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Tahoe is a beautiful destination year-round, but it’s especially magical during the winter. Before you hit the slopes, follow our tips on what to pack for Lake Tahoe!
What to Pack for Lake Tahoe
Written By: Rachel Campbell
With over 22,000 acres available for skiing around Lake Tahoe, a ski trip here is bound to be unforgettable.
Located in both California and Nevada, you’ll find 9 ski resorts, a beautiful lake, plenty of photo opportunities, snowshoe trails, great shops and a plethora of dining choices.
Lake Tahoe Clothing Style in Winter
Casual, comfortable, easy to move in and stylish are all commonly used words and phrases to describe the dress code for what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip.
Because it does get super cold here during winter, most locals prefer to dress in warm layers complimented with heavy jackets and thick socks and shoes.
You’ll also find that most people, visitors and locals alike, wear sunglasses basically every moment that they are outside.
Discover our top brands for the best thermal underwear for women!
Lake Tahoe Winter Weather
Winter can easily be described as wet, dreary and bitterly cold in a large portion of the United States. Luckily for Lake Tahoe residents and visitors, that really isn’t the case. Sure it gets cold here, but the cold is paired with sunny skies and low humidity.
To help you make the most of your winter gear and limited luggage space, start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:
- Capsule Wardrobe for Winter
- How to Pack for Cold Weather
- How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather
- Extreme Cold Weather Clothing Strategies
- The Secret to Packing Light in Winter
- The Best Travel Shoes for Winter
On all sides of the lake, the winter season tends to last for about 4 months, give or take. During this time you’ll see temperatures drop down to the high teens. On some days however, temperatures are up in the high 40’s. This will impact your decisions on what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip.
What to Wear on a Tahoe Ski Trip
You’ll still want to dress warm when choosing what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip, even when you’re not on the slopes. Think multiple layers of long sleeve shirts and sweaters as well as a heavier jacket. Most people will opt for a jacket with a hood.
You’ll also want to sport your favorite sunglasses as the sun can be very bright here, even off the slopes.
Though you may be in love with wearing sandals every day, you’re going to want to leave them out of your carry-on this time around, as they won’t be necessary for what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip. Instead, you’ll want to pack boots or hiking shoes.
Find out why thermals are a must for traveling light (and staying warm) in winter!
What to Pack for Lake Tahoe in Winter: Essentials
When choosing what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip, there are a few essentials you won’t want to leave home without. The first thing to note is that you actually want to leave your down-filled powder snow suit at home.
This is because Lake Tahoe is actually warmer than ski areas in the Northeast. This means that you’ll want to focus on packing (and wearing) long underwear underneath a fleece top.
Trying to decide what’s the warmest long underwear for women? Read this!
Next, you’ll want to layer a waterproof jacket on top. The key to selecting a good jacket is to make sure that it is long enough to cover the top of your pants. This way snow will have to work harder to breech your clothing layers.
Ski pants are also necessary when choosing what to wear on a Tahoe ski trip as they’ll keep your legs nice and dry whereas a pair of regular pants and jeans will end up soaked by the end of your run.
Here’s the best waterproof jackets for stylish winter travels!
When it comes to shoes, you’ll want to go ahead and rent shoes at the ski resort as you won’t have space for them in your carry-on alongside your walking boots.
Check out these fashionable winter accessories for women!
Lake Tahoe Accommodations
During the winter season, you’ll find lots of great ski resorts to choose from. These resorts are the most popular as they give visitors easy access to the ski slopes as well as rental gear, shops and dining.
If you don’t want to stay at a resort, however, you’ll find that there are some decent hotels that offer heated rooms.
Some of these are right on the lake while others are across the street. Traveling with a large group or family? Then take a look at one of the vacation rentals around the lake.
Lake Tahoe Transportation
Though driving your own car or using a rental car is the most popular means of transportation here, you’ll also find that there are several other ways to get around the lake and to and from the numerous small towns that border it.
One of these ways is by using a bus service called TART in North Lake Tahoe. You can also hitchhike here, especially around the north shore.
What To Do in Lake Tahoe in Winter
When visiting Lake Tahoe for a ski trip, you’ll find that there are lots of other things to do as well. If you wake up and find that you’re just not in the mood to ski, then you should consider snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding and competing in (or just watching) the polar bear swim.
If you’re looking for a few hours of relaxation, then a visit to the Massage on the Lake Day Spa in Tahoe City is in order.
Downtown Truckee also offers some great shopping. Here you’ll find local art, jewelry, clothes and plenty of souvenirs.
What are your tips on what to pack for Lake Tahoe? Please comment below!
For more tips and ideas on ski trips, please read:
- 5 Ski Trip Essentials Not to Forget
- Fantastic Packing Tips for First-time Skiers
- The A – Z Of What To Bring On A Ski Trip
- Ski Essentials for a Winter Vacation
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Author Bio: Rachel Campbell is a professional travel writer who has been slowly exploring the globe since 2013. Though her heart belongs to Florida and the Caribbean, she can still be found making snow angels in the cold white north from time to time. For more, follow The Florida Living Magazine and her adventures on Instagram.