock to this resort.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Mt. Rose is usually the first ski resort to open every year thanks to its 8,260 base elevation, the highest base in Lake Tahoe. With several areas, Mt. Rose doesn’t bottleneck like some Lake Tahoe resorts. The green skiing popular with families and beginners can’t be beat at Mt. Rose.
What I like about Mt. Rose
Park in front of lodges, no shuttle or gondola necessary.
Lots of lesson and package deals.
What I want from Mt. Rose
More dining options inside
More seating and firepit areas outside
New for the 2020-21 Season
Skiing this season will be different though daily lift tickets are available. With 1,
No rental equipment is NOT available for the season.
Double-layer masks must be worn.
Limited access to the lodge with reduced food service and time limits on indoor table seating.
No camping out at tables is allowed.
Picnicing in vehicles is preferred.
Six-foot social distacing required and capacity reductions are in place.
Mt Rose Mountain By-the-Numbers
2020-2021 Lift Tickets
|Ages||At the Resort||Advance Online Purchase|
|16+ Full Day/Half Day||Unavailable for 20/21||$145/$95 a.m. $85 p.m.|
|6 to 15 Full Day/Half Day||Unavailable for 20/21||$75/$50 a.m. $45 p.m.|
|Under 5||$20||Available at resort only|
|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 Areas
Main Lodge Area
Find all the rentals and lesson check-in at the Main Lodge area. It also features a large deck out back facing the runs along with a cafeteria, coffee shop, bar and retail shop.
All the green and beginner skiing and boarding is located in this area. Find the Wildhorse Adventure area with glade green skiing. Additionally find the Northwest Passage, Lakeview, Galena, Wizard lifts and Magic surface lift.
It’s serviced by a large parking area with an overflow area.
Winters Creek Lodge
Located at couple of miles down Hwy. 431 (Mt Rose Highway), find an area for more advance skiers and boarders, like double-black diamond runs. Get access to The Slide Bowl and The Chutes, an expert-only area.
Serviced by the Blazing Zephyr and The Chuter lifts, both originate at the Winters Creek Lodge. Also find a separate parking area. Additionally this area can be accessed by Northwest Passage lift without driving from the Main Lodge area.
Lake Tahoe Family Skiing
My only complain about the Lake Tahoe skiing is the limited amount of green runs for families. So many resorts forget about the family skiers and the carful of kids we bring to ski.
I get it, we aren’t glamorous with our endless needs. We are slow and clog up the lift lines. Sometimes our kids are whiny.
I’ve skiied some BIG name resorts that offer a couple of green runs for families. Or worse, the one long green run that’s required. Some resort tack a slow zone (green run) where several blue or black runs converge. Not the best environment for kids learning to ski and the parents that follow them.
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe for Kids
Mt. Rose offers a lot of green runs for kids. In fact, Mt. Rose offers two green skiing areas, not a green run that doubles as a slow zone. Each area is service by a lift.
The Wizard Lift
Mt. Rose moved their old Ponderosa Lift and renamed it the Wizard Lift. Then took a single run named the Enchanted Forest and expanded it into a whole area especially for families.
The Enchanted Forest offers green runs in a separate area that’s not tacked on to the bottom of a blue or black run. The Wizard is not a pass-thru lift to more advanced skiing. It’s the gateway to magical Enchanted Forest that’s perfect for kids and the parents that ski with them.
You have the option of skiing down runs like Magic Potion, Dragon’s Tail or Spellbound. Even on the busiest holidays you feel alone in the world discovering an enchanted land that might be harboring a woodland sprite or dare we say, Harry?
After the kids master the Enchanted Forest area move up the mountain. Take the Wizard Lift and head left to ski to the Galena Lift.
Take the long green run, Galena, to ski back to the lodge. Or verve off and find more green runs, like Mustang, Bronco and North Rim. All of them return to the Galena Lift so the kids can ski or board all day long without skiing the same run. And the scenery is lovely with lots of tree coverage.
Mt Rose Ski Tahoe Terrain Parks
Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe offers four terrain parks but the majority are for advanced skier and boarders. Since terrain parks require more snow and maintenance find them later in the season. Terrain parks will be closed after heavy snowstorms for maintenance.
- Galena Terrain Garden
- Badlands Terrain Park
- Down Down Terrain Terrain Park
- Pondo Terrain Park
As a Mom, be sure and check out the terrain park signs to see if your kids are in the right terrain park. Most resorts install several terrain parks with differing levels of difficulty.
And stay SMART–Start small, Make a plan, Always look around, Respect others and the park and Take it easy.
Mt. Rose–Getting Kids on the Snow
Don’t try and teach your kids to ski or snowboard unless there’s an Olympic Medal hangin on your wall. All the mountain meltdowns I’ve seen start with DIY ski lessons. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe specializes in getting kids on the snow and loving it with lesson packages.
The Mt. Rose Rosebuds program is for skiers and snowboarders from ages 6 to 12. The instuctor to student ratio is 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 depending on the skill level. Get a two-and-half-hour session, rental equipment with a helmet and an all-day beginner lift ticket. Reservations are required and rates start at $155 per person.
Private Lessons are offer for small groups with up to five people. Get a three hour lesson at your level. Prices is for instruction only and doesn’t include equipment or lift tickets. Rates start at $195 per group.
No other clinics are lessons are offered for the 2020-2021 season.
For the littlest skiers, the Little Mule Surface Lift offers a fenced off area just for ski school. The older skiers and snow boarders use the Magic Surface Lift, open to all.
What I like about Mt. Rose’s Rosebud program
- Low kid-to-instructor ratio
- Indoor area to drop off your kids
- Instructors fit the kids with equipment for you
What’s Next for Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
According the Mt. Rose Marketing Director, Mike Pierce, they have plans for a new lift and a skier bridge over the Mt. Rose Highway (Nevada Highway 431) to be completed in the few years.
This new area will expand the green skiing at Mt. Rose even more. I don’t know about your kids but my kids would put on head-to-toe white snow gear just to blend in so they would never have to leave.
Besides the new lift and runs, Mt. Rose also plans to renovate the Main Lodge and expand the Rosebud children’s center.
Where’s Mt Rose
Located at 22222 Mt. Rose Highway, 22 miles from the Reno/Lake Tahoe airport (RNO). It’s 11 miles from North Lake Tahoe and the traffic is more congested into Reno than into the Tahoe Basin.
More Tahoe Fun
What do you need to pack for family ski trip? I’ve been there.
Know Before You Go
- Arrive early for the best parking and fewer lines during school holidays and breaks.
- Reservations are a must for ski school programs.
- Rent equipment from ski shops. Most shops let you rent equipment the evening before and you can return it early in the morning after your trip.
- Don’t forget the helmets, they are required for kids at resorts.
- Mt. Rose does not offer daycare services or all-day ski lessons for kids.