Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

View of the tram over the Squaw Valley Resort in California (Credit: Ryan Salm/Squaw Valley Resort)

Why you should visit Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley – host of the the 1960 Winter Olympics – became one of the largest ski areas in the U.

S when it aligned with Alpine Meadows in 2012 Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows now spreads out across two mountains, with more than 270 trails on 6,200 skiable acres accessed by 43 lifts The area sees an average snowfall of 450 inches, and the resort features a vertical drop of 2,850 feet from a 9,050-foot summit Best of all, the slopes offer beautiful views of Lake Tahoe’s pristine blue waters.

While the resort is known for its extreme runs Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows isn’t just for advanced skiers. The High Camp village is a great base for beginners and intermediate skiers, with four lifts providing access to shorter, more gentle runs. High Camp even has a hot tub and swimming pool.

There are plenty of rental operations to choose from, including Squaw Alpine Ski & Snowboard Rental, near the Village at Squaw Valley. There is a child rental and ski lift package available. From child and adult private lessons, family lessons to season-long camps, the resort’s Ski & Snowboard School Program accommodates just about everyone. Night skiing until 7 p.m. is offered on select dates, while those not interested in skiing or snowboarding can go tubing or snowmobiling. Squaw Valley/Alpine is an Ikon Pass destination.

Best time to visit Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows has a long season that begins in mid- to late November and often runs until the end of May (the resort features snow-making across 1,000 acres). While the winter holidays are always popular for ski trips, it’s the spring conditions from March onward – and the bonus of being able to ski in a T-shirt – that tends to attract the crowds.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows lift tickets and ski packages

All tickets and packages can be booked online or by calling 1-800-403-0206, and discounts are available for those who book in advance. Packages include the Tahoe Super 4-Pack, with discounted rates on tickets for four days or more, and the Romantic Getaway Package, which includes a two-night stay and two massages at the Trilogy Spa. Ikon Pass holders save 25 percent on lodging if booked Sunday to Thursday.

Statistics
  • Summit Elevation9,050 ft
  • Base Elevation6,200 ft
  • Vertical Drop2,850 ft
  • Skiable Area6,200 ac
  • Average Snowfall450 in
Trail Information
  • Number of trails270
  • Easy25%
  • Intermediate43%
  • Expert32%
  • Longest Run3.2 miles
  • Snowmaking17 %
Lift Details
  • Number of Lifts42
  • Gondolas/Trams2
  • Six Pack6
  • High Speed Quads5
  • Fixed Grip Quads1
  • Triples12
  • Doubles8
  • Surface Lifts/other8
Today
2020-07-03
74°
High / Sunny

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Ski Resort trails

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows Ski Resort trails

While much of Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is for advanced skiers and snowboarders, 25 percent of its runs are ranked beginner and 45 percent are ranked intermediate. Here are the best Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows trails for each level, according to resort staff:

The best Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows trails for beginners

If you are a true beginner at Squaw Valley, take the aerial tram up to High Camp. From here, you can experience the best gentle terrain off of Mountain Meadow. After you feel comfortable here you can explore terrain off of Big Blue, Bailey’s Beach and Gold Coast. Park riders will want to take the Funitel up and wrap around to the bottom of Gold Coast Express.

At Alpine Meadows, b eginners can conveniently park by the Subway chairlift and work their way to the right for more challenging terrain. Take Summit Six Express to access top to bottom skiing and get the full experience of this zone.

The best Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows trails for intermediates

At Alpine Meadows, Blue Room offers up a laundry list of terrain for intermediates to explore – long, consistently pitched groomers, bumps, tree skiing, terrain park features, bowls, chutes and gullies. Squaw Valley’s Big Blue zone has w ide open, groomed, beginner intermediate terrain, including Mountain Meadow that allows for quick learning and progression.

Best Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows trails for experts

Big, wide open bowls, long, wide groomers and vast views of Tahoe are the calling cards for Pacific Crest South Bowls at Alpine Meadows. At Squaw Valley, KT-22 is an expert’s nirvana and an iconic chairlift – not just at Squaw Valley, but in the world of skiing and snowboarding. The zone is 2,000 vertical feet of steeps, chutes and cliffs, and hands-down the best expert terrain.

Where to eat

There is no shortage of dining and drinking options at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. For a taste of old Ireland, step into the Auld Dubliner Irish Pub & Restaurant in the village for corned beef sliders or blackened Ahi salad with a choice of more than 100 whiskeys from around the world. Stunning views and an extensive wine list are part of the attraction of 22 Bistro, at the base of KT 22 in the village, which offers wild boar and bison chili, miso braised beef short ribs, and cedar plank roasted ora king salmon. The family-friendly Fireside Pizza offers salads, pasta and gluten-free options at this gourmet pizza restaurant. Try the fire-roasted medley with four cheeses, basil olive oil, peppers and roasted garlic, or go for the signature pear and gorgonzola pizza, finished with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Après-ski Activities

There are plenty of places to stop for for a quick après-ski drink, or settle in for a longer evening of wine and tapas, at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. At Alpine Meadows, The Last Chair Bar in the Main Lodge has local beer and wine with favorites like nachos, wings and seared tuna tagarashi. The Le Chamois & Loft Bar is a local favorite at Squaw Valley – flash the Buddy Pass and you’ll get 20 pints of Budweiser for you and your friends for $80. For a Bavarian-style beer garden, stop into The Chalet at Alpine Meadows for their signature melted Swiss cheese and one of their on-tap beers before cozying up in a booth or enjoying a bluebird day on the outdoor deck.

How to get there

By car, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is 42 miles from Reno, 96 miles from Sacramento and 196 miles from San Francisco. The closest airport is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which has daily departures to major U.S. hubs. Some area hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. Paid shuttle services, like the South Tahoe Airporter, are also available. Another option is flying into Sacramento International Airport, just under two hours from Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows.

Once at the area, there is a free shuttle between the base areas of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows beginning at 8:30a.m., with the last shuttle leaving the mountain at 4:30p.m. A SnoVentures shuttle also runs continuously through the day between the Squaw Valley Village and the SnoVentures Activity Zone.

There are numerous accommodation options for most budgets close to Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. The Squaw Valley Lodge has ski-in/ski-out condominium suites at the base of Squaw Valley, with a spa, steam room and kitchenette facilities in the larger suites, and is just steps from the village. The Village at Squaw Valley has apartment-style suites and an on-site spa, with lift packages available near the slopes. The cozy PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn on Squaw Valley Road has hotel rooms, family suites and penthouse suites with in-room dining, plush robes, and an on-site cafe and bar. PlumpJack also welcomes pets.

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Vertical Drop (ft) 1,802 2,280 1,650 1,500 750
Skiable Area (ac) 450 350 450 500 396
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Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Map

Ski Resorts in the Lake Tahoe