With an outdoor recreation scene as diverse as the landscape itself, expect the unexpected in Nevada, USA, with cold-weather fun in every city and town. Sure, the Mojave Desert boasts sunshine year-round, but we bet you never imagined one of Nevada’s tallest peaks is 40 minutes off the Strip, with amazing skiing, snowshoeing, and fancy resort living. Or, that Reno serves up primetime Sierra Nevada powder at Tahoe’s highest base resort.
Wintertime wonderland – Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is one of the largest and most beautiful alpine lakes in the world, so it’s no surprise that millions of people from all corners of the planet come here to get a piece of winter family activities every single year. Split between California and Nevada, the Lake Tahoe basin offers dozens of ski resorts to get your vertical drop on. But, as with everything else, Nevada always finds a way to stand out in a crowd, and offers the highest base at Mt. Rose Ski Resort and some of the most insanely impressive views of Tahoe at Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Both are located in North Lake Tahoe near Incline Village. Here, visitors can expect affordable day passes, friendly and relaxed vibes, crowd-less runs, and some of the best terrain in Tahoe.
Guests can also ogle at wide-angle vistas of Lake Tahoe, ski over the Nevada-California state line, ride the Heavenly Gondola, and kick back in the 14,720-sqft Tamarack Lodge for some of the best on-mountain restaurants in the skiing world. Be sure to hit Heavenly Village for great shopping, open-air ice skating and horse-drawn sleigh rides, and live the true mountain resort lifestyle Tahoe is known for.
But, you can’t visit Tahoe in the wintertime without heading to Mt. Rose Meadows, just north of Incline Village. Filled with some of the best sledding, tubing and snowshoeing opportunities for everyone from first-timers to snowy savants and everyone in between, consider this a headquarter for winter sports for kids in the area. Rent sleds and snowshoes in Reno or Lake Tahoe, then head for the meadows.
Ride the Rubies
One of Nevada’s best-kept secrets is found in northeastern Nevada’s rugged, unblemished, and completely gorgeous Ruby Mountains, home to some of the driest, fluffiest powder in North America. Recreate in the Rubies year-round with some of the best hiking and backpacking, alpine lake floating, native mackinaw fishing and, of course, one of its most adventurous anchors: heli-skiing. Situated about 30 minutes from downtown Elko, head to the tiny ranching community of Lamoille to grab a ride from Ruby Mountain Heli-Skiing. A chopper carries you high into the Rubies and drops you off to ski or snowboard somewhere along the lines of 200,000 acres of pristine powder. There’s terrain for all ages and skill levels at Ruby Mountain Heli-Skiing. Some of the best snowmobiling in Nevada is also available at Lamoille Canyon.
Snowy Las Vegas area
Just 40 minutes beyond the metro area, Mt. Charleston climbs to nearly 12,000 feet and is Nevada’s fifth-tallest peak. Rising from the spectacular Spring Mountains, Mt. Charleston sets the stage with endless fun winter activities. Hit the slopes at Lee Canyon, snowshoe through the Springs, or even ice climb Mary Jane Falls when conditions are right. Speaking of climbing, the Spring Mountains are home to the dazzling Red Rock Canyon — a world-class rock climbing destination that is one of Nevada’s best wintertime sports. If you’re after more ‘green’ than white, join the club with great snowless southern Nevada-based winter golf at award-winning courses in Mesquite, Boulder City, and Las Vegas at some of the best winter golf destinations in the US.