You’ve made it to Lake Tahoe — possibly the most Instagram-worthy spot in Northern California? Dare we say the US? We’ll leave that debate to you. But beyond the crystal blue water and shoreline of Lake Tahoe, are the majestic, granite peaks of Palisades Tahoe. Welcome to our high alpine paradise. Whether you’re here for a ski vacation with your longtime friends who shred hard, your family who’s got the youngest making their first turns or you’re just here for the après and fresh mountain air — we’ve got the top spots you should snap a pic. Because if you don’t share your ski trip on Instagram, did it really happen?
Not planning to strap on the boards this trip? No problem. There are still plenty of places to capture a beautiful scenic or selfie. No skis or fuss required.
Iconic Tram Face
An iconic feature of Palisades Tahoe is the Tram Face. It’s likely one of the first peaks you saw driving into the Valley. Standing tall nearly 1,200’, it’s home to steep, decomposed granite that collects varying pockets of snow and it’s the face the Aerial Tram soars up and over to reach its final destination at High Camp, el. 8200’. Capture this recognizable peak as a backdrop when walking between the Olympic Village Lodge and The Village. Right next to the TART bus stop, is a little bridge that crosses over the creek. This is the perfect spot to grab a photo!
High Camp Deck
You’ve got the Tram Face photo from 6,200’ looking up, but now you should aim your sights higher. Take the scenic Aerial Tram up to High Camp situated at 8,200’. The ride alone is a whole instagram-worthy moment, but the sundeck overlooking the peaks of Palisades Tahoe and glimpses of Lake Tahoe, is what will steal the show. While you’re at it, grab lunch and enjoy a beer at Granite Bistro.
Sun Deck at Alpine Base Lodge
The entire sun deck at Alpine Lodge is like a postcard. An easy shuttle ride and one valley over, provides a whole new perspective. Soak up the California sunshine and watch the skiers cruise down. The ridgeline that you see from the sun deck is also home to the famous Pacific Crest Trail in the spring and summer months.
Olympic Rings in The Village at Palisades Tahoe
As host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, we’d be remiss to not add this legendary spot on our list. Snap a pic of the rings right next to the ticket office. You’ll find them hanging proudly on the Funitel building located in the Village at Palisades Tahoe.
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You don’t need to go far to catch incredible views of Lake Tahoe and Palisades Tahoe. In fact, 60% of our lifts offer a lake view. While there’s plenty to capture on your trip, here are a few of our favorite classic spots.
Top of Lakeview
It’s named Lakeview for a reason. And that’s because there are BIG, beautiful lake views right from the top of this chairlift at Alpine. Go right up to the rope line as soon as you get off the lift and soak it all in. Some might argue that this might be the best lake view from the entire resort, and they’re probably not wrong.
Top of Emigrant
Head to the top of Emigrant Chairlift, situated at 8,700’ for big views of the Sierra. While this is the 3rd highest peak on the Palisades Tahoe side, it’s actually got a couple blue square wide open groomers from the top, so don’t let the elevation scare you! From the top, you’ll have sweeping views of practically the whole mountain and some of the best glimpses of Lake Tahoe. It’s truly selfie-worthy.
Top of Summit
It’s the top to bottom six-pack that serves a massive amount of terrain at Alpine and once you pass the last ridgeline, you’ll be greeted with big views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding terrain at Alpine from the top of Summit. Shuffle left off the chairlift and snap a picture along the ridge of the big open bowl below you. These are the moments for your next holiday card.
The new Treeline Cirque has really changed the access game with Arts Knob. Now you can take a quick ride up and ski left to take in the views of Art’s Knob. This “knob” is a natural separation of Alpine’s frontside and backside. While Art’s Knob terrain to the frontside is for advanced skiers only, you’ll love the expansive blue bowls that lead down the backside to Sherwood. Snap a picture of Lake Tahoe and Lakeview terrain from the top and then head down Sherwood Run afterwards. This terrain is all south facing and offers up some of the best spring skiing on the mountain.
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Broccoli Tree at Alpine
A popular spot among locals is the Broccoli Tree off of Scott Chair at Alpine. You’ll find a handful of old-growth Juniper trees around Palisades Tahoe, but this one, in particular, is beautiful and massive. Head left off Scott Chair and travel north along the ridgeline until you reach the Broccoli Tree. After you snap a quick pic, head down for some classic, steep, North facing tree skiing below in Gentian Gully.
Off of the Ward Peak ridgeline on the Alpine side, is Wolverine Bowl. Wolverine is the first bowl off the skier’s left side of Summit Express. Typically one path down the bowl is groomed, and the rest is wide open with beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. If you’re looking to capture that classic “I skied in Lake Tahoe” shot with your buddy, this is the spot to do it.
You might have seen those interesting rock features on your way up the Funitel or Aerial Tram. Those are home to the coveted terrain of Broken Arrow. And Tower 16 is the premiere run in this zone. With incredible views of Lake Tahoe and the west face of KT-22, the ski down is the perfect way to end the day or get in some corn skiing in the spring. Best way to access this terrain is from Big Blue Express. At the top take the groomer to the left and point your boards to the bottom of Bailey’s Beach and Belmont. Pass the bottom terminals and you’ll see a gated entry point for Tower 16. After the flats there is a bit of an incline to the right – this is the path you want to take. You’ll end up right underneath the Funitel, this is when you know you’ve made it. Ahhh…how about that view?
For the adventurer and expert shredder seeking the ultimate hero shot, this one’s for you.
This is the classic hike-to terrain on the Alpine side. From the top of Summit Express, head out straight to the ridgeline and keep the boundary ropes to your right. All along this ridgeline are incredible views of Lake Tahoe to your left and Granite Chief Wilderness to your right. The skiing off this zone is some of the best after a fresh dump or even in the springtime when it starts to corn up on the south facing slopes.
Top of Palisades
Skiers have been cutting their teeth on the Palisades since the terrain opened in 1975. It’s the terrain that put legends like Scot Schmidt, Shane McConkey, and Glen Plake on the map. You might not be throwing a backflip into Box Chute, but you can still hike up these bold cliffs and be immersed in the palpable energy that resides at the top. With incredible views of Lake Tahoe and (practically) the whole resort, you’ll definitely want to frame that shot with your buddies. Please note all terrain off of Palisades is for expert skiers. The easiest way down is National Chute.