Last of Tahoe’s downhill resorts set to open this week

Ski jumpers at Granlibakken’s Olympic Hill can see Lake Tahoe, circa 1930s. The resort's downhill area is scheduled to open on Friday, Dec. 14.
Contributed photo: North Lake Tahoe Historical Society

The final two downhill ski resorts in the Tahoe area will open this week, while several others are closing in on opening their entire mountains for the 2018-19 season.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort, in Incline Village, announced it planned to open Dec. 13, while historic Granlibakken Tahoe will open for the season the following day.

Diamond Peak will have a reported average base depth of 24 inches for opening day, along with several lifts spinning and five to eight features on Lower Wiggle.

“It’s looking good for opening day (Dec. 13) and we’re planning to run School House, Lodgepole, Lakeview, and Crystal Express,” the resort posted in a note on its website. “Scheduled trails for opening day are Crystal Ridge, Sunnyside, Lodgepole, School Yard, Ridge, Popular, Freeway and Lower Wiggle.”

The resort will debut terrain park features in a new lower-mountain zone called, The Village at Diamond Peak this season. The park will take over what used to be Penguin and Dusty’s Delight runs, as well as apportion of Lower Wiggle.

On Friday, Diamond Peak will host its season kickoff party and passholder appreciation day. Passholders will receive free food from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Diamond Peak Base Lodge. There will also be live music by the band, Silver.

On the West Shore, Granlibakken Tahoe offers an ideal place for beginners and intermediate skiers, and will open for the season Friday. According to resort officials, it will have its ski and snowboard hill open, as well as its sled hill, and cross-country and snowshoeing areas.

Later in the month the resort will celebrate the holiday season with the annual Christmas Ever Torchlight Parade as skiers take to the hill after closing with torches in hand, followed by a visit from Santa, and snacks and drinks in the resort’s warming hut.

Several other resorts announced more terrain opening this week.


Last Saturday, Kirkwood Mountain Resort became the first to fully open in the Tahoe Basin. Kirkwood has received more than 7 feet of snow thus far, allowing the resort’s mountain operations team to open the backside of the mountain to skiers and riders ahead of schedule.

“Kirkwood’s location in the Sierra allows us to take advantage of every flake that falls,” Kirkwood Vice President and General Manager Tom Fortune said in a statement. “We receive the most snow in the Lake Tahoe basin and it’s dry to boot. This expanded terrain is the result of excellent early season snow conditions and ongoing preparation from our mountain operations team.”

Donner Ski Ranch recently announced it is open to the top, and will open for daily operations beginning on Saturday.

Northstar California Resort announced it has 69 of 100 trails open. The resort also opened its backside area Dec. 7.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced on Wednesday morning it was opening the Far East and Headwall lifts. Squaw now has 99 of 178 trails open, and 19 of 30 lifts, including KT-22. Alpine Meadows has 81 of 97 trails open and 10 of 13 lifts.

Boreal Mountain Resort has much of its mountain open for the season, and will host its first Feel Good Friday event of the year later this week. Boreal will be selling lift tickets on Friday for $25 with $5 going to the High Fives Foundation. The resort will have the offer on select Fridays throughout the season with $5 of each ticket sold going to different charities.

On Friday, the resort will also host its first Boreal Pop Up Park event, an exclusive park build that lasts seven days.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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