Hometown Mountain Shoutout: Lights, Camber, Action at Boreal Mountain, CA

Joe Vignolo | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Boreal Mountain Resort Night Skiing
The lights at Boreal that allow visitors to enjoy some of Tahoe’s best night skiing and boarding. Image: Boreal Mountain Resort Facebook page

It’s easy to spot Boreal Mountain Resort as you approach Donner Summit on Interstate 80 in Northern California—especially at night. Just feet from the freeway, and offering some of the best night skiing in Tahoe, this small but mighty mountain is the ideal place to lap lifts (which you’ll do a lot of since Boreal offers just 500 vertical feet and 380 skiable acres).

The resort gets an absolutely ridiculous amount of snow, averaging around 400 inches. Combine that with a first-class snowmaking operation and you’ve got a recipe for a righteous day on the mountain. All that snow means Boreal is usually the first resort to open in the area. In 2021, skiers and riders were able to hit the slopes in Halloween costumes as lifts started spinning on October 29th.

Snow and tree skiing at Boreal
Free refills at Boreal Mountain Resort. Image: Boreal Mountain Resort Facebook page

If you love hitting the park, Boreal is the place for you. Terrain parks with a variety of features are accessible from most of the eight lifts/carpets. I personally did my first box slide and cleared my first tabletop here a few years back (who says you can’t learn new tricks after 30). There’s also the legendary Peace Park that’s a perfect place for a group of friends to link together slashes and sends.

Terrain Parks Boreal Mountain Resort
An aerial view of just some of the parks Boreal has to offer. Most features are accessible from the Accelerator lift. Image: www.rideboreal.com

Whether you’re hitting the slopes for the first time or just want to sharpen your skills, Boreal offers some of the best lesson packages I’ve ever seen. If you’re a beginner, I suggest the Take 3 Ride Free package, which includes three lessons, lift tickets, and rental packages for $399. And once you’ve completed all the lessons, you’re rewarded with a season pass. My nephews took advantage of this program and they loved it. It’s a steal if you have kids that are still figuring out if they like the snow.

Boreal likes to tag all their posts with #BorealMagic, and I think there’s more to that than just marketing. There are plenty of resorts in Tahoe with world-class terrain and vibrant villages, but there’s something about Boreal that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s how proud I was as a kid when I finally got the nerve to take the 6-pack Accelerator lift to the top of the mountain, or the fact that parking is still free (with a pre-purchased lift ticket) and you never have to take a shuttle. Either way, I’m still under Boreal’s spell after all these years.

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