What is ‘Ski Week’ in Lake Tahoe?

Growing up in the Redding area, the concept of “Ski Week” is foreign to me. When I was a kid, my family used school breaks like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break to hit the slopes for an extended period of time.

So when I was introduced to Ski Week as I got older, I was completely dumfounded. “You mean, there’s a week that schools get out just for people to go skiing?” I asked my Bay Area friends. “Yeah, pretty much,” they responded.

For those not in the loop, the concept of “Ski Week” might sound like an insider secret among Bay Area families. Each February, a unique tradition sees schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding regions close for a week-long winter break, distinctively dubbed “Ski Week.” Unlike the widespread Spring Break, Ski Week is a peculiarly local phenomenon, largely unknown outside of Northern California, offering families a chance to escape to the snow-clad slopes of Tahoe.

As Bay Area schools go quiet, Tahoe’s ski resorts and mountain towns witness a significant surge in visitors. Families flock to the region, seizing the opportunity to indulge in skiing, snowboarding, and a host of winter sports against the backdrop of the stunning Sierra Nevada. Resorts like Palisades Tahoe, Northstar, and Heavenly become epicenters of activity, filled with families looking to hit the slopes during the snowy season.

But Ski Week is more than just about hitting the slopes. It’s a celebration of winter in one of the most breathtaking settings on the West Coast. The week is packed with cultural events, from après-ski gatherings to concerts and community events, catering to the unique influx of visitors. Local businesses roll out the red carpet, offering deals and experiences tailored to these seasonal guests, further enriching the Ski Week experience.

To the uninitiated, Tahoe’s Ski Week might seem like an exclusive affair, but it’s deeply rooted in the lifestyle and traditions of Bay Area families. This special break not only underscores the region’s close ties to the natural splendor of Tahoe but also highlights the community’s love for outdoor recreation and the mountains. As this exclusive tradition continues, it remains a cherished time for families to bond, explore, and make lifelong memories in the snow.

Zach O'Brien

Zach O'Brien is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Active NorCal

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