My first visit, when it was Sierra Ski Ranch, was back in 1981. I was a begginer and terrified until I made my first run down Sugar & Spice. An easy run with fantastic views of Lake Tahoe! I loved it! Very few ski areas have beginner runs from the top of the mountain. Over time, we all advanced to the black runs. Now we can ski anything. My son grew up skiing here and although we've all moved away, we make it back twice a year and are never dissapointed.
Now living in TX & PA, we've tried other resorts, including Jackson Hole, Aspen, Whistler, Taos and Sun Valley. Taos is the only resort that compares to Sierra At Tahoe. I always reccomend Sierra At Thoe to friends, family and co-workers for Northern Ca skiing. They always return with rave reviews and have fallen in love with the area. We're going with a group of 40 friends & family in late Jan. We can't wait to get back there.
I really miss the convenience of the 3-4 hour drive from the Bay Area area. But..it's so worth the hassle of dealing with the airport, rental car and the drive. We fly into Sacramento, although Reno is closer, because we love the drive along the river. Just be sure you rent a 4X4 (unless the roads are clear and no storms are predicted) and add chains to the rental (4X4 is not always enough-they have check points where they'll install the chains for a fee and it's well worth the costs). If you don't have chains, you have to buy them at the check points and you'll pay 5-10 times the costs to rent them with the vehicle! You will not be allowed to continue without chains.
This is a family resort with plenty of areas to get away from the kids and packed beginner runs. There's something for everybody. Just go for it. You'll never want to go anywhere else in Northern, Ca!