Sugar Bowl is a ski and snowboard area in northern Placer County near Norden, California along the Donner Pass of the Sierra Nevada, approximately 46 mi (74 km) west of Reno, Nevada on Interstate 80, that opened on December 15, 1939. Sugar Bowl is a medium sized ski area in the Lake Tahoe region, and is well known for its long history, significant advanced terrain, high annual snowfall and being one of the closest ski areas to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sugar Bowl's terrain is 17% Beginner, 45% Intermediate and 38% Advanced.
The mountain peaks of Mt. Judah and Mt. Lincoln, that eventually became the ski slopes of the Sugar Bowl ski resort, were a part of the American pioneers route, back in the 1800s. A part of the California wagon trail called Roller Pass ran between Mt. Judah and Mt. Lincoln. It was one of the wagon trails through Donner Pass that was used by settlers and prospectors, on the Emigrant Trail, coming from the eastern United States across the Sierra Nevada. Today the same pass can be reached by way of the Pacific Crest Trail or a new trail created by Sugar Bowl ski resort, in 1994, called the Mt. Judah Loop trail.
The Central Pacific Railroad first began train services to Donner Pass in 1868 after the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. A new tunnel constructed two-miles (3 km) through virtually solid granite, dubbed "The Big Hole" tunnel #41, was later constructed through Mt. Judah in 1925, offering trains better protection from snow storms on the summit. These heavy snow storms and blizzards during the winters often made even train service difficult over the years through the pass, which for a period of time was known as the Overland Route.
Mt. Judah is named after Theodore Judah who was the railroad design engineer for the Central Pacific Railroad, who surveyed and planned the route that the rail road tracks follow through Donner Pass to Nevada.Mt. Disney is named in honor of Walt Disney an initial stockholder when Sugar Bowl was being constructed.