Based on our research Tahoe Donner offers one of the better deals for 2011-2012 ski season for families with children 6 years or younger:
Tahoe Donner has one quad chair, one double chair, and two conveyor lifts for the bunny hills. The whole mountain is centrally served by the single quad-chair lift. There is one green run served by the double chair lift. The lift operating hours are from 9-4 with ticket windows open from 8-3. Parking is off-site and a free shuttle service drops you at the ticket window. Pricing is as follows:
|Full-Day||Half-Day (starts at 12:15PM)||Unrestricted Season Pass||Mid-week non-holiday season pass||Morning-only Credit||Ski-Equipment|
|Adults 13-59||$41||$32||$289||$266||Yes||$36 and up|
|Child (7-12) or Senior (60-69)||$21||$14||$144||$117||Yes||$28 and up|
|Child 6 and under or Senior over 70||Free||Free||Free||Free||NA||$20|
The beginner lessons are excellent for those who want to get started. Lesson options are as follows:
|Program||Schedule||Cost||Ski Equipment Included?||Lift Ticket Included?|
|Snowflakes (3-6 years only)||Session1: 9:30-noon, Session2: 1:00-3:30||$75 per session||YES||YES|
|First-time ski and snowboard lesson package||10:00-1:30PM||Adults (13-59): $85, Others 7 and older: $75||YES||YES|
|Private Lessons||1-hour, Half-day, or Full-day||1-hour: $89, $20 each additional person, Half-day: $222 for up to 4 people, Full-day: $405 for up to 4 people||NO||NO|
They also have a couple of season-long programs for kids who really want to take it to the next level.
The facility is geared more towards kids making it very palatable to families with children. The lines at the quad chair were non existent especially in the morning hours. The deals get better if one can do mid-week trips. Every Tuesday (certain exclusions apply) is Parent's Day special and is a great deal (free lift ticket).
The location is easily accessible from Bay Area. It is about 5-10 miles further than the closest resorts but the trade off is it is less crowded. It was good to see the bunny slopes being catered by conveyor belts an upgrade from T-bar lifts and rope pulls.
The off-site parking is a disappointment as it invariably wastes about an hour, a minimum of 30 minutes one-way. Needless to say, you have to lug everything you need as accessing the car for short breaks is not an option as in other resorts. The green mile run has less slope in many areas making it hard and time-consuming for younger kids without poles.
The mountain is on the smallish side with 120 acres of net ski-able acres with just 14 total runs. Our kids had a blast and were very proud to proclaim they could do the single-blacks “without falling down even once”.
1. Introducing Kids to Snow Sports (Sledding/Skiing) in the Lake Tahoe Area.
2. Tahoe Donner Skiing – Family Experience/Review.
3. Frugal Living – Skiing Story.
4. Lake Tahoe Ski Areas (Granlibakken, Tahoe Donner, Boreal, Homewood, Kirkwood, Heavenly, Squaw) – A Comparative Review.
Last Updated: 03/2012.