Lake Tahoe skiing & riding at Homewood Mountain Resort
Photo: Greg K. Hull, Cool Adventures © Chasing Light Media
Article by Kim Hull
Located in quiet Homewood, CA across the street from Lake Tahoe, Homewood Mountain Ski Resort offers spectacular views of Lake Tahoe, over 2,000 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain, one of the best value ski and snowboard school deals around, and a family friendly, low-key locals’ vibe.
Not glitzy like the nearby larger resorts, Homewood is relaxed, where it’s about the skiing experience. Friends and families gather at large tables over lunch, laughing and sharing stories about their day on the hill, then it’s back up for some more fun on the snow.
Homewood Ski Resort: Skiing and snowboarding
Homewood Ski Resort’s 64 trails and 6 terrain parks are accessed via 8 lifts. Situated on the west shore of Lake Tahoe with a variety of terrain, Homewood is big enough to keep it interesting, but small enough to maintain its laid back appeal. And, with views that skiers and boarders visiting from both near and far stop to capture.
Combine receiving an average of 450 inches of snow per year with being notoriously uncrowded (especially on non-holiday weekdays) and you have an authentic day of skiing with plenty of secret stashes to be found – all the way into the afternoon.
Protected from ridge-winds by Ellis Peak’s unique position, the wind is far less of an issue than at other resorts, keeping lifts turning.
Half of the trails at Homewood are rated intermediate, with plenty of wide cruisers and paths to explore and 35% of the runs are advanced, with some incredible tree skiing and exhilarating terrain.
The base elevation at Homewood is 6,230 feet/1,899 meters, with the lift-accessible terrain topping out at 7,880 feet / 2,402 meters. Above the lifts, an additional 750+ acres of terrain can be accessed on one of the Homewood Snowcat Adventures guided tours, which provides snowcat access for groups of 10 skiers and/or riders maximum to the top of the mountain, which reaches 8,740 feet/2,664 meters.
Homewood Snowcat Adventures participants gain access to over 750 acres of backcountry terrain on Ellis Peak, ranging from bowls to glade skiing.
While only 15% of the terrain is for beginners, Homewood has four surface lifts and a great beginners area for new skiers and riders.
Homewood is an affordable place for families to learn and play together. Homewood offers Value Days throughout the season (tickets must be purchased in advance – check the Homewood website for dates & pricing), free skiing for active military on non-peak days, and kids under 4 ski free.
Homewood Ski and Snowboard School
Homewood’s ski and snowboard school offers classes from beginners to advanced and has one of the most affordable ski/snowboard deals around. The 2016 Homewood Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride package is available on non-holidays, Sunday-Friday, for $52 and includes a half-day lesson, all day equipment rental, and a beginner lift ticket – an incredible bargain. Learn to Ski or Learn to Ride packages must be purchased online at least 2 days in advance of the lesson date.
Equipment rentals are available at the North Lodge rental shop, as well as retail items and waxing services.
Homewood Ski Resort: Dining & drinking
There are two-day lodges at Homewood, with the North Lodge at the north base area and one at the South Lodge at the southern base area. At the South Lodge, The Southwest Grill serves up southwestern fare and the Fireplace Tavern is a full bar with daily drink specials.
Upstairs at the North Lodge, the 89 Bar & Grill is a popular spot with a full bar and restaurant offering burgers, soup, and salads.
Downstairs, the Madden Cafe is a great spot to grab a quick coffee or pizza and enjoy it at one of the plentiful outdoor tables at the base of all the action.
Just below the top of the Madden Triple Chair is the Big Blue View Bar, with burgers, hot dogs, a full bar, and incredible lake views.
Homewood Ski Resort: Where to Stay
The West Shore Café & Inn is located directly across from Homewood with five guest rooms & suites and two villas. Additionally, a variety of lodging options is available in Tahoe City about 7 miles away.
Homewood Ski Resort: Getting there
Homewood Ski Resort’s address is 5145 W Lake Blvd, Homewood, CA 96141.
Homewood is located 58 miles, or about 1 hour 10 minutes, from the Reno Tahoe airport, and approximately 213 miles from San Francisco. From Highway 80, take the CA-89 S (exit 185) exit and continue on Highway 89 for 21 miles to Homewood, California.
Parking at both of the lodges is free, close and convenient – but limited. The Homewood Shuttle is an on-call service for guests from Incline Village to The Rubicon. Homewood Visitors who take Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) receive a voucher for $5 off a lift ticket.
Homewood Ski Resort: Know before you go
Check the road conditions before you go. Chains are required frequently on Highway 80 and Highway 89 and be sure to check the road conditions at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) before heading to Homewood.
Stay hydrated. Remember you are at elevation, which causes you to lose water through respiration, so drink extra water while in the mountains.
What to bring/send with your child to ski school. To get the most from any day in ski school, dress in layers to stay comfortable throughout the day’s changing temperature, wear waterproof jacket and pants, bring gloves or mittens, wear warm socks, and always wear a helmet when on the snow.
The content & opinions expressed in our Homewood Ski Resort Review are entirely our own. Reviews are opinion only and Chasing Light Media accepts no responsibility for how the information is used.