Lake Tahoe: 2 scenic aerial rides take you to new heights


It’s one thing to enjoy the beauty of the Lake Tahoe region from the ground. It’s quite another to make like a bird and rise above it all.

Here are two invigorating, gasp-inducing rides that will take you to great heights.

1. Heavenly Mountain Gondola

The lake stretches out beneath you as you soar into the sky in an eight-passenger cabin that carries passengers from a starting elevation of 6,360 feet to over 9,100 feet up to the mountain’s summit. At the midway point of the 2.4-mile ride is a massive observation deck that rewards you with gorgeous, shore-to-shore views of Lake Tahoe, the Carson Valley, and the dramatic Desolation Wilderness.

The deck includes a cafe and picnic tables. You can stay as long as you want, or continue upward to the Tamarack Lodge at the top of the mountain, where you’ll also find a snow play area for children.

Details: The ticket office is located in Heavenly Village, 4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe; www.skiheavenly.com.

2. Squaw Valley Aerial Tram

On this 10-minute ride, passengers climb 2,000 vertical feet and soar above a snowy granite mountain while listening to a narrator who delivers facts about everything from the history of Squaw Valley to the arrival of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

At the top is High Camp, at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and, of course, spectacular scenery. Weather permitting, High Camp offers a variety of activities, including an Olympic Museum that showcases plenty of memorabilia from the ’60 Winter Games.

Details: 1990 Squaw Peak Road, Olympic Valley; www.squawalpine.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

A birder’s paradise in Zimbabwe

John Brebner swept his binoculars over a fissure-ridden rock face that towered over a grove of acacia trees. Candy-colored striations of dolomite and quartz ran through the tan granite, and human figures painted by Khoisan Bushmen three millenniums ago were faintly visible on the facade.  “There it is,” Brebner exclaimed, passing the...
What's it like to film a TV travel show? I joined the crew of "Travels With Darley" to find out.

The question rang out like a cowbell through the French Alps: "Where did Darley go?"  The host of PBS's "Travels With Darley" was missing. She was last seen at the bottom of Isola 2000, a ski resort about 55 miles north of Nice. A member of the ski patrol released a stream of French into a walkie-talkie, his words punctuated...
Europe’s best border-busting day trips
Europe’s best border-busting day trips

With relatively small countries and delightful public transportation, it’s easy to throw a change of scenery and culture into your European itinerary. Here are some of my favorite international day trips. London to Paris Zipping on the bullet train from London to Paris (or vice versa) in a tunnel deep below the English Channel (the “Chunnel&rdquo...
5 international trips that are cheaper than a weekend in London

We’ve told you how expensive New York City can be, but there are plenty of other destinations that will break the bank in no time at all. London is one of those places. The popular European city drew a record 19 million international visitors in 2016 alone, according to the Evening Standard, and for good reason. London is loved for its centuries-old...
Marriott’s new loyalty program: not as bad as Starwood fans feared

In the nearly 2 1/2 years since Marriott announced its intention to acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the parent of Westin, Sheraton and W, skeptical customers of both companies have waited impatiently for answers to the following question: Just how many rewards and perks would Marriott take away from the 110 million members when it combined the...
More Stories