Best of Tahoe List: pitstops, apres-ski venues, pet-friendly hotels, etc

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Thank you everyone for your vote for our ‘Best of Tahoe List” and tips. Congrats to winners (announced on Tuesday January 22, 2019 at 11 pm PST) on our Facebook page 🙂

Planning a getaway to Lake Tahoe to enjoy snow-sports​?​

Check out our ‘Best of Tahoe List’ and ti​​ps ​from our veteran skiers and boarders 😉

– pitstops en route to/from Lake Tahoe; best place to refill gas for low prices
– North Tahoe & South Tahoe apres-ski spots/venues + happy hour deals
– pet-friendly hotels
– pet-sitting
– winter driving tips
– wind protected Tahoe resorts, etc.

Travis S. tips:

(1) What is your favorite place for a pitstop whenever you drive to and from Tahoe & why?

Burger Barn in Pollock Pines. Quirky staff, cheap but good food, and really good meat and veggie burgers. https://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-barn-pollock-pines

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

I think it’s less about the model and more about getting snow tires. They make all the difference.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

I like and use Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires. They’ve served me well, from Tahoe to Montana, Colorado, Utah, and all over icy/snowy conditions in the west.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

Tahoe Aleworx in South Lake Tahoe is the best. You can’t beat RFID wristbands to pour your own beer 🙂
They have 2 locations in South Lake Tahoe (Stateline near Heavenly Village and at the “Y”).

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-tahoe-aleworx-south-lake-tahoe

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-tahoe-aleworx-stateline-stateline

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

I’ve seen countless people driving to and from Tahoe in cars that have no business being in the mountains in snow and icy conditions. Have or use 4WD/AWD *and* snow tires!

(6) Which resort do you recommend for first time beginners and advance level/expert skiers and snowboarders?

– True beginners/first timers: Tahoe Donner
– Beginners: Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar
– Advanced: Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

(8) What’s your favorite Tahoe area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing?

Sugar Bowl/Royal Gorge
Camp Richardson
Kirkwood
Tahoe XC

(9) On high wind days, which resort is your go to that is mostly protected from high wind/gusts? FYI, on high wind days, many resorts put ski lifts on wind hold; to avoid, good to know which resort is unlikely to be affected?

– Homewood
– Northstar
– Sierra at Tahoe

(10) For those who are new to skiing and snowboarding, what are your tips for gear? Buy new or used? Learn from friends/family or from ski resorts experts?

If planning to develop and progress, buy new. If just going for a few times then buy used or rent.

(11) What’s your favorite place for Tahoe area petsitting?

Truckee Tahoe Pet Lodge (Truckee)
https://tahoebestfriends.com/ (South Lake Tahoe)

(12) Which Tahoe area resort have the best lake view run?

Heavenly-Ridge Run

(14) What’s your favorite Tahoe area hotel? Fave hotels that are dog & pet-friendly?

Edgewood is the best, and priced accordingly.
– Best pet friendly: Basecamp (South Lake Tahoe & Tahoe City) or a vacation rental (such as those found on dogtrekker.com

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Marc D tips:

(1) What is your favorite place for a pitstop whenever you drive to and from Tahoe & why?

If driving to South Lake Tahoe, one good pitstop for the cheapest gas and coffee is the new Fuel Express Station between Folsom and Placerville. Stay along highway US-50 and take exit 39 for Shingle Springs Dr.

Coming back from SLT along the US-50 after a good skiing day, best is to escape SLT before traffic builds, drive all the way to Placerville where you can enjoy the best BBQ in town at the Hog Wild Bar-B-Que (good food and reasonable price). If you are not a meat fan, then not far away still in Placerville is Let’s Poke restaurant. Quick and delicious.

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

Some newer cars like the RAV4 AWD, it is not AWD all the time but when required. This is good if you are driving on fresh snow on a flat road but I don’t like it when going downhill or uphill. So check your car before driving to ensure it is full time AWD or if it is a 4WD then put it to 4H and drive carefully.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

The best is to have studded snow tires but we all know most of the people live in the Bay Area and can’t have these snow tires in the city. So another safe option is to have All Season Tires. These tires can be identified with a Mountain / snowflake Symbol on the side of the tire or an M+S label.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

Again this is for Skiing Heavenly and staying in SLT.
If skiing from the Gondola, then you have multiple choices for drinks and food for Après-Ski.
Azul Kitchen and California Burger in Heavenly Village have good happy hour deals (4 to 6pm) and good food too.

The best pizza is not far too at the Base Camp Pizza Company just next to the Gondola.

If you are parked at the California lodge (top of Ski run Blvd) then don’t worry no need to drive after your long epic day. Himmel Haus is a great German restaurant across the street from the parking lot and have great drinks and food.

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

Driving on snow is tricky and the best is to avoid sudden braking or turning. Try to use engine braking when going downhill versus braking all the time. Don’t use your phone and get distracted, again sudden reactions when driving on snow can lead you to an accident.

Accelerating, stopping and turning take longer and are less predictable when driving on snow.
Slow driving is the key to maintaining control.

(6) Which resort do you recommend for first time beginners and advance level/expert skiers and snowboarders?

– for first timers, Heavenly has good easy runs (maybe easier on California side), but another great and easy resort (my favorite) is Northstar. Very convenient for families.

– for advance skiers and snowboarders, then Squaw Valley and Kirkwood are the best places around Tahoe to enjoy double diamond runs and push your skiing limits.

(7) For Lake Tahoe backcountry skiing/snowboarding, what are 2-3 of your favorite backcountry areas?

The north side of the lake (around Mt Rose) has great backcountry areas.

Also the road to Kirkwood along the 88 has multiple spots for backcountry (Waterhouse peak being the easiest).

Best is to check the App Snow Project for locations and levels.

(9) On high wind days, which resort is your go to that is mostly protected from high wind/gusts? FYI, on high wind days, many resorts put ski lifts on wind hold; to avoid, good to know which resort is unlikely to be affected?

Both Heavenly and Kirkwood get very windy during stormy days. Heavenly is probably the one that shuts down first.

Squaw as well is known to receive strong winds.

Northstar on the contrary is well protected from winds, being in the back side of Lake Tahoe so that would be my best option in a bad stormy day.

(12) Which Tahoe area resort have the best lake view run?

For best views over Lake Tahoe I recommend Heavenly and Mt Rose.

(13) What’s your favorite Tahoe area restaurant / eatery?

Basecamp Pizza Co is the best but it gets very busy.

Heidi’s pancake house has the best breakfasts.

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Adam J tips: is our 2nd prize winner; he innovates with his Subaru DIY POWder chaser makeshift sleeping pad so he can be slope-side for first tracks – see pic below (passionate pow seeker sans ski cabin)

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(1) What is your favorite DIY money-saving strategy for Tahoe trips?

My greatest realization was that with a little bit of effort, I can make the back of my Subaru a very comfortable (and cheap) place to sleep for the night. So now, I drive up to the Truckee rest stop the night before, crash out in back since I’m usually tired from driving, and then pop up bright and early in the morning and I’m parked in the front row of free parking at Squaw within 20 minutes. Then I can take my time getting ready cuz I’ve already got a great parking spot! I love it.

(2) Owners of all wheel drive vehicles, this tip is for those looking to buy an AWD or 4WD vehicle for Tahoe trips/driving on snow/icy roads, what make & model do you recommend? why?

Subaru. Period. Also, luggage racks make your car top-heavy and reduce fuel efficiency people.

(3) For winter snow & icy roads, which tire brand do you use and recommend for best traction control and why?

Anything at Costco, mostly because they will do rotations for free. More importantly, have a good set of CHAINS. Also, make sure to test the chains before you need them! Amazon sometimes sends you chains for a different tire size by mistake.

(4) For Apres ski & ride, what places do you like to hang out to enjoy drinks / snacks? happy hour?

My backpack. The resort takes enough of my money. My wife’s sammiches are the bomb! Also, remember those lil flasks you see people use on tv? They work well for apres ski, too!

(5) Winter snow and ice driving and safety tips?

Checklist: Chains (that fit), good tires (lots o tread left), and good wipers (Rain-x, baby!). Don’t crowd the plow!

(10) For those who are new to skiing and snowboarding, what are your tips for gear? Buy new or used? Learn from friends/family or from ski resorts experts?

Thicker socks don’t help! If your feet are cold, they probably aren’t getting sufficient circulation (took me years to figure this out). Try loosening your boots.

🏂⛷❄️❄️❄️

Check out our Tahoe money saving tips such as where to go for lift ticket deals, free birthday lift ticket, learn to ski, snowboard package deals, apres ski happy hour venues, etc at

http://www.snowpals.org/deals/daily-tahoe-tips/

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Give a tip for snow-sports newbies planning to visit Lake Tahoe to enjoy snowsports and get entered into SnowPals giveaway for:

+ $25 Cheesecake Factory Gift Card

https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com

+ $20 gift card for Philz Artesian Coffee

https://www.philzcoffee.com

Entry deadline is Tuesday January 22 at 9:59 pm PST.


To enter our giveaway, please submit your tips for one or more of the following questions:

Tahoe Tips

Give your tips for the following questions; either one or multiple questions..
  • -->> PLEASE include a www.yelp.com link
  • -->> PLEASE include a www.yelp.com link

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* Join our fun informal happy hour meetups organized by our members to connect for Tahoe ridesharing (share expenses, help reduce impact to our environment, expand your contacts for ski & ride buddies).

* Got a 60 seconds GoPRO video of you skiing or riding POW? Enter our skiing / riding POWDER contest.

* Plan a Tahoe getaway: browse Tahoe vacation rentals or those with a season pass, join a ski lease to set a new personal record for most ski and ride days.

* Book a discount SF Bay Area to Tahoe ski resorts trip: one day, overnight and 7+ day trips; also makes a great gift for holidays, birthdays, etc.

* Rideshare to your favorite Tahoe resort and for those who are holders of Epic Pass, Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective Pass, or other multi-resort season pass, connect for POWDER trips to Utah, Colorado, Whistler, Europe, Japan, South America and other worldwide snow destinations.

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Saving the Planet One Rider At A Time

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By Vicki Olds, aka Shibumi – “Snowpals Reporter At-Large”

SnowPals is making a difference; saving our planet and particularly the Lake Tahoe Basin, one ride-share at a time.

“Did you know there are 1 billion cars in the world?  Unfortunately, we’re set to double this in the next 10 years.  Each shared car takes 13 cars off the road (on average).  You can make a difference by sharing a car.”  — getaround.com

Since 1999, SnowPals members have ride-shared from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe and back at least 5,100* times (this is a conservative estimate*).  For an average 400-mile round-trip to/from Tahoe in a vehicle that gets 28 miles per gallon average highway miles will burn 14.3 gallons of gas.  A gallon of gasoline burned releases 20 pounds of CO2 into the air.  By carpooling, each rider, in addition to the driver, represents 14.3 gallons of gasoline saved from being burned — or 286 pounds of carbon dioxide per round trip!

“Let’s break down how CO2 is produced: a gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds. Roughly 90% of that mass is carbon or about 5.5 pounds.  When that carbon is burned one atom of carbon, C, combines with two molecules of oxygen, O2, to form carbon dioxide, CO2.  One molecule of CO2 weighs about 3.5 times as much as an atom of carbon, so that 5.5 pounds of carbon burned results in about 20 pounds of CO2.”

— U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/tools/

High Five yourself, SnowPals’ rideshare participants.  Together we have saved the planet from 1,458,600 pounds of carbon dioxide pollutants!

To calculate how much carbon pollution you contribute to the planet, annually, use the energy calculators at Infinite Power (gee, those Texans are really serious about oil): http://www.infinitepower.org/calc_carbon.htm

Plus, think about how much you have saved in gasoline expenses by offering to share your vehicle with a snow rider or two.  At 5,100 SnowPal ride-shares, times 14.3 gallons, times the price of a gallon of gas … that’s no small change.  In fact, that would be $218,790 in total per snow season that did not go to Big Oil if you had paid $3/gallon at the pump.

And, how many of us have made friends along the way?  Or shared a meal and a drink, or two, after the slopes … That’s the non-tangible perks of ridesharing so we at SnowPals encourage you to rideshare / carpool to and from Lake Tahoe resorts as much as possible and to forward this piece to folks you know who goes to Tahoe often but mostly drive solo – advance thanks in helping us preserve our natural environment for ourselves and for generations to come.

* Median of 15 ride-shares/wk; with New Snow this shoots up to 30-35 ride-shares/week.  We’re saying that at least 4x/season when there’s a surge of snow riders looking for new snow.

Help keep our planet green, save money and expand your circle of friends by joining SnowPals to ride share to Tahoe area ski resorts and snow destinations beyond (SnowPals members’ in past years joined forces and resources to organize ski and snowboard trips via carpooling/ride sharing to Colorado, Utah and even British Columbia ski resorts).

Are you a local business? Please consider partnering with us to help increase awareness of SnowPals’ rideshare / carpool to help people pool resources to drive together to and from Lake Tahoe.

SnowPals’ mission is to enable SF Bay Area residents to pool resources to ride share/carpool to Tahoe resorts to reduce impact to our environment. We kick off the ski season with annual Kickoff Parties around the SF Bay Area.

We invite businesses to partner with us to help bring awareness to our ride-sharing offerings, and to encourage people who might otherwise drive solo to use our services to make new friends and to reduce their carbon footprint.

Individually we each can make slight carbon footprint reductions, and together we can make significant reductions that will help preserve our natural environment. Please consider partnering with SnowPals and we can also help local businesses with its marketing exposure.

For more about our ride-share program, please see: http://www.snowpals.org/info/tahoe-rideshare/

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One day and multi-day discount Tahoe ski bus trips

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Bay Area Ski Bus to Tahoe Promo Discount Code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ is valid only for NEW Registrants.

 

Get the following discounts:

  • $6 off per person on one day trips
  • $10 off per person on two day Bay Area Ski Bus Trips
  • $30 off per person on travel ski destinations trip packages

Bay Area Ski Bus trips goes to Kirkwood, Heavenly, Sierra at Tahoe, Northstar, Sugar Bowl, Squaw Valley USA, Homewood and Alpine Meadows. 1 day and 2 day hotel, house weekend trips and overnight ski bus trip packages. The Bay Area Ski Bus offers the most ski bus trips to Tahoe resorts; operating four days weekly with 11 SF Bay Area pick-up locations.

Bay Area Ski Bus offers:

  • Adults Only Ski Bus Trips
  • Family Ski Bus Trips
  • Teens Exclusive Ski Bus Trips
  • Singles Ski Bus Trips(“Singles” Ski Trips give solo skiers & snowboarders a chance to meet other singles in a fun and engaging setting: meet that special person who shares your love for snow sports)

These trips include:

  • round- trip transportation
  • a full day’s lift ticket
  • breakfast
  • free energy drink for the slopes
  • after- ski hot cocoa(wine/beer tastings on selected dates), snacks, and on-bus featured movie entertainment
  • optional: add ski/snowboard rental and/or lesson package

Treat family, friends and/or yourself to a fun day at your favorite Tahoe ski resort. Gift certificates available for the holidays or that special occasion.

  If you already have a ski season pass or lift ticket, you can choose to purchase a ‘ ala carte ‘ round-trip bus ride only service/transportation for $93 with the ‘ 17snowpals ‘ promo code(regular price is $99).

SAVE $30 ON SKI TRIP VACATIONS 

Use discount code  ‘ 17snowpals ‘ at payment checkout* to get $30 off.

Treat yourself, family and friends to a Ski & Snowboarding Destination Vacation

 Get $30 off ski / ride and stay vacation to ..

       Jan 2 – 8, 2017         Powder Hunt Ski Trip
       Jan 14 – 21, 2017      Banff and Kicking Horse, British Columbia Ski Trip
       Feb 9 – 20, 2017       Japan
                

Reserve your spot(s) with a deposit. Space is limited; register early as trips will fill up. A DEPOSIT secures your spot!

Browse the Tahoe ski bus schedule, register and use our discount code ‘ 17snowpals ‘ to get your discount. Please note discounts only valid for NEW registrants.

Here’s what a typical ski bus day trip with the Bay Area Ski Bus is like:

Looking to buy gear, skis, snowboard or snow sports clothing? REI is having their REI’s Winter Clearance Sale.

Save up to 50% on Cold Weather Clothing and Footwear. Plus Save 50% off or more at REI Garage! Shop early for the best selection. Free U.S. Standard Shipping on all Skis and Snowboards. Earn a $100 REI Gift Card when you apply for an REI Mastercard. Browse clearance sale items.

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