Getting To Northstar

Getting To Northstar

Where is Northstar?

Northstar California is officially located in Truckee (5001 Northstar Drive, Truckee) just off Highway 267, although it’s 7 miles southeast of the Truckee town centre. Northstar is 7 miles north of Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe, and 13 miles from Incline Village in Nevada further round the lake. And 40 miles away on the south shore is the town of South Lake Tahoe. The city of Reno Nevada is 37 miles to the northeast along I-80.


The Reno-Tahoe airport is only 43 miles away, receiving more than 100 direct flights daily from various USA cities. From the Reno airport, there are lots of options for scheduled or chartered shuttle services to Northstar.

The San Francisco Airport is 208 miles southwest of Northstar California.

Driving to Northstar

If you plan on mostly hanging out at Northstar, you won’t need your car. If you want to explore other Lake Tahoe ski resorts, it’s possible to get around via public transport and shuttles, but you’ll have more flexibility if you have a car. We recommend a 4WD considering the heavy snowfalls that frequently occur in the Tahoe area. There are various car rental options at the Reno Tahoe airport and San Francisco airport.

Driving to Northstar is generally pretty easy. The Interstate-80 is the major road to Northstar from the east (Reno) or west (bay area). From Truckee, Highway 267 is pretty substantial and it’s not steep or windy to get to Northstar. Highway 267 in the other direction (towards the lake) has a few moderate pitches. During and after heavy snowfalls, check Caltrans as sometimes the roads are closed. Even the I-80 is sometimes temporarily closed.

Northstar Resort has a huge amount of car parking. There is exorbitantly priced valet parking or other paid parking. If you want free parking, you’ll have to park a long, long way from the Northstar Village but there are very frequent parking lot shuttle buses. And in typical Vail Resorts style, you have to walk through the village to get to the lifts, probably with the hope of luring you into one of the shops. At least they provide little wheelie carts to help you carry your gear to the gondola.

Private Transport Providers

The Bay Area Ski Bus provides a shuttle-bus service from the San Francisco Bay Area to Northstar on weekends and one weekday.

Getting from Lake Tahoe Area to Northstar

Tahoe Area Regional Transportation (TART) provides very inexpensive public transportation around the northwest shore area, which includes winter routes along Highway 267 between Truckee and Crystal Bay (on the lake) via Northstar Village.

Northstar California Resort operates the North Shore Ski Shuttle with one schedule per day. It includes pickups at the Hyatt Hotel in Incline Village, Crystal Bay, Kings Beach and Tahoe Vista.

Getting Around the Northstar Ski Resort

The pedestrian-only Northstar Village is moderately sized so it’s easy enough to walk around the shops and restaurants, and to get to the Big Springs Express Gondola to head up to the slopes.

On the other side of the village is a complimentary access gondola to get up (and down) to the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the Constellation Residences at Northstar.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

There are lots of ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area. Some of the closest major resorts to Northstar include:
  • Diamond Peak is 15 miles to the east (can get to Incline Village via a TART bus and then resort bus up to resort)
  • Mt Rose is 23 miles to the east
  • Sugar Bowl is 18 miles to the west
  • Squaw Valley is 20 miles away to the southwest (can get there via 2 TART buses)
  • Alpine Meadows is next door to Squaw Valley, 22.5 miles from Northstar (there are resort shuttles between Alpine and Squaw)
  • Homewood is located on the western shore of Lake Tahoe, 23 miles from Northstar (can get there via 2 TART buses)
A little further afield and also accessible on the Epic lift pass: