Most of you might think that costs a fortune to spend two weeks in Lake Tahoe for snowboarding. The truth is: It’s less than two weeks in the European Alps but with powder to the nipples guaranteed. Do you want to know how? Read on…First of all there are many skiing areas across the US that are worth riding more than the European alps, not just because everything is bigger.
I had the pleasure to once ride the Rocky Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2016 and Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada, 2018 (starting at February 23). Two stays for two weeks each. Both with a 4-wheel drive mini SUV rental car shared amongst three people. Both unforgettable epic snowboarding trips.
To have a two week stay in the US less expensive than in the European Alps you have to lower your expectation of comfort regarding your flight route and accommodation. I also recommend to book your flight at least half a year in advance to take advantage of the very special low price offers you can hardly find the closer you are to the take off date.
Due to comfort, beverages and food during such a long flight we wanted to fly with a well-established airline and chose Lufthansa. As we booked the flight about 6 months in advance we found a very cheap flight to San Francisco and back to Düsseldorf for just 380 EUR. Check this here.
There were three of us (which is a minimum to profit from shared costs for a rental car and accommodation) who took off from DUS airport to SFO airport where we picked up a Chevrolet 4-wheel drive rental car and still had to drive about 3-4 hours to finally arrive at Zephyr Cove, Pine Cone Resort.
This resort is just 10 minutes away (by car) from the awesome skiing area Heavenly. Within the reach of about 50 minutes southbound there is Kirkwood and 50 minutes northwards is Northstar. It turned out that it would be of best value to buy the Epic Pass in advance from Germany as this is valid for the whole season and for the three skiing areas mentioned above. The only restriction was, that we were not allowed to ride Kirkwood and Northstar on Saturdays. As they updated their product range the former Epic Pass is now called Tahoe Value Pass but it’s definitely worth to spend this $529 for the best snow conditions in Kirkwood.
We were quite lucky when it started snowing on Monday after our arrival on Friday. There campe up so heavy snowfall that we had powder runs each time we lifted up at Kirkwood. This was so amazing! Unimaginable in the European Alps. We even got snow in Lake Tahoe and Zephyr Cove that made our stay feel like in a cottage in the European Alps.
But, why all these words? Just watch the video to see best what it was like.
You surely want to know how much all together cost, don’t you? So here is the cost listing for one person amongst three. Shared costs for rental car and accommodation can be multiplied by three and divided by the amount of participants to have even lower costs. Having a trip with more than 4 people requires an additional rental car and additional lodging. So the best value is travelling with 4 people.
Flight from DUS to SFO and back
Round-trip, including luggage, booked about half a year in advance): ~380€
For each of us: ~$ 220
For each of us: ~$ 260
For each of us: ~$ 530
For each of us: ~70€
In total ~$ 1010 (~930€) + ~450€
So this epic trip was about 1380€ plus personal expenses which had been around 540€ in my case.
1920€ all inclusive ;-)
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