Northstar Ski Resort

Northstar Ski Resort is a ski area located in the state of California in USA. The resort is in the town of Truckee, CA. We recently ranked all of California's ski resorts, so you can see where Northstar stacks up against all its nearby ski hills!

Northstar is a part of the Epic Ski Pass network. This allows you to buy one lift pass, and ski at most of the Vail owned slopes with it throughout the year. There are a handful of different types of Epic passes available, ranging from 3-7 days, to season-long.

Northstar Lodging:

Northstar Ski Resort Terrain Overview

Northstar has a total of 17 ski trails, which are serviced by 20 ski lifts, gondolas and/or trams. The amount of skiable area in this park is huge, with a maximum of 3,170 acres available to skiers. This area is equivalent to 1,283 hectares, 5 square miles, or 13 square kilometers.

Northstar's slopes see on average 332 inches (131 cm) of snowfall a year. That is almost 27 feet a year!

Total Runs
Ski Lift
Skiable Acres
3,170(13 km2)
Annual Snowfall
332"(131 cm)

Northstar Ski Resort Elevation

Northstar Ski Resort has a summit elevation of 8,610 feet, or 2,624 meters. However, not all of that elevation is able to be skied. The base of the ski slope sits at 6,800 feet above sea level, creating a ski hill that is 1,810 feet (552 meters) high. This is referred to as the slope's vertical drop - or a measure of how high the skiable hill is.

The summit of 8,610 feet makes this ski resort one of the highest in the country. The average ski slope summit is around 4,000 feet, so this is extremely high compared to its peers.

Mountain Summit
Summit Elevation
8,610'(2,624 m)
Vertical Drop
Vertical Drop
1,810'(552 m)
Mountain base
Base Elevation
6,800'(2,073 m)

Northstar Ski Resort Difficulty Level

Difficulty Score
51.2out of 100
←  EasyHard  →
Northstar can be beginner-friendly, but it depends on the ski trails you ride. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 87% of its trails rated at or above intermediate ski level.


At Parks & Trips, we've created a proprietary Difficulty Score that attempts to show how difficult a particular ski slope is. We get to this number by combining a number of metrics for each resort and comparing them to its peers. Most of the score is based off the amount of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort, but also includes a few lesser-used metrics as well.

Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then assigns each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier to ski than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.

Skiiable Area by Difficulty Level

Northstar has 3,170 total skiable acres, which can be broken down into the three main groups of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.

Northstar is mostly a beginner-friendly ski area, with about 13% of its trails as easy. However, it also has its fair share of more difficult runs - which account for the remaining 87%.
13%(412 acres)

Beginner trails (identified by a green circle) are the easiest trails on the hill with a gradual 25% or less gradient, and are usually wide to accommodate beginner skiers.

Blue Square
60%(1,902 acres)

Intermediate trails (identified by a blue square) are usually the most popular and crowded runs, which have a slope of anywhere between 25-40%.

Black Diamond
27%(856 acres)

Expert trails (identified by a black diamond... or two) are the hardest slopes on the mountain, and have very steep gradients over 40%.

Is Northstar Ski Resort good for beginners?

Northstar can be beginner-friendly, depending on the runs you take. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 87% of its trails rated at or above intermediate.

Northstar Ski Resort Location

Northstar Ski Resort is located in the state of California, USA. This ski area is nearby the town of Truckee, CA.

Truckee, CA 96161 USA
View on Google Maps


GPS Coordinates:
39.27457, -120.12100

Getting to Northstar Ski Resort

By Car: If you are driving, you would set your GPS to either the ski resort's name (Northstar Ski Resort), its coordinates of 39.27457, -120.12100 (latitude, longitude), or simply drive towards the town of Truckee, CA to get close.

By Air: If you are coming in from across the country, then you may need to board an airplane to get here.

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airport(s) to Northstar Ski Resort.

Reno–Tahoe International AirportRNOReno, NV24 mi
Sacramento International AirportSMFSacramento, CA88 mi
Oakland International AirportOAKOakland, CA156 mi

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airport(s) to Northstar.

Sacramento Mather AirportMHRSacramento, CA80 mi
Redding Municipal AirportRDDRedding, CA143 mi
Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County AirportSTSSanta Rosa, CA154 mi

There may also be much smaller regional airports next to Northstar Ski Resort, but we didn't list them here due to the fact that no major airlines go through them.

Other Nearby Ski Resorts

Skiers will - especially if coming from far away - try and visit a couple different slopes all in the same trip. Here are the closest other ski slopes within 100 miles of Northstar Ski Resort.

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Granlibakken TahoeTahoe City, CA6,350 ft14%8 mi
Palisades TahoeOlympic Valley, CA9,050 ft76%9 mi
Alpine MeadowsOlympic Valley, CA8,673 ft56%9 mi
Tahoe DonnerTruckee, CA7,350 ft25%9 mi
Sugar BowlTruckee, CA8,383 ft51%10 mi
Mount RoseReno, NV9,700 ft58%12 mi
Donner Ski RanchNorden, CA7,781 ft37%12 mi
BorealSoda Springs, CA7,700 ft29%13 mi
HomewoodHomewood, CA7,800 ft51%14 mi
Soda SpringsSoda Springs, CA7,300 ft30%15 mi
HeavenlySouth Lake Tahoe, CA10,067 ft71%25 mi
Sierra-at-TahoeSouth Lake Tahoe, CA8,852 ft51%32 mi
KirkwoodKirkwood, CA9,800 ft56%41 mi
Dodge RidgePinecrest, CA8,200 ft52%76 mi

Northstar Ski Resort Mountain Stats

Summit Elevation8,610 ft
Base Elevation6,800 ft
Vertical Drop1,810 ft
(13% Beginner,  60% Intermediate,  27% Expert)
Skiable Acres3,170
Avg. Annual Snowfall332 inches
Northstar Ski Resort Mountain Stats