Heavenly Tahoe

The Perfect Ski Resort for Beginners

The suitcases are packed, equipment rented, and cute new ski jacket purchased. Everything is ready for your epic ski vacation. Only one problem, you don’t know how to ski.

Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe offers 4,800 skiable acres. Experienced skiers can enjoy two terrain parks, backcountry skiing, and black diamond trails. Beginner skiers can find this to be intimidating. But, don’t worry! Heavenly has a fantastic Learn to Ski program and has groomed over 20% of the mountain just for novice skiers.

Lessons are definitely a great way to learn the basics of skiing and are highly recommended. But, if you didn’t put that in the budget for this trip, it is still possible to enjoy the mountain on your own.

As a beginner, stay on the trails marked with green circles. These are the easiest trails on the mountain and recommended for novice skiers. Trails marked with blue squares are intermediate runs. The black diamond trails are for expert skiers and not recommended for beginners.

The California side of the Heavenly Ski Resort offers several green beginner trails. Groomed runs and perfect weather will have you falling in love with the sport of skiing in no time. So, buckle up those ski boots and head out onto the mountain with confidence.


This is the best place to get started. Tell the lift attendants that you are a beginner. They will help you get on the chairlift, even slowing it down if necessary. Once at the top, take your time gliding down the mountain. You will not catch a lot of speed here, because of the grade of the slope, so it’s a great place to learn.


Once you are ready to move on, head over to the Gun Barrel Express Lift. At the top of the mountain, get onto Patsy’s Lift, which will take you to Patsy’s Run. Ski school students frequent this run because of the short length and easy terrain. It is easy to navigate and will help build your confidence.


When you are feeling that you can handle a longer run, Maggie’s is the perfect choice. Jump on the Powder Bowl Express lift, which will take you to the top of the intermediate runs. Follow the green circle trail to Maggie’s. This trail is long and winding, but easy to handle for the beginning skier. It’s the perfect place to start feeling comfortable with your abilities on the mountain.