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With few crowds, reduced hotel rates and an abundance of outdoor activities, Lake Tahoe is an ideal place for a shoulder season getaway. (Getty Images)

Imagine basking in the sunshine with cold drinks in hand without crowds by your side and hitting the slopes for a long three-day weekend…without a jacket. Yes, this is what skiing in April looks like at Lake Tahoe resorts this season. If you've put your skis or snowboard into storage, get out your gear, and book your flights and hotel room as soon as possible. Here are four key reasons to plan a spur-of-the-moment trip to Lake Tahoe, stat.

[See: Skiing in Summer?]

You Can Still Enjoy Prime Ski Spots

After a couple of tough years with drought conditions, the West Coast has experienced record snow fall in many regions. Over 90 percent of lifts and runs remain open, and while the sun may soften the snow in the afternoons, mornings offer ideal conditions. And thanks to the above-average snowfall in the 2015-16 season, many Tahoe resorts have extended their season. For example, Mt. Rose is now scheduled to remain open on weekends through May 8, and Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will continue operations through Memorial Day weekend. Despite sunny, blue bird days, the snow is sticking around.

You Can Score Shoulder Season Savings

Ever eye that beautiful slopeside hotel or lakeside townhouse and wish you could afford a stay? The spring shoulder season could be your opportunity. With spring activities starting up in the valleys and cities, the crowds are gone, leaving rooms ready to be filled and spring packages ready to be snagged. Aston Lakeland Village Resort, located directly on the water at South Lake Tahoe, is currently offering 25 percent off spring stays. An ideal choice for families, the resort offers free shuttle service, complimentary breakfast before skiing, pools and hot tubs, among other amenities. On the north side of the lake, The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe sits directly on the mountain at Northstar California, and with few off-season crowds, it's easy to enjoy plenty of space in the hotel's restaurants, pool decks and patios. Throughout May, guests can take advantage of package deals for specially priced spa treatments including their Signature Organic Massage, facials, manicures and pedicures.

[See: 6 Secret Ski Destinations You Can Afford.]

Pleasant Temperatures Afford Idyllic Boat Cruises and Bike Rides

With warm weather and snow on the ground, this month is the time to try additional snow sports, like fat tire biking. Offered at the Cross Country center at Northstar, fat tire bike tours get you outside and on the snow, no matter if the snow melts as the temperatures rise. And if you want to enjoy the sunshine without much effort, Lake Tahoe boat cruises operate year round, and are less crowded during the spring shoulder season. Head out from Zephyr Cove to spend your sunny spring days out on the water.

[See: The Top 7 Destinations for a Digital Detox in 2016.]

You Can Easily Enjoy the Area's Hot Springs

In the middle of winter, the drive to Tahoe's remote hot springs can be a challenging trek. But in the spring, you'll still find some snow on the ground in most locations, and the roads are mostly clear and dry. Head to Grover Hot Springs State Park on Highway 89 from South Lake Tahoe, where admission fees are as low as $7 for adults. You won't find fancy robes or eucalyptus steam rooms here…just a fun, relaxing soaking environment. Best of all, you can bring along the kids.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your gear and enjoy one last memorable ski vacation before summer.

Tags: travel


Amy Whitley is a family travel writer, editor, and columnist based in Southern Oregon. An avid traveler, backpacker, skier and hiker, Amy has written about family and outdoor experiences for local and national publications since 2009. Amy authors the NWKids column in OutdoorsNW Magazine, is the Southern Oregon ambassador for Travel Oregon, works as a gear reviewer for multiple outdoor brands, and is founder of family travel site Pit Stops for Kids. Amy has been a U.S. News Travel contributor since 2015. Follow her on Twitter @pitsopsforkids.

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