A Premier ski resort in Lake Tahoe. With 34 miles of wide-open, groomed cruisers, 1,600-foot plunges in the double-black canyons, 80-foot jumps and 1,800 vertical feet of knee-pounding, Volkswagen-sized moguls on the world famous Gunbarrel. Heavenly is a full service ski resort that offers kid programs for 6 week old to 13 year old kids. Heavenly doesn't own their own lodging.
This is a hot spot for snowboarders during snow season and absolutely worth the drive. If you visit this place during winter or summer, it's absolutely gorgeous. All year round the lake is a breath taking blue color and the air is absolutely clean and fresh. It's a great place for the whole family. During the winter you can go here to take some classes for either snowboarding or skiing and if not you can always have a fun snow fight or engage in the many other activities there are to do. During the summer you can go kayaking, paddle boating or swimming in the lake or walk around and enjoy all of the activities, shops and scenery!
Heavenly Ski Resort has it all! Here's a run down of my favorite things about Heavenly.
1) Amazing views and vistas of Lake Tahoe.
That deep blue water of Lake Tahoe contrasting against the white mountains and clear blue California sky is truly breathtaking. Yes! Even when I’m tumbling down the slopes on my snowboard, I try to stop…eh fall…just so I can catch my breath and gaze at creation at it’s most spectacular. Heavenly has views that are totally unobstructed. From certain spots you can see both California and Nevada at the same time.
2) Customer service is impeccable
From the moment you arrive in the parking lot, you’ll see smiling faces. I was particularly impressed by the staff member in the parking lot who saw me wandering around rather frazzled with two young children. He read my mind and asked if I was looking for the Heavenly Day Care. He promptly directed me in the right direction and even walked me over. The staff at the lifts greet everyone cheerfully, creating such an upbeat and happy atmosphere. There are many instructors and ski patrol all over the mountain ensuring the safety of everyone. Heavenly is like the Disneyland of ski resorts when it comes to customer service.
3) Powdery snow and lots of great runs for all levels
The Lake Tahoe area is blessed with great powdery soft snow. Couple that with well-groomed runs and you have a winning combination. This massive ski resort offers many options for both beginners and experts. Even the blue runs vary in difficulty with the easier blues being nice and wide and the more difficult blues being narrow. If you’re a beginner snowboarder and getting off a chair lift scares the heck out of you, you’ve got to try out the new covered magic carpet at Adventure Peak. However, snowboarders should beware that the cat track between the California and Nevada side can be grueling.
4) Great food at lodges around the mountain
Unlike most other ski resorts, Heavenly has lodges littered around their massive mountain that serve drinks and good food. They have your standard chili and cheeseburgers, but you can get some gourmet quality dining as well. Do yourself a favor and forget about packing a half squished up sandwich. Just give in and get one of those smoked tri-tip sandwiches at Smokehouse Grill. You won’t regret it. If you like sitting out a couple of runs throughout the day like me, then you’ll really appreciate the deck chairs set up in the nicely sheltered East Peak Lodge with views of happy skiers and snowboarders zipping down the mountain. . It is a huge bonus that there are so many spots to take a break from skiing without having to make it all the way down the mountain.
5) Quick lines at lifts
With the hordes of people who visit Heavenly every weekend, the lines move surprisingly quick. That’s because most of their ski lifts have chairs that will sit as many as 5 people at a time. Being one of those nervous snowboarders who has a wobbly dismount at the top of the ski lift, I also really appreciate how the fast lift slows down enough so that everyone can catch their balance on dismount.
6) Little touches that are so nice
If you can get over the fact that Heavenly charges a premium for everything from lift tickets, to childcare, to tubing and food, you’ll appreciate that those extra bucks you paid buys you thoughtful touches that set Heavenly apart. In the women’s bathroom, you’ll find tampons in each stall just in case you have an emergency. Imagine lugging your whole sorry self and gear all the way back to the parking lot to find those tampons you left in the car. At Heavenly, they’ve got you covered. Another nice touch was that free cup of hot cocoa that greeted me and the kids as we were heading back to the parking lot after a long day on the slopes. Boy, did that cup of hot cocoa avert a near meltdown!
All in all, I can say that Heavenly is my favorite ski resort to date. For most families, bearing the cost of a family’s lift tickets and ski school can be daunting. It’s hard to think that paying a premium for your ski vacation could be worth it. However, I think it’s worth paying extra for all the big and small extras that Heavenly offers, it just makes your whole ski experience that much better. Did I mention that their season passes are a great deal? It’s ½ price of Squaw. If you’ve a family who loves to ski, you should check it out.
When I was a kid I LOVED going to Heavenly Valley! Granted, I haven't been there yet with my own kids, but I still remember my grandpa taking me there to ski. For the first half of the day I would take ski lessons with friendly instructors, then after lunch, my Grandpa and I would ski together. The slopes are kid friendly and fun and the ride to the top of the mountain is so much fun! I would highly recommend it! :)
One of the largest ski resorts in the western states, Heavenly Valley has an annual average of 360 inches of snow, covering more than eighty ski runs. On the summit you have the phenomenal experience of feeling like you are skiing right into the lake. If your legs can take it, start from the top of Sky Express and ski 5 miles nonstop downhill.
A mecca for beginners and intermediates, Heavenly recently added $40 million worth of High Roller terrain park and superpipes, and the Nightlife Terrain Park, open until 9:00 P.M. on weekends. Beginning boarders head for the Low Roller park. Other upgrades include off-piste powder bowl access and a new European-style “umbrella” bar at the top of the gondola.
One of the most family oriented of all Tahoe resorts, Heavenly has three children’s ski centers offering lessons, equipment, lunch, and supervision from ages 4 to 13. For little ones who are not sure they want to ski, check out the one-hour, Ski/Play program in the Enchanted Forest for ages 3 and 4, and the Half-and-Half ski and play days. Child care is available for all ages from 6 months and up, and you can even reserve a nanny to accompany your child in any group program.
Heavenly is one of the most family friendly ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. The resort offers a variety of programs for kids and families including all day ski school, child care, private lessons, drop in group lessons, ski/learn/rent packages, and alternatives to skiing such as sledding, rock climbing, gondola rides, and a new high speed zip line cable ride. Families are in heaven.
World class skiing, lots of terrain options and great for all levels. We put our six month old in the Heavenly daycare center for a day while we skied. I was very pleased with the level of care. They had a separate room for the babies and plenty of cribs to take naps. They give you a cute little card at the end of the day to let you know when they changed diapers, what the baby ate and when, and what/who they played with. I visited once during the day at lunch to nurse, so it was convienient to have the baby on close by. Pretty pricey- cost was $125 for the day. The facility is at the lower lodge on the California side, so leave plenty of time at the end of the day to ski to childcare by the time it closes.