When you're in Southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is the place to go for snow.
The resort, located at Mount Charleston's Lee Canyon area, is about an hour's drive from Las Vegas. Since there's not much of a winter to speak of in Vegas, skiing is one way to make it feel more like the season.
The area features more than 240 inches of average snowfall per year and off-slope amenities such as dining, snowshoeing and summer activities. Don't be fooled by the warm temperatures in the valley, though -- temperatures in the mountains can be vastly different. Expect highs in the 30s and 40s during the winter, and don't forget to wear plenty of warm clothes.
Established in 1963, LVSSR offers guests access to 20 groomed trails and 250 acres of lift-served and side country terrain via three chairlifts and one surface lift. There are 30 acres of snowboarding terrain at the resort, including a half pipe and terrain park -- a paradise for snowboarders.
Although there are plenty of private and group lessons available for beginners, most of the resort's terrain (45 percent) consists of intermediate runs. An additional 45 percent of the terrain is advanced, which doesn't leave much room for first-timers.
Numerous upgrades are under way as part of LVSSR's multimillion dollar investment. This season the Rabbit Peak Quad, an energy-efficient lift, was introduced. It's ideal for beginning skiers and snowboarders because it allows for easier loading and unloading access to beginner terrain. The new lift will also serves as the main access from a new parking lot and base lodge, which will be construction over the next several years. There's also a new guest locker room.
In addition, the Bighorn Grill was remodeled to create new dining and service areas. Its revamped menu features more healthy options, made-to-order dishes and a baked potato bar as well as pizza and burgers. The Bristlecone Bar offers a new small bites menu and a full-service wait staff. An innovative on-mountain grill has also opened at the junction of the Bimbo and Flying Home ski runs. Guests can grab a quick bite and a drink, right on the snow. Skiers and snowboarders can indulge in small bites, wine, beer, soft drinks and water while relaxing in beach-style lounge chairs. The grill will be open every weekend and during the holidays.
The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort tends to be more crowded than other ski areas in the vicinity (such as Brian Head in Utah) because of its proximity to Las Vegas. Crowds or not, the resort offers beautiful mountain scenery and is a nice getaway from the desert for a day of winter fun.
Visitors may access Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard resort from the city via Ski Bus, a shuttle service operated with the support of the USDA Forest Service under a grant from the Department of Transportation.
If you're just in Vegas on vacation and decide to go skiing on a whim, the resort has everything you could possibly need, including equipment and ski clothing rentals.