Like Alpine and Northstar, this is mostly just a ski area, with a few important differences. Sitting on the western slope of Donner Pass, it gets the most snow of any of the Tahoe area resorts, usually gets it earlier, and it is quite often very fine and light, like sugar, and services four peaks. It is also, unfortunately, the closest ski resort to San Francisco and gets very crowded on the week ends. For these reasons, Sugarbowl was the first resort in Tahoe, has the first chairlift in California, and the first gondola in the country.
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.