Skiing is Great, But That’s Just the Tip of the Mountain
Discover 8 Winter Activities for a Safe-Cation to Reno-Tahoe Territory
Before you dive into the story, please note:
This article was written and developed following COVID-19 guidelines in place at the time of writing. The Reno-Tahoe Territory and our local businesses and attractions are taking necessary safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this unprecedented time. Before you make your plans to go to any of the locations listed in this article, please visit our Reno-Tahoe Territory’s Safe Traveler Guide here to familiarize yourself with our guidelines. And please, wear your favorite face covering while visiting any of our destinations.
The Reno-Tahoe Territory is known for its world-class ski resorts, but that’s not all the region has to offer. As the leaves begin to fall, the temperatures drop, and the days grow shorter, a magical shift occurs. For the next several months, the Reno-Tahoe Territory transforms into a stunning winter wonderland, rife with opportunities to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Whether you live life at full throttle, or you’re a happy wanderer, there’s something for everyone here. Breathe in the majesty of the great outdoors. Learn about the eight ways you can enjoy a natural, and physically distant vacation this winter.
Winter Wanderland: Snowshoeing
Downhill skiing not your speed? No worries, the Reno-Tahoe Territory is the perfect place to strap on some snowshoes and channel your inner mountaineer, surrounded with stunning panoramas and invigorating views.
This relatively inexpensive and low impact sport is an excellent, laidback way to slow down while taking in the scenery of Reno-Tahoe Territory’s natural outdoor spaces. And while this sport is ideal for beginners, there are still precautions adventurists must take before embarking into the backcountry. Be sure to plan your route before hitting the trails and always be sure someone knows where you’re going before you leave. Also, layer appropriately to ensure you stay warm and dry your whole trip.
Once you familiarize yourself with backcountry procedures, you’re ready to get outfitted with all the necessary equipment for a fun and physically distant outdoor adventure. Get all the equipment you need from local shops like Bobos Ski and Board Shop in Reno, BlueZone Sports in south Carson City, Village Ski Loft in Incline Village, or any one of the numerous winter outfitters in South Lake Tahoe. And with guidance from local experts, you’re ready to hit the trails. Traverse rugged winter landscape and miles of untracked powder. And the best part? There’s no limit to the scenic landscapes and indigenous wildlife you’ll get to experience.
Life at Full Throttle: Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling is a thrilling way to see miles of untouched backcountry. Pick up speed at 10,000 feet above sea level and take in the vast expanse of the area. Perfectly suited for thrill-seekers of all experience levels, snowmobiling in the Reno-Tahoe Territory gives you unparalleled access to the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding valleys. Cruise across frozen pastoral meadows, along striking granite peaks, and through high alpine forests. Sign up for a guided backcountry tour with Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center. Or, to ride a more manicured trail, make a rental reservation with Tahoe Snowmobiles. With outfitters ready to assist you with your snowmobiling adventure, an exhilarating backcountry experience is never far away.
Powder to the People: Skiing and Snowboarding
Throw on some skis, or strap on a snowboard, and glide through miles of peaceful, private, and well-groomed trails with frosted views. Rent your equipment from knowledgeable local experts, and experience thousands of acres of ideal snow conditions. Conveniently located just 25 minutes from Reno, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe resort offers varied terrain for recreationalists of all experience levels. Take a turn south to hit the runs at Heavenly Mountain Resort in Stateline. Ride the gondola to the top of the mountain and glide through snow-capped forests with expansive views of the lake. Or, breathe in the majesty of the basin at the Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village with awe inspiring views that will leave you craving more.
Seize the Sleigh: Sleigh Riding
Visit Sand Harbor Nevada State Park in North Lake Tahoe to embark on a romantic adventure through towering pines and along frozen lakesides by horse-drawn sleigh. Book your ride and pass through the last remaining undeveloped area of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline. Along the way, enjoy learning about the area’s history and habitats. Borges Sleigh and Carriage Rides build memories and Instagram-worthy photo moments everywhere you turn.
Have an Ice Day: Ice Skating
Looking for an activity the whole family will enjoy? Spend the day playing on ice at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, or Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline. It’s a great way get out and enjoy the fresh air, day or night.
Take the Scenic Route: Hiking
Break away from the hustle and bustle of city life and check out the popular Kings Canyon Waterfall hike in Carson City, which loops through Nevada wilderness and leads hikers to multiple area waterfalls. Choose the length and intensity of your hike, with views and variations of this hike ranging from .25 miles, to 3 miles long.
Just south of Carson City in Carson Valley, an 800-acre nature wildlife preserve and conservancy awaits exploration. Take a self-guided tour through miles of trails in the River Fork Ranch and gain unprecedented access to the Carson River and indigenous wildlife viewing opportunities. Catch views of bald eagles, sandhill cranes, monarch butterflies, leopard frogs, pond turtles, mule deer and more. Also in Carson Valley, check out the Genoa Trail System for miles of nature trails open year-round. Follow the local favorite, Discovery Trail, for a 5.4-mile single-track trail hike with breathtaking views of the valley that follows along the slopes and canyons of the Carson Range right along the historic town of Genoa. And be sure to grab a drink afterward at Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor, the Genoa Bar & Saloon.
Soak Up the Season: Hot Springs
If you’re on the hunt for a place to unplug and unwind, then the Reno-Tahoe Territory is the place for you. Here, dozens of natural springs feed into rural and developed hot springs. At Carson Hot Springs, just outside Carson City, guests can take a dip in their large, outdoor, hot mineral water fed pool. For small parties, enjoy smaller, jetted tubs. In the historic town of Genoa, hot springs flow through the 1862 David Walley’s Resort. Soak in their outdoor pool and luxuriate in sweeping views of Carson Valley and the Sierra Nevada. And for a final dip, check out the Steamboat Hot Springs in Reno. Pamper yourself with a spa day at this wellness center powered by geothermal hot springs. Clear your head and make an escape from the stresses of everyday life and the chill of winter with a long, relaxing soak in these private, secluded springs.
Rest Your Ski Legs: Virginia City
The diversity of the territory encompasses all terrains with plenty of opportunities to mix in culture and history with your adventure. Take a daytrip or stay the night in the historic mining town of Virginia City and learn more about Nevada’s founding industry.
Finding its beginning as a mining community, this small town is the perfect place to dive into the culture of the Old West. Purchase a Comstock Adventure Pass at the Visitors Center and gain discounted access to museums and attractions. Take a mine tour, ride the trolley, or step back in time with a museum tour. Take a stroll along the wooden boardwalks and discover unique handicrafts and specialty stores. Looking to extend your stay? Virginia City features several bed and breakfasts and quaint lodging properties.
From exhilarating downhill shreds to meditative retreats, the Reno-Tahoe Territory makes for the ideal winter safe-cation destination. Get some physical distance and start planning your next trip.
This article was written and developed following COVID-19 guidelines in place at the time of writing. For the latest information, visit Reno-Tahoe Territory’s Safe Traveler Guide here.