I always pictured heaven to look like this – white fluffy clouds against a bright blue sky with happy people dotted around a breathtaking picturesque landscape. But, glancing around, there certainly weren’t any angels here to complete this picture – instead I had a very excited five-year-old and baby in tow as we glided along the clouds in our gondola towards ‘Heavenly’.
Overlooking the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the most unique snow sports destinations on the planet, but it also happens to offer year-round, adrenalin-fueled family fun activities, whatever the season.
We chose to arrive in summer and it was the perfect place to visit with the family. A short gondola ride up the mountainside from the heart of South Lake Tahoe was simply breakthtaking. The views so picturesque that you feel like you have stepped into a movie set or postcard.
On arrival, we tested our skills and conquered the various rope courses, featuring rope bridges, swinging logs, cargo nets, ladders, walkways and other climbing features – perfect for the big and little kids as it’s all done within the safety of a harness and varies in degrees of difficulty.
Next up was the rock climbing wall which Dad and our youngest daughter Daisy, conquered with shouts of victory and squeals of delight!
But, no adventure would be complete without Mum competing in the adventure stakes. Before I had a chance to change my mind, I was standing in line at the top of the peak wearing a helmet, harness and being hooked up to a zipline. Next thing I was defying speed and gravity as I flew along the mountain peaks at 50 miles an hour along one of the longest ziplines on the West Coast of USA – a staggering 1005 metres long.
After a short pitstop at Tamarack Lodge to nosh on delicious burgers and some much-needed caffeine to regain my sanity, we decided to tackle the tubing as a family. This was my all-time favourite! Gliding down the amazing 150-metre high hill, with a 20-metre vertical drop in one of those old school giant tyres, will keep you giggling all day long!
So, if you’re planning a getaway in summer to South Lake Tahoe be sure to ditch the ‘stairway to heaven’ and take the gondola instead. Get up in the clouds with unmatched panoramas of Lake Tahoe and High Sierra Desert and visit Heavenly Mountain Resort for at least a day. The big kids and little kids will thank you for it. But beware, when you visit Heavenly, you better plan to go “all-in”… because with so much to do on the mountain you have no choice but to play hard and sleep when you get home.
We stayed at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel – spacious rooms, perfect for families and fabulous location right next to the Heavenly Mountain Resort Gondola.