Supreme slopes: Mount Rose Ski Tahoe is ideal for locals, from beginners to advanced

Mount Rose is easily the most recognizable peak from the Reno-Sparks area, with Slide Mountain right next door, boasting The Chutes and other runs of the Mount Rose Ski Tahoe resort.  

Most local snowhounds already know about the shorter lift lines, parking lots within easy walking distance of the lodges, and top-notch tree runs. But for anyone curious to learn to ski or snowboard, Mount Rose also has fantastic terrain and progression opportunities for beginners. 

A two-hour lesson—complete with a full set of rental equipment and a lift ticket—starts as low as $139, with special deals occasionally dipping below $100. Your guide will take you on the numerous green (beginner) runs serviced by three lifts: Magic, Galena and Wizard. When you feel comfortable on your feet, a Next Step Ski lesson can help you progress and practice your newfound skills. 

The green runs at Mount Rose Ski Tahoe don’t disappoint. You’re not stuck at the bottom of the mountain; you can take lifts all the way to the top and link greens together all the way down, getting the same views and forest experiences as skiers on the more advanced routes. The views are some of the best around. From the top of the Main Lodge side, you can overlook the north end of Lake Tahoe and the many mountains leading down to its shores. The side of the resort above Winters Creek Lodge offers arguably the best view of Washoe Valley and Washoe Lake that you’ll find anywhere. 

Mount Rose is also one of the most affordable mountains in the area, making it a great place to learn and a great place to be a regular visitor. Full-day lift tickets and season-pass prices are usually below those of other Tahoe-area resorts. 

If that’s not enough, Mount Rose offers a plethora of daily deals on everything from lift tickets to equipment rentals. From partial-day markdowns and ladies’ days, to locals-only prices and discounts for specific industry employees (like service workers and military personnel), Mount Rose has something to offer the budget-conscious snowbird on almost every day that isn’t a holiday. Season pass holders get a laundry list of perks and benefits, from equipment rentals and discount lessons to local retail savings and repair services. Check out the Mount Rose Ski Tahoe website for the full list of advantages. 

Days on the mountain never get old at Mount Rose, with a full schedule of events. You can try out some new skis on demo days, or rack up laps in The Chutes for bragging rights. From special-event fireworks and spring pond skims to weekend naturalist tours and race days, there’s always something going on. 

But perhaps the most impactful aspect is the feel of Mount Rose Ski Tahoe. Top to bottom, this mountain is geared toward locals. Driving up the Mount Rose Highway to the base parking, you join fellow winter enthusiasts from the immediate vicinity—not hordes of weekend warriors. Both lots are welcoming and open, with easy parking and access to your vehicle for grilling your own lunch or meeting up with friends for a tasty beverage before or between runs. 

As a Midwestern transplant, I had very little experience with skiing before moving to the Reno-Tahoe area nearly a decade ago. Even after working a full season on one of the other, larger area resorts, I didn’t feel I had progressed much in my skiing ability or confidence, due to constantly overcrowded slopes. When my now-husband and I first got together, I knew I wanted to become a better skier to keep up with him on the slopes. He suggested Mount Rose, for its easy access from the city, the locals’ vibe and the reasonable prices for the area—so I happily agreed. 

Mount Rose isn’t the largest ski resort in the area, but its terrain is varied, offering something for every level of skier. As I’ve practiced and learned, Mount Rose continues to offer me excitement and enjoyment with every turn of my skis. When I’m craving challenge and excitement, there are black runs, blues covered in moguls, and routes to be picked through the trees. When I want the easy way down at the end of a long day, I can easily make my way along green runs to the base on my weary legs. 

While I regularly join friends and family at other area resorts, Mount Rose remains far and away my favorite. With Mount Rose’s approachable staff and a small-town ambience, skiing here feels like being home. I never have to battle big crowds of folks “just in town for the weekend”—and I can always find space on the mountain to ski the way I like.