After loading up your skis or board with all the other powder chasers at the Reno airport, head straight for the resort that no one else is going to. With eight lifts and a top-to-bottom vertical of about 1,500 feet, Mt. Rose is modest compared to the nearby mega-resorts, yet it remains an unheralded favorite among Tahoe locals for its 1,200 crowd-free acres, famous hike-to terrain (like Unemployment Bowl), and the little-known fact that it holds more snow than any other mountain in the region. While it skews advanced, Mt. Rose has beefed up its beginner terrain this season with five brand new green runs. Tickets are $94, unless you come on "Two 'Fer Tuesdays", when you get two tickets for the price of one.
Where to Stay: Turn your typical ski trip on its head by staying at a classic Reno Casino like the Grand Sierra and burn the candle a both ends. Mt Rose is happy to enable your debauchery with its shuttle from downtown — just a 25-minute ride.
Insider Tip: After a day of skiing, linger at the resort at least long enough to enjoy a pint of Great Basin beer and take in the views from the Sky Bar in the revamped Winter's Creek Lodge on the more hidden East Bowl, what locals call the "slide side."