The carful of kids will try any ski resort once but I’ve found only a couple that become our family favorites. The ones that we return to year-after-year because we like the skiing and the overall atmosphere. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is one of those.
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. It offers a lot a value for families and I especially like the skiing areas for kids.
Main Lodge.It also features a large deck out back facing most of the runs along with a cafeteria, coffee shop, bar and retail shop.
Visit the Winters Creek Lodge,a couple of miles down Hwy. 431 (Mt Rose Highway) for the double-black diamond runs. The Slide Bowl, The Chutes, an expert only area, is accessible through the Blazing Zephyr-6 and the Chuterlifts that originate at the Winters Creek Lodge.
Mt Rose Mountain By-the-Numbers
2019-2020 Lift Tickets
|Ages||At the Resort||Advance Online Purchase|
|16+||$145||$109 to $145|
|6 to 15||$75||$49 to $69|
|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
The carful of kids love the proximity of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe since it’s minutes from Incline Village. From Downtown Reno, Mt. Rose is 25 miles. From the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, it’s 22 miles. It’s even quicker to get to Incline Village in north Lake Tahoe at 11 miles.
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 been to some BIG name resorts that offer a couple of green runs for families. One long one that’s required for skiers to get off the mountain and a slow zone where several blue or black runs converge. Not the best environment for kids.
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.
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 new area especially for families.
The Enchanted Forestoffers 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-thorough lift taking you to the top of the mountain either. 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 of school 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 have 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.
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.
- 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 Rosebudsprogram is for skiers ages 4 to 9 and snowboarders from 7 to 9. Get a two-hour lesson, rental equipment with a helmet and a beginner lift ticket. Reservations are required and holiday dates do sell out.
If your kids are a little older (10+), Mt. Rose offers a First Timer Package with a two-hour lesson, rental equipment with a helmet and a beginner lift ticket. Or try the Next Step Package for skiers and snowboarders that includes a two-hour lesson, rental equipment and a beginner lift ticket. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe groups skiers by age and ability so the tweens and teens usually have a separate group during the holidays.
For the littlest skiers, the Little Mule Surface Liftoffers a fenced off area just for ski school. For the older skiers and snow boarders, use the Magic Surface Lift that’s 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.
Prep and Pack Lake Tahoe
What do you need to pack for family ski trip? I’ve been there. And here’s a Family Ski Trip Prep and Pack List.
Need some advice on picking a ski school for your kids? I’ve got my toptips for families to find the best program.
More Tahoe Fun
Tahoe City, on the western shore of Lake Tahoe, offers families lots of winter fun.
Know before you go
- Arrive early for the best parking and fewer lines during school holidays and breaks.
- You can purchase tickets on consolidators, like Liftopia.com, for further discounts.
- Reservations are a must for ski school programs during the school breaks.
- You can get a discount by booking your lift tickets online through the ski resort’s website.
- I like to rent my equipment from ski shops and skip the line on the mountain. 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 lots of resorts.
- Mt. Rose does not offer daycare services or all-day ski lessons forkids.