Sugar Bowl, California: Almanac

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Getting There Fly to Reno/Tahoe International Airport or to Sacramento International Airport, each about one hour away by car. There are no regularly scheduled shuttles from either airport, so a rental car is a must. Skiers staying in the town of Truckee or at Donner Lake can hop on the free Sugar Bowl shuttle bus.

When To Go Because of its location on Donner Summit, statistically the snowiest place in North America, Sugar Bowl usually has a six-month season, often with the best early snow in the Sierra Nevada.

Sleeping In Your first choice should be The Lodge at Sugar Bowl (530-426-9000), $95-$350/night, which is right on the slopes. Other lodging includes Donner Lake Village (530-587-6081), $80-$195/night and Holiday Inn Express, (530-582-9999), $69-$134/night. Also, for rental houses and condos at Donner Lake, call Donner Lake Realty (530-587-6055).

Dining Out Don't miss dinner in The Lodge dining room, which is often rated among the top 10 restaurants in the Tahoe resort region. Outside the ski area, check out Cottonwood for wood-fired pizza and seafood and Pianetas for pasta and other Italian fare.

Après-Ski The Belt Room in The Lodge at Sugar Bowl is a good place to swap gossip. Also OB's, a fixture in Commercial Row, the historic district of Truckee, has après-ski munchies and Irish coffees.

Kicking Butt Prove your worth on Silver Belt, a narrow, winding gully that begins at the top of Mt. Lincoln.

Kicking Back Spend some time shopping in Commercial Row, which looks much as it did in the late 1800s.

Activities Royal Gorge Cross-Country Resort-the largest Nordic ski area in the country-has a 328-km trail system that connects with Sugar Bowl.

Don't Miss Mixed berry crisp with vanilla ice cream at The Lodge.

Vital Stats Skiable acres: 1,500; Number of lifts: 11 plus one gondola; vertical drop: 1,500 feet; average annual snowfall: 500 inches; lift-ticket price: $48. Contact: (530) 426-9000; www.sugarbowl.com.

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