Heavenly

User rating 7 out of 10

Christmas Riding

Wed 24 January 2007 by Kingpin

Too light on snow so could not plan where you wanted to go as runs and lifts were closed all over the mountain. But early in the season so you cannot have everything

User rating 8 out of 10

A Great Resort

Sun 26 November 2006 by cicerone

I rode Heavenly every weekend last season. Mainly because they have cheap season pass for $300, granted, but that is an amazing deal for one of the top 5 resorts in California.

I would consider myself an average, intermediate snowboarder and here's my take:

Pros
- It's big. The biggest in Tahoe for sure. A huge variety of terrain, including several parks and everything from kiddie runs to double black diamonds. Check out the Nevada side for less crowded runs.
- It's convenient. It's right in South Lake Tahoe (the only real town on the lake), close to tons of cheap hotels and even a couple hostels (the only ones in Tahoe). Although the resort itself has $10 hot dogs, you can easily fill up for $3 at Taco Bell before you hit the slopes.
- It's social. Sure, the nightlife and apres ski can't compare to a European experience, but there are a handful of bars and plenty of eye candy for the single set.
- It's professional. Most of the lifts are modern, the staff is efficient and even if the conditions suck, they'll make some snow if they have to..

Cons
- Flats. Tons of 'em. You may be able to "ski from Nevada to Cali" but if you're a boarder, you're gonna be hurtin..
- Costs. The aforementioned season pass only applies to locals. This isn't a budget resort by any means.
- Crowds. Heavenly is beseiged by legions of ski school kids on the weekends. Especially on the California side, do NOT assume people see you.

All things considered, it's a great resort. Heavenly tries to be everything to everyone, so inevitably it suffers a bit, but really you can't go wrong here..

User rating 5 out of 10

Left feeling cheated

Thu 28 September 2006 by Sally3

Dont fall for the hype!!!

Even when we were AT the resort the morning tv would always tell us how wonderful the conditions were on the slopes yet the majority of mornings we got to the gondola bad weather prevented it from working! When there is a bit of wind or snow or mist you are VERY limited to where you can go.....that is if they dont close the slopes altogether (only happened 3 times in the 2 weeks we were there!). When we did get up there the good runs were often separated by largely flat parts and it was VERY windy at the top......stunning scenery tho.

The mountain resturants were VERY VERY crowded or closed and the food choice and quality was very poor .

The town was incredibly dissapointing and the 'choice' of bars was very poor which meant the better resturants and bars were always very crowded ! The locals were not overly welcoming and often the shop/resturant/bar staff were rude and unhelpful. The casinos were a novelty which rapidly wore off and only for cheese lovers!! Mc P's the english bar that everyone raves about is dull and has NO atmosphere. Fire and Ice is always rammed and has some of the rudest personalityless staff of anywhere i have EVER been!

The avaliable trips that were advertised were not all running and trips to local san fransisco were all cancelled due to flooding!! We did have some good dumps however the weather was extremely erratic which we were told was normal!!

The WORST thing about this resort is the small plane you have to get from San Fransisco to Reno as it apparently NEVER has enough space for all the luggage for the people onboard consequently you WILL NOT get all of your bags unless you are incredibly lucky (this is on the way there AND out) and there didnt seem to be any hurry to sort this problem out. (we lost one on the way out -2 days to turn up and on the way back which turned up 4 days after our return)

If you ARE going to go to this resort i would suggest buying skipasses when you are there as you get a 50% reduction if all the slopes are not open (but you wont if you already have the full ski passes unless they close ALL the slopes).

Dont get me wrong i did have a good time on this holiday but everything went laughably wrong and i would NEVER return and NEVER reccommend this resort to anyone!

User rating 9 out of 10

Excellent Tahoe Base

Wed 19 July 2006 by Judd

This ‘split personality’ resort stretches across two states, California and Nevada with an efficient and fast service to get you up and down the mountain in a number of ways.  There are two main choices up: the gondola from the Heavenly Village, this is located in the centre of the South Lake Tahoe resort or, by taking advantage of a free shuttle service that runs from the village to the California Lodge every 20 minutes or a short journey by car, there is California Lodge with free and convenient parking.  The ski area can also be accessed on the Nevada side from the Stagecoach or Boulder Lodge areas, again with free parking close to the lifts.

 

Heavenly celebrated their 50th year of operation this year and the resort’s calibre speaks for itself in statistics, recently breaking the millionth visit mark and also becoming the fourth most visited ski resort in the United States over the 2004-2005 season.  Heavenly boasts one of the largest board/ski acreage in the U.S. and the biggest vertical amongst the Lake Tahoe resorts.

 

While Heavenly is a popular resort, queues are a rarity - even at weekends.  This helps enable you to get more riding in and explore the terrain that is on offer. Advanced riders should head to the Nevada side for the double diamonds - both Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon offer testing chutes and demanding lines. For beginners head up the California side, easily accessed by either the Gunbarrel Express or the Aerial Tramway.  These drop you off half-way up the mountain where there is a hub of nice greens all leading down to a café.

 

Known in the past for its world cup events, Heavenly has recently become a freestyle mecca also. Boasting four parks and a well maintained half pipe and a newly introduced night boarding park, Heavenly truly caters for all.

 

Piste riders have a bevy of groomed options, the best of which accessed by the quick Sky Express lift.  This leads you to the top nice long maintained runs such as Liz’s’ and the wide single diamond run of Ellie's.  Head east from the Sky Express and you reach Big Dipper with nice natural hits on the edge this run is just one of the mellow blues that can take you all the way down to Boulder Lodge or take epic Olympic Downhill down to the Stagecoach Lodge on the Nevada side.

 

Nightlife in Heavenly is varied; the gamblers amongst you have the massive casinos of the Nevada side to keep you entertained.  They offer excellent restaurants such as Hard Rock Café that specialise in cocktails and American fair. Entertainment from world renound bands and acts, nightclubs and bars a plenty too.  Other recommended bars and restaurants include the spectacle of the Fire & Ice bar located next to the Heavenly Gondola.  This place serves beer served in Mass Krugs while cooking your food in front of you, the food is reasonable as it is all you can eat, in all an excellent night out.  Mc P’s is an Irish bar that also has some excellent band nights and is open late.    Heavenly has an abundance of food outlets off the mountain covering a wide spectrum of tastes and prices.  Also on offer is an excellent range of retail outlets with supermarkets, sporting facilities and gift shops.

 

Accommodation is varied and caters for all budgets.  You will find accommodation central to the village is consistently expensive, if this is where you want to be then you have Motels such as The Block (530) 544-2936 from $69, or further out between Heavenly Gondola and California Lodge you have Doug’s Mellow Mountain Resort (530) 544-8065 at $20 per night.

User rating 9 out of 10

Almost perfect

Sun 25 June 2006 by Judd

This ‘split personality’ resort stretches across two states, California and Nevada with an efficient and fast service to get you up and down the mountain in a number of ways.  There are two main choices up: the gondola from the Heavenly Village, this is located in the centre of the South Lake Tahoe resort or, by taking advantage of a free shuttle service that runs from the village to the California Lodge every 20 minutes or a short journey by car, there is California Lodge with free and convenient parking.  The ski area can also be accessed on the Nevada side from the Stagecoach or Boulder Lodge areas, again with free parking close to the lifts.

 

Heavenly celebrated their 50th year of operation this year and the resort’s calibre speaks for itself in statistics, recently breaking the millionth visit mark and also becoming the fourth most visited ski resort in the United States over the 2004-2005 season.  Heavenly boasts one of the largest board/ski acreage in the U.S. and the biggest vertical amongst the Lake Tahoe resorts.

 

While Heavenly is a popular resort, queues are a rarity - even at weekends.  This helps enable you to get more riding in and explore the terrain that is on offer. Advanced riders should head to the Nevada side for the double diamonds - both Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon offer testing chutes and demanding lines. For beginners head up the California side, easily accessed by either the Gunbarrel Express or the Aerial Tramway.  These drop you off half-way up the mountain where there is a hub of nice greens all leading down to a café.

 

Known in the past for its world cup events, Heavenly has recently become a freestyle mecca also. Boasting four parks and a well maintained half pipe and a newly introduced night boarding park, Heavenly truly caters for all.

 

Piste riders have a bevy of groomed options, the best of which accessed by the quick Sky Express lift.  This leads you to the top nice long maintained runs such as Liz’s’ and the wide single diamond run of Ellie's.  Head east from the Sky Express and you reach Big Dipper with nice natural hits on the edge this run is just one of the mellow blues that can take you all the way down to Boulder Lodge or take epic Olympic Downhill down to the Stagecoach Lodge on the Nevada side.

 

Nightlife in Heavenly is varied; the gamblers amongst you have the massive casinos of the Nevada side to keep you entertained.  They offer excellent restaurants such as Hard Rock Café that specialise in cocktails and American fair. Entertainment from world renound bands and acts, nightclubs and bars a plenty too.  Other recommended bars and restaurants include the spectacle of the Fire & Ice bar located next to the Heavenly Gondola.  This place serves beer served in Mass Krugs while cooking your food in front of you, the food is reasonable as it is all you can eat, in all an excellent night out.  Mc P’s is an Irish bar that also has some excellent band nights and is open late.    Heavenly has an abundance of food outlets off the mountain covering a wide spectrum of tastes and prices.  Also on offer is an excellent range of retail outlets with supermarkets, sporting facilities and gift shops.

 

Accommodation is varied and caters for all budgets.  You will find accommodation central to the village is consistently expensive, if this is where you want to be then you have Motels such as The Block (530) 544-2936 from $69, or further out between Heavenly Gondola and California Lodge you have Doug’s Mellow Mountain Resort (530) 544-8065 at $20 per night.

User rating 7 out of 10

Look for the trees

Wed 5 April 2006 by Bigyeti

It is over hyped, the Lake area is very scenic, and many people will stop at the top of lifts for a while to check the views.  More importantly, most areas are not steep and have consistent gradients. The taller trees here mean that there are larger gaps at the bottom, ideal for getting to grips with tree runs, which is where i did most riding with lots of powder around, even though I've never much liked trees.  Very little in the way of natural hits but the Terrain parks are very well maintained, offer a variety of equipment for all levels and are accessed quickly and easily by the lifts. 

On mountain facilities are poor with mostly outdoor eating areas serving hotdogs, only a couple of indoor restaurants which get packed if it's cold.  South Lake Tahoe and the Casinos are not worth getting exited about.  Casinos are the only places to drink and are just tacky, Altitude Nightclub in Harrah's on Friday night mid season was possibly the worst nightclub I have ever been to, half empty, no atmosphere, laughable podium dancers and the unfortunate locals seemed to think it was great!

User rating 7 out of 10

A bit too hyped

Tue 9 March 2004 by WSG Steve

A good resort, but it is a little too hyped up. Fair enough you can cross over 2 states, but you may find yourself skating in order to do so. Check out the angle of the trees on the upper slopes, it can get pretty windy up there at times meaning you've gotta find the snow after a good dumping, but when you do ...

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