Nevada provides skiing areas aplenty

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Skiing in Nevada seems almost natural. It is the most mountainous state in the U.S. and affords visitors an ever-changing landscape of mountain and desert scenery.

Ski and winter sports opportunities within the state extend from Lake Tahoe to Las Vegas.

The ski season at Lake Tahoe usually begins by late November and runs well into spring, in some years even to early July.

That's probably because snowfall is abundant, averaging 350 inches per year, and most resorts are well equipped for snowmaking.

Among other winter activities available in the Lake Tahoe area are snowmobiling, ice-skating, sledding, snowshoeing or snowtubing.

When it comes to accommodations, choices include hotel-casino resorts, quaint lakeside inns, condominiums, vacation home rentals and motels.

Lake Tahoe offers something for everyone, from challenging moguls and powder chutes for advanced skiers, to half-pipes for snowboarders and learn-to-ski programs for beginners.

Heavenly Ski Resort is situated in the heart of Stateline, where Tahoe's 24-hour casino action and nightlife can be found.

About 75 minutes from Reno, Heavenly is the state's largest ski resort, comprising 4,800 acres of ski and snowboarding terrain.

For the 2000-01 season, Heavenly is opening an eight-passenger gondola that will move skiers and snowboarders from Stateline to the top station of the Von Schmidt trail, located at 9,123 feet, in less than 12 minutes.

A new 14,000-square-foot midstation observation deck overlooks Lake Tahoe. From the top, riders will have access to new intermediate trails as well as the rest of the resort's 4,800 acres.

Also new this year is the Perfect Turn Learn-to-Ski and Snowboard Center, offering short but focused lessons.

Heavenly's amenities include a 300-seat Sky Lodge, 3,450-square-foot day-care facility and children's learn to ski programs.

For information about ski passes, accommodations, packages, schools and equipment rentals, call (800) 2HEAVEN or (775) 586-7000 or visit

Mount Rose-Ski Tahoe is 25 minutes from Reno and 15 minutes from Incline Village, located at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

Mount Rose has nearly 1,000 skiable acres, and according to officials, is the closest major ski resort to an international airport.

This season, Mount Rose is unveiling a six-passenger, high-speed chairlift, the Northwest Magnum, which will reduce uphill ride time and double the capacity of its previous lift.

The resort also is introducing Bonus Mondays, with $20 lift tickets on nonholidays for skiers showing a full-day pass from the preceding Saturday or Sunday.

This family-oriented resort also offers $19 tickets for students with identification on Wednesdays, and ladies on Thursdays.

Northstar-at-Tahoe is adding 200 acres of terrain, four advanced runs and a high-speed quad chairlift for the 2000-2001 ski season.

The resort also offers Smart Terrain, specially designated areas modified to accommodate snow toys, beginner skiers and snowboarders.

Northstar is 13 miles from Tahoe' Incline Village and Crystal Bay, 40 miles from Reno and 45 minutes from Stateline.

For more information, call (800) GONORTH or visit

As for Las Vegas, there is skiing and snowboarding in the Spring Mountains, just an hour's drive northwest of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort is located in Lee Canyon, an area of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest that has been designated a Nevada Scenic Byway.

For more information, call (702) 645-2754 or visit

For the more adventurous traveler, heli-skiing in northeastern Nevada over the Ruby Mountains features some of the state's steepest slopes, with runs ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 vertical feet over all sorts of terrain.

Some three-day packages are available and range in price from $2,650.

For more information, call (775) 753-6867 or visit

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