Smaller than Mt. Rose, Diamond Peak (1210 Ski Way, Incline Village, NV, 775/832-1177, http://diamondpeak.com, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., adults $37–48, youth $29–38, children $14–18) is easy to access from the town of Incline Village.
It has two—count them, two—green run at the bottom of the hill. Probably not the best place to bring young children or yourself if you’re on your first ski trip. (You can go to ski school here for sure, but you won’t find much in the way of route variety.)
But if you’re even an intermediate skier or boarder, be sure to take the Crystal Express quad up to the top of the peak. Stop for a moment and enjoy the amazing vistas down to Lake Tahoe before you take a wonderfully long run down the blue Crystal Ridge, continuing to enjoy the views, or cut in to one of the black chutes that branch off through the forest.
You’ll start your day down at the Base Lodge, where you can also eat, drink, make merry, or even stop in for a nondenominational prayer on Sunday mornings before you start skiing.
In the middle of the day, the Snowflake Lodge on the ridge lets you spend all the time you like looking out onto the lake as you sip a drink or just sit with your feet up.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition