Squaw Valley

Ski Resort in California, United States

Introduction

Squaw Valley is a ski resort town on the California shore of Lake Tahoe. It is best known for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. Squaw Valley, the birthplace of American extreme skiing, is a mecca for freeriders and extreme skiers.

Nestling at the end of a stunning alpine valley, Squaw Valley lies cradled by six Sierra peaks dominated by Squaw Peak at 8,900 feet (2,715 m). Squaw is historic: it famously played host to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games (the first to be televised), and Squaw Valley's Olympic heritage continues to be evident throughout the resort.

Squaw Valley is laid back, peaceful and relatively undeveloped, in short Californian skiing at its best. It is the major resort at the north end of Lake Tahoe, with 4,000 acres of open and lightly bowls on six linked peaks. Squaw Valley is renowned for it's wide-open areas, which caters for all levels. With skiing well into May, there will be plenty of time to relax in the warm Sierra sun.

Located west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada with a base of 6,200 ft (1,890 m) and a skiable 3,600 acres (15 km2) across six peaks, the resort tops out at 9,050 ft (2,760 m) at Granite Chief.Not far from Donner Pass, the area receives heavy maritime snowfall, frequently receiving 40 feet (12 m) or more in a winter.

The beginner and intermediate terrain is kept beautifully groomed, while the advanced areas are left in their pristine natural state. Intermediate skiers will enjoy the fine long groomed runs including a top-to-bottom three-mile cruise. There is a superb area aimed for all beginners. There are also some excellent possibilities for experts, including lots of challenging slopes, chutes and big mogul fields. Squaw Valley measures up to the same high standard of being a superb snowboarding resort as the rest of its sister resorts in North America.

Squaw Valley is unusual in a way that it has no trails marked on its piste map. Instead it has lifts classified green, blue and black. Unfortunately, this method of guiding its skiers can sometimes be a bit confusing, and sometimes you might feel a bit unsure about the recommended skill level of the piste.

Off the slopes Squaw Valley is a resort that will appeal to those in search of comfort and luxury. A scenic aerial tramway rises 2,000 ft (610 m) to High Camp at an elevation of 8,200 ft (2,500 m) above sea level. At High Camp, tourists have access to the facilities of Squaw Valley, including a pool, roller skating, dining, shopping, and high-altitude disk golf.

Squaw Valley is home to several annual summer events. The resort brings in accomplished yoga teachers and many well-known musical performers every July, and has for forty-five years provided the summer premises of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Summer also welcomes a wide array of concerts and beer and wine events including the Brews, Jazz and Funk Fest, Peaks and Paws and Bluesdays.

There is of course a wide selection of elegant apres-ski venues, any you will not be short of selection of top restaurants in the entire Sierra Nevada.

Squaw Valley info card

LocationPlacer County, California
Nearest cityTruckee, California
Reno, Nevada
Coordinates39.196°N 120.235°W Coordinates: 39.196°N 120.235°W
Vertical2,850 ft (870 m)
Top elevation9,050 ft (2,760 m)
Base elevation6,200 ft (1,890 m)
Skiable area4,000 acres (16.2 km2)
Runs177+
15% easiest
35% more difficult
50% most difficult
Longest run3.2 miles (5.1 km)
Mountain Run
Lift system30
Lift capacity58,000 per hour
Terrain parks3
Snowfall450 in (1,140 cm)
Snowmakingyes
Night skiingyes
Websitesquawalpine.com


Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Squaw Valley USA is tucked at the end of a Sierra Valley and one of the most famous ski resorts in California. In fact, Squaw Valley USA is legendary! Not only because it was site of the Olympic Winter Games in 1960 but mostly because it offers unequaled opportunities. There is no ski resort quite like Squaw Valley USA! Its vast terrain seems to be endless as it stretches over nothing less than 6 mountains. This means 6 peaks to be conquered, plenty of trails for everyone from novice to expert, scenic gondola rides and, above all, unmeasurable fun! Squaw Valley USA features more than 170 trails. Mountain Run is the longest of them measuring 8.2 km. It is also open for night skiing making Squaw Valley USA the ski resort with most extensive night skiing in the Tahoe region. Yet, not only alpine skiers and snowboarders will enjoy this resort of superlatives. Squaw Valley USA also features two terrain parks with one super pipe that don´t leave any desires unsatisfied. The resort´s staff is dedicated to providing most innovative features for all ability levels. Ford Belmont Park has small-range and mid-range jump lines, funboxes rails, a huge wall ride and much more. Riviera Park offers features for upper level park riders seeking for a challenge. It also features Squaw Valley USA´s superpipe with 5.5 meter walls. Of course, there is also a Snowsports School available. It´s the school´s  aim to recognize each individual´s special needs and unique style. You can choose from a great variety of programs that range from special children´s programs to Advanced Ski Clinics as the Snowsports School understands itself not only as a place for beginners. Advanced skiers and riders have the opportunity to be guided around Squaw Valley´s backcountry. Let an expert instructor show you the secret nooks and stashes! Furthermore, there is also a snowtubing hill available. It´s a blast! Hop on your tube and cruise the white stuff! Yet, that´s still not it. At Squaw Valley  hosts of fun winter activities are waiting for you! Skate on the ice skating rink, go on a snowshoe tour or enjoy a picturesque Cable Car ride!

Squaw Valley Skiing - Beginners

High Camp is the place to be for beginners (take the Gold Coast Funitel not the painful cable car!). There are seven green and easy blue chairs to choose from (Links, Belmont, East Broadway, High Camp, Gold Coast, Mainline and Newport) and then download the lift or there is a massive cruise back down the valley to the village via a groomed highway (for very confident beginners).

The beginner terrain is at high elevation which has its advantages, but it doesn’t have many trees and is rather exposed, so it’s not the nicest spot for beginners on windy or low vis days.

Intermediate Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Intermediates will find plenty of entertainment at Squaw Valley. Whilst the majority of runs from the blue designated chairs are pretty tame, there is more than enough to satisfy.

Terrain Parks

It is safe to say that Squaw has enough natural terrain features to keep any shredder permanently concussed. However the good people at Squaw have seen fit to build the obligatory superpipe and other ancillary parks and features ranging from beginner features to big daddy hits.

Advanced Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Despite the statistic that only 30% of the terrain is designated advanced, there appears to be truckloads more, but low to mid advanced riders should pray for a good visibility day. The trail map or signage doesn’t differentiate between advanced, expert and extreme terrain, and you’re pretty much left to use your eyes to figure it out for yourself. The KT22 area, Silverado, Headwall Quad and Cornice Bowl plus the Granite Chief areas are huge, and the latter has very diverse terrain. There are also plenty of advanced lines off the Squaw Creek, Red Dog and Emigrant blue designated chairs.

Expert Skiing and Riding

Experts and extreme riders will love anything off the black designated chairs. Cliffs, steeps, and cornices abound. If it’s open there is some terrain under the lower end of the cable car around the Broken Arrow peak that’s very gnarly. The Silverado chair has several “leaps of faith” near it, and the climb to the top of the Granite Chief peak should provide some thrills. For steep trees, look between the Red Dog and Squaw Creek triples.


Squaw Valley Snow and Weather

This is Lake Tahoe California, and when it snows it pukes, sometimes for days. However there are also long periods where it is doesn’t snow and the sun turns nature’s goodness into what is known as Sierra Cement. The powder is a little heavier with more moisture content than Utah or Colorado. Snowmaking is also available on many of the main trails.

As a result of the abundant snow and the steep terrain, avalanche risk is commonly present at the Squaw Ski Resort. Definitely obey any closure signs. Due to the influence of avalanche danger as well as wind conditions, a degree of local knowledge is required to really enjoy a powder day here. You need to know the order that lifts typically open and on what days.


Squaw Valley Lodging

The Village at Squaw Valley at the base of the ski area is medium sized, and there are several luxury and deluxe priced condos and hotels. The ski-in ski-out Squaw Valley lodging at the Resort at Squaw Creek is also very popular.

More economical lodging options abound in nearby Tahoe City and Truckee.


Squaw Valley Bars & Restaurants

A wide selection of restaurants offer everything from fast food to Asian tapas.

Squaw Valley's 40 restaurants (including delis) range from sit-down to self-service to fast food and vary in price and style from inexpensive and casual to fine dining. If it's the wines you fancy, try the PlumpJack Café. Their selection of hard-to-find Californian wines and extensive wines by the glass program have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following. The Zenbu Tapas Lounge is the most popular place for Asian food

There are 22 bars to choose from in Squaw Valley, most catering to the 25-35 crowd (and you have to be 21 or over to consume alcohol in California). Children are allowed in bars that also serve food. Bars close at 2:00 am.

Squaw Valley Apres-Ski

The Loft Bar is the old-timer "local" apres-ski hangout and the Red Dog Bar and Grill is a favorite with Squaw Valley employees. Bar One has live music, dancing and pool tables, while the Plaza Bar is the hang out for sports fans, with sporting events on the big-screen TV. For a more intimate apres ski experience, the bar at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn has a cozy fireplace and an excellent selection of wine.

The newest apres-ski spot in the Squaw scene is the Balboa Cafe, featuring tasty appetizers and a variety of beverage options. Look for it to become a hot spot next season. Nearby in Tahoe City, guests enjoy Pete 'n' Peter's, the Naughty Dawg and the Bridgetender. In Truckee, Casa Baeza, O.B.'s Pub & Restaurant and the Tourist Club are popular.

Squaw Valley Mountain Restaurants

Squaw Valley’s 40 restaurants (including delis) range from sit-down to self-service to fast food and vary in price and style from inexpensive and casual to fine dining.

Whatever your fancy-Mexican, Italian, pizza, sandwiches, salads, wraps, crêpes, soups, hamburgers, deli or full-service breakfast-you'll find it in Squaw Valley. The most popular breakfast is at Mother Barclay's, the juiciest burger is at the Red Dog Bar & Grill, and the best French fries are at the Gordon Biersch Sundeck Tavern.

The Resort at Squaw Creek has an excellent ski-up deck and outdoor BBQ, weather permitting.

Transportation - Get In

Getting to Squaw Valley is easy from Reno/Tahoe or San Fransisco. Squaw Valley lies 42 miles (72 km) by car from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport Valley. There are daily shuttle buses from Reno and Lake Tahoe. Rental cars and S.U.V.s are available through Squaw Valley Central Reservations.

It's an easy 42 miles (72 km) by car from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport Valley, along Interstate 80 (open in all weather) and it takes just one hour until you reach the single Squaw Valley Road that takes you into Olympic Valley. From Tahoe (5 miles/8 km away) or Truckee (8 miles/12 km) follow Highway 89. Sacramento lies 110 miles (177 km) away, and San Francisco 195 miles (314 km). There are daily shuttles from Reno (40 miles/64 km away) and Lake Tahoe, and rental cars and S.U.V.s (sports utility vehicles) are also available through Squaw Valley Central Reservations. The daily shuttle buses from Reno and South Lake Tahoe hotels cost only US$5 round trip per person!

Transportation - Get Around

The public transport systems around Tahoe are pretty well developed, particularly along the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. The local transport in the valley and surrounding areas includes the wide range of bus shuttles between the towns and the resorts provided by TART (Tahoe Area Regional Transit). This includes transportation from Tahoe City and Truckee to get to Squaw.

There is also the Free Ski Shuttle North Tahoe that runs skiers on weekends and holidays along the north shore of Lake Tahoe with drop off and pick up at Squaw and Alpine Meadows.

Tahoe Ski Shuttles run round trip buses from designated Reno hotels to Squaw Valley.

If you have a car and intend travelling to other ski hills or attractions, we recommend driving a 4WD given the heavy snowfalls that can occur in the Lake Tahoe area. Be aware that standard vehicles rented in San Francisco may not be winterised and skierised.

Accommodation & Hotels


A 4-diamond luxury resort just minutes from North Lake Tahoe offering championship golf, spa, and family vacation recreation. Including ski-in ski-out access to Squaw Valley USA ski area. The Spa at Squaw Creek: A full-service spa with 10 treatment rooms, men's and women's locker rooms and a pre-treatment sanctuary. The Spa at Squaw Creek offers signature treatments such as the Tahoe Hot Stone Massage, salon and beauty services, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a spa boutique. A resort fee of $18 plus tax per night will be collected at the front desk.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say this is a wonderful resort hotel.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Great view
    • Friendly service
    • Professional service
    • Rooms need regular maintenance
  • RESORT AT SQUAW CREEK SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 88. Guests highly recommend it because of its rooms, service and location.


The Village at Squaw Valley is an enchanting pedestrian village located at the base of Squaw Valley Resort with approximately 300 condominium suites and a variety of boutique shops, restaurants, and galleries. All accommodations are steps from the Funitel and Aerial Tram. A lot to do in the village or near by; shopping, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, or utilize The Village and its treasures. There are whirlpool spas with heated walkways and changing rooms, fitness rooms, and a billiards room. Wander into the events plaza and enjoy a drink at Starbucks or Mountain Nectar. Cruise the retail shops, have dinner at [email protected], or grab a slice at Fireside Pizza, which is conveniently located next to the blazing outdoor fire pit, or enjoy the cuisine of any of the other enticing restaurants. Lodging at The Village is first class with 24-hour front desk, concierge service, media room with big screen television, and laundry facilities in each building. Squaw Valley and the surrounding area offer unlimited possibilities- hiking, biking, rock climbing, and golfing. Of course, there's a lot to do that only requires hanging around, like sipping a hot chocolate and gazing at the spectacular views from High Camp, or laying in the sun of the Bar One sundeck. For added convenience, guests can enjoy private access to underground parking. All one, two and three bedroom condos have dining rooms, fireplaces, and kitchens with a heated slate floor, free high-speed Internet access, living room with sofa sleeper, private balcony, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Staying at Village at Squaw Valley includes: use of the fitness rooms, whirlpool spas, media room, children's room and unlimited high-speed Internet. The Village at Squaw Valley provides daily room refresh housekeeping services and is a Project Planet participant. A Resort Fee of $20 plus tax per night will be assessed at the front desk.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • AC needs updating
    • Great shopping
    • Good kitchenette
    • Wonderful sightseeing
  • VILLAGE AT SQUAW VALLEY SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 87. Guests highly recommend it because of its location, service and amenities.


The Olympic Village Inn is a multi-season destination catering to your needs whether you desire adventure or simply rest and relaxation. Winters at Lake Tahoe provide enjoyment for all. The adventurous may find pleasure in the world-class skiing at Squaw, or take advantage of the complimentary snowshoes and explore the neighboring snow covered trails. During winter months the ski shuttle provides daily transportation to and from lifts, shops, and restaurants. Staying warm at the resort should be no problem, huddling by multiple fireplaces in the common areas or in one of the five spas heated year-round. the clubhouse includes free-play arcade games, fitness center, sauna and a full-use kitchen and lounge. All year long, you may partake in various indoor/outdoor activities hosted by the staff. The spring thaw marks the end of winter with beautiful wildflowers and the close by spring runoff fills the creek-beds contributing to spectacular waterfalls. Tahoe summers draw guests from all over the world to experience the crystal clear water and beautiful sandy beaches of Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the sunshine lounging by the seasonally heated pool or relax in a hammock near the water garden in the courtyard. Bicycles are provided during summer months to access the paved bike path where you will see rafters leisurely floating along the magnificent Truckee River. Fall comes with a change of color where the resort becomes surrounded with golden yellow aspens and cottonwoods. This time of year, experience the quiet serenity of Lake Tahoe in its transformation. Whether it be an unforgettable romantic get away or enjoyment for the whole family, the Olympic Village Inn is the perfect destination for your vacation. Check with staff for details on the schedule of operations and activities.Nestled at the base of the internationally recognized Squaw Valley USA ski area, this charming, family-friendly resort is an all season experience surrounded by breathtaking vistas of the Northern Sierra Mountains of Lake Tahoe.These suites offer high-speed wireless Internet, a queen bed in the bedroom and a queen sofa-sleeper in the living area. The kitchenettes include a two-burner stove top, under-the-counter refrigerator, microwave, toaster, dishwasher, silverware and more.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a perfect airport hotel.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Good shuttle service
    • Good kitchenette
    • Rooms need regular maintenance
    • Rooms could be larger
  • OLYMPIC VILLAGE INN SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 85. Guests recommend it because of its location, service and value for money.


Squaw Valley Lodge is Lake Tahoes favorite four season condominium resort Located in Olympic Valley, California. With the Ski-in Ski-out and Hike-in Hike-out convenience to some of the worlds greatest skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking and relaxing. The lodge offers spacious and well-appointed condominiums that blend the comforts of home with the finest of hotel amenities and services, resulting in a TripAdvisor 1 ranking for Squaw Valley hotels. The Squaw Valley Lodges legendary location truly sets it apart, conveniently situated on the slopes of Squaw Valley, the ski-in ski-out lodge offers immediate and easy access to recreation, entertainment, events, shopping, restaurants and day spas. After a full day of fun, guests can then soak in one of the Mountain View spas or enjoy the peace and quiet of their comfortable condominium. If you value comfort, convenience, and easy access in a sophisticated yet relaxed environment, the Squaw Valley Lodge is your choice. Every condominium at Squaw Valley Lodge is specifically designed and appointed to make your stay convenient and comfortable.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests say it is the perfect hotel for a city trip.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Good kitchenette
    • Wonderful sightseeing
    • Rooms in need of an update
    • Hotel could use some updating
  • SQUAW VALLEY LODGE SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 85. Guests recommend it because of its location, service and cleanliness.


Property Location: With a stay at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, you'll be centrally located in Olympic Valley, steps from Squaw Valley Adventure Center and Aerial Tram. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Mountain Run and Squaw Express.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 56 guestrooms featuring refrigerators and minibars. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Private bathrooms with showers feature bathrobes and slippers. Conveniences include phones, as well as coffee/tea makers and irons/ironing boards.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features 2 spa tubs. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and ski storage.

Dining: Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a business center, express check-out, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Planning an event in Olympic Valley? This hotel has 5600 square feet (520 square meters) of space consisting of a conference center and a meeting room. Free valet parking is available onsite.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Fair breakfast prices
    • Nice building
    • Comfortable beds
  • PLUMPJACK SQUAW VALLEY INN SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 84. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and food.

Ski Area

Squaw Valley is unique in the U.S. as it offers wide-open bowl skiing rather than traditional, named ski trails and the ski area is famous for terrain ranging from the tamest to the toughest.

It's not unusual to hear a first-time skier at Squaw ask "Where are all the trails?" and it's true that Squaw is unique in the U.S. as it offers wide-open bowl skiing rather than traditional, named ski trails. The vast lift-served acreage is the fifth largest U.S. resort and you are actively encouraged to use the lifts as a reference. Lifts are rated beginner, intermediate and advanced, based on the type of terrain that they access. In that respect, the area offers 25 percent beginner, 45 percent intermediate and 30 percent expert terrain, encompassing 16 open bowls and well over 100 runs. The highest elevation is 9,050 feet (2,758 m) while the lowest elevation is 6,200 feet (1,889 m)-that's a vertical drop of 2,850 feet (868 m).


Something for everyone

This ski area is famous for terrain ranging from the tamest to the toughest. The high peaks and bowls are treeless, but lower down much of the terrain is lightly wooded. Skiers and snowboarders will delight in the variety. The steep chutes and dynamic descents of KT-22 (22 kick turns to make it down safely) beckon the wild freeskiers while miles of groomed trails and wide open mountain bowls for cruising cradle the novice. And two beginner areas (one at peak level, one at base level) satisfy all other levels of skier. Mix in long intermediate cruisers, expanded terrain parks, halfpipes and panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, and Squaw Valley is surely a must-visit ski destination.


Ski safety

The more advanced "expert only" skiing is not for adventurous intermediates nor for the foolhardy, who could easily find themselves in serious difficulty (or worse!) with cliffs and potentially fatal falls waiting for the unwary. Just about everything is visible from the lifts, but newcomers wishing to venture into unfamiliar expert sections are well advised to join an Advanced Ski Clinic or find a guide. There's no need for beginners and intermediates to be put off by Squaw's reputations for ski extreme, though: the ski area is well marked with a variety of safety markers including "slow" signs, ropes, bamboo poles and markers that explain a range of the terrain's characteristics. In addition, members of the Ski Patrol regularly ski the mountain to ensure the safety of guests and offer assistance if needed.


Snow conditions

Lack of snow is not going to be a problem here, since Squaw has invested over US$8 million over the last decade in its state-of-the-art snowmaking system which enhances natural snow conditions and ensures consistent snow coverage. The artificial snow system includes over 500 snowmaking guns-some fixed, others portable, allowing the snowmaking crew to make snow in areas beyond the normal coverage zones-and it covers some seven miles (11 km) or 10 percent of the mountain's terrain. The season here is exceptionally long (November to end of May) and sometimes the resort is open for 4th of July weekend (two days only) but only when conditions permit


Night skiing

Night skiing is an additional big draw, available on the 3.2-mile (5-km) mountain run and in the Riviera halfpipe and terrain park. Night operations are generally open mid-December through mid-March. Lift access is via the aerial cable car and the Riviera chairlift.


Squaw Valley Beginner Skiing

Squaw Valley’s beginner skiing is located on the resort’s upper mountain. Beginners will enjoy getting the same exciting mountain experience and spectacular views as more advanced skiers and snowboarders.

The resort's easiest terrain is located on the resort's upper mountain and is accessed by the aerial cable car. This beginner area features five easy chairlifts in a wide open, gently sloping bowl overlooking Lake Tahoe. Being located on the upper mountain means beginners get the same exciting mountain experience as more advanced skiers and snowboarders: they enjoy the same spectacular panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra as well as feel the freedom and serenity of being high up in the mountains.

Papoose Learning Area

The newest beginner area, the Papoose Learning Area is located on the lower mountain at a 6,200-foot (1,890-m) elevation. It offers beginners more terrain as well as a second option when inclement weather and wind affects visibility and operations on the upper mountain. This area features two new pony tows (surface lifts) and is conveniently located adjacent to the Far East Center, complete with a rental store, retail store, lockers, ticket sales and rest rooms.


Squaw Valley Intermediate Skiing

Squaw Valley intermediate skiers and snowboarders love the 3.2-mile (5-km) Mountain Run, cruising from the upper mountain all the way down to the Base Village.

Squaw Valley's reputation as an expert's playground overshadows the fact that the resort has some excellent blue terrain, much of it with an outstanding views of Lake Tahoe in the distance.

You can test your skills on the upper mountain's Siberia Bowl, considered an advanced intermediate area of terrain. From the Base Area, ride Red Dog and Squaw Creek for some warm-up cruisers. Then begin working your way up the mountain via the Funitel or Squaw One Express to the wide-open bowls of Gold Coast, and move on to the very popular Shirley Lake area.


Squaw Valley Expert Skiing

Squaw Valley's expert skiing has a well-earned and fearsome reputation. Often referred to as Squaw Valley's crown jewel, the KT-22 peak offers famous pitches with steep terrain, tight chutes and an excellent variety of off-piste skiing.

KT-22: Squaw Valley's crown jewel

Look no further than the famous pitches off the KT-22 peak and chairlift for steep terrain, tight chutes and an excellent variety of off-piste skiing. This peak is often referred to as Squaw Valley's crown jewel, and virtually every inch of KT-22's terrain will thrill and challenge even the most seasoned skier and snowboarder. Other advanced terrain includes Headwall, Granite Chief, Broken Arrow and the Silverado Bowl. The toughest skiing includes Moseley's Run, a land of monster bumps and jelly legs; it's the flagship of KT's fleet of double black diamond terrain. Bumps on the steep slope stay cold, hard and gullied into massive mounds, storm-to-storm. If you want to test your endurance, this is it: skiers and snowboarders are confronted by a non-stop 2,000 feet (609 m) vertical descent down the slope's steep fall line that will get the adrenaline pumping. Originally called the West Face (strange, because it doesn't face west at all) it was renamed on February 27, 1998, in recognition of Jonny Moseley's lifelong commitment to Squaw Valley, freestyle skiing and his winning the gold at the Olympics in Nagano.

Red Dog, Poulsen's Gully and the Funitel

On a classic Californian bluebird powder day, the line at KT-22 starts forming before the sun rises: the sensation of powering first tracks on the peak's bevy of perfect pitches is truly the experience of a lifetime. Those who don't want to climb into the powder circus KT-22 creates can veer left to the Red Dog chairlift and discover the often overlooked glory found in Poulsen's Gully, or ride the Funitel to the upper mountain where Headwall, Broken Arrow and Granite Chief await. The powder gets skied out fast at Squaw Valley, so powder hounds should plan to get out early to make the most of the experience.

Squaw Valley classic ski itinerary

Start from the base area and head straight for KT-22. Considered one of the greatest chairlifts in North America, it rises from the base directly to an expert skiers' paradise. After a few non-stop adventures in powder heaven, move further up the mountain to the bowls, chutes and gullies of Headwall and Cornice II. Then head over to the Broken Arrow peak, where it's easy to drop in and discover some of Squaw's most sought-after and secret pitches and powder stashes.

Advanced Ski Clinics and personal tours

Incidentally, the resort does not permit out-of-bounds skiing or riding. Nor does it offer "guides"; however, you can sign up for one of Squaw Valley's Advanced Ski Clinics, where instructors offer helpful lessons for improving skills while exploring all the exciting advanced and expert terrain Squaw Valley has to offer. Also, many skiers and snowboarders who want a personal tour opt for a private lesson, where they get some tips, tricks and a personal guide all in one.


Squaw Valley Boarding & Freestyle

Squaw Valley has three dedicated terrain parks with two halfpipes and the area boasts tabletops, rails, fun boxes, volcanoes and other features depending on conditions.

While all 4,000 acres (1,619 ha) of Squaw Valley's mountain might be considered one giant terrain fun park, Squaw Valley has three dedicated terrain parks with two halfpipes. Under the Riviera Lift is a terrain park with huge tabletop jumps, a quarterpipe, various rails and a 500-foot (152 m) long halfpipe with 12-inch (30 cm) walls. Between the Gold Coast and Siberia chairlifts is the Mainline Terrain Park and the 400-foot (122 m) Superpipe with 17-inch (43 cm) walls. This area also features tabletops, rails, fun boxes, volcanoes and other features depending on conditions. The Riviera Park is open for both day and night boarding (night operations are 4:00-9:00 pm, weather permitting) and is loaded with a state-of-the-art sound system and a dedicated chairlift. It's all very easy for the boarder to get around, and the vast lift network means not much traversing is necessary.

Ski lifts

The advanced lift system in Squaw Valley is carefully designed to provide two ways to access every area of terrain.

With one of the most advanced lift networks in North America, the layout of Squaw Valley is carefully designed so that there are always two ways to access every area of terrain, cutting down the time that you might wait in line. Squaw has 34 lifts, including a recently modernized 110-passenger cable car and a powerful 28-passenger Funitel-only the fourth of its kind in the world and the only one in North America, replacing the Super Gondola.

Squaw also has one Pulse Gondola, three new high-speed six-pacs (six-passenger detachable lifts), four high-speed quads, one fixed quad, eight triples, ten doubles, three surface and two magic carpets. Put another way, that's a capacity of 49,000 people per hour. Start time is 8:30 am on weekends and holidays, and 9:00 am all other days. Lifts shut at 4:00 pm for regular lifts and 9:00 pm for night operations.


Squaw Valley lift passes

Lift pass prices include all-day tickets with free night skiing at US$58, afternoon from 1:00 pm at US$42, and night skiing (from 4:00-9:00 pm) at $20. If you're over 76 then you go free; 65-75 and 13-15 year-olds pay US$29 (photo ID is generally required for proof of age). Children aged 12 and under ski and ride for only US$5 a day. There's a beginners' lift ticket only available in conjunction with the First Time Beginner Package (available for both skiers and snowboarders), which includes rental equipment, a beginner (limited) lift ticket, and a two-hour beginner lesson for $69. For deal-seekers there is the "Frequent Skier Club Plus," which gives you every fifth day free-you can join the club for US$5.

There are several ticket booths conveniently located at the base of the resort and in the cable car lobby. Tickets are also available for purchase in all Ski Corp rental shops (Ski Rental, Alternative Edge Snowboard Rental and the Far East Rental Center.) Day tickets can be purchased online at www.squawshop.com and they may also be purchased in conjunction with lodgings packages through Squaw Valley Central Reservations.


Maximizing time spent on Squaw Valley's slopes

Busy holidays and some popular weekends are the only times noticeable lines can appear at ticket booths. To alleviate the waiting time for ticket purchasing, Ski Corp will often have a cash-only line that moves significantly faster than lines where credit cards are being used.

In order to maximize your time on the slopes, Squaw Valley has cleverly designed the lift network so that there is often a variety of alternative ways to access each area of terrain. So, when a line begins to form at one lift, you should look around: there is likely to be another lift close by that does not have a wait.


Chairlifts

Lower mountain chairs (elev. 6200′)

NameTypeVertical riseCapacity per hour
Aerial TramTram1,886 ft (575 m)700
Gold Coast FunitelFunitel1,742 ft (531 m)4,000
First VentureFixed-grip triple98 ft (30 m)800
SnoVentures CarpetCarpet35 ft (11 m)2,400
TuckerCarpet15 ft (4.6 m)2,000
ExhibitionFixed-grip quad808 ft (246 m)1,636
Far East ExpressDetachable six-pack960 ft (290 m)2,600
Red DogFixed-grip triple1,238 ft (377 m)1,800
Squaw CreekFixed-grip triple1,309 ft (399 m)700
Squaw One ExpressDetachable quad1,660 ft (510 m)2,400
KT-22 ExpressDetachable quad1,767 ft (539 m)2,100
Olympic LadyFixed-grip double1,175 ft (358 m)1,100
BoonCarpet
Murphy and WileyCarpet

Upper mountain chairs (elev. 8200′)

NameTypeVertical riseCapacity per hour
Bailey's BeachFixed-grip triple95 ft (29 m)1,266
BelmontFixed-grip double75 ft (23 m)914
The PulleyRope tow
Mountain MeadowFixed-grip triple222 ft (68 m)1,805
EmigrantFixed-grip triple761 ft (232 m)1,558
Gold Coast ExpressDetachable six-pack563 ft (172 m)3,075
Big Blue ExpressDetachable six-pack
Shirley Lake ExpressDetachable six-pack717 ft (219 m)3,200
Siberia ExpressDetachable six-pack916 ft (279 m)3,000
SolitudeFixed-grip triple660 ft (200 m)1,800
Broken ArrowFixed-grip double302 ft (92 m)1,200
Granite ChiefFixed-grip triple999 ft (304 m)1,565
Headwall ExpressDetachable six-pack1,750 ft (530 m)2,400
SilveradoFixed-grip triple1,371 ft (418 m)1,346


SQUAW VALLEY - ALPINE MEADOWS RESORT LIFT TICKETS

DAYCHILD
(5-12)
JUNIOR
(13-18)
ADULT
(19-64)
SENIOR
(65+)
WeekdayUS$75.00US$109.00US$124.00US$109.00
WeekendUS$75.00US$109.00US$124.00US$109.00


SQUAW VALLEY - ALPINE MEADOWS SEASON PASSES

CHILD
(5-12)
JUNIOR
(13-18)
ADULT
(19-64)
SENIOR
(65+)
US$459US$789US$949US$789

Activities & Things to do

A lot of Squaw Valley activities are available at High Camp. This includes a 1960 Winter Olympic Museum (ho hum), an ice skating rink, and even a massive swimming pool complex that is open for spring.

In the village there is a 10 metre climbing wall and in the valley there is dog sledding, snow shoeing, snow tubing and 18km of cross-country trails.

A number of day spas are located in Squaw Valley. The Resort at Squaw Creek has the large Spa at Squaw Creek complex, and others include Trilogy Spa which offers a bizarre après ski/mini treatment group combination.

If the snow has inexplicably turned to Sierra cement or you want a day off skiing, drive to Nevada and visit the historic Virginia City or Reno where you can gamble to your heart’s content. Or simply wander along the pretty shoreline of Lake Tahoe.


AERIAL TRAM RIDES

Climb over 2,000 feet on the Aerial Tram with 360° views of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra

Skiers, riders, and sightseers alike will love the panoramic 10 minute ride that climbs 2,000 vertical feet and soars above a snowy mountainscape of granite rock and the iconic Tram Face. And that's just the beginning. Once you reach your destination at High Camp, located at 8,200', breathe in the fresh mountain air and immerse yourself in the High Sierra.


HIGH CAMP POOL & HOT TUB

Squaw Valley's pool & hot tub is one of the most breathtaking places in the world to relax. Located at High Camp, el. 8,200', take a scenic Aerial Tram ride to the swimming pool & hot tub that is surrounded by the beauty of the Sierra Nevada with views of Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley's legendary granite peaks.


LAKE TAHOE SNOW TUBING

Snow tubing is a fun mountain adventure for the whole family. Snow tubing is located at SnoVentures Activity Zone in the base area of Squaw Valley adjacent to the parking lot. Play in the snow, bond with family and friends, then warm up at the SnoVentures Lodge located adjacent to all of the snow play fun. SnoVentures Activity Zone also has mini-snowmobiles for the kids!


MINI SNOWMOBILES

Squaw Valley's SnoVentures Activity Zone located in the base area offers mini snowmobiles for kids. Kids ages 6-12 can strap on a helmet and ride a snowmobile that is just their size around the SnoVentures mini snowmobile course. The groomed, oval snowmobile loop is in front of the SnoVentures Lodge, and adjacent to the parking area – offering both easy access and an accommodating viewing area. Families can warm up in the SnoVentures Lodge and enjoy beverages and light food items.

 

Restaurants & Nightlife


Squaw Valley Bars & Restaurants

A wide selection of restaurants offer everything from fast food to Asian tapas.

Squaw Valley's 40 restaurants (including delis) range from sit-down to self-service to fast food and vary in price and style from inexpensive and casual to fine dining. If it's the wines you fancy, try the PlumpJack Café. Their selection of hard-to-find Californian wines and extensive wines by the glass program have garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following. The Zenbu Tapas Lounge is the most popular place for Asian food

There are 22 bars to choose from in Squaw Valley, most catering to the 25-35 crowd (and you have to be 21 or over to consume alcohol in California). Children are allowed in bars that also serve food. Bars close at 2:00 am.


Squaw Valley Apres-Ski

The Loft Bar is the old-timer "local" apres-ski hangout and the Red Dog Bar and Grill is a favorite with Squaw Valley employees. Bar One has live music, dancing and pool tables, while the Plaza Bar is the hang out for sports fans, with sporting events on the big-screen TV. For a more intimate apres ski experience, the bar at the PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn has a cozy fireplace and an excellent selection of wine.

The newest apres-ski spot in the Squaw scene is the Balboa Cafe, featuring tasty appetizers and a variety of beverage options. Look for it to become a hot spot next season. Nearby in Tahoe City, guests enjoy Pete 'n' Peter's, the Naughty Dawg and the Bridgetender. In Truckee, Casa Baeza, O.B.'s Pub & Restaurant and the Tourist Club are popular.


Squaw Valley Mountain Restaurants

Squaw Valley’s 40 restaurants (including delis) range from sit-down to self-service to fast food and vary in price and style from inexpensive and casual to fine dining.

Whatever your fancy-Mexican, Italian, pizza, sandwiches, salads, wraps, crêpes, soups, hamburgers, deli or full-service breakfast-you'll find it in Squaw Valley. The most popular breakfast is at Mother Barclay's, the juiciest burger is at the Red Dog Bar & Grill, and the best French fries are at the Gordon Biersch Sundeck Tavern.

The Resort at Squaw Creek has an excellent ski-up deck and outdoor BBQ, weather permitting.

Shopping

Most of the Squaw Valley shopping is centred around the Village. This is a high end ski resort and as such, most of the shops tend to have high end prices.


Squaw Valley Ski Shops

There is a handful of Squaw Valley ski shops in the village, selling a large range of hardwear, outerwear, and accessories, there’s also a specific snowboard shop.


Other Village at Squaw Valley Shopping

Other shops include ladies clothing boutiques, a chocolatier, a bath and body shop, gift shops, and a photographic gallery. There is also the obligatory Squaw Valley logo wear shop selling a large range of SV apparel.

There is a grocery store selling basic groceries and organic goods, but for more substantial grocery requirements, head to one of the supermarkets in Truckee or Tahoe City.


Resort at Squaw Creek Shopping

A small number of shops are located within the Resort at Squaw Creek. Squaw Creek Sports, Sports Tahoe and Imprints provide fashion, ski gear and general clothing whilst Double Diamond Jewellery provides all the shiny bling bling.


Nearby Shopping

Most shopping opportunities are centred on the towns of Tahoe City and Truckee. Both require access to a vehicle, although a bus (the TART – Tahoe Area Regional Transit) does run to each town from the Squaw Valley Village. Both Tahoe City and Truckee have a wide range of supermarkets, restaurants, banking facilities, gear shops and other specialty shops. Some good ski gear shops are located in Truckee near the intersection with the interstate (the I80).

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