Best Time To Ski Heavenly For Smaller Crowds: Heavenly is a popular Vail-owned ski resort that offers terrain for all ages and abilities—and it’s located smack dab in the middle of South Lake Tahoe, so it can get quite crowded around the Christmas holiday. But fortunately, there are a few ways to access the mountain—there is a lodge and chairlifts on the California side of Heavenly, the Boulder Lodge on the Nevada side of Heavenly, and a gondola that leads up to mid-mountain above Lake Tahoe that launches from the Village at Heavenly near all the shops, hotels, and casinos. Approaching from the Boulder Lodge side usually yields fewer skiers.
If you can avoid skiing Heavenly around Christmas, New Year’s, and the weekends, then you’ll likely not have to wait in lift lines once you get to mid-mountain.
There also tend to be fewer crowds on the Nevada side where there is more advanced terrain like Killebrew and Mott Canyon. Heavenly generally tries to open early in the season around Thanksgiving. In late spring the groomers and terrain parks are incredible—Especially with views of the lake stretching out beneath.
Cheapest Time To Ski Heavenly: Owned by Vail Resorts along with Northstar and Kirkwood, Heavenly is part of the Epic Pass with daily lift ticket rates that fluctuate throughout the winter season. The Epic Day Pass, available to buy online, is the cheapest in early September and then tends to slowly rise in price- the most expensive it will be is late December-March. Before the 2019-20 winter season started, an adult Epic Day Pass cost $106 nonholiday/$125 holiday, but midseason the daily rates are likely to be around $150. If you ski any of Vail’s resorts whether they are in Tahoe or not at least six days a year, then it’s better to just throw down some dough on an Epic season pass.
Sometimes in mid-January, Vail will partner up with the Tahoe SAFE Alliance or the Sierra Avalanche Center in mid-January to sell a limited number of discounted lift tickets (usually in the $129 range) but it doesn’t become official until after the holidays. Lodging tends to be cheaper in January, and in early March, before spring break is fully rolling in California.
Best Time To Fly To Heavenly: The closest public commercial airport to fly into from Heavenly is the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, about an hour north of South Lake Tahoe (The Lake Tahoe Airport is close but only provides services for the federal government). The best airline to fly is Southwest, as they have a lot of flights going in and out daily. The best time to fly Southwest in December is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but Saturdays in January and February are also affordable. Depending on where you’re coming from, one-way flights range from $49-$182.