Review: Northstar California Resort, Lake Tahoe
Introduction: Nestled within the majestic Martis Valley on the North shore of Lake Tahoe, Northstar California Resort is a quintessential Californian winter haven. Owned by Vail Resorts, Northstar California flawlessly combines relaxed Californian comfort with a plethora of exciting winter activities, ensuring a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. This paradise, located close to both North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe, is a beacon for skiing enthusiasts.
Location and Accessibility: Situated just 61 kilometers from Reno International Airport and near Lake Tahoe’s vibrant surroundings, getting to Northstar California Resort is relatively straightforward. Those traveling from San Francisco can expect a 3.5-hour drive, whereas those coming from Reno can reach the resort in a mere 45 minutes. If you’re considering flying, Truckee Airport is just 4 miles from Northstar California, with services like Mountain Lion Aviation and Blackbird catering to regional private air services. For those needing shuttle services from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, check in and reservations are available till midnight, simplifying the journey for many travelers.
The Ski Experience: Spanning a vast 3,170 skiable acres, Northstar California Resort boasts a remarkable 100 trails serviced by 20 ski lifts, making it a skier’s paradise. The resort caters to all skill levels with 13% beginner, 60% intermediate, and 27% advanced trails. The impressive vertical drop of 2,280 feet, coupled with an average annual snowfall of 9 meters, promises an exhilarating experience, be it on their impeccable groomed trails or the unmatched tree skiing terrain. Skiers will be thrilled with the express lift system, Lookout Mountain, and the world class terrain parks available.
For those seeking added thrill, Northstar Resort is home to 8 distinct terrain parks ranging from the medium-sized ‘Pinball’ to the expansive ‘Pipeline’, which caters to all proficiency levels. These parks, coupled with their world-class grooming, dry powder snow, and expansive gate-accessed advanced terrain, ensure every enthusiast finds their perfect slope.
Other Winter Activities: If you’re looking to take a break from skiing or snowboarding at Northstar California Resort, indulge in cross country skiing on their 23.7 km of groomed trails. Or perhaps dive into a unique fat tire snow biking adventure after a snow storm. Snow tubing at the resort’s tubing hill is also an option. The resort also boasts an array of after-ski activities like gondola rides, live music, craft cocktails by the fire pits, free parking, and the ever-popular s’mores session – a delightful way to end a day on the snowy slopes of Northstar California.
The Village: Central to Northstar California’s allure is its vibrant village. Brimming with chic boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and an ice rink, the village is designed around a year-round ice skating rink. Here, guests can indulge in trivia nights at Wild Pine, craft their candles in a candle making session, and soaps, or simply soak in the beauty of winter with some après ski activities at places like Zephyr Lounge or the Ritz Carlton.
Accommodation: As a “premier family destination” – a title bestowed by Travel + Leisure – Northstar California Resort guarantees a comfortable stay. The resort epitomizes the term ‘Mountain Home Away from Home’. While specific accommodation details would require a direct visit to their website or a call to their helpline, one can expect a range of lodging options tailored to different budgets and preferences. From lavish Ritz Carlton stays to affordable lodging options, Northstar California offers a plethora of choices. Vacation packages often include lift tickets or season passes, so be sure to check in for deals.
- Mount Pluto: An extinct mountain, Mount Pluto’s historical eruption is responsible for the creation of Lake Tahoe. Its significance adds a unique touch to Northstar California Resort’s landscape.
- Awards: Northstar California’s Terrain Park was ranked #2 in 2018 by Transworld, underscoring the resort’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled skiing experience.
Areas for Improvement: While Northstar California Resort offers an extensive range of winter activities, given the popularity of Northstar California Resort, it can get quite busy during peak times, so make sure you book early.
Conclusion: Northstar California Resort is more than just a ski destination; it’s an experience. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping slopes, serene winter activities, or simply a chance to unwind with family and friends at the resort, Northstar California promises a memorable getaway. Its combination of diverse terrain, world-class amenities, and the charming village ensures every visitor leaves with cherished memories. As you plan your next winter vacation, Northstar undoubtedly stands as a top contender, with its trail map revealing hidden treasures awaiting to be explored.