When Lake Tahoe was being settled in the 1800s, the first people to make the area that is now Northstar Resort their home were Basque sheepherders. You can still find their tree carvings on some of the lower mountain trails.
Once silver was discovered in the late 1800s in Nevada, George Schaffer built a lumber mill on the property and a single-gauge railroad transported the lumber from Northstar Resort to Truckee and then over the mountains to the Comstock lode in Virginia City. George Schaffer's family home still stands on West River Street in Truckee, behind the railroad station. In winter, guests can take Comstock Express to the top of Mt. Pluto, enjoy views of Lake Tahoe and the Martis Valley, and then ski or snowboard down trails with names like Logger's Loop, Ax Handle, Rail Splitter, and Woodcutter.
In the 1900s, Lake Tahoe started to become a recreational destination for Northern Californians and the modern history of Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort begins. In 1972, the first lifts started transporting skiers up the mountain. Thirty-five years later, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is North Lake Tahoe's premiere year-round destination resort, catering to skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, and hikers with an extensive trail system and more than 3,000 acres of terrain. The 18-hole golf course has been designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary while a new pedestrian village offers 35 independently owned Northern Californian boutiques and restaurants, all with a unique story to tell. Gathering places around the firepits, 9,000 square foot skating rink, and throughout the Village offer families a place to come together before, during, or after a good day on the mountain.
Snow Sports Area By the Numbers
Base of the mountain is at 6,330 feet (1,929 meters) Summit of Mt. Pluto is at 8,610 feet (2,624 meters) Vertical drop of 2,280 feet (695 meters) Average annual snowfall is 350 inches (9 meters) 19 total lifts including two gondolas, a six-pack express, and six high speed quads
In summer, there are more than 100 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. Two chair lifts plus the Highlands Gondola are open.
In winter, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort offers 93 trails spread over 3,000 acres. The trails are rated 27% advanced, 60% intermediate, and 13% beginner. The longest run is 1.4 miles, while there are nine advanced runs that are at least one mile long.
With more than 440 acres of advanced terrain inside the resort boundary including five gladed runs, as well as close to 350 acres of backcountry terrain accessible when conditions permit, Northstar Resort has much to offer experienced skiers and rides.
There are five terrain parks, rated small, medium, and large. There is also a 420-foot Superpipe and three fun parks that have terrain features, including The Stash - a first-of-its-kind terrain park that uses natural jibs and jumps to create a freestyle wonderland in the trees.
In summer, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort offers more than 100 miles of downhill and cross-country mountain biking trails as well as scenic hiking trails, nine on-mountain geocaches, and easy access to the Tahoe Rim Trail. The hiking trails through Martis Valley track through the same terrain the Basque sheepherders used to move their flocks to pasture. And golfers who choose to walk the course can enjoy the natural terrain that the Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary System has designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. With two very distinct nines - a meadow nine through the Martis Valley and a mountain nine through the towering pines and along mountain streams - Northstar Resort's golf course preserves the natural topography of the land on which it sits.
Best Access and Parking Area
In winter, the easiest access to Northstar Resort is from the Castle Peak Park and Ride lot close to the intersection of Northstar Drive and Highway 267. Frequent shuttles (every 6 minutes!) take guests from their cars to the Village at Northstar. The Village View parking lots are above the Village at Northstar and also offer convenient shuttle access to the Village at Northstar. The family drop-off area allows you to drop gear and family just above the Transit Center shuttle circle directly in front of the Village at Northstar, making it easy to meet up again after you park and shuttle back to the Village.
Preferred Parking is directly adjacent to the Village at Northstar and just steps away from the Highlands Gondola. If you are coming to the Village at Northstar for shopping and dining, Preferred Parking is free for two hours.
The Preferred Parking lot is open for free all summer long.
Approximate Operating Season
Rules and Regulations
Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort welcomes skiers, snowboarders, classic stride and skate cross-country skiers, snowshoers, geocachers, hikers, golfers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. Leashed dogs are allowed in the Village at Northstar year round and on hiking trails in the summertime.
For more information, please call 1-800-GO-NORTH or go to www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com.