Skiing with kids: Diamond Peak ski resort

If you’ve skied in Lake Tahoe with kids, I’m betting it was not at Diamond Peak ski resort. Why? Because this Lake Tahoe local favorite is just enough off the beaten path that not enough visitors discover it. It’s very accessible, located, in fact, right in Incline Village on the northern Nevada side of the lake, and lower-than-average ticket prices beckon.

diamond peak

Diamond Peak has seven lifts in total, only one of which is a high-speed quad, but with the gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe from just about every angle, you won’t mind a longer ride uphill. Thanks to its smaller size, it’s easy for families to navigate: the ski school building is the first you come across from the parking lot, in fact, with just one larger building (the main lodge) above it. All the runs filter down into the same main base area, which means this part of the mountain does get crowded, but it also means you’re not worried about traversing to a second base area or losing your independently skiing kids because you weren’t clear about which area at which to meet.

Diamond Peak has nice gladed skiing when the conditions are right, with evenly-spaced trees for off-piste exploration, and the groomers are well-maintained and offer such great lake views you just might fall on your face trying to take it all in! There are just two main areas at which to grab lunch, the base lodge area and the Snowflake Lodge, located at the top of the Lakeview chair. We highly recommend the latter, because the crowds are absent here and the views amaze. (I know I keep mentioning the lake views, but oh my goodness…trust me, you would, too!) At Snowflake, you can find a spot on the spacious deck in nice weather and enjoy authentic BBQ with homemade sauces and sides. There’s also a darn good bar up there.

The parking lot does get crowded, simply because it’s small, so come early or utilize the free shuttles in service during the day to get visitors from the lot to the lodge. There’s also a free shuttle that goes back and forth down the hill to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. By the way, read our Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe review. While condos and ski cabins abound near Diamond Peak, there’s no on-mountain lodging, and the Hyatt Regency combines the best of two worlds: skiing and lakeside luxury.

If you go:

During the time of our visit to Diamond Peak, lift ticket prices were under $75 for adults and around $55 for kids, a great value for Lake Tahoe. There are also a lot of really cool deals: if you show a boarding pass, you get 50 percent off rentals, and if you show your ski pass to another resort (any other resort) you can get a $44 lift ticket. I’ve never seen such visitor-friendly deals! While we didn’t try the ski school, locals I spoke to raved about it. This is a very local mountain, so expect to see a lot of Incline Village families engaged in ski clinics, racing programs and the like. Definitely, ask them questions when riding up together on the chair!

Disclosure: we experienced Diamond Peak as guests of the resort, for the purpose of review. Photo credit: Diamond Peak and Amy Whitley.