This was my family’s first and last time at Northstar. Nightmare of a cluster to get to and from parking in 10-ish degree weather. Took two hours just to get on a shuttle and to our car at the end of the day due to Northstar management’s dysfunction while we froze in one of the longest shuttle lines. Food was stupid expensive and served haphazardly . It’s too bad because the snowshoeing and Nordic trails are great, and Northstar could be a perfect match for groups with some downhill and some Nordic skiers. But my family will head to Palisades and deal with limited Nordic or split between Sugarbowl and Royal Gorge in the future.Jessica S. via Yelp
5 things to know before you go to Northstar ski resort
- Low elevation results in warmer and icier conditions, so even though they groom a lot, there are often patches of ice that catch you. It can be really bad, which is why we gave it a relatively low rating of 3 after this happened to us multiple times.
- Limited vertical
- Northstar is the most popular Tahoe resort for hordes of Bay Area weekend skiers, so crowds are always an issue when conditions are good.
- The parking lot situation is bad because the close-in lots fill up fast and then you have to park in the lots out by highway 267 and take a fairly long bus ride into the village.
- Even if you get the closer-in parking, it’s a long walk through the village until you get to the gondola, which you still have to take before getting to the real skiing terrain. It’s a long process.
Poor grooming, hard to get to lifts, overall mismanaged
Having been a season pass holder for nearly 20 years I have seen the changes. Great mountain but since Vail took over and the aftermath of the pandemic there are troubles everywhere. Five feet of new snow for December 2022 and they cannot groom the mountain. Did you are an intermediate or beginner you will be on the same runs everyday. If you are here only for a day, well not so bad. Why can’t they groom one new run a day? Pretty easy, but they do the same ones just about everyday. And why does it take days to open the backside. It’s crazy. Either Vail resorts want to save money with limited staffing ie. less operations or they just cannot hire enough people. They should let their customers know what’s going on.Rick Hirshberg via OnTheSnow.com
“Waiting and waiting and waiting”
Let me start with the parking lot first. Arrived at the parking lot at 9:39 am. Then, wait for the Shuttle bus for 1 hour and 40 minutes. FinallyRay Fang via OnTheSnow.com
got to the first lift and waited 25 minutes. The second lift waited for 35 minutes. The third lift (Comstock) waited for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Finally got to the top of the Mountain at 1:45 pm. Waiting and waiting and waiting..
“The resort seems to be mismanaged”
The resort seems to be mismanaged. Visited December 17-22. Unbelievable lift lines (20 minutes throughout the day). Plenty of snow, but only a few runs open. Backside closed. New app for shuttle buses doesn’t work, and again, very long (20-30 mins) wait for transportation around the resort. Many stores in the Village are shuttered. This is our long-time home resort and it’s depressing to see what Vail is doing to it!Kathleen Forni via OnTheSnow.com
“Worst resort I’ve been to”
Worst resort I’ve been to (and I have been to a good number Europe and North America)Chimpsey Powers via Google reviews
Arrived at 830 to parking lot (furthest one as uppers were already full ) and didn’t actually ski until 1045. Line to park. Line to bus. Bus had line of traffic to reach resort. Long walk to gondola. Long line for gondola. Line for next lift (and lift after) as zephyr was spinning but closed … fortunately being on epic .. meant didn’t need wait lift ticket line also and drop what ever ridiculous sum of money for day pass only to stand around waiting. I don’t believe I’ve ever waited so much except at Disney as young kid. Every ski area I’ve been to: arriving at 830 means downhill action by 915 at latest.
In short: terrible logistics and designed resort. Not going to pay to stand around. And even when skiing : I’ve had more fun at east coast 1000 ft verticals ski areas.
First time and last visit. And after reading lots of other reviews: seems many others feel the same. Assuming the good reviews are from beginning skiers or paid resort fanboys/moms
“I’m confused by this place”
I’m confused by this place. Everything is so nice at surface but the bed literally fell apart at bed time and it was too late to get help. Concierge tried to replace us but not able to. Didn’t wanna bother manager at midnight. Were told we’d be taken care of after the fact. Still waiting. Someone knocked two different times in the morning despite us getting late check out. I also think the pool/hot tub closes too early. They could stay open at least until 10 but it’s 9. Pool table is sadly over worn. Didn’t get a chance to play ping pong before it closed. One of the hot tubs was closed when we got to it but front desk didn’t tell us in advance. Kind of a mixed bag.Danika Sonsa via Google reviews
“Totally wasted my time for no reason”
My condo didn’t have a working stove, oven, microwave, garbage disposal, or dishwasher. I have been trying to contact the manager for a week and they are avoiding me and offer zero compensation. These condos are a huge rip off and they are totally inflexible about check ins. They make you wait for an email at exactly 4pm and front desk does nothing. I had my 6 month old and 2 year old and just had to sit in the parking lot for an hour while my room was clearly ready. Totally wasted my time for no reason.Nicholas Young via Google reviews
“It is suppose to be quality and is not”
What to say… it is suppose to be quality and is not. it is very expensive (i’m used to it so that is not the point) . The chalet itself is beautiful and same for the landscape. Service is horrible! The don’t know how to handle it keep forgetting and making mistakes. Food is just average. Wine list is …we are out of this and our of tnat. Don’t try to go in the pool is to small and over crowded…and they really don’t care…the anser is seat there and queue… the lake club is an highlight…besides the absurd daily rate and stupid closing hour at 4 pm…best sunset time. So…sorry man this is a joke place wont see me ever again.Alvise Fontana Z via Google reviews
“Bait and switch”
This is my first ever review, i believe. I made a reservation with American Express to stay at Northstar California Resort. I needed to make a change / extend my time of our stay to our reservation and so I called the resort directly, they couldn’t make the change, I had to do it with American Express, which is fine. But in this conversation they stated “do you know we do not have air conditioning”? This is something that American Express and Northstar failed to mention in their advertising of the room/property. Seems a bit Bait and switch…so i get to find this out when I arrive with my 85 year old mother and my husband who has major allergies, I contact American Express to cancel, which they stated it was a no cancellation policy for this resort. Which was fine until they omitted very important information about their resort and the room. American Express called the resort on my behalf and spoke to the Manager, which stated to them they should “Open a Window”. And will not refund my money.Amber D via Google reviews
I will write a review everywhere I can and write a letter to everyone in their management I can, And NO i have never written a negative review. This a true and accurate review .
“Thank you for ruining our trip”
Paid over 2k for a weekend time with 2 kids and got kicked out of every single place to sled. Apparently people with kids are not welcome there. Thank you for ruining our trip and breaking hearts of my 2 kids.Rumaysa Noman via Google reviews
Source: Google reviews
Waited for the Shuttle bus for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Let me start with the parking lot first. Arrived at the parking lot at 9:39 am. Then, wait for the Shuttle bus for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Finally got to the first lift and waited 25 minutes. The second lift waited for 35 minutes. The third lift (Comstock) waited for 1 hour 20 minutes. Finally got to the top of the Mountain at 1:45 pm. Waiting and waiting and waiting……Ray Fang (via onthesnow.com review)
“Waited for about an hour in freezing temperatures”
Waited for about an hour in freezing temperatures to get picked up by the bus to go to the parking lot. 7-8 buses running and kept picking up small groups of people while our bus stop had 70+ people waiting and freezing. Employees were rude and did nothing to aid us (young children and even older people were waiting for so long freezing)addison (via Google reviews)
300+ people in the red lot shuttle line in the morning. Getting to the slope took almost 2 hours and getting back to the parking lot was another nightmare! They should’ve done better shuttle operations. Will never come back.Jay Jung (via Google reviews)
Traveling to Northstar? Be prepared to wait hours in line for a shuttle.
Hours long wait at free parking to get on the bus that takes you to the mountain. Paid parking is mostly empty! Vail Resorts is ruining our ski day at Northstar!Alex Colodner (via Twitter)
“This is not a good place.. Very badly managed and horrible customer service.”
Very badly managed and horrible customer service. As walk-in for rental equipment at 9am, our group was told by staff that there was a three hour wait and we received text confirming we were 15th in line. Couldn’t drive back to town for rental alternatives because parking lots and shuttles were too full/slow. Three hours later and no additional text we inquired and were told that they had lost our reservation. By that time it was too late to use full day lift tickets that we’d bought the previous night so at suggestion of Information staff we called Northstar management (530-562-1010, option 3) and were adamantly told that Northstar does not offer half day tickets. We then stood in ticketing line for an hour and told by staff that, contrary to management’s assertion, half day tickets were available. By then it was too late to get rentals and wait in the first gondola line: total loss of the day without any concession offered by any of the many Northstar representatives we talked with.
To me this is not a good place for people new to boarding/skiing and I would not recommend it to anyone.Louis B. (via Yelp)
The bus system to and from parking lots is awful
The bus system they have to and from parking lots is awful. Had to wait almost 45 mins in both ends just for a bus to arrive. Would not recommend.Sarah S. (via Yelp)