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Norden, CA 95724

Norden is a small unincorporated community in Nevada County, California, United States, about 9 miles (14 km) west of Truckee. The community is located on a former portion of U.S. Route 40 near Interstate 80 and lies along the historical First Transcontinental Railroad. Near Norden is the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, located in nearby Placer County.

While Truckee is surrounded by some of the nation's best ski resorts, a handful of quaint and colorful resorts full of character continue to thrive. These low-key resorts, which selectively shied away from corporate takeovers and developers, keep families and old-school skiers coming back for the basics – the simple love of snow.

While larger resorts tend to put distance between families, the smaller set brings them together – without the necessary use of cell phones and radios. Those daring to wander from the corporate condos and cookie-cutter coffee shops will be rewarded with small-town charm, limited lift lines and shockingly low ticket prices.

The terrain at Soda Springs accommodates beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders with two lifts accessing 200 acres. All runs filter back down to the lodge, where guests can easily find each other to regroup and relax. The westernmost ski area on Highway 80, Soda Springs puts an emphasis on family fun with a new tubing center and Planet Snow Kids, which expands this year with a second tubing carousel for kids under ten. Children ages 6-12 can also get a taste for snowmobiling by riding individual "pint-sized" snowmobiles on a circular track. The tubing center, which gives non-skiers a thrilling ride down the slopes, opens this season with a new moving carpet and expanded tubing lanes.

Tahoe Donner, located minutes from downtown Truckee, boasts 120 skiable acres and is touted as "the best place to begin". Nearly half of the terrain is suitable for beginners while 60 percent is classified as intermediate. The mountain, which prides itself as being a family-oriented resort, offers wide open bowls and un-crowded slopes while nurturing a fun, friendly, environment. With 14 exhilarating runs and four lifts, the resort is ideal for families who want their own freedom but still keep tabs on each other.

Donner Ski Ranch sits upon Donner Summit just outside of Truckee and is one of the oldest ski resorts in the West. Though the resort encompasses 460 acres, skiers and riders are still likely to run into owners Marshal and Janice Tuttle, who own the intimate mountain. The Tuttles bought the resort four years ago and though the couple owns two small lodging properties in North Lake Tahoe and a furniture business in the Bay Area, the two are immersed in the day-to-day operations of the cozy ski hill. More than 40 runs meet back at the lodge patio, which has been likened to a "roadside diner" and six lifts (five doubles) access terrain suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and riders.

Truckee is just 40 miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento, and three hours from San Francisco with easy access off of Interstate-80. Contact the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce at 530-587-2757 or visit for further information.

Information courtesy Truckee Chamber of Commerce

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