in the Sierra

By Jason Lopez

Reno/Tahoe is hard to beat when it comes to wintry play. If you aren’t busy hitting the slopes, there’s an array of outdoor winter activities that’ll have you enjoying the snow blanketing this region. Whether it’s sledding and ice skating, to Nordic skiing or simply taking photos of the beautiful landscapes, there are many great options in the area.

Sledding and such in South Lake

If you’re looking for a thrilling time on Lake Tahoe’s southern shores check out the snowmobile tours at Zephyr Cove Snowmobiles, located at the Zephyr Cove Resort, and Lake Tahoe Adventures. Zipping around in the winter wonderland with the throttle at your fingertips is exhilarating. Be sure to bundle up and dress in extra layers to keep the cold out. zephyrcove.com; laketahoeadventures.com

Snow parks aplenty in South Lake. At Taylor Creek Sno-Park you’ll love speeding down the hills, but will need your own sleds and other toys. Pay-to-play spots with amenities and toys available for rent are fantastic for families and groups. One of the most popular places is Adventure Mountain — this sledding, snow-tubing and snow play resort will start you off with plenty of laughter and you’ll leave with great memories. adventuremountaintahoe.com

Go Tahoe North (Ryan Salm)
Go Tahoe North (Ryan Salm)

Adrenaline junkie?

Fat tire biking in snow is a fabulous choice. If you love the idea but need a fat tire bike, look no further than Sierra Ski & Cycle Works. They’ll be happy to rent you all the equipment you need for an epic snow biking adventure. sierraskiandcycleworks.com

If you’re hankering for a laid-back time on Big Blue, experience marvelous panoramas aboard a lunch venture or sunset cruise on a paddle-wheel boat with Lake Tahoe Cruises. For a more personalized and motorized excursion, Tahoe Cruises, provides all-inclusive, small group rides on a yacht. zephyrcove.com; tahoecruises.com

Wintry rendezvous in Reno and beyond

For those in Reno and around Incline Village, free snow play areas for sledding and other fun in the snow dot Mount Rose Highway. Enjoy sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on the trails at Tahoe Meadows and Galena Creek Regional Park. Be sure to make the 20-minute snowshoe tromp through the forest to Chickadee Ridge. This is a place right out of a fairytale, where wild birds will eat seeds out of your hand.

No sled? No snowshoes? No snow gear? No worries!

Visit some great locations for your winter rental needs including Powder House Ski & Board, with seven South Shore locations or visit Shoreline of Tahoe for quick access to Heavenly’s Stagecoach Lift. Rent from Galena Sports in Reno or Village Ski Loft in Incline Village for all the toys and snow gear you need to enjoy the exciting range of winter sports and outdoor recreation the area has to offer. tahoepowderhouse.com, shorelineoftahoe.com, facebook@galenasports; villageskiloft.com

Tahoe City Sports Park
Tahoe City Sports Park

Folks in Tahoe City and Truckee may opt for a full day of fun at Tahoe City Winter Sports Park. This place is awesome! It’s got just about everything — all in one place — and is fantastic for children and adults alike. You and the kids can go sledding and snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, ice-skating and build snow sculptures. You can even rent the ‘Ice House Party Shack,’ a warming hut with a gas fireplace and picnic tables for your own private winter party. tcpud.org

Whatever strikes your fancy, Tahoe’s magical, winter playground has heaps of fun for everyone, so go get some!


Make sure your phone and camera batteries are charged when you go out for a winter day in Reno/Tahoe. Cold temperatures drain batteries faster. Galena Creek Regional Park’s winter scene in Reno is a photographer’s playground. The lakeshore of Lake Tahoe is always an awesome spot for photos of the gorgeous winter scenery. If it’s windy, scan the shorelines for frozen sand designs that can form on the snow-covered beaches. Explore. Have a blast.