A gem of Lake Tahoe Spooner Lake, for intermediate to advanced skiers, is one of the most spectacular trail systems anywhere. This is the closest major cross-country area to South Lake Tahoe, 12 miles from the Stateline casinos on the Nevada side of the Lake. Kilometers of Track: 91K of machined-groomed track.
Types of Trails: 21 trails (30 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, 30 percent advanced).
Trail Pass Fee: Adults,$ 15; students (16 to 22), $ 9;youths (7 to 15), $3. seniors (over 70) and children (6 and under) ski free.
Facilities: One overnight hut, two warming huts, one day lodge.
Location: Just North of the junction of U.S. 50 and Highway 28, at the parking lot for Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park. Incline Village is 12 miles north.
Contact: Spooner Lake, P.O. Box 981, Carson City, NV 89701; (702) 887-8844 0r (702) 749-5349.
Camp Richardson Cross-Country and Snowshoe Center
New skating lanes and forested striding tracks offer the only organized cross-country skiing that is actually on the shores of Lake Tahoe. As a new operation, the emphasis of the center is on beginners and families, and the trail system is expected to expand in the coming years. Kilometers of Track: 35K of groomed and skier-packed trails.
Types of Trails: Striding area next to the West Shore of Lake Tahoe or through the woods to Fallen Leaf Lake and Taylor Creek (60 percent beginner, 30 percent intermediate, 10 percent advanced).
Trail Pass Fee: Adults,$ 9; children, $ 5.
Facilities: Rental shop across the road from Camp Richardson main lodge, which stays open all year.
Location: At Camp Richardson Resort on Emerald Bay Road (Highway 89), two miles north of the Y intersection of Highway 89 and U.S. 50.
Contact: Camp Richardson Cross-Country and Snowshoe Center, Highway 89\P.O. Box 9028, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158; (530) 542-6584 or (800) 544-1801.
Kirkwood Cross-Country Center
A must for any visiting Nordic skier, Kirkwoodis one of the largest and best maintained cross-country resorts in the region. Not surprisingly, the area is a favorite ot the Tahoe residents.
Kilometers of Track: 80K of machined groomed track.
Types of Trails: Skating lane with three interconnected trail systems (20 percent beginner, 60 percent intermediate, 20 percent advanced).
Trail Pass Fee: Adults,$ 15; juniors (13 to 18), $ 11; children (7 to 15), $5; seniors (over 60) and children (6 and under) ski free.
Facilities: Three warming huts, two lodges.
Location: On Highway 88 at Kirkwood Meadows, next to Kirkwood Inn.
Contact: Kirkwood Cross-Country Center, Highway88/P.O. Box 1 Kirkwood, CA 95646; (209) 258-7248 or (800) 967-7500 (reservations). Web site http://www.skikirkwood.com
Hope Valley Cross-Country Ski Center
Hope Valley, in Toiyabe National Forest, is an idyllic place with beautiful frozen lakes and distant vistas of Carson Pass ans its prodigious peaks. Trail systems on the U.S. Forest Service lands ae open to other winter uses, which includes snowmobiling.
Kilometers of Track: 60K of marked trails, 10 of which are groomed.
Types of Trails: Striding and telemark
Trail Pass Fee: None
Facilities: One day lodge. There are no warming huts.
Location: At Sorensens Resort, located on Highway 88 west of the intersection with Highway 89
Contact: Sorensens Resort, 14255 Highway 88, Hope Valley, CA 96120; (530) 694-2266 or (530) 694-2203 (off season).