The terrain is well-varied, including steep chutes, true double-diamond terrors, nice intermediate cruisers on all of the four mountains, and a nice variety of pitch.
I am told that they will occasionally open up the backside for some true wilderness expert skiing, although it has been closed when I have been there.
Sugarbowl offers all of the standard ski services at both the main base lodge and at the Mt. Judah lodge. There's also a mid-mountain chalet and a coffee shop on top of Disney that doesn’t seem to keep any regular hours. They have an excellent ski school and three different areas for learning, all of them away from the rest of the skiers.
If the snow is thin elsewhere, this might be a worthwhile trip, for the snow is usually better, and you get to share a little California ski history. It is a fun area for skiers of all levels. If the snow is good elsewhere and you are staying at South Lake, I would confine my daily sojourns to no further than Squaw.
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
April 13, 2004
From journal South Lake Tahoe
December 8, 2003
From journal Skiing at South Lake Tahoe
June 25, 2001
Sugar Bowl is the closest of Tahoe's ski areas if you are driving from the Bay Area or Sacramento. It is also easy to get to from Reno via Hwy 80. Because it is on the west side of Donner Summit, it is slammed first with the winter storms before they lose their power going over the summit, so Sugar Bowl often has more -- and lighter -- snow than other north shore resorts. It is a fun area to ski for all levels. Not so big and steep as to intimidate beginners, but certainly enough off piste shutes and steeps to keep the expert happy. The terrain has variety, not all straight down and regular. I ski here several times a year (when I take a break from Alpine Meadows where I've had a season pass for more than 10 years) and always have a good time.
The food at the Mt. Judah lodge is actually pretty good; I recommend the Caesar salad or any pasta dish. The Mr. Judah lodge is handicap-accessible. The mid-mountain lodge sets up a BBQ (weather permitting) and skiing past at lunch time, you may drawn in by the great smell.
During the 2000-2001 season, McDonald's in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Chico/Redding, and Reno areas offered a coupon for $5 off any regular adult or young adult lift ticket. On Wednesdays, if you bought 1 adult ticket, a second one was free.
From journal Playing and Dining Around the North Shore