Lake Tahoe Snow Report on the Best Snowfall Months

Lake Tahoe Snowfall

Check out our Lake Tahoe Snow Report, or “snow guide,” on the best months for Tahoe snow

1880 – 2020 Snowfall chart

The average annual snowfall at ski resorts near Lake Tahoe is 250-300″. Of course, if you are planning a trip to Lake Tahoe to ski or ride (after hearing about legendary Tahoe snow in past winters) you might be wondering which month will offer the best conditions. We’ve put together a snow report with tips on when to visit for the best skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and so much more.

Ski areas usually have a good base of Lake Tahoe snow by December

Skiing in deep powder snow on bluebird day at Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe - Rachid Dahnoun / LTVA
Skiing in deep powder snow on bluebird day at Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe – Rachid Dahnoun / LTVA

The 13 ski areas around Lake Tahoe normally open sometime in November, however, the snow base may not have really established itself for the season yet, so in the early season, only a few trails may be open and some rocks may be uncovered depending on the early snowfall. However starting early December, some good snow conditions can normally be found.

A Month-By-Month Breakdown of Snowfall in Lake Tahoe

Here is a Lake Tahoe snow report, backed by statistics, to help plan your trip: (using the last 10 years with measurements taken from the top of Donner Pass)

  • December has an average of 75 inches of snow.
  • January typically is not a huge snow month, so you want smooth travels and sunny skies, it is a good choice. HOWEVER, in January 2017 we received a crazy 238 inches of Lake Tahoe snow, which is more than many ski resorts receive in an entire season. Locals were shoveling day and night the entire month of January! It was later coined the “Snowmaggedon”. January has an average snowfall amount of 68 inches. Note that this average was skewed by the astronomical total accumulated in January 2017!
  • February is a strong snow month with a steady supply of the dry fluffy stuff. The average snowfall for February is 72 inches.
Deep snow on the way to Kirkwood Ski Resort
  • March is our biggest month for snow on average, making it a great month for spring skiing, drinking a cold beer outdoors in between storms, and getting a nice goggle tan. Average Tahoe snow in March is 74 inches.
Car Buried in Snow – Flylow Gear
  • April is all about spring skiing, pond skimming contests, and sun-blanketed patios and decks. The Average Lake Tahoe snow for April is 30 inches, so this is when the season begins to wind down. If you enjoy showing off your funky fashion sense, with weather a bit warmer, April affords snow sport enthusiasts the opportunity to ride the mountain in style.
  • You may think skiing is done by May, but not for Lake Tahoe. With a good winter, some resorts stay open through May; in 2021 & 2023, some made it through July! And some years had over 40 inches of snow in May. However, the average snowfall for May is 11 inches.
  • 2022-23 Second snowiest season ever! The ski resort Kirkwood recorded 716″ or 59′ feet.

What month is the best for skiing in Lake Tahoe?

Snowy, scenic views at the top of Kirkwood Bluebird mountain
Kirkwood consistently ranks as the California ski resort with the most snowfall.

While each month is great in its own way, late February and early March are the sweet spot in terms of having the highest probability for the powdery snow of your dreams. That said, there are advantages to scheduling your ski trip earlier, including less crowding at the resorts and in town.

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