Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge aren’t the only attractions on Donner Summit

By Pete Gauvin

10624689_10152765039653095_7415069354468457587_nDonner Ski Ranch, is the epitome of mom-and-pop ski area, a place where plaid shirts, blue jeans and 200cm skis are still not uncommon on the double chairs. It offers six lifts, 750 vertical feet and lots of nostalgia.

Boreal Mountain Resort offers night skiing and great park-and-pipe features, and is home to the new Woodward Tahoe facility, a training center for X Games-inspired action stars. Also at the far west end of Boreal, the Auburn Ski Club Training Center offers 20km of XC track.

Ski Soda Springs offers the perfect family snowplay area and learn-to-ski hill, and is home to Tube Town, featuring eight groomed lanes of tubing fun.

For those who’d rather earn their turns, there’s easy access to the backcountry of Castle Peak across from Boreal, and to Donner Peak and the Sugar Bowl backcountry at the top of Old Highway 40.

For rustic, warm and simple accommodations, it’s hard to beat the Clair Tappaan Lodge run by the Sierra Club, just down the road.