Lake Tahoe’s Non-Skiing Delights: Winter Escape

Lake Tahoe is one of the premier winter destinations in the world. The region is a winter playground and a haven for skiers worldwide.

lake tahoe in winter for non skiers

But if skiing is not your thing, you don’t have to worry because there is so much more to winter in Lake Tahoe than just skiing. There is a plethora of activities and events for non-skiers in Lake Tahoe.


Snowshoeing runs a close second to skiing as the most popular winter activity in Lake Tahoe. If you want to explore the frozen beauty of the region away from the ski runs, this is the perfect activity! There are miles and miles of snowshoeing trails ranging from easy to difficult, so there’s something for everyone. The trails cross through stunning winter landscapes such as towering pines, frozen lakes, and streams. You can take a guided tour or rent equipment and explore on your own. One great spot for snowshoeing is the Emerald Bay State Park, with its stunning azure blue waters and stunning forest views, this activity is great for non skiers.

Hot Air Ballooning

The hot air ballooning activity is perfect if you like seeing nature from a different perspective, and if you are a non-skier during winter in Lake tahoe, this is great for you too. This activity rides you over Lake Tahoe, seeing the lake from the heavens. The balloon glides silently over the snow-covered forests and mountains, and it’s a truly magical experience. During winter, the region has bright and clear skies, making it ideal for hot air balloon rides. You’ll get to enjoy the breathtaking views while sipping a hot chocolate. There are several balloon companies in the area that offer tours. Make sure to dress warmly as it can be chilly up in the sky.

Ice Skating

Lake Tahoe has some ice skating rinks that are perfect for non-skiers. From intimate, family-friendly rinks to large commercial rinks, there’s something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely skate or try their hand at the sport. The most popular rink in the area is the Heavenly Village rink, located in South Lake Tahoe. Glide around the rink with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, and enjoy the cozy atmosphere.

non skier activities in lake tahoe for winter

Sleigh Rides

For those who are after a romantic and charming experience, a sleigh ride is the perfect activity. Snuggle under a warm blanket as your horse-drawn carriage glides through the sparkling snowscape. Sleigh rides offer an excellent way to explore the region’s beauty while enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience. There are several operators in the area that offer sleigh rides, and they range from one-hour tours to two-hour rides with gourmet meals included. For a truly memorable experience, try a moonlit ride and enjoy the snow-covered scenery illuminated by the moon.


For those who want to get their adrenaline pumping, snowmobiling is a fun and thrilling activity. Lake Tahoe has over 200 miles (321.87 km) of snowmobile trails that take riders through pristine forests and snowy meadows. Snowmobiling offers a unique way to explore the area’s winter wilderness. There are many tour operators in the region that offer rentals and guided tours. Most tours are two hours long, and they take riders through varied terrain that ranges from open meadows to narrow mountain passes.

winter in lake tahoe for non skiers

Popular Inquiries

What is the best time to visit Lake Tahoe for non-skiers?

The best time to visit Lake Tahoe for non-skiers is largely dependent on the activities you are interested in. For those looking to enjoy winter activities such as snowshoeing, ice skating, sleigh rides, and snowmobiling, the best time to visit is during the winter months, from December to February, when the region is blanketed in snow. However, if you’re interested in activities such as hiking, mountain biking, or lake cruises, the summer months from June to August offer warm temperatures and clear skies. The fall months, September to November, offer a beautiful display of fall foliage and are less crowded, providing a tranquil escape.

Is it necessary to book activities in advance?

It is highly recommended to book most of the activities in advance, especially during the peak winter and summer seasons. This is because Lake Tahoe is a popular destination and many activities tend to get booked out quickly. Advance booking not only ensures that you have a spot reserved for your preferred activity, but it also often allows you to take advantage of early-bird discounts. However, some activities like snowshoeing and ice skating, where equipment rental is the primary requirement, can frequently be arranged on the spot. Always check with the tour operator or rental shop for their specific booking policies.

Is equipment provided for activities like snowshoeing and snowmobiling?

Equipment for activities like snowshoeing and snowmobiling is typically provided by the tour operators or rental shops in Lake Tahoe. For snowshoeing, this includes the snowshoes themselves, poles for balance, and typically gaiters to keep snow out of your boots. For snowmobiling, the rental usually includes the snowmobile, helmet, and a map of the trails. Some operators also provide warm clothing such as gloves and snowsuits if required. It’s always best to confirm the specifics of what is included with the activity provider when you book.

Are there age restrictions for any of these activities?

Some activities in Lake Tahoe do have age restrictions. For instance, snowmobiling often requires riders to be at least 16 years old to operate the snowmobile, whereas passengers can be as young as 5. Ice skating doesn’t typically have a set age limit, but children should always be supervised. Hot air ballooning normally requires passengers to be at least 6 years old due to safety concerns. Sleigh rides and snowshoeing are generally suitable for all ages, but check with individual operators, as some may have their own restrictions or guidelines. Always make sure to confirm with the activity provider regarding their specific age restrictions when booking.

winter lake tahoe for non skiers


If you’re not a skier, don’t fret! Lake Tahoe is a winter wonderland with something for everyone. From snowshoeing to hot air ballooning, the region caters to all interests. The beautiful scenery, cold crisp air, and unique activities make it the perfect winter destination. So let’s start packing and prepare for an amazing time in Lake Tahoe!

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