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Heavenly Reviews

Positive Reviews


Two Sides of Heavenly


Pros: Snowmaking, grooming, lift capacity, access to South Lake Tahoe

Cons: Confusing layout, Prone to lift shutdowns for wind

Heavenly is the ski area that often defines a trip to Tahoe for people coming from out of the area.  It is a huge mountain with walk-to access to the casinos and up-scale hotels of South Lake Tahoe, and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and surrounding mountains.   Everyone who visits this mountain can create their own experience, from a ski-in slope side condo, to staying at the California Base or Casino area.  The skiing ranges from long gentle scenic cruising trails, to world class expert bumps and trees.  For those equipped to safely enjoy it, off-piste and backcountry skiing is available through a number of gates, and the famous Motts and Killebrew Canyons...
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Negative Reviews

Laurel Hill Crazie

Great views and a nice place for cruising and moderate angled trees


Pros: Good groomed blues, if that's what you like.

Cons: Skis small for its size.

Heavenly does really ski like a bunch of smaller connected areas. Cirquerider's review has good advice. My family of strong skiers was there just last week, mid-March during a low snow year and a warm spell. Conditions were hard pack in the morning and soft snow in the afternoon, if you skied the right aspects.  We didn't experience the resort's full potential because of sketchy conditions that left us feeling like we were back east. Only one gate into Mott was open and it was thankfully soft when we skied it. The low snow year caused the bumps to grow deep in the canyon under the lift. We didn't ski the California base area. We were informed by mountain hosts at the top that most...
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OK... not my favorite


Pros: Lots of terrain, lots of high speed lists

Cons: To widespread. Too many trails, not enough runs

I went to Heavenly on March 21, for the first time in several years. The area is OK... not great. They have lots of terrain, and lots of lifts, but everything is too spread out. The resort is divided into the 'California Side' and the 'Nevada Side' (it does in fact span two states), but getting from one to the other requires a lot of lifts and a lot of trails. Even worse, they apparently sometimes close the upper-mountain lifts due to winds, which means you can't get back from the California side to the Nevada side, except via hour-long bus ride. On the plus side, they have a cheap pass this year: $329 for the rest of this season and all of next season.

More Reviews

Ski Ausralia

You need insider knowledge


Pros: best value resort in the region overall, best snowmaking, best entertainment

Cons: winddhold

There's Shows with big names.    Lodging is close to the lift -so for the price it is so much better value than those pricey 'ski villages'.    There's the Heavenly Angel's party at Tamarack Lodge from about 4pm so kick up your heels   There's a great range of lodging to suit all budgets from the motels to the Penthouses.    It's not the place the Steep N Deep cliff hucking ski movie stars deign. It's a hill for the average family from beginner to advanced.    Runs are nice and wide - not those ribbons of death.    There are national park guides - free.    Ski School is 4 kids or 4 adults max per class.  ...
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Heavenly Mountain


Pros: Varied terrain, retains snow well, not busy if you know where to go, lots of fun 'hidden' stuff

Cons: Can be extremely busy at certain times/places, Confusing layout

As cirquerider stated, the trick to Heavenly as skiing it as different areas. I often found that by planning my runs in advance I was able to experience lots of terrain, especially after I got a feel for where the crowds were on the mountain. I was lucky enough to ski this mountain with a local friend and I found this mountain has lots of hidden gems, such as some unmarked glades etc.   The terrain on the mountain is varied and fun, but its important to ski it with a plan. If you want to ski Killebrew and Mott canyons, you should head there early on when the snow is fresh. This is not the only reason; the traverse there and back does take a little while. The trick to this...
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Three spring days in Heavenly. Good Times - they just forgot to schedule snow...


Pros: Grooming & Intermediate Runs well distributed around mountain, lift capacity, lack of crowds on expert terrain, Casino's nearby, helpful staff

Cons: tough layout can lead to cat track skiings, Can't get up real high on Milky Way w/o using Sky express, lines @ sky express, gunbarrel is out of way

 We spent three days skiing Heavenly and had a great family vacation - 3/18-3/20, Thursday through Saturday during spring break, were our ski days.  To put the review in context, our group consisted of myself (a ski-everything expert), my wife (an expert level boarder), toddler son (no skis yet), and two in-laws (intermediates... but more on that later).   Please note that I highly recommend Cirqeurider's review and won't go into reiterating all of his points, but he's pretty much spot on.  Except that maybe he doesn't do the simultaneous view of both Lake Tahoe and the Nevada desert floor justice.  Sitting in (on?) deserted Killebrew Canyon (both at the top, and on the ridge before the...
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Breathtaking scenery and terrain


Pros: Great views; Stateline's a fun place to stay; and very convenient from South Lake Tahoe/Reno Airport

Cons: Heavy, wet snow

I had bad luck with the snow, but still very much enjoyed my time at Heavenly. Access from Stateline and South Lake Tahoe couldn't be easier. The Stateline casinos are fun, and the views are amazing. In two days, I only skied a fraction of the available terrain, and the heavy snow wore me out quickly, but the trails are fun and varied, and the lifts are laid out nicely.

Huge resort but overrated


Pros: Lots of intermediate terrain

Cons: Limited expert terrain; cumbersome to navigate

Heavenly is surprising one of the most well known resorts in the Tahoe area and attracts lots of out-of-state and foreign tourists.  However I was never too thrilled by it given the other choices in the area (i.e. Kirkwood, Squaw, Alpine).  I only skied it a couple of times while I was living in northern California.  It is a hard mountain to navigate and coordinate with others in the group.  The advanced and expert terrain is limited.  Not a bad choice for groomed intermediate skiing, though a little too crowded.  Popular amongst tourists who want to ski during the day and gamble at night on the Nevada side.

An interesting substitute for Heaven


Pros: One of the most beautiful places on earth

Cons: Big, but not in a good way; heavy snow

Heavenly is an amazing place the morning after of the Sierra Nevada's famous 2 foot overnight blizzards. I remember going to sleep with a sky full of stars and waking up to 2 feet of fresh, if not a bit wet, powder. By 8:30am at the lift line, it was already a clear sunny morning with barely a cloud in the sky. It's hard to imagine what this place looks like when you're standing in the middle of a big line waiting for the first lift. Not that  it was particularly crowded, but Heavenly isn't exactly the middle of nowhere. Nonetheless, when the gondola gets you to the top of the mountain and you're staring down at that deep blue lake with all the trees covered in deep snow, there is...
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