A bit of Nordic heaven surrounds Lake Tahoe

By Tim Hauserman

For many adventure seekers, winter at Lake Tahoe means grabbing “first chair” rights and making tracks at Squaw Valley, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Alpine, Northstar or one of the other ski resorts surrounding America’s largest (and most beautiful) alpine lake. For others, the perfect adventure is skinning up to the top of a backcountry peak like Mt. Tallac, with solitude and incredible views rewarding hours of thigh burning effort.

Lesser known is the fact that Tahoe is also home to the largest concentration of cross-country ski trails in the United States. Five major Nordic resorts—Royal Gorge, Tahoe Donner, Tahoe Cross-Country, Kirkwood and Northstar—provide nearly 500 kilometers of groomed trails within an hour’s drive of Lake Tahoe. There’s a time and a place for riding the lifts, but cross country ski buffs know there is nothing quite like gliding across a …