If you're staying in the village or at Stateline, board the Gondola, which takes you three-quarters of the way up the mountain. From there, you can quickly access trails in Nevada or California. If you have to drive anyway, follow the locals to one of the two Nevada bases, Boulder and Stagecoach, which are usually less crowded most days of the week but also offer intermediate and beginner runs straight to the bottom. You can traverse to the other side on the California Trail, returning via the Skyline Trail. There are a half-dozen cruisers from the Nevada ridgeline, and two of them—Olympic Downhill and Galaxy—are generally overlooked. Wait until the powder's fresh to explore Milky Way Bowl, and if you venture into double-diamond terrain in Mott Canyon below it, you'd better be adept at dodging trees. On the California side, with views of Lake Tahoe below, you can cruise at your leisure on Liz's, Jackpot and Ridge runs. At the summit of Sky Chair, walk to the edge of the backside and enjoy high-desert views of Carson Valley.
Mountain Tour: Heavenly, Calif.