Beginner’s Guide to California


If you are a beginner skier or rider, then you should be dreaming about the groomed runs on the California side of Heavenly.  There are currently 13 trails open on the California side, including 7 green runs, making it the ideal location for beginners.

So if you are looking for the best game plan to tackle Heavenly Mountain as a beginner and get the most out of your ski day, we’ve got you covered.

First of all, it is always very good idea to take lessons. It’s a lot easier to learn new moves than try to fix bad ones down the road. Our Ski and Ride school instructors will teach you the skills you will need to progress on the mountain. They know this sport inside and out and have the best tips and tricks to get you up and going right away. The Ski and Ride School operates out of the California Main Lodge, servicing both children and adults and for private or group lessons at any level.

If you feel like you are comfortable to take the day solo here’s our suggested plan of action. Take a ride up either Gunbarrel Express or the Tram to access the beginner terrain at mid-mountain. From there, head to Patsy’s and Groove lifts, which each access short green trails, perfect for learning the basics and becoming comfortable on a chair lift. Once you’ve mastered that area, hop on Powderbowl Express and come down Maggie’s, which is a longer green run. This will give you more time on the slope to practice those turns.

Think you’ve got Maggie’s mastered? Then it’s time to brave it up to the Canyon Express or Sky Express lifts to test your skills on Ridge Run (blue). To access these chairs, ride up Powderbowl Express, go pass Maggie’s run over to the base of the lifts. Canyon Express will take you to almost the top, while Sky Express will take you to 10,040 feet, the highest lift-serviced point at Heavenly. Ridge Run is a nice, long blue run with phenomenal views of Lake Tahoe. Be sure to take in the views and get your EpicMix photo taken here.

After a few runs, head back down Maggie’s to Steins, our newest on-mountain dining restaurant. Euro-themed, they serve up delicious sausages, soups and stews. I’d recommend a Kielbasa or Chicken Sausage on a pretzel bun. It’s the perfect place to take a break, re-energize and soak up some California sun.

We know that Heavenly is THE place to learn to ski and ride. But don’t take our word for it, come check it out yourself. January is National Learn to Ski and Ride month, so now’s the time and we’ve put together a special vacation package just for you, for more details click here.



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