We sat down with several locals and visitors at Sugar Bowl to find out what made the hill special to them. We found out that the lift lines are short, there’s a lot of snow, and the hill has a lot of history. It is, after all, home to the first chairlift in California.
We also asked the locals about where they liked to ski, snowboard, and eat, as well as what else is fun to do in the area. This is what we learned.
Sugar Bowl Micro Guide Part 1: The Hill
Below is an annotated map to show you where to find the best terrain for your riding style at Sugar Bowl.
Download a full-sized version of this map to your desktop or phone (6.2mb)
For the Hardcore
Serious powderhounds will want to head to either the Mount Lincoln Express or the Disney Chair, both of which access Sugar Bowl’s most serious terrain from opposite sides. From the Mt. Lincoln Express you get an excellent view of the Palisades, which will make even the most experienced ripper hesitate before dropping in.
For the Groomer Cruisers
Both the Crow’s Nest Double Chair which loads at the Village Lodge, and the Jerome Hill Express, which loads at the Judah Lodge, have a variety of fast blue groomers where you can get your carve on.
For the Park Rats
You’ll want to spend your day on the Mt. Judah Express lift by the Judah Lodge. Below and beside the Mt. Judah Express is an area they call The Switching Yard. It’s a series of parks all right beside each other, including one FIS super pipe.
For the Snowplowers
Sugar Bowl has two base areas and one beginner area at each. While Knob Hill by the Village Lodge is a good spot, I’d recommend heading over to the Judah Lodge, where there are two beginner-only lifts, as well as two other lifts that access lots of beginner and intermediate terrain.
Sugar Bowl Micro Guide Part 2: Where to Eat
Pianeta Cucina Italiana
High-class atmosphere, extensive wine list, and top-tier Italian food.
10096 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 9616
T’s Mesquite Rotisserie
Amazing Mexican and BBQ and good prices. A favourite of locals and visitors alike.
901 Tahoe Blvd
Incline Village, NV 89451
An upscale bistro with a unique menu, frequently featuring live music.
10007 Bridge St.
Truckee, CA 96161
Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar
This historic restaurant and bar a permanent fixture in the North Lake Tahoe dining scene with a menu that mixes classic American favourites with unique takes on old dishes.
10142 Rue Hilltop Rd.
Truckee, CA 96161
Blue Coyote Bar & Grill
Family sports bar with pizza, wings, burgers, and a full bar for the grown-ups.
10015 Palisades Drive, Truckee, CA 96161
Sugar Bowl Micro Guide Part 3: What to do Off the Hill
The area around Sugar Bowl is remote and undeveloped, which makes it ideal for a variety of outdoors activities. Whitewater kayaking in the area is said to be amazing, while Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe are offer more relaxing environments for amateurs to enjoy the sport. Stand up paddleboarding is also very popular in the area.
On-snow kiteboarding and kiteskiing lessons are available in the winter, and the area is also excellent for kitesurfing in the summer.
Donner Memorial Park is an out-of-the-way park with numerous trails and roads for hiking and mountain biking.