The History of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Since the1930's, long before the present Mt. Rose Highway was built, or even chairlifts were constructed, Reno and Washoe County locals have been skiing in the area currently known as Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe. In 1939 Wayne Paulson built and operated the Mt. Rose Upski and the Ski School Tyrol. Shortly after World War II, a lodge called Sky Tavern Sky Tavern was, and continues to be located on the Mt. Rose Highway (SR 431), 11 miles west of US 395, just south of the City of Reno. Eventually this historic ski lodge would be sold to the City of Reno where it still operates the city's Junior Ski Program.
From Sky Tavern, devoted skiers hiked up to the 9,700' peak of Slide Mountain and skied in the location of the present Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe. By widening the existing logging trails for better ski terrain, these former powder hounds were cutting some of the first ski trails in the Sierra Nevada. In 1950, the old Mt. Rose Hwy was merely a summer road connecting Reno with beautiful Lake Tahoe. As the years marched on, the old SR431 continued to be improved allowing winter travel to higher elevations; therefore more ski terrain became easily accessible. The original Reno Ski Bowl was constructed on the east slope of Slide Mountain (currently the East Bowl of Mt. Rose), and at one point was connected to the Sky Tavern area by the old "Ringer Chair." This lift spanned "Bum's Gulch" taking it to the base of the Reno Ski Bowl. Remnants of this lift can still be seen on the highway about 2 miles below the Mt. Rose main lodge where a lone, rusty lift tower remains standing. When Squaw Valley hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, the Reno Ski Bowl was actually chosen as an alternate site for skiing events if Squaw did not have adequate snow coverage.