While most avid skiers will tell you that the top states to ski in the US include Colorado, Utah, and Vermont, you’ll be surprised to know that Nevada has some of the best ski areas for beginners.
Most popular Nevada ski resorts are perched in high elevations in the Lake Tahoe region, but there are smaller ski areas that locals enjoy in the East and farther South parts of the state.
Each ski resort in Nevada has its own uniqueness and offers ideal skiing conditions for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
However, there are several ski areas that every guest who visits will recommend for beginners and new riders interested in learning to ski and snowboard.
This is not to say that they have nothing to offer for intermediate and experienced skiers, but it’s simply because the emphasis on beginners is just on another level.
In this article, we’ll have a detailed review of the two best Nevada ski resorts that are perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Check them out!
#1. Diamond Peak Ski Resort
- Vertical Drop – 1,840 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 655 acres
- Ski Lifts – 7
Diamond Peak is a community-owned ski resort with special fun for children and fantastic après ski activities for skiers and snowboarders.
Nestled just above Incline Village, Diamond Peak is a winter wonderland. It has a summit elevation of up to 8,540 feet and provides breathtaking scenery of Lake Tahoe. Thanks to its newly extended upper ski terrain.
It has 7 ski lifts serving 30 runs, ideal for skiers and boarders of different ages and abilities.
And if you love tree skiing, there are several incredible glades that will keep you occupied when spending time here.
The family-friendly resort boasts a vast dedicated learning area and swift lifts to help skiers and boarders navigate the mountain with ease.
With 655 acres of skiable terrain, Diamond Peak is a great place to learn to ski and snowboard.
Skiing and snowboarding lessons usually start at the base of the mountain and are available in private and group packages for all ages.
As you gain confidence in the snow, you’ll be allowed to head on to the School Yard served by the Schoolhouse ski lift for more training.
The School Yard offers some excellent graded slopes with a vast space for you to practice your skills and fine-tune your turns.
Once you graduate from the School Yard level, you can head on to Lodgepole Lift, which will give you access to a higher grade run for more practice.
The mid-mountain Crystal Quad will then take you to the top of the mountain, where you can enjoy panoramic views before riding downhill.
You’ll love riding the iconic Crystal Ridge that gives beginner and intermediate skiers a feel of gliding into Lake Tahoe.
If you visit Diamond Peak Ski Resort at the peak of its ski season, don’t forget to visit the Solitude Canyon to glide on some fresh powder.
There is also a terrain park served by its own lift where you can practice a few tricks like boxes, rails, and jibes.
Diamond Peak does not provide on-site accommodation, but you’ll find endless dining and lodging options at Incline Village, which is just a few minutes away.
Top activities to engage in after skiing include sledding, snowshoeing, and enjoying tasty meals and drinks with friends or family.
Overall, Diamond Peak is one of the most underrated ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, and I find it to be a true gem with lots of skiing opportunities and adventures, especially for beginners.
If you want to learn how to ski and are looking for the best destination in Nevada, don’t hesitate to explore this resort.
#2. Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort – Lee Canyon
- Vertical Drop – 2,779 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 59 acres
- Ski Lifts – 3
Established in 1964, Lee Canyon is an incredible beginner-friendly ski mountain located 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It takes 45 minutes only to get to this resort from the Las Vegas Strip.
Lee Canyon ski resort is nestled near the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, so you can be sure of having exciting things to do after skiing.
This mountain resort receives a higher snowfall, given that it’s positioned to trap all the moisture engulfing from the Pacific.
While Lee Canyon is a small ski mountain, skiers and snowboarders are always sure to get everything they need for a great skiing experience.
The ski area sits at a high elevation with a skiable landscape of 59 acres, which has 24 named runs for skiers and riders of different abilities, from beginner terrain to black diamond trails.
If you want to learn to ski or snowboard, this resort has an excellent school. If you don’t own ski or snowboard gear, there is an equipment rental where you can rent everything you need when learning how to ski.
You can rent equipment separately or enroll for a package that comes with both lessons and gear.
Ski and snowboard lessons are well-organized and are delivered as a group or private by qualified instructors.
For younger kids aged between 4 and 6 years, the Mountaineer program introduces them to skiing and snowboarding basics, from equipment to posture.
Kids aged 7 to 14 can join the Freeriders program, which will shape their riding skills and improve their confidence.
Advanced and expert riders won’t distract you as you strive to get your feet on the snow, as there is a beginner area called Rabbit Peak set apart at the base.
Rabbit Peak has its own lift and is located near the snow tubing hill, so you can quickly shift for some sliding fun after skiing for a while.
The terrain in beginner runs is specifically designed to help skiers and snowboarders quickly learn to ski and have a spacious area to perfect their turns and moves.
There are three chairlifts serving the rest of the mountain where intermediate and advanced skiers can have fun.
If you want to learn some moves or practice tricks, Lee Canyon has a terrain park for such adventures.
But before you set off for this ski mountain, you’ll want to bring your sunscreen cream as the Lee Valley lays bare in the sun for more than 300 days.
Novice skiers and boarders visiting this resort with their experienced friends won’t need to worry about their buddies getting bored. The reason is that expert trails with blue runs and black diamonds will keep them entertained.
They can also embark on a backcountry adventure for deep untracked powder bowls and steep chutes.
If you want more than just skiing and snowboarding, you can take a tour on the snowshoeing trail across the forest when visiting the resort over the weekend or on holiday.
This can be a great adventure, especially if you are vacationing here with your family, as you get to enjoy another view of the mountainside.
The resort has a ski-in/ski-out base lodge with an open-air heated terrace to let you relax while enjoying meals and drinks after riding all day.
Since this mountain resort nestles in a remote location, there are no on-site hotels, but nearby towns provide an array of restaurants and accommodation options.
Why Nevada is a Great Place to Ski
The summit elevation of the two resorts we picked is pretty high, so you can always be sure of perfect skiing conditions regardless of what’s happening in the desert.
Ski and snowboard lessons at Diamond Peak and Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort- Lee Canyon are high-quality and reliable.
The instructors are qualified and they train you on well-groomed slopes to help you gain confidence on the snow within no time.
Another crucial thing that makes it so appealing to learn to ski in Nevada is that lift tickets are more affordable than bigger resorts. You get to ski on great slopes for less, even on weekends.
What Are the Best Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe for Beginners?
The Lake Tahoe area is home to more than a dozen ski resorts, but only a handful have the best beginner-friendly terrain and amenities.
Here is a list of the top 10 best Lake Tahoe ski resorts for beginner skiers and snowboarders:
- Diamond Peak Ski Resort – Excellent beginner-friendly ski area in North Lake Tahoe
- Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe – Vast beginner terrain with reliable average annual snowfall
- Heavenly Mountain Resort, South Lake Tahoe – Best interstate beginner-friendly resort
- Sierra-at-Tahoe – Great terrain parks and a friendly vibe
- Northstar California – Long beginner runs and family-oriented amenities
- Donner Ski Ranch – Affordable ski area for beginners and families
- Palisades Tahoe – Plenty of beginner runs and fun après ski activities
- Sugar Bowl – Less crowded ski area
- Kirkwood – Tranquil South Lake Tahoe ski area
- Homewood – Unmatched peak-to-shore skiing experience
Q: Is Northstar or Heavenly Better for Beginners?
A: While they are distinct ski areas, both Northstar California and Heavenly are excellent mountain resorts for beginners.
Heavenly Ski Resort is located in South Lake Tahoe, while Northstar California sits in North Lake Tahoe.
Northstar is perfect not only for beginners, but also familes, especially due to its beautiful village and unique fun for kids. And if you want extra adventures, Homewood is just a few minutes drive from Northstar.
Heavenly Ski Resort sits on the state line bordering California and Nevada. If you want to visit this resort, you should keep in mind that the California side has more beginner-friendly runs than the Nevada side.
Q: Is Sunshine or Lake Louise Better for Beginners?
A: Both Sunshine and Lake Louise are great for beginners. While it may feel intimidating to visit the prime Sunshine resort, beginners will be delighted to know that about 22% of the terrain in Sunshine is rated beginner-friendly.
On the other hand, 25% of the terrain in Lake Louise is beginner-friendly, and there are several terrain parks for freestyle skiers.
Q: Is Northstar Beginner-Friendly?
A: Yes, Northstar is a beginner-friendly ski resort. Its vast ski terrain caters to both beginner and expert skiers looking to have fun in the snow.
About 13% of widely groomed ski runs in Northstar are set apart for beginners, so you can always be sure of finding a great place to acquire ski skills and build experience.
Northstar offers a wide array of ski and snowboard lessons delivered by world-class instructors for both kids and adults. There is also an equipment rental to provide all the gear you need.
Q: Is Snowbird Good for Beginners?
A: Yes, Snowbird is good for beginners. While this Utah ski resort is popular for its advanced terrain, beginner skiers and snowboarders can still find a few runs to ride.
If you are looking for the best ski resorts for beginners in Utah, Park City, Beaver Mountain, Powder Mountain, and Deer Valley are some great options to try out.
Q: Is Donner Ski Ranch Good for Beginners?
A: Yes, Donner Ski Ranch is good for beginners. This resort offers equipment rentals and ensures easy access to green slopes for group and private lessons.
Q: Is Alpine Valley Good for Beginners?
A: Yes, Alpine Valley is good for beginners. Alpine Valley boasts qualified and enthusiastic instructors who provide ski/snowboard classes to novices looking to gain experience riding.
And you don’t have to worry about equipment as there is a rental shop where you can rent skis, snowboards, boots, and helmets.
When getting started in skiing and snowboarding, finding the best ski resort can be a bit challenging given the countless options.
It can be disappointing to find a great ski area with fantastic amenities only to realize that the slopes are too steep for you or the lift tickets are way too expensive compared to other ski resorts.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up the two best ski resorts for beginners in Nevada to make your work much easier.
If you want to ski in Nevada as a beginner, consider visiting Lee Canyon and Diamond Peak, as they focus on beginners. They even have fantastic deals for a limited period that targets beginner skiers and boarders.