Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is generally thought of as a small Lake Tahoe resort. While it’s true that it is much smaller than the destination resorts of Heavenly Mountain or Squaw Valley, Diamond Peak Ski Resort rivals its bigger neighbors in one aspect. At 1,840 feet, Diamond Peak Tahoe has one of the largest vertical drops in California; its longest run is 2.5 miles.

In any case, Diamond Peak Ski Resort goes to show that bigger is not always better. There may only be half a dozen chairlifts and 30 runs, but the mid-sized resort is a perennial favorite with Lake Tahoe locals.

The 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley encouraged many investors to open Lake Tahoe ski areas. Art Wood and Harold Tiller opened Diamond Peak Tahoe in November 1966. The slopes were designed and developed by Luggi Foeger, a famous Austrian ski consultant.

Today, Diamond Peak Ski Area bills itself as “Lake Tahoe’s Premier Family Ski Resort.” It was first U.S. ski station to install a family friendly “launch pad” loading system — a conveyor belt covered with felt to help make loading onto chairlifts easier. All of the major chairlifts at Diamond Peak Tahoe now have this feature.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is a great beginners mountain, with a friendly atmosphere and a manageable size. There isn’t too much true novice terrain, but there are lots of friendly instructors and the ski lessons are inexpensive, beginning at about $25 for 105 minutes. Novice and intermediate snowboarders are especially attracted to the resort — the canyons and gullies are exciting without being too challenging.

Intermediate skiers will enjoy most of the terrain at Diamond Peak Ski Area. The 2.5-mile long Crystal Ridge run is a pleasant blue slope with great views of Lake Tahoe. Be sure to bring a camera to Diamond Peak: the views of the lake during the ascent on the aptly named Lakeview Quad are spectacular.

Experts should head to Solitude Canyon or try to find some solitude of their own in the trees between the Great Flame and Thunder runs. There are also lots of fun canyons and chutes off the long Crystal Ridge run.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is relatively inexpensive for a Lake Tahoe ski area. Tickets start at less than $50; half-day tickets are also available. Diamond Peak is especially affordable for people who are going to spend several days there. Multi-day passes give substantial savings and season passes can be purchased for about $300 in advance.

With affordable tickets, crowd-free slopes, a friendly atmosphere, and great views, Diamond Peak Ski Area is a perfect resort for any family.

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