When most people think of Lake Tahoe, they think of a mountain-town, rich with history. But more importantly, they think of the beautiful scenic views. Winter is a picturesque season, as Lake Tahoe is a chilling deep, dark blue, and aerial perspectives reveal white snow-caped mountains for miles. Whether you are visiting to ski or snowboard, or just relax by the lake and take in the culture, these five locations are some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in the North Lake Tahoe area:
1. Donner Summit
The Rainbow Bridge on Donner Pass Road provides breathtaking views of the valley, including Donner Lake, unlike anywhere else in town. During the winter, on early, cold mornings, an inversion layer sits low above Donner Lake creating an “above the clouds” experience. Can’t make it for an early ascent up the winding pass? That’s okay! The Rainbow Bridge is also known for the everlasting sunsets and alpenglow on the mountains in the distance. While admiring the views, take a moment to learn about the history of the Rainbow Bridge, as well as the history of Donner Pass and the Donner Party.
2. High Camp at Squaw Valley
Located at an altitude of 8,200 feet is High Camp at Squaw Valley. Take in the scenic, snowy mountain top views from the Terrace Restaurant and Bar. Be sure to get a photo with the 1960 Olympic rings on display high above. High Camp is best accessible by the Aerial Tram - take a ride and glide 550 feet over the rocky mountain scape and iconic Squaw Valley Tram Face below.
3. Top of the KT-22 Chair at Squaw Valley
Known for its expert terrain including 2,000 vertical feet of steep chutes and cliffs, the KT-22 chair offers a 360 degree view with which no peak can compete. Along the ridgeline, to the left off the lift, is a backside, out of bounds view that extends as far as the eye can see. There is a level of peace and quiet when you reach this view, as if you are standing on top of the world. There is a reason so many people consider the KT-22 chair their happy place!
4. Moon Dunes Beach
If you’re interested in shore front Lake Tahoe views, then this is the spot for you! Moon Dunes beach is a very popular destination in the summer, but, many forget about the serenity they can find there in the winter months. Located in Kings Beach, Moon Dunes is a small secluded spot along the lakeshore, that looks out on East, West and South shores. Take a seat on the driftwood log & look for the gondola at Heavenly, glistening in the sunshine directly across the lake as it ascends into the mountains. Snow boots are highly recommended!
5. Top of the Madden lift at Homewood
The west shore of Lake Tahoe offers an experience unlike any other. Since 1959 Homewood Mountain has offered an unbeatable peak-to-shore experience. This small family-friendly mountain includes 8 chairlifts, but one lift offers the best aerial view of Lake Tahoe from above: the Madden chairlift. As you ascend to the top, turn around and look behind you, rising above “big blue”, one chairlift tower at a time.