Zones: Northstar-at-Tahoe, California
Northstar-at-Tahoe has worked hard to build its image as the premiere locale for the best park riding in the U.S., and has delivered with one of the most amazing top to bottom setups park rats couldn't even dream up. Northstar is more than a bunch of epic parks though. The resort and village have been beautifully upgraded over the past 10 years. From big hotels like the Ritz and Hyatt, to a new mid-mountain lodge, ice skating rink and a number of shops and restaurants, Northstar has earned its five-star rating as one of the best resort vacation spots in the country. Now Vail Resorts owned and operated, Northstar looks to continue its legacy with continuing to improve on what the place already does pretty damn well. Here's the lowdown on getting there, where to stay, eat, hang and more.
Located a half hour from Reno, NV and an hour and a half from Sacramento, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is a part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Northern California. Northstar is about 10 miles from Lake Tahoe, in the town of Truckee, California, boasting the largest year-round population in the area. The Lake Tahoe region includes 12 resorts and covers 72 miles of shoreline, split almost even between California and Nevada.
There are endless daily flights to Reno, Sacramento or San Francisco. The closest is Reno, with several shuttle options to North Lake Tahoe, including the North Lake Tahoe Express. It's easy to drive if the weather is cooperative, and is nice to have a car to cruise to the lake and explore the region. Northstar is somewhat secluded, with the closest grocery about 15 minutes away, but the resort does have free shuttles to and from Truckee, Kings Beach and surrounding towns.
Northstar gets a bad rap about being a flat mountain, but the truth is the resort has incredibly vast terrain. The Backside and Lookout feature some of the best trees and steeps out of the way of the beginner areas. The mountain is simple to maneuver and very family-friendly. Northstar's parks are world-class, with a variety of sized featured, fun for everyone from beginner to pro. Hit up Vista Express to get your park fix.
Check out Northstar's new interactive trail map to really study the mountain before you go.
Vertical drop: 2,280 ft
Uphill capacity: 34,799 people per hour Annual Snow Fall: 350 inches
Snowmaking covers 50 percent of the mountain
Summit: 8,610 feet/2,624 meters
Base: 6,330 feet/1929 meters
Skiable Acres: 3,000
Average Temp: Nov.-Apr.: 43 degrees fahrenheit daytime high , 21 degrees fahrenheit overnight low
There are seven parks by Snow Park Technologies – the premier park building group in the world. There is also a Burton Stash park made of natural features through the forest. Seeking to improve your park skills? Check out the Burton Academy, where coaches work with riders of all ages to refining their park tricks.
Lift Ticket Pricing: Adults are $78 for a full day, Season Pass $799 and includes riding at Heavenly Resort in South Lake Tahoe as well. Discounts are available early season. Northstar has many multi-day deals as well as group rates. Check here for details on the full price list:
Nortstar Lodge- Hyatt Residence Club
One of the newest Northstar Village properties, the Hyatt Residence Club, is just like staying in a home away from home….a really, really nice one.
The only hotel located on the mountain, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe is five-star ski-in, ski-out at its finest. Including a bar, restaurant, game room, spa and more, the Ritz is expensive, but worth it
Tahoe Mountain Lodging
A one-stop shop for all condos in the Village at Northstar. From studios to baller status, Tahoe Mountain Lodging has you covered.
Butterbox is the premiere snowboard shop in the Village. They will kit you out in the steeziest apparel and have a nice selection of hardwoods too.
Sacramento's finest planted itself right in the heart of the Northstar village. Primarily a sushi restaurant, Mukini has several options for the non-fish lover.
Everyone loves pizza and Rubicon does it right from gourmet specials to the good ol' pepperoni.
Earthly Delights has a vast selection of sandwiches, pastas and more. A wine shop and small grocery as well, Earthly Delights is a great place for a quick breakfast sand or after-riding treat.
One downfall of staying at Northstar is there isn't much happening after 10p.m. Some of the restaurants stay open later depending on time of year, but if you really want to hit a bar you're going to have to pick up a taxi into Old Town Truckee or hit Stateline for an all-night party at the Biltmore or Crystal Bay.