Lake Tahoe 20/21 Ski Season Pass Information

The 2020/2021 ski season is just around the corner. The most notable change this season comes in how the pandemic has led resorts to expand local passes to include other ski resorts. This trend appears to eliminate some of the mountain congestion in favor of safe practices.

A few mountains are also requiring advance reservations to control safe distancing. If you are ready to purchase your season pass for an amazing winter of skiing, below are a few options:

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows offer ticket and pass holders access to both mountains via a shuttle.  This year, they are promoting the Ikon Pass, which gives you access to their resort along with 42 additional ski destinations.

This means that they will no longer offer the Tahoe Super Pass. Most ski resorts are examining ways to eliminate mountain congestion through social distancing. The Ikon Pass allows access to other destinations such as Ontario, Park City, Utah and Vermont.

Perhaps the biggest change to Alpine|Squaw will be the name change for Squaw Valley. This change is the result of extensive research into the etymology and history of the term “squaw.” After outreach to Native American groups, and following the trend of eliminating derogatory and ethnic stereo-typing, Squaw Valley will be renamed after the 2021 ski season. Read more here.

The Ikon pass offers the same skiing and riding benefits you have always enjoyed at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. They are also keeping the price similar to the former Tahoe Super Pass. You can explore Alpine Meadows | Squaw Valley season passes and lift tickets here.

Northstar California

Northstar California is also one of the local’s favorite ski areas, especially for snowboarders. They have announced changes in how you can access the mountain that will include a reservation system, face coverings on lifts and gondolas, and physical distancing when riding on lifts and chairs.

Face coverings will be required to access Northstar, including in lift lines and while loading, unloading and riding on chairlifts and gondolas.

To maintain physical distancing on chairlifts and gondolas, they will only be seating related parties (guests skiing and riding together), or:

  • Two singles seated on opposite sides of a four-person lift.
  • Two singles or two doubles on opposite sides of a six-person lift.
  • Two singles on opposite ends of our larger gondola cabins.

Similar to the Ikon Pass at Squaw|Alpine, Northstar will be offering the Epic Pass, which gives you access to many other popular ski destinations, such as Beaver Creek, CO, Vail and Whistler. They are still offering the Tahoe Local Pass, with access to Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. You can explore your options and choose your pass here.

Priority Access

Having a season pass at Northstar California also gives you priority access in their reservation system. They are managing how many people are on the mountain and implementing a pass holder reservation system.  For the vast majority of days, they anticipate they’ll be able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski or ride. They say it will give you peace of mind knowing that you will have the space you need to feel safe no matter what day you visit.


Pass holders get the mountains to themselves with exclusive early season access through Dec. 7. They will not sell lift tickets until Dec 8 and buying an Epic Day Pass is a great alternative. Early season reservations can be booked up to a week in advance.


They allow you to lock-in reservations for a big trip or special weekend before the core season even begins. As a pass holder, you will receive an early opportunity to reserve up to seven Priority Reservation Days for the core season (Dec. 8 - April 4) before lift tickets go on sale.

The exclusive reservation window runs Nov. 6 through Dec. 7. If you cannot get the Priority Reservation Days you want by Dec. 7, and have not used your pass, you can get a refund with Epic Coverage.


You will also be able to view real-time availability and make reservations all in one place, on Reservations will activate your pass for the selected days; no need to bring anything but your pass to get access to the mountain. 

When I look at the choice of ski destinations that come with the Ikon ($1049) and Epic ($979) passes, I have to say that Northstar California seems to offer the best access at a better price. Of course, both mountains are fantastic and the Ikon Pass does give you the same access you enjoyed with the Tahoe Super Pass.

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling your home at Lake Tahoe, I would love to help you. The current market has been extremely active and there has probably never been a better time to buy or sell. Contact me today for a free property analysis or for information to view available properties safely.

I am hoping you and your family are safe during these challenging times. Come to Lake Tahoe. I would love to show you why I have made it my home.