North Star Ski Resort

Lisa Marie Mercer
tahoe in winter

North Star Ski Resort is located in the northern section of Lake Tahoe, which is on the border of California and Nevada. It is often referred to as Northstar-at-Tahoe.

Northstar-at-Tahoe Mountain Stats

Northstar-at-Tahoe has a base elevation of 6,330 feet, a mid-mountain elevation of 6,800 feet and a summit elevation of 8,610 feet, giving it a vertical drop of 2,280 feet. It boasts 2,904 acres of skiable terrain with 50 percent snow-making capabilities.

In general, the ski season at the resort begins in mid-November and lasts until mid-April. The area gets an annual average of 350 inches of snow. During ski season, daytime temperatures average at 43 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures average at 21 degrees Fahrenheit. The resort has 34 lifts, which service over 170 trails. Loggers Run is its longest run. It is 1.4 miles long.

The Terrain Parks of Northstar-at-Tahoe

In 2006, Transworld Snowboarding Magazine rated Northstar as having one of the 10 best terrain parks in North America. Tahoe's eight terrain parks were designed by Snow Park technologies who were the creators of the terrain parks and pipes used in the Winter X Games, Vans Tahoe Cup, and the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships. Northstar's Burton Terrain Park was built in 2006. Its series of gentle rails and jumps was specially designed for terrain park novices.

Special Ski School Programs at Northstar-at-Tahoe

Like most major North American ski areas, the North Star Ski Resort has an extensive ski school program. However, in addition to their regular ski and snowboard lessons, Northstar has some unique and interesting ski and snowboard clinics.

The Burton Snowboard Academy at Northstar

The Burton Snowboard Academy at Northstar differs from their regular snowboard lesson program. It features smaller groups and takes place at the separate, Burton Snowboard Academy Facility. This full-immersion offers six-hour lessons with optional video analysis. The instructor to student ration is one to four. The instructors of this program take a hands-on approach to boot fitting and equipment selection. Students of this program get exclusive access to the Burton Snowboard Academy Lounge.

Free Ski and Snowboard Lessons at Northstar

During the regular season, Northstar offers free lessons on Monday through Friday. Participants meet their instructor at the top of the Comstock Express Chairlift at 1:30 p.m. The lesson lasts until 3:45 p.m.

The History of the North Star Ski Resort

Until 1972, the area now called Northstar-at-Tahoe was known as the Timber Farm. Then, when it was acquired by Georgia Pacific, it was renamed as the Northstar Resort. Northstar began to allow snowboarders during the 1988 season, making it one of the first North American ski areas to do so. Then, in 1994, Northstar's Forest lift was replaced with a high-tech Doppelmayr Express Quad and renamed "Vista Express." Cat tours and snow tubing were added in 1999. Today, the resort continues to develop.

The Village at Northstar-at-Tahoe

For better or for worse, Northstar-at-Tahoe has recently reinvented itself. The village now boasts an endless variety of upscale shops and restaurants. It has seven new buildings which house approximately 213 new luxury ski-in/ski-out condominium lodging venues. Additionally, the Village at the North Star Ski Resort boasts a 9,000 square foot skating rink.

The Ritz Carlton at Northstar at Tahoe

The construction of the mid-mountain Ritz Carlton Hotel is a major part of Northstar's mountain improvement plan. It is projected that the project will be complete in December of 2009. This upscale resort will boast a mountain concierge, as well as ski-in/ski-out access. An inter-mountain gondola will connect guests with the Village-at-Northstar. The Ritz-Carlton Highlands Spa and fitness center and will also open in December of 2009.

North Star Ski Resort