Hey guys. I have made this trip before during the same time frame but because of last year I am very skittish about booking any airfare to Reno for Jan 2016. I know no one can predict whether or not it will snow during our week but now the concern is will there be skiable terrain?! We had to cancel a trip to Squaw in April 2015 because of lack of snow. The challenge is airfares from the East Coast are very cheap to Reno right now so I am tempted to pull the trigger. That being said am I nuts to book a trip to Tahoe in January at this point or should I just wait and roll the dice that prices stay low? Thanks.
Lake Tahoe MLK 2016?
There is massive speculation about the el nino for this season if it hits it could deliver massive amounts of snow by the time you show up
But we really won't know about that until December so everything is really a crap shoot
I would hedge my bets after the last 4 years of lousy snow on this trip
Make sure you can change plans
Jay we drive up increasing our odds, the OP does not have that luxury so....
Changeable refundable tickets are in order
And I pray it delivers but flying from NJ I would have a backup plan in case it don't
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Given that it is way too early to know how much snow the Tahoe area will have, I suggest using historical snowfall measures to determine where to go in Jan. Tony Crocker's website - http://www.bestsnow.net - can give you all the historical/statistical data to determine where to plan your trip.
For the surest guarantee - book your flights to Alta/Snowbird or to Breckenridge/Vail for MLK weekend and skip the Lake Tahoe area. Lake Tahoe may be great in Jan but it may not - nobody can say. The odds are in your favor if you book your flights to SLC or Den. Unfortunately, flights are more expensive but statistically, the odds will be in your favor.
Thanks for all the responses. The reason its alluring to do Tahoe (and I have been there twice the past 9 years during MLK week) is right now I can get round trip tickets for under $250 from the NYC area which is great. I also have a Mountain Collective Pass so I can do two days in Mammoth and one each at Squaw and Alpine for free. Plus I can use Starwood points at the Westin Mammoth and stay free for a couple of nights. All in all would be a pretty cheap trip and I don't mind driving around a bit.
I realize I can use Mountain Collective at Alta/Snowbird and stay in Sandy cheap but the airfare is quite a bit higher now. We've done Steamboat and Aspen/Snowmass the past two MLK weeks and it was nice both areas.
Already doing that LOL! Followed him last winter too and actually felt bad for him having to type out those awful forecasts.