Here is a list of Lake Tahoe Area Snowkiting spots and some useful info on each…

Lake Van Norden
Grass Lake
Hope Valley
Martis Meadows
Boca Area
Anderson Ridge
Red Lake Ridge
Mt Rose Meadows
Caples Lake



Lake Van Norden, North Tahoe Home of Sierra Snowkite Center at Sugar Bowl

Season: December-May
Forecast: 10MPH or more in any direction NWS Forecast
Launch: Wide open snowy meadow with alpine lake.
Wind Direction: All-W,SW,NW,E, WSW and E are the best
Ability: All levels
View Sierra Snowkite Center in a larger map
Directions From Incline Truckee:

Drive West on I-80 to the Soda Springs exit. Drive east on Donner Pass Road(Old Hwy 40) 1/2 mile then Turn Right on Soda Springs Road. Cross the railroad tracks and make an immediate left into the Sierra Snowkite Center/ Royal Gorge Paking lot

At 6772 feet (2064 meters) elevation Van Norden is a pretty straight forward Snowkite location.  With over 2 square miles of wide open snowkiting. This spot has some of the best winds in the whole Tahoe area and can accommodate over 100 kiters at any one time.

This is the on-mountain location of Sierra Snowkite Center. KGB and SSC have teamed up to offer Snowkiting services in the Tahoe area. SSC play area has lots of great snow coverage, wide open terrain, a groomed launch area, built features and creek crossings. There is also a warming hut, parking and bathrooms on site. There are plenty of other amenities and lodging options closeby.

This consistently windy area is government property that is privately leased by Sugar Bowl and Royal Gorge. As a result accessing this epic spot requires a day use or season pass and a brief safety assessment but is well worth it.

Please contact us for your assessment, ticket and site information. Please be courteous and do not cross groomed X-country ski trails. Remember just like any other resort, if the area is not respected they could deny access to you. In late spring or during hot weather be weary of thawing creeks and the lake at the west end of the valley.



Grass Lake, South Tahoe


Season: November-May
Forecast: 15MPH or more in any direction
Launch: Frozen alpine lake/wetland.
Wind Direction: WNW, NNW, ESE, SSE, NNW and ESE are best
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions from South Lake Tahoe:
Take US 50 West, turn LEFT at “Y” to HWY89 towards Hope Valley and Kirkwood. Grass Lake is on the South side of the hwy behind a thin tree line and just before Luther Pass on Highway 89.
A great high alpine lake/wetland next to the road just 15 minutes out of South Lake Tahoe. The snowkiting here is great when the conditions line up (fresh snow/wind). There is a big mountain that blocks the WSW winds. On NNW and ESE winds, the place is steady and super fun. Winds here can be quite gusty and holey, rig big. Be careful in the spring and warmer weather as this melts out quickly.



Hope Valley, South Tahoe

  

Season: November-May
Forecast: 15MPH or more in any direction
Launch: Wide open snowy meadow.
Wind Direction: All- SW and E are best.
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions from South Lake Tahoe:
Take US 50 West, turn LEFT at “Y” to HWY89 towards Hope Valley and Kirkwood. Follow 89 to 88 and turn RIGHT on 88. Go 1/4 mile and park on a big pull-out on the right.

Hope Valley works on any wind direction and you can kite the whole valley. The winds at times can be consistent here, however it’s usually quite variable in both speed and direction.  It’s a big valley and you can just ride in whatever direction the wind is currently favoring. However, because of this be prepared to hike back. There are a lot of little creeks, obsticles and terrain features that you can jump or cross (see map). Make sure you have plenty of power when you cross creeks, you will get wet if you stop in the middle.



Martis Meadows, North Tahoe

  

Season: November-May
Forecast: 15MPH or more in any direction
Launch: Wide open snowy meadow with undulating hills and occasional barbed wire fences.
Wind Direction: NW, WSW and NE are the best
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions From I-80 Truckee:
Take Hwy 267 south about 3 miles towards Northstar. Across from the Truckee airport look for pullouts on right side of Hwy 267. All launches are south of Hwy 267.

Only good in high snow years. Be careful of hidden obstacles, creek crossings, and barbed wire fences. The grassy field under the snow creates a smooth, almost flat area, ideal for snowkiting. Wind is typically out of the southwest or west here. Kiting on east wind is fun here, but be aware of the powerlines downwind (on the south side of the meadow). You can access the snowkiting in this area from a number of spots, 1) the golf course entrance in Northstar, 2) Highway 267 pullouts on the left and ride side of the highway, and 3) from the side of the road!



Boca Area-Boca Reservoir, Stampede Reservoir, Prosser Reservoir-North Tahoe

  

Season: November-May
Forecast: 15MPH or more in any direction
Launch: Alpine lakes and wide open snowy meadows.
Wind Direction: All- W, SW and NE are the best
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions From Truckee:
Boca Reservoir: From Truckee I-80 East to Hirschdale exit and go North.
Stampede Reservoir: Keep going past Boca several miles to Stampede. Prosser Reservoir: From I-80 and 89 North intersection. Drive North on 89 for 1/8 mile. Turn right on Prosser Dam Road and drive to end. Park and walk out towards the lake(NW) to launch.

The Boca area is comprised of Boca, Prosser and Stampede Reservoirs and are best on years when the lake water levels are very low. Often the water levels get lower in the winter, leaving a wide open lake bed ideal for snow kiting. Check the snow depth here before launching, there are rocks underneath the snow.

At Prosser you can launch on the upper ridge but wind can be fickle and it’s sometimes hard to make it back up. If you are unsure about your ability with this launch site and an elevation drop to get into the meadow. An option is to ride down into the meadow and then launch there. Other than the launch it is a pretty straight forward location. Be careful of riding out on the ice, at this lower altitude the ice is often thin and unstable due to are rapidly changing temps.



Anderson Ridge at Sugar Bowl, North Tahoe

 

Season: November-May
Forecast: 10MPH or more Southwest, West, Northwest
Launch: Open ridge-line with multiple launch locations.
Wind Direction: SW,W,NW
Ability: Advanced-Expert
View Larger Map
Directions From Sugar Bowl:
From Sugar Bowl on Old Hwy 40, ride up theMt. Lincoln Express Chair. At the Top ski off ridge to South or Southwest to desired launch. Only kite out as far as you are willing to hike back as there is no way back except back through Sugar Bowl.

For access through the ski resort there is a $25 “up and out” ticket that can be purchased. This terrain is very challenging and dangerous but also some of the most rewarding. We advise staying away from the eastern ridge as the drop off is significant. Fortunateley, it is easy to keep your distance. If you are interested in kiting this area we recommend contacting us for current updates on conditions.



Red Lake Ridge, Carson Pass-South Tahoe

 

Season: November-June
Forecast: 10MPH or more any direction.
Launch: Open ridge-line with multiple launch locations.
Wind Direction: SW and E are best, W, S also work
Ability: Advanced-Expert
View Larger Map
Directions from South Lake Tahoe:
Take US 50 West, turn LEFT at “Y” to HWY89 towards Hope Valley and Kirkwood. Follow 89 to 88 and turn RIGHT on 88. Just before you get to Kirkwood after the top of the pass, park on the right side of the road in the designated Sno-Park Parking lot. $5 Parking pass may be requied.

Load up your gear for the 30 minute hike to the top of the ridge. The wind will be stronger on the ridge. Put on your skins or snowshoes and hike through the trees behind parking lot to the ridge and traverse the open slopes until you reach an open alpine bowl. The terrain is an open bowl on the backside of Red Lake Ridge. Lots of terrain features and lots of vertical. Be aware of snow conditions.



Mt Rose Meadows, North Tahoe,NV

  

Season: November-May
Forecast: 10MPH or more any direction.
Launch: High alpine meadow with a variety of rocks and trees scattered throughout.
Wind Direction: NW,NE, SW and E are best
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions From Incline Viilage/Reno:
Meadow is on the Southwest side of Mt. Rose summit. Highway 431 between Reno and Incline Village, NV. 30 mins from Reno, NV. Park on the side of the highway where the lanes widen. Launch on East side of 431. Bathrooms and parking facilities at the summit.

Great on a southwest wind and decent on an eastwind, this spot can be quite gusty from any direction. Mount Rose Meadows is windy often when other sites are not due to its 8500′ elevation. The wind here can be very gusty (3-45 MPH) and shifty. Use good judgement when deciding to kiteboard here. There are days when it is windy but would be a kitemare to launch a kite.

There are many hazards here such as large trees downwind, the highway, bushes, and cross country skiers. The cleanest wind is found in the middle of the meadow. If you go too close to the upwind trees on the south side things can get fluky(on a normal southwesterly). This spot has lots of other users so be aware of them. The USDA Forest Service has outlawed Snowkiting lessons at this location.



Caples Lake, South Tahoe

 

Season: Jan-April
Forecast: 15MPH or more in any direction
Launch: Frozen alpine lake
Wind Direction: All- N, E,
Ability: All levels
View Larger Map
Directions from South Lake Tahoe:
Take US 50 West, turn LEFT at “Y” to HWY89 towards Hope Valley and Kirkwood. Follow 89 to 88 and turn RIGHT on 88. Pull in at Caples Lake Resort.

We haven’t kited here yet but have heard that others have. This launch site is at a resort that sits out on a point, so it seems like it would possibly be the best launching area. The channels around the small inlets/islands are also more likely to be frozen. Be careful to check ice thickness before launching.

This is the most complete list that we could compile at this time. If you have a spot to add to this list please let us know and we would be happy to get it posted. Have fun and kite safe!