Earlier this year I wrote a blog analyzing how one should go about purchasing a winter season pass at one of the many Lake Tahoe ski resorts, but I overlooked what that winter pass gets you during the summer months at the various ski resorts. In my previous post I declared that I buy my season pass at Sierra-at-Tahoe for $279 which is the best price in Tahoe, however that $279 gets you nothing during the summer months and so I reconsidered my decision for the 2015-2016 winter season. The same can be said about the epic pass and the ability to use the summer biking activities at Northstar ski resort, as you cannot use your winter pass to ride the gondola or take laps on your mountain bike. Northstar offers a summer bike pass that will run $349 if you have a winter pass which only pays for itself if you are going to ride 7 or more days at Northstar, and if you do not have a winter pass you will need to ride 8 or more days for the pass to pay for itself. The bike park is not all Northstar has to offer; Northstar also offers golf, mini golf, a bungee trampoline, a rock wall, fly fishing on a stocked reservoir, and also features live music during the summer. These other activities have their own pricing and do not require you to buy a lift ticket to enjoy.
The epic pass does not include just Northstar, but Heavenly ski resort and Kirkwood ski resort as well. At both of these resorts your winter epic pass gets you free access to the lifts during the summer with tons of hiking trails to be explored. Heavenly has one activity that no other resort has in Lake Tahoe and that is zip lining. Heavenly currently boasts two zip lines, one of which is 3,300 feet long and over looks gorgeous Lake Tahoe on your way down. Kirkwood also offers mountain biking during the summer in addition to hiking and is included in the price of the Northstar bike pass, or you may purchase a Kirkwood only biking pass for significantly cheaper. Other activities that these two resorts host are disc golf, summer tubing, a ropes course, and outdoor climbing all accessible with your winter season pass. This year I personally purchased the epic pass for the winter as I will be visiting the largest ski resort in the United States, Park City / Canyons, and I am stoked on the addition of Jackson Hole Wyoming to the Vail Resorts family.
Squaw Valley has some of the best hiking trails that I have been on in the North Lake Tahoe area. The tram costs $39 for adults to ride up and is free if you have a valid winter season pass; however if you hike from the base to the top of the tram you are allowed to ride the tram down to the bottom for free. Along the hiking trails there are many waterfalls and swimming pools early in the summer, and also a disc golf course that runs all summer long beginning June 20th of this year. Disc golf is free however you will need to ride the tram up to the course or take the free hiking trails up to the course. Squaw also offers tennis, golf, a ropes course, roller skating, a pool and spa, and plays host to many summer festivals such as Wanderlust. Purchasing a winter pass does get you free tram rides at Squaw Valley during the summer and so this pass is useful all year long, however this pass does cost the most out of all the passes in the Lake Tahoe area. Now get your pass and get out there and explore Lake Tahoe.