25 Top Spots: #12 Heavenly, CA


Where else can you ski trees by day and jam to Bobby Vinton at night? Heavenly recently strung a gondola from its base to the casino town of South Lake Tahoe, creating an artery that pumps Elvis energy into the resort equation. The mountain, which straddles California and Nevada, is an expansive collection of wide-open groomers and well-spaced glades. And while the high-roller set sticks to the cord, you can score big in the steeps of Mott and Killebrew canyons.

The Vitals

Top elevation: 10,067 feet
Vertical Drop: 3,500 feet
Snowfall: 372 inches (10,000') 235 inches (8,400')
Skiable Acres: 4,800
Phone: 775-586-7000
Web: skiheavenly.com

The Face, Heavenly's steep and oh-so-visible bump run, tempts some locals into skiing nothing but. For a more private venue, head to Gate One in Mott Canyon and poke around Snake Pit's 38-degree glades.

Your odds of hitting the powder jackpot here are pretty good: Most Bay Area warriors head for Squaw and Kirkwood, lessening the competition for Heavenly's stashes.

Head to Harveys Casino, where you can sip a Sierra Pale Ale while you're losing at blackjack-in your ski socks.