Finding the Perfect Ski Bar in Lake Tahoe

We have an ongoing mission here at Tahoe Lift Tickets to find, if it exists, The Perfect Tahoe Ski Bar. After all, there is no better complement to a fun and grueling day on the mountain than the unique social and sensory experience found on a cold day at a small ski bar. First, however, we must define what is meant by “The Perfect Ski Bar”.

What is the Perfect Ski Bar?
In the form of a narrative, here is our definition:

There is something about the atmosphere of a small ski bar that adds an extra touch to the skiing and snowboarding experience. You walk in through the front door from the cold and windy air into a compact, cozy atmosphere and take off the thick bundle of garments you arrived with. As you begin to settle in, the contrast of the cold with the warm air gives your body a slight buzz as you slowly begin to warm up.

You fingers tingle as they touch the walls of the cup of hot chocolate brought over by the bartender. As it steams, the aroma of cocoa and sugar makes a subtle draw for your attention. As you blow the heat off the top, you watch the smoke-like steam disperse into the air and warm up the air surrounding your body.

It has a sort of calming effect, just sitting there. The collective atmosphere and sensory experience completely contrasts the earlier part of the day, which was characterized by high action, physical exertion and extreme cold. Up until this point, the only thing keeping you warm was a combination of grit and adrenaline. Now as you sit, the bar stool cushion under you feels like a plush velvet couch when compared to the hard, frozen lift chair that you spent a good portion of the day on. The essence of the ski bar experience can often be found in these tiny things. Together they form the perfect complement to a hard day of playing on the mountain.

Everybody is crowded together in this small room with a tiny bar, collectively celebrating the fun had on the mountain and projecting the next day’s snow conditions. From the minute you entered, you observed the ski outfits hanging on the back of every chair and overheard talk of powder stashes and secret trails. You began to notice an almost immediate but understated sense of camaraderie between this group of strangers, and almost by default with you as well. It’s hard to discuss anything at a bar like this except snow, snow and more snow.

Many bars like this can be discovered when you visit a ski town, and in some ways the hunt for the next one is part of the fun. It’s about the search for that perfect spot, one that is tucked away from the center of town on a side street with an inconspicuous exterior. A bar that doesn’t need a sign, maybe even doesn’t want a big sign. The bread and butter customer at this bar is the local skier who returns daily to boast about the glories of the day’s accomplishments and hear a good story or two. For the out-of-town visitor, enjoying a ski bar atmosphere like this can sometimes be defined by these interactions with the locals, the people who know the ins and the outs of this place and this mountain. If you are lucky, you might just learn a secret or two that could make your trip even better than it already is.

Does the perfect ski bar exist in Lake Tahoe?
Where can one find a place like this in Lake Tahoe? There are many, of course, but also many more yet to be discovered by this writer. At this point we must argue that the distinction of ‘perfect’ is purely subjective, and so will be different for everyone. So, we have decided to list our current favorite for you to experience for yourself and make your own conclusions. In addition, we will refrain from putting any sort of description here that might ruin the surprise, for the experience of a place can only be judged by actually going there and half the fun is in the discovery itself!

Our favorite ski bar can be found on the lesser known side of Heavenly Mountain on the road connecting the Stagecoach and Boulder Lodges. The Fox & Hound is worth a trip up Kingsbury Grade after a powder day to discover one of Lake Tahoe’s smaller ski bars with unique character and atmosphere.

We encourage all skiers and snowboarders to make the extra effort on the next ski trip to explore new places off the mountain. There just might be something there that brings a new perspective to that town, its mountain and its people.

If you have found your perfect ski bar in Lake Tahoe, feel free to email a description to (info AT However, we won’t be upset if you want to keep your secret to yourself!

Also see our guides to deals on: Cheap Alpine Meadows Lift Tickets and Cheap Sierra at Tahoe Lift Tickets