7 Expert Ski Runs in Tahoe

Unleash your skills on some of the steepest runs at Tahoe. From heart-pounding descents to powder stashes, find endless thrills on Tahoe's legendary expert runs.

Skier in fresh powder overlooking Lake Tahoe in Heavenly, CA.

Tahoe’s Best Expert Skiing

Not many things in life are better than charging down a challenging run with a perma-grin plastered on your face. Some of the best expert skiing in Tahoe and the steepest ski runs in California are found at the resorts listed here. Dive into any of these trails at some of Tahoe's best expert ski resorts, and you’ll be granted countless runs that are sure to pin your ears back.


1. The Wall - Kirkwood California

Swallow hard, breathe deep, and drop into this double-black run for some fun. If you’re looking for varied terrain, it’s all here: steep chutes, deep gullies, and staggering cliffs. 

Renowned for its steep, ungroomed terrain and enticing vertical drop, The Wall is an exhilarating test of skiing skill and nerve. It’s a dynamic run that many expert skiers relish as a highly challenging in-bounds run. 


2. The Face - Heavenly, California

A double-black run traversing under the Gunbarrel Express on the California side of the mountain, The Face is known for being a seriously steep Tahoe test piece.

This run beckons many expert skiers, and it holds a well-deserved legendary status for those able to tackle it. The Face captivates both for the technical prowess it requires and the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe it offers on the way down. 

Take this challenge on later in the day once the moguls have warmed up. "Face Rats" lap the Face in the afternoon, and the real challenge is to do it more than once.


3. Lookout Mountain - Northstar, California

When you’re at Northstar, head for Lookout Mountain to explore 200 burly acres of technical and impressive terrain. A high-speed quad and improved gliding have made this run an expert magnet on Northstar’s Backside. 

From steep chutes to tree-lined descents, the panoramic views of Lake Tahoe unfold when you stop to catch your breath. Lookout Mountain’s blend of technical features and pristine conditions make it an ideal choice for a demanding but rewarding experience. 

To get here from the village base, ride the Big Springs Express Gondola to Comstock Express to the 8,610-foot summit of Mt. Pluto. 


4. Mott and Killebrew Canyons - Heavenly, California

Located on the Nevada side of the mountain, these adjoining canyons include more than 20 trails, the majority of which are steep, narrow chutes. That means there’s something to meet whatever expert terrain you’re after. 

This is true expert skiing and some of the most challenging in the country with varying conditions. Be sure your fitness is up to the task, and play it safe if you’re not ready. 

Once you navigate the whoop-dee-dos on the rugged traverse to Killebrew Canyon at Heavenly’s far eastern end, you’ll enjoy a playground of 45-degree chutes slicing through cliffs, powder stashes days after a storm, and pillows galore. 


5. Palisades, Kirkwood, California

It’s a Kirkwood tradition to end the day on Palisades. Just make sure you have enough left in the tank to handle it! The run swoops across Kirkwood’s six-mile ridgeline and is unforgettable on a big powder day. 

This run demands technical prowess and a fearless spirit, both of which are standard for most Kirkwood skiers. Palisades epitomizes the pinnacle of a good ski challenge with its steep chutes, massive cliffs, and thrilling drops. 

Anyone up for the task is sure to be rewarded with a few deep powder pockets and some of the best memories of the season. 


6. Sawtooth Ridge - Northstar, California

Sawtooth Ridge calls to any expert skier seeking a dynamic and technically demanding run. Steep pitches and powder stashes sneak between narrow chutes and diverse terrain, keeping you alert and on your toes. 

You can access the nine sustained runs on Sawtooth off the Backside Express lift. Tonini’s is the longest, and The Plunge is the steepest. Both will have your legs burning and your face smiling wide. 

Veer into the tight trees between the designated runs to take the challenge up another notch. Just be sure to bring your A-game, as these pines are not for the faint of heart.  


7. Sentinel Bowl - Kirkwood, California

Sentinel Bowl at Kirkwood provides easy access to unforgettable expert terrain. Right off of Chair 6, come here for a fast and steep ride of some of the deepest powder you’ll experience in Tahoe or anywhere else. 

This expansive bowl offers a diverse blend of challenging terrain, from open glades to chutes, creating a playground to bomb down once you’re warmed up and ready to roll. The natural features vary through the season here, but powder stashes are usually within reach. 

With rocky outcrops popping up like meatballs and drop ledges galore, this is a must-visit run for expert skiers looking to explore some of the most impressive freeride lines at Kirkwood.