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Heavenly Mountain Resort

Snow Sports Area
Another amazing day at Heavenly. – Corey Rich

Lake Tahoe was a favorite destination for local Washoe and Paiute Indians for hundreds of years. In one high valley, up among the tallest peaks of the region, they found abundant game and a cool stream fed by large snowfields. They would later describe this area to the first white settlers as “heavenly” and it would come to be known as the Heavenly Valley.

The story begins with Heavenly Valley’s grand opening in December 15, 1955 when the resort opened with the legendary Gunbarrel lift and two rope tows in South Lake Tahoe. On New Year’s Day, 1968, Heavenly’s Nevada side was opened and the resort became the first to span two states. Heavenly installed a snowmaking system and began making snow in 1977. Today, Heavenly operates the West Coast’s largest snowmaking system. In 1990 the Mott Canyon lift was installed on the Nevada side, providing access to some of the best expert and extreme terrain in the region. The Gondola at Heavenly opened in December 2000. Connecting the mountain to the town of South Lake Tahoe, the Gondola is located just steps away from lodging, world-class gaming and Tahoe’s legendary nightlife. The 12 minute ride is enjoyed by guests year-round and offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, the Carson Valley and the surrounding Sierra Mountains.

In May, 2002, Vail Resorts, Inc., acquired Heavenly, making it the fifth resort in the company’s portfolio of premier U.S. mountain resorts alongside Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Vail Resorts has revitalized Heavenly with numerous capital improvements, provided a new approach to service and supported the local Tahoe community through a corporate stewardship program. With a resort that spans two states, 4,800 acres, with 30 lifts and a 15-acre Adventure Peak activities area, Heavenly has quickly become one of the top year-round mountain resort destinations in the United States. Vail continues to support Heavenly and the South Lake Tahoe community. In February 2011 Heavenly plans to debut the Tamarack Lodge at the top of the Heavenly Gondola. The 15,000 square-foot day lodge will seat 500 people inside and an additional 250 on a 4,000 square-foot deck. The Tamarack Lodge will be the first lodge built at the resort in 31 years.

Heavenly prides itself on offering exceptional guest service, amazing terrain for all levels of skiers and riders, and creating the most memorable experiences for all who visit.

Heavenly operates in cooperation with the US Forest Service.

Best Access and Parking Area

Heavenly offers a free shuttle ride aboard low-emission buses from most of the lodging properties to the four base areas; the Gondola, Stagecoach, Boulder and California Lodge.

The Heavenly Gondola, located at the heart of the Heavenly Village, is just steps away from multiple lodging properties.

The California Main Lodge, located off Ski Run Blvd. offers ample parking and mountain access via the Heavenly Tram and Gunbarrel. Guests also have the option to park in this lot and shuttle to the Gondola.

Stagecoach and Boulder Lodges are located at the top of Hwy 207, a.k.a. Kingsbury Grade, off Tramway and are most convenient for those traveling from the Carson Valley.

Rules and Regulations

Heavenly requests that all skiers and riders act responsibly and abide by the Skier and Rider Responsibility Code.

Snow Sports Area By the Numbers

Elevation: 10,067' elevation, highest in Lake Tahoe Acres: 4,800 acres spanning two states, most on the West Coast Descent: 5 miles, longest on the West Coast Vertical: 3,500', unmatched on the West Coast Annual snowfall: More than 30 feet a year Lifts: 30 Trails: 94 Base areas: 4 On-mountain Dining: 9 Ski and Snowboard School locations: 3

Trail System

Heavenly's 94 trails offer everything from beginning to expert terrain. Some of the favorites include Ridge Run on the California side which offers an intermediate pitch and amazing views of Lake Tahoe. It appears as if you're riding into the lake. Another California favorite is Gunbarrel, the legendary bump run. Each spring mogul master Glen Plake hosts the Gunbarrel 25 event where competitors ski 25 laps on the 1,800' vertical run. On the Nevada side Orion run is Heavenly's signature mile long cruiser.

At Heavenly you'll find the best tree skiing and riding on the planet. Amazing tree runs can be found off every lift. Areas like Powderbowl Woods, Nevada Woods, Scorpion Woods and Northbowl Trees hide secret powder stashes that can be enjoyed days after one of Tahoe's unbelievable storms. The gladed runs in Bohemian Grove and Pinnacles runs offer intermediate skiers and riders an opportunity to hone their skills and gain confidence while learning to slalom through the majestic trees. Truly a glimpse into solitude, tree skiing and riding at Heavenly is a euphoric experience.

For those of you who like to get your jib on, Heavenly offers four progressive terrain parks. New for 2010/11 Ante Up will be located at the top of the Heavenly Gondola on Cascade run. The infamous High Roller terrain park will blow your mind with its innovative features, huge triple-jump line and picture perfect Lake Tahoe backdrop. Groove is fun for the entire group with small jumps and introductory features and Powderbowl offers a perfect medium; not too big, not too small, but just right. All parks feature the Heavenly TPC's unique recycled "green" features.


Approximate Operating Season

mid-November through mid-April