Lake Tahoe gondolas are one of the most popular views to take in the spectacular mountain, forest, and lake views. While some people associate gondolas with winter, snow, and skiing, they are increasingly becoming not only a practical form of transportation but also an attraction in Tahoe. Year-round visitors can climb aboard the Heavenly Gondola and gain a bird’s eye view on Lake Tahoe. If you have just spent a day hiking through the Eldorado National Forest, there is no better complement than seeing the entire area from above. Affordable and breathtaking, don’t miss the opportunity to take a ride on the Squaw Valley Cable Car.
Mountain destinations such as Lake Tahoe have become popular summer destinations in recent years as well as winter ones. The skiing has always been fantastic, but today travelers are arriving in the summer to go hiking, fishing, and attend summer festivals. One highlight of these summer trips is always a ride on the Lake Tahoe gondolas. Open seven days a week, the Heavenly Gondola, located in South Lake Tahoe, offers an eight passenger cabin that soars for 2.4 miles up the mountain in just twelve minutes. While many visitors are impressed by the views from the gondola itself, the views are even more sweeping from The Deck, an observation platform. After leaving the gondola, visitors will have views of Desolation Wilderness and will be able to see from one shore of the lake to the other.
If you are familiar with this type of transportation, you know that it isn’t usually free. Lake Tahoe gondolas are affordable compared to some places that charge you an arm and a leg for the service. Ticket prices for the Heavenly Gondola, which are reasonable to begin with, are discounted for both children and senior citizens. Some visitors may be surprised to learn that the gondola is only open from 10 am to 4 pm, so don’t leave it until too late if you want to climb aboard towards the end of the day. From the observation deck, at more than 9,000 feet, the views are sure to remind you why you wanted to reconnect with Mother Nature in the first place.
Another option is the Squaw Valley Cable Car. This journey is also popular in the winter for skiers and the summer for leisure travelers. The journey covers 2,000 vertical feet and is a bit more affordable than the Heavenly Gondola; there are discounts for children here as well. If you’re traveling on a budget, one money saving strategy is to arrive after 5pm, when the ticket price is drastically slashed to $12 per person. These night operations begin in July are a good way to see all the views without spending all the money. At the top of the Squaw Valley Cable Car journey you will reach a facility with incredible views and choices of restaurants. Kids will love the climbing wall that is available in the facility as well.
This year, instead of bringing your family on a city break or to an island, plan a different type of family vacation. While the cable car rises over Lake Tahoe, revealing Desolation Wilderness below, you can all share this moment of awe together. From laying out a towel on Kings Beach to renting a jet ski on the lake, Lake Tahoe is full of opportunities for fun in the summer. You might love the area so much that you immediately return for a winter vacation, meaning next time you board the gondola, you might just have skis in your hand!