The Heavenly Ski Resort is spectacularly located – overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe. It is located on the south east corner of the lake right on the edge of California’s boarder with Nevada.
In fact – half of the slopes are in Nevada – so you can ride from state to state!
With the views you can see from the slopes it’s no wonder they called it Heavenly. But that’s not the only great thing about Heavenly.
With a 1,162m (3,812 ft) vertical drop and a seriously huge 4,800 acres of ride-able terrain there is a mountain of space (excuse the pun!) to explore. And you won’t have any trouble accessing it, with 30 lifts to transport you throughout the mountain.
|Heavenly Mountain Stats|
|Resort Elevation: 3,068m(10,067 ft)|
|Vertical Drop: 1,162m (3,812ft)|
|Ride-able area: 4,800 acres|
|Annual Snowfall: 360” (9.1m)|
|No. of Lifts: 30 (1 gondola, 19 chairlifts, 6 surface lifts, 4 magic carpets)|
|No. of trails: 97|
|19 (20%) Beginner (Green)|
|44 (45%) Intermediate (Blue)|
|34 (35%) Advanced (Black Diamond) & Expert (Dbl Black Diamond)|
|No. of parks: 4 parks +pipe|
|Night Riding: No|
Trails and Freeriding
There are 97 named trails of various difficulties, so whether you are a beginner an expert or somewhere in between there should be something to suit you.
20% is beginners Terrain which may not sound like much but when you have 97 trails it does end up being more than you’ll ever need as a beginner. And once you progress beyond there is plenty of intermediate and advanced terrain to aid your progression.
Experts will find Mott Canyon and Killebrew Canyon, in particular, to their liking.
And if sticking to the trails doesn’t float your boat, there is plenty of backcountry to explore. Wait for a powder day and explore the best that Heavenly has to offer off the piste – most of it accessible via lift. There are 3 access gates located around the mountain.
The Terrain Parks
After covering Mammoth Mountain in my last mountain profile any other mountain would be an anti-climax in terms of terrain parks.
That said, Heavenly is actually really well equipped park-wise. They have four parks of varying levels plus a half pipe.
Progression Park is a beginner park with mini features to get you started in park life.
Groove Park is the next size up from progression park with small (but not mini) features for the next level of park progression.
Ante up is for when you want to….well, up the ante. It has medium features designed for the more intermediate to advanced park riders.
The High Roller park is the most advanced level park at the resort and if you’re a park-gun this is the place for you and is home to the biggest and most technical features Heavenly has on offer.
Usual opening date
Heavenly usually opens mid-late November. They seem to be pretty consistent with their opening date based on the last 5 years. With a huge snowmaking system (creating 120 inches of snow on average each year!) it’s easy to see why they can achieve this consistent opening date.
Past 5 years opening dates:
2010/2011 Season: November 20, 2010
2011/2012 Season: November 19, 2011
2012/2013 Season: November 22, 2012
2013/2014 Season: November 23, 2013
2014/2015 Season: November 21, 2014
Usual closing date
Their closing date is usually mid to late April. This is also relatively consistent.
Past 5 years closing dates:
2010/2011 Season: April 17, 2011
2011/2012 Season: April 29, 2012
2012/2013 Season: April 14, 2013
2013/2014 Season: April 20, 2014
2014/2015 Season: Yet to close
Usual operating hours for the lifts are 8:30am to 4pm. There is no night riding on Heavenly.
Have You had that Heavenly Experience?
If you’ve ever had the chance to ride Heavenly I am curious to know what you thought of your heavenly experience.
All other comments and questions very welcome also.