The best winter vistas in North Lake Tahoe

Quite simply, there are few things I love more about the mountain lifestyle than actually getting out in the mountains to explore and adventure. And North Lake Tahoe is no exception. No matter what the adventure, I always strive to find that one stop that's the best stop to relax, have a snack (or beer), and grab a photo while I’m at it. So below you'll find a few of my favorite adventure destinations and best vistas in North Lake Tahoe.

Monument Peak

Monument Peak is really the best view that Northstar California has to offer. Located on the backside of Northstar California's summit, Monument Peak features a 360-degree view of the Sierra Crest and Lake Tahoe from Lance Sevison Monument. 

How to get there

Monument Peak is located inbounds atop Northstar California Resort. To reach it, you'll need your ski pass, and take either Comstock or Backside chair to the summit before cruising a few hundred yards down Challenger (Black). Look for a boot pack off to the right leading up to the peak. But don't worry, it's a short two-minute hike.

Monument Peak hires-7.jpeg

Watson Peak

I love this vista, Watson Peak, so much that I originally wanted to name my dog after it. One of the most popular Lake Tahoe vistas, Watson Peak is easily accessible by snowmobile, though it can also be accessed by fat tire biking or cross-country skiing. Look at that view!

I originally wanted to name my dog Watson because I love this vista so much. One of the more popular destinations in the Tahoe/Truckee backcountry Watson peak is easily accessible by snowmobile but not limited to fat biking or X-country skiing either. 

How to get there

Watson Peak's journey typically starts at the top of Highway 267, following the fiberboard freeway into the woods. Clocking in at 8,200 feet, Mount Watson's view at the top affords nearly an entire view of Lake Tahoe. Visit the following websites for snowmobile and backcountry tours:

Relay Peak at Mount Rose

Relay Peak is the best of both worlds, with beautiful views of both Lake Tahoe and the Nevada desert. Bonus points: The sunsets over Lake Tahoe are amazing, too.  

Relay Peak offers a beautiful view of Lake Tahoe as well as into the Nevada desert. 

How to get there

Relay Peak is located in one of Lake Tahoe’s most popular backcountry playgrounds, along the Tahoe Rim Trail, but with easy access from Highway 431. As such, it's accessible by snowshoeing, ski touring, splitboarding, and snowmobiling. While there are multiple ways to reach Relay Peak, I recommend picking up a local topography map or pre-plan a route on Google Earth.

Martis Peak Fire Lookout

More than 100 years old, Martis Peak Fire Lookout's great history couples with great views. From the lookout tower you have spectacular views of Northstar, Martis Valley, Truckee, and Lake Tahoe, as well as other lakes and reservoirs.

Over 100 years old, the Martis Peak Fire lookout provides a spectacular view of Lake Tahoe, Northstar, Martis Valley as well as some of Truckee, lakes and reservoirs. 

How to get there

To access Martis Peak Fire Lookout, head south on Highway 267 from Truckee toward Martis Peak Road. Drive approximately eight miles and look for a large pull-off area before nearing the top of Brockway Summit. From here, it’s about an eight-mile hike or snowmobile ride to the summit. 

Chris Bartkowski

Originally from Western New York, Chris has been actively involved in the ski & snowboard industry since he was 15, snowboarding since he was 5. As such, Chris has spent his life capturing and sharing his love for snow sports through photography and film. A graduate of Tompkins Cortland College, Chris has been on the West Coast ever since, pursuing a snowboarding and mountain lifestyle. Based in Lake Tahoe/Truckee, Chris currently operates his own company, Generikal Design, as a filmmaker and photographer. He lives in Truckee with his wife, Tara, enjoying everything that the Lake Tahoe area has to offer. Take a peek into day-to-day life and adventures on Instagram.