Want to avoid the drive from San Francisco to the slopes of Lake Tahoe resorts? Instead, hitch a ride with the Bay Area Ski Bus. You can even sleep on the way or watch a movie on the return trip.

The Bay Area Ski Bus, operated by Recreation Connection, Inc., offers a variety of trips to the Tahoe area. The company runs buses for one-day, two-day, singles, teen, and family trips. Opting to ride the bus can serve as a way to meet new ski buddies; the majority of riders are 22 to 50 years old. 

The bus runs weekends, holidays, and some midweek days Dec. 4 - April 17. Bus pick ups are scheduled for 19 different locations in the Bay Area, including two in San Francisco as well as Santa Clara, San Jose, Sacramento, Oakland, and other locations.

The Tahoe trips visit Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Homewood, Kirkwood, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl, and Squaw Valley. A complete season schedule is available online as well as registration.

Rates for one-day trips run around $75-125, depending on age and destination. Prices include the bus ride, continental breakfast, lift tickets, and snacks after skiing. Bus travel without lift tickets is available, too.

Skiers and snowboarders who head to the slopes frequently can save money by purchasing a season pass good for 20 Saturday trips or eight-packs valid for single-day trips anytime during the season. Season passes run $1,375-1,475 while eight-packs cost $625-695, depending on age. Bus-only eight-packs are available for $390.

Overnight trips usually hit two resorts in two days with one night of lodging. Rates run $259-279 for two-day hotel trips on weekends Jan. 8 - March 13. Two-day van trips that stay in a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house are scheduled for weekends and midweek, Dec. 18- April 10.

San Francisco and Bay Area skiers can also hook up with multi-day destination trips to North American and European resorts organized by Recreation Connection. This year's destination trips include Banff, Lake Louise, and Kicking Horse, Jan. 8-15; Aspen/ Snowmass, Jan. 29-Feb. 5; Mammoth Mountain, Feb. 11-15; Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, Feb. 20-27; Innsbruck and St. Anton, Austria, Mar. 11-20; and Snowbird, Alta, and Solitude, April 1-6.

More information. Or call 925-680-4386.