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|Base:||6,540 ft CA|
|7,200 ft NV|
|Ski area:||4800 acres|
|Six Pack Chairs:||2|
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The views here are indeed heavenly. From the peak of the lifts and from many trails, the view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains is spectacular. The Heavenly ski area is located along the south shore of Lake Tahoe and presents to you a view northward along the length of the lake with the surrounding mountains located snugly along its shore. It also sits on the California Nevada border and many times in your ski day you will find yourself crossing the state line. The Nevada facing view is however quite different, it overlooks a vast dessert plain.
There are four base lodge areas:
This ski resort has easy scenic beginner green runs to very extreme and challenging chutes. Heavenly is a large destination resort with something for everyone. Heavenly Mountain Resort is owned by Vail Resorts and thus the Epic Pass is valid here. Located near the town of South Lake Tahoe and the Nevada casinos just past the California state line, there is plenty of action for the non-skier as well.
Note that the view from the Nevada side is of a parched basin.
Gates 1 through 6 will take you to the closer and more frequented Mott Canyon. These gates are the more obvious as they feed off of a blue trail which hugs the upper ridge of this canyon. All runs in Mott Canyon lead to the base of the Mott Canyon lift. One must take this lift to leave the canyon as there is no way to ski out from the bottom. The gates lead you to a lightly gladed area which eventually leads to the steeper individual runs. The easiest way down (and also the most heavily traveled) is under the Mott Canyon chair lift. The most difficult are accessed through gate one.
Gates A through E will take you to the harder to find and more prized terrain in Killebrew Canyon. The runs in Killebrew are more difficult that in Mott Canyon as they tend to be more narrow with trees positioned in inconvenient locations. To get there take Dipper Express lift and following high across the middle of Milky Way Bowl to the appropriate gate. The traverse is significant and will take some time but it is also what keeps people away. It is also no fun on a snowboard. Traffic is very low here and powder can be found here long after a snowfall.
Note that this area closes early: 3:00pm
Mott and Killebrew Canyons: Note the traverse to Killebrew Canyon from Skyline Trail.
Gate 2. The entrance to Mott Canyon is well marked.
Advanced terrain on the mountain at the single black diamond rating is distributed fairly evenly around the mountain and it is well marked.
The runs are cut through the mountain forest with the upper terrain brushing up to the tree line. This of course means that there are plenty of tree runs. The two most notable tree areas are "Ski Ways Glades" off of Sky Express lift and "Dipper Woods" accessible from the top of Dipper Express lift.
Ski Ways Glades: Lots of freshies in the trees
Looking down "Gunbarrel" to the California Lodge.
While Heavenly is not known for its terrain parks, it is supportive of boarders and has your typical park features like rails, table tops and jumps. There are five terrain parks to support different skill levels:
"Ante Up" terrain park with small jumps and low table tops and rails for the intermediate
The Heavenly base area in South Lake Tahoe offers the best shopping in the area and is in close proximity to the casinos and hotels. There are also stores and shops scattered throughout South Lake Tahoe with an eclectic mix of fashionable outdoor apparel, T-shirt shops, jewelry, art galleries and food. The village has an ice rink, cinema and mini-golf for those more inclined to activities.
Next: Heavenly Apres Ski, Dining and Nightlife