Spring brings showers and flowers to most of the U.S. – except for the Sierra Nevada mountains. There, the spring packs plenty of snow for an extended ski season at Lake Tahoe. With a crazy amount of snow this year, the kiddos can ski and board until the fireworks pop overhead. Our National Parks TravelingMom shares her favorites for families and even finds some deals.

Spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

Lake Tahoe offers over 15 ski resorts for families to enjoy and this year resorts stay open later than normal. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Spring Skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids

With over 58 feet of snow in some places, Lake Tahoe will have snow until summer. Most resorts extended their seasons with even more chances for the kids to ski, including the following:

Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Northstar Ski Resort

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Mt. Rose Ski Resort


3 Reasons to Ski during the Spring

My kids love to ski, and spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids boasts some bonuses. The warmer temperatures means no bulky clothing and less whining from cold littles. The young-at-heart even sport bikini tops for spring ski.

The softer snow gives skiers more control, perfect for beginners. The classes are smaller and the slopes are less crowded.

Resorts offer deals and specials on everything from lessons, season passes and lodging for the late spring season. Spring skiing offers lots of value for families.

Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Enjoy Squaw Valley Ski Resort and spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

The Olympic history of Squaw Valley draws families along with lots of green runs for kids. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

The host of the 1960 Olympic Games, Squaw Valley offers a legendary resort boasting 6,500 acres to explore. Its runs top lists across the world, like off the KT-22 chairlift. It’s a bucket list destination that my family adores.

The season blessed Squaw with 450 inches of snow so families can ski through June. As a bonus, the hard-core crowd can ski on July 4th. Yep, ski all day and watch fireworks at night.

Enjoy mountaintop spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

With a lower and mountaintop skiing area, Squaw Valley offers families lots of options. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Check out the Squaw Valley $79 Learn to Ski & Ride Special that gets the kids on the snow with a 2 1/2-hour lesson, beginner lift ticket and rental equipment.

Squaw Valley Ski Resort is located at 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, California. Squaw Valley is 12 miles south of Truckee, along California Highway 89.

Northstar Ski Resort

Learn to ski at Northstar with spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

The engineered runs at Northstar Ski Resort teach kids to turn, giving lots of confidence. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Northstar offers families a destination for laid-back luxury and engineered runs that guide kids into perfect turns. The Burton Academy, only Lake Tahoe resort to feature the program, teaches kids as young as 3 to snowboard.

Northstar’s ski operations will be open until April 23, 2017. The Village packs in the fun for families too with a movie theater and fire pits for marshmallow roasting.

Northstar Ski Resort is located at 5001 Northstar Drive, Truckee, California. It’s 7 miles south of Truckee, California, along California Highway 267.

Pack up the kids and head for the mountains. Destination: spring skiing at Lake Tahoe. The area enjoyed some historic snow this year. Read on to learn more!

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Enjoy the sundeck while spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

Take a break on the sun deck of Diamond Peak Ski Resort, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Diamond Peak, a local favorite, sits in the heart of North Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village. Boasting some the best views of the lake, Diamond Peak caters to families.

The 50th anniversary season tops the charts for family fun. With free lift tickets for kids under six and interchangeable parent lift tickets, it’s no wonder families flock here.

The ski season swings close on April 23. Diamond Peak Ski Resort is located in Incline Village at 1210 Ski Way, on the northern shore of Lake Tahoe.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Enjoy Mt. Rose for spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

My daughter and I enjoy the skiing in the Enchanted Forest of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

Mt. Rose swaggers across the finish line in the Tahoe snow race with 700-inches this season. A little snow math, that’s 58-feet of snow and taller than a five-story building.

As the highest resort at Lake Tahoe with an elevation of 8,260 feet, Mt. Rose is usually the first resort to open every year. And this year, it’s one of the last resorts to close.

My kids, 9, 12 and 14, love the Wizard lift that drops them off in the Enchanted Forest area, packed with lots of green runs that wind through a treed glade. I love this area since it’s a kids destination and not green skiing tacked on to the bottom of a more advanced skiing area. Keeping the beginners away from the older and faster skiers and boarders is a bonus for me.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe closes for the season on Memorial Day, May 29th. It’s located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest at 22222 Mt. Rose Hwy, 25 minutes from Reno, Nevada.

Ski School for Kids

Ski School is a must for kids under 8, unless you’re a pro. Even then, most parents can’t teach their kids. All the ski slope meltdowns happen when parents try to teach their kids.

All the instructors I’ve met through the years are great with kids. Pacing the program according to ability of my kids, they are patient with missing gloves and potty breaks.

Enjoy a day spring skiing at Lake Tahoe with kids.

Enroll the kids in ski school while mom and dad enjoy a day on the slopes alone. Photo Credit: Catherine Parker / National Parks TravelingMom

I prefer a ski school in a separate fenced-off area with its own conveyor-belt or magic carpet lift. I want my younger kids in an area away from the older kids with different needs and skills.

If the ski school offers equipment rental, use it. The instructor will fit the kids and they’re pros at getting little feet into ski boots, not the easiest thing. And then I don’t have to lug more gear.

The all-day programs start around 8 or 9 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. Most programs offer lunch, usually pizza or pasta, and snacks sprinkled during the day.

Most ski schools offer a morning lesson with practice then lunch and followed by an afternoon lesson and practice. I like to stop by and look in on my kids while they practice. If the ski school frowns on this, probably not the best fit.

At the end of the day, I take the opportunity to practice with my kids. And sometimes they let Mom win when we race down the beginner runs.

Tips from a TravelingMom:

  • Smear on extra layer of sunscreen and lip balm and remember to reapply.
  • Still need to wear ski pants and gloves while skiing and boarding during the warmer spring weather.
  • Protect eyes with sunglasses or goggles.
  • Toast the mountain after every run with water.
  • Most skiers in Lake Tahoe wear helmets, including adults.