With the second-highest base elevation in the region, a north-facing mountain, and smart snowmaking, Boreal opens earlier than any other resort in Lake Tahoe (typically by Halloween). Boreal is small compared to most of its neighbors — 380 acres and eight lifts — but the terrain that really matters here is its half pipes and five terrain parks. Boreal has become something of a destination for freeskiers and riders looking to up their air game. In fact, the resort recently joined forces with the famed ski and snowboard aerial academy Camp Woodward, building a huge indoor facility full of foam pits, trampolines, and even a skatepark. Lift tickets are $69, or $129 for three. Grab a Take Three, Ride Free deal, and when you buy and complete three lesson packages, Boreal hands you a free season pass.
Where to Stay: Try the Cedar House Sport Hotel in lively Truckee, a slick, Scandinavian-inspired modern ski lodge.
Insider Tip: Boreal may not be anywhere near the biggest resort in Lake Tahoe, but it does have the best night skiing in the area. So, regardless of where you ski, if you’re ever in the mood to pull a double, this is the place to go.