Lake Tahoe 2020/2021 Ski Report

September/October is usually the time purchase your season pass for the 2020/2021 Lake Tahoe ski season. In this Lake Tahoe Ski Report, you will see many resorts are limiting the sale of season passes, so it is important to get yours early.

There will also be a few changes to how resorts will operate this season because of the pandemic. Below, I have listed the opening dates for area resorts and the different practices skiers will encounter at each ski area.

Virtually all resorts will be implementing new safety measures that include social distancing, and mandatory masks while riding lifts and gondolas. The coronavirus has brought virtual interaction to innovative levels in every industry and the ski business is no different. The use of online purchasing for both ski tickets and food are a few measures that will probably endure.

To ease congestion, many resorts are also combining passes that include multiple ski destinations. Several resorts are requiring advance reservations to ski. Asking skiers to lodge in cars while eating is just another way they are minimizing social interaction.

It is important to be aware of these changes to the 2020/2021 Lake Tahoe ski season.  I have included links to purchase ticket and passes, along with information specific to the safety measures implemented at each resort.


Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is slated to open for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, November 25th.   Comprehensive information about their safety practices for the 20/21 ski season can be found here.

They will be limiting capacity and controlling visitation by temporarily limiting walk-up ticket sales. The resort plans on tightening advanced purchase of lift tickets, while also implementing social distancing protocols like limiting the number of skiers on lifts.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows still offer ticket and pass holders access to both mountains via a shuttle. This year however, they are promoting the Ikon Pass, which gives you access to their resort along with 42 additional ski destinations. The Tahoe Super Pass will no longer be available, although the Ikon Pass will offer similar riding benefits.


Northstar is scheduling their opening for November 20th, using their snowmaking equipment to get a jump start on the season. Like Squaw/Alpine, Northstar will require face coverings while in lines, and during the unloading and loading of chairs.

Northstar will also implement a reservation system for those looking to ride or ski this season. Passholders will receive priority for booking dates, and lift tickets won’t be sold in-person. Gondolas, chairlifts and ski lessons will also have capacity limits.

Northstar is also returning to free parking this season at its Village View parking lot.

To maintain physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas, they will only be seating related parties skiing and riding together. They are limiting how many people can be on a lift to encourage social distancing

This year, Northstar offers the Epic Pass, which gives you access to many other popular ski destinations, such as Beaver Creek, CO, Vail and Whistler. They are still offering the Tahoe Local Pass, with access to Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. You can explore your options and choose your pass here.


On the West Shore, Homewood Mountain Resort is scheduled to open on December 11th, 2020. They are limiting the number of skiers by reducing the number of season passes sold. They are also limiting the amount of skiers on the hill each day.

Homewood will also move toward an interaction free ticket system where guests can redeem tickets for the mountain or parking at kiosks. Food and beverages purchases will also be online in order to better utilize the resort’s lodging space. They expect guests to use their cars as a lodge this winter to minimize social interaction.

Homewood has breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and is known for being the best resort for beginning skiiers.


At the top of Donner Summit, Soda Springs and Boreal Mountain have set a late November date for opening.

Boreal Mountain Resort and its sister location, Soda Springs, are focusing on getting skiers and riders on the mountain early in the season and remaining open until the snow melts. Rather than rush to open, they will be opening conservatively, to preserve their operations for the entire season.

The resorts plan on reducing capacity by having guests choose skiing and riding times, but doesn’t have reservation requirements at this time. They will also implement ‘hands-free’ ticketing.

Last year, Boreal and Soda Springs had already implemented hands-free ticketing. Ski and riding schools will be limited to private lessons to begin the year with the potential for adding group lessons in January. Explore your pass options here.


Also at the top of Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Resort plans on implementing a reservation system for lift tickets and rentals. No walk-up purchases of any kind will be available along with no indoor dining.

They have said that they will halt the sale of season passes for the 2020/2021 season, but the resort may offer them a later date. Masks will be required when not skiing or riding. Find lift ticket information for Sugar Bowl ski resort here.


In between Reno and Incline Village, Mount Rose usually opens before most resorts. This year, they are waiting for top to bottom coverage before opening.  

They will limit the number of season passes sold, and will implement a reservations system for daily tickets. When the mountain opens, initial access will be limited to season pass holders.

The 2020/2021 ski season at Mount Rose will be enhanced with new snowmaking capabilities. Explore pass information here.


Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort is set to open on December 11th in 2020. They are implementing the same social distancing and mask requirements as other resorts. This is another great beginner area to learn how to ski.

Tahoe Donner will utilize online ticket sales for both the downhill and cross-country ski area. This is another resort that may not offer indoor dining. This should be announced later. Explore tickets and passes here.

With La Nina officially announced last week, we expect the 2020/2021 season to produce greater than normal snowfall. La Nina tends to bring more moisture to the Pacific Northwest and seems to be the reason behind epic ski years like 1998–99, 2000–01, 2008–09, 2010–11 and 2016–17.

The real estate market has been on fire, as many people are moving to Lake Tahoe. Multiple offers and lower days on market for available homes for sale has been the norm during the summer of 2020.

I would love to show you why I have made this area my home. Contact me today for a free property analysis or for information on available homes for sale in Lake Tahoe and Truckee.