Northstar California Resort is one of seven of Vail Resorts’ ski destinations. In addition, it’s celebrating its 40th year, having begun operations in 1972. Northstar offers many opportunities for winter outdoor enthusiasts, including 35k of trails, shared with cross-country skiers, for snowshoeing in and around the mountain.
Trail passes can be purchased at the Tickets & Season Pass office in the Village at Northstar, and then snowshoers take the gondola or Village Express lift up to mid-mountain to access the cross-country, telemark, and snowshoe center and trails. Snowshoe rentals are available as well at the Center.
Out on the snowshoe trails, one can “…get out into the quiet of the woods …to reconnect with nature,” according to Jessica VanPernis, senior communications manager for Northstar. “Depending on how far you go, you can experience incredible views of Lake Tahoe. Warming huts along the way include an old caboose railroad car where snowshoers can… warm up, and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa or tea.”
Northstar’s snowshoe events include social and race series throughout the season that feature 5k, 10k and kids’ races.
Tours include “…moonlight snowshoe… guided tours through a variety of trails with live acoustic music, s’mores and hot chocolate around our outdoor fire pits,” VanPernis described. The popular “Star gazing snowshoe tours…under the stars” give participants a journey “across the starry sky with poet and star guide, Tony Berendsen,” that includes telescopic viewing of the stars, a laser tour of the night sky, a fun space quiz, wine and hot cider around the fire pits.
Family snowshoe tours “focus on snowshoeing some of the easier trails, and finish with hot chocolate, cookies and snow play.”
“The Village at Northstar is a great place for après-snowshoe activities,” VanPernis described. “A 9,000 square-foot outdoor skating rink is surrounded by cabana seating and fire pits where families like to roast s’mores.”
Family activities in the village might include The Villager Candle Shop, Pottery Painting & More, “…where you can make candles, paint your own pottery, build your own teddy bear, etc. And, on the village stage (by the rink), we offer free live music on weekends,” VanPernis noted.
VanPernis said a variety of on-site lodging options at Northstar that include family friendly condos just minutes from the village, are available. A free in-resort shuttle is provided if mom and dad want to have a few drinks with dinner.