In South Lake Tahoe, the Heavenly Mountain Resort ski area has 97 runs spread over 4,800 acres that are served by 29 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 3,500 feet. Heavenly is known as an intermediate riders paradise and is home to one of the longest US runs at 5.5 miles. Every lift accesses at least one entry level run. Keep in mind that the snow conditions are typically hard-packed, affectionately called Sierra Cement.
For the freestylers, there are five terrain parks to explore. Experts can find some challenge along both boundaries, in the glades (such as near The Face), or runs like Gunbarrel. For serious freeriders, head up the Dipper Express lift and then traverse east to either the Mote Gate or the Killbrew Gate to enter the ungroomed but avalanche-controlled freeride zones. The Mott Canyon Chutes are epic and the Killbrew’s 40 degree pitch slope has several boulders to huck or dodge.
The town is not your typical mountain town -- it is dominated by a handful of high rise casinos and hundreds of tacky lowend motels (unbelievable!). The downtown area is basically devoid of shops and bars.
For apres ski, head down to the Himmel Haus. For some nightlife, try Basecamp Pizza (live music daily), RoJos, McPs and Mulligans.
Tip: Heavenly Mountain Resort is part of the Vail Epic Pass.
Overall, Heavenly Mountain Resort is the 14th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 19 snowboarding resorts in California.