Kirkwood, with its deep powder and challenging black runs is worth the drive over two passes from South Lake Tahoe, but best to let the shuttle bus take the strain, taking you over to the three bowls side by side where you can whoop and holler among some of the area’s best powder snow.
Black runs higher up and easier stuff lower down, almost all tree-lined, and all excellent for adventurous intermediates upward. A further bowl is slightly easier and there’s a dedicated beginners’ area, Timber Creek. There’s a small village with condos, bars and restaurants, as well as an ice rink and outdoor pool. Other resorts (Diamond Peak, Sugarbowl, Mount Rose, etc) are all worth a visit. Tahoe’s also a summer destination, so there are places to stay all round the shore. A driving tour taking in areas for a half day each makes a great holiday.