Heavenly holds open house on reservation-based paid parking program

Heavenly officials hosted an open house regarding the resort's plans to bring reservation-based paid parking to the mountain during peak periods.
Courtesy Heavenly Lake Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Guests looking to get on the slopes at Heavenly Lake Tahoe during peak periods this winter will see some changes in parking.

The resort is transitioning to reservation-based paid parking at its California Base Area lot on Saturdays and Sundays, and during holiday periods.

Guests wanting to use the California Base area parking lot on weekends and holidays will need to go online and make reservations ahead of time. Cost to park will be $20 or free if carpooling and have at least four people in the vehicle. After noon the lot will again be free to park in without a reservation.

On Wednesday, officials from Heavenly held an open house to give skiers and riders and opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns regarding the new program. Many of the questions from the roughly 60 people that showed up regarded traffic in the area and whether the program would exacerbate a problem that’s felt across the Tahoe area.

“After taking a deep dive into our current parking practices and traffic patterns, learning from other resorts across our network, and much consideration and conversation here in-resort, we believe that a reservations-based parking program can, and will, make a difference,” said the resort in a news release

Plans for the upcoming winter, according to Director of Base Area Operations Brian Bigley, are to keep the flow of traffic into the California Base Area parking lot the same as in previous years. Once guests park their vehicle in the lot, a third-party company will come by and validate their online reservation via the vehicle’s license plate.

“We’re basically going to park cars the same way we always have,” said Bigley.

With the reservation system, Bigley said skiers and riders won’t need to worry about rushing to the mountain to find a spot during peak times as a reservation guarantees their place in the lot.

“We saw a few comments (Wednesday) night, realizations that by having a reservation, they get to have that extra cup of coffee or get to eat breakfast before they come up because they don’t have to be here at 7:30 in the morning,” said Bigley. “They can come at 10 or 11 and we’re holding their spot for them. It kind of relieves the anxiety of getting here first thing.”

The California Base Area lot will remain free without need for reservations on weekdays, excluding peak periods. Ski Run Boulevard parking will remain free with shuttle service to and from the California Base Area. Saddle Road and Keller Road are also free parking options with shuttle service from Ski Run Boulevard to the California Base Area. Including weekends and holidays, there are 51 days the will require reservations in order to park in the California Base Area lot.

The resort is anticipating opening the reservation program in early November. Reservations will be available to be made at Each guest can hold up to five reservations at one time. For more information on Heavenly’s parking program, the resort has a frequently asked questions page on its website at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.