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“Lots of runs but...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Heavenly Mountain Resort

Heavenly Mountain Resort
3860 Saddle Road, CA 96150
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Type: Ski/ Snowboard Areas, Sports
Activities: Skiing, Dining
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Attraction details
Owner description: Overlooking the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is one of the most unique snowsports destinations on the planet. With more terrain variety, more hidden glades, more rippin’ groomers than any Lake Tahoe resort, you've got plenty of decisions to make.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Lots of runs but...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

We spent a week at Heavenly in March. The snow was NOT the greatest--it was too warm. There were lots of trails that we could take since neither of us are beginners and it was easy to move from one mountain to another and the views were spectacular. The photographers were good on the days we could find them! (Not around on Monday or Wed when it stormed.) Bathrooms were well maintained and we knew to bring our own lunches cause all mountain restaurants are too expensive!

BUT--we had a major snow storm one day and the lift attendants became non-existent. No one was sweeping the chair lift before we sat down, no one checking at least a little to see that people knew what they were doing with the cold/wind. We had several similar days at Breckenridge and they were much more attentive in Colorado.

As we were leaving the resort, we decided we wanted to check out the tramway from the California Lodge since we had skied mostly on the Nevada side--snow was better. BUT--we were not allowed to ride the tramway as "sightseers". Had we brought our boots and skis, we could have gone up but, despite our season pass, we could not ride up for the view and come back down. Since that was our LAST impression of Heavenly (no, no ride--it's our policy), it really did leave a bad taste for me and, unless we go back to visit family, I will not return to Heavenly.

Visited March 2013
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296 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery and lots of trails to choose from.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

It was amazing! The views from the gondola were spectacular to say the least. We bought a package of ski school 1/2 day refresh course, lift tickets and ski rentals $166 per person. Up the gondola at the half way mark it stops to let you get out onto an observation deck which is a must do if only for a minute or two, if you get off take your skis with you so you have them with you when u do get back on. The lodge was very nice but when it came time to eat there was absolutely no seating. People were actually just sitting reading books while people were looking to sit down to eat. Large groups saved seats for others and it was really crowded for the end of the ski season. I suggest eating really early or really late not at 11am-1pm. Our instructor Thomas was very knowledgable and informative, I stayed on greens while my husband was eager to try the blues. My husband said the blue "SAMs Dream" was really steep and fast paced since he hasn't skied in many years. We were lucky enough to have a little snow in March and really cold weather. I had a blast doing my own thing on the "Big Easy" greens and would recommend South Lake Tahoe for a winter vacation.

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Airlie Beach, Australia
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Beautiful - all around”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

There are so many great ski trails...a variety of activities including tubing. I snowboarded the first day, but found it to be a bit difficult because there are a lot of flat trails connecting to steep trails...I switched to skiing and had no problem. There were so many trails and lifts to choose from. The snow was great to ski on, very well groomed. The staff were extremely friendly and always had a smile on their face.
One thing that took my breath away were the fantastic views. Just stunning everywhere you looked.
The bad thing is the price. It is really expensive (everything from lift tickets to gondola, butesp. grabbing food or drink on the mountain). It cost us $21 for two local beers! That was the first and last time we drank on the mountain. We opted to bring our own food in our backpack because food was just as bad if not worse for price.
Altogether, still a beautiful spot and we will be back (with our own lunches!).

Visited March 2013
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Boulder, Colorado
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“My favorite Vail Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Easier to move between mountains/lifts than at Vail and Keystone, less snooty than Beaver Creek, Heavenly is as varied for terrain as Breckenridge, but (all apologies to my beloved Colorado), the view of Lake Tahoe wins hands down for scenery. The only resort to rival it for beauty is Grand Targhee in the Tetons--but only if you get the rare sunny day. (They don't call it Grand Fogee for nothing!)
We approached from the CA side (South Lake Tahoe) and parked at the California Lodge. The parking is both FREE and easily walkable to either the tram or the lift, so you can access slopes of varying difficulties or--in about two lift rides--ski over to the Nevada side of the mountain. Even if you are not an expert, ride at least one of the lifts to the top to see the view. We had a bunch of kids in our group, and there was always an easy way down they could handle.
As with all ski areas, the food is expensive, but the "Sky Deck" at the Sky Express lift had a kids' lunch special (turkey dog, fruit, cookie, and juice for around $12) and plenty of options for adults. If you want a quick, hearty, but not-so-big-it-will-make-you-logey lunch, I recommend the Heavenly chili (not in the bread bowl). Tip: bottled water is very pricey, but there are big coolers with free water on the deck. Refill your own bottles and reduce the cost of your lunch by 30%.
Another recommendation: the trip back down to the California Lodge area is mostly double-black diamond trails, which can be especially dicey at the end of the day. You can ride the tram down, of course, but the lift right next to the tram is much nicer for view: you load at the top and then "fly" down the mountain with full-on views of Lake Tahoe before you--what a great way to end a magnificent day!

Visited March 2013
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Okinawa, Japan
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great skiing!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Heavenly is a good, well-rounded ski area. Skiers at any level can find suitable runs. We did find some inconsistency in blue/black trails; some blues were more difficult than the black diamond runs. Also, the trail signs don't always match the trail names on the trail map. Make sure you allow enough time to get back to the gondola until you learn the mountain.
Avoid the Galaxy lift - only 2-person and it is slow.

Visited March 2013
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