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Squaw Valley

USA Today voted Squaw 2016’s Best Ski Resort in North America – and when you look at the sheer amount you can ski and snowboard here, not to mention the off-slope offerings, it’s easy to see why.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Host of 1960 Olympics • 6 skiable peaks • Lake Tahoe resort

Great for: • Apres ski • Snow sure • Short transfer

USA Today voted Squaw 2016’s Best Ski Resort in North America – and when you look at the sheer amount you can ski and snowboard here, not to mention the off-slope offerings, it’s easy to see why.

Squaw Valley Resort

It all came about when a man named Alex Cushing broke his ankle at nearby Sugar Bowl and, resting up while his friends skied, overheard talk about the awesome terrain of Squaw… Having gone to see its potential for himself, he raised the funds and returned within 3 years to open the resort in 1949. Hosting the 1960 Olympic games hurtled the resort onto the world stage, where it’s remained as one of the finest resorts on the planet.

The birth of Alpine Meadows soon followed, after a group of San Franciscans discovered it while skiing in Squaw Valley. They gathered enough money to create the resort and opened it in 1961. The two resorts operated separately until they joined forces in 2011 – some now refer to them as Squaw Alpine and the main lift pass covers both. It’s about a 15 min drive between the two and a free shuttle runs every half an hour or so.

The resorts can be found in North Lake Tahoe, on the border of California and Nevada in the Sierra Mountains. Reno Tahoe International is the closest airport with international and domestic flights. From here it’s a 45-minute drive to the ski area.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Lake Tahoe, USA

Established: 1949

Open: November - May

Downhill: 3600 acres

View our detailed Squaw Valley snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Squaw Valley snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO)49 miles, 1 hour
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)207 miles, 3.5 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 25%

  • 45%

  • 30%

Top Altitude:2758m
Bottom Altitude:1889m
Resort Altitude:1889m
Longest run:5.15km
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:869m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 3cm
  • Base
  • 51cm
  • Forecast
  • 140cm

Web Cam

Squaw Valley web cams
Downhill Runs:3600 acres
Beginner slopes:25%
Intermediate:45%
Advanced slopes:30%
Lift Pass Price:
Nearby resorts: Lake Tahoe, Heavenly

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Squaw Valley

With 3600 skiable acres, six peaks and fourteen different mountain zones, it’s hard to run out of places to ski and snowboard here.

On Squaw’s front side, the Big Blue zone is excellent for beginners and improvers, with gentle greens like Bailey’s and Easy Slider served by a number of chair lifts. The Squaw One Express served some lovely long blue runs, while experts will enjoy the KT-22 area with its steeps, chutes and moguls. The back side has more expert terrain including the steep Granite descent.

Over on Alpine’s Front side, the main offerings for beginners are the Subway and Meadow beginner areas near the base. Improvers and intermediates have a number of blues to access from the Summit Six chair – we love the Sun Spot run on a clear morning when the views over the lake are incredible.

Terrain parks include the Belmont Park, Gold Coast, Mainline Park, SnoVentures and High Camp.

Squaw Valley Apres Ski

The world’s only ski in, ski out Starbucks is part of the ski area here, meaning you can grab a warm pick me up without even having to step your bindings.

When it does come to hanging your skis or board up for the day, there’s oodles to choose between. Squaw’s Irish Pub, the Auld Dubliner is a good place for a pint or three (and for the morning after, they do smashing breakfasts). Bar One has a warming fireplace and gobsmacking views of the valley while the KT Base Bar has a cracking terrace where you can sit and watch the world ski by.

Over in Alpine Meadows, the Alpine Bar does good beers and cocktails, while the Ice Bar by the Sherwood Chair is loved for its bratwurst. Last Chair Bar is buzzing towards the end of the day with drinks and snacks (try the nachos).

For food in Squaw, there’s everything from Mexican at Cornice Cantina to pizzas at Fireside and K|Tchen for proper burgers and fries. Meanwhile Meadow’s Café has a terrific mix of everyone’s favourite comfort food.

Activities don’t end on the slopes – far from it! Try the sky jump and climbing wall or explore the valley on snowshoe, snowmobile or dog sled. The Wanderlust Yoga Studio makes for teriffic pre and post ski relaxation.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Squaw Valley

When is the best time to ski Squaw Valley?

This neck of the woods has some of the best conditions in the Lake Tahoe area. The lifts open earlier and close later than most of the resorts in the world – let alone the USA – tending to start up in November and carry on into May. Around eleven metres of snowfall is the yearly average, and snowmaking technology is on hand to provide top ups whenever needed. December is usually the snowiest month with an average snowfall of three metres and there’s often a good 20cm or so falling in May. All that snow doesn’t mean no sunshine though… Usually there are more than 300 clear, sunny days a year.

Peak Dates

With the slopes usually opening in November, Christmas in Squaw Valley is almost always a white one.

Previous years have seen fireworks. music and torchlit parades over the New Year in Squaw Valley, as well as events like the Squaw Valley Prom.

There’s so much for families here to make for a wonderful Half Term in Squaw Valley.

A service at High Camp with breakfast and music usually get Easter in Squaw Valley off to a festive start, with egg hunts around both resorts for little ones.

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Families in Squaw Valley

Confidence boosting slopes, exciting activities and accommodation moments from the ski lifts make Squaw a terrific resort for families – favourite features include the fire pits and specialised ski school programs for families.

GroupsGroup Holidays Squaw Valley

With the best snow conditions in Tahoe, two ski areas and oodles of bars and restaurants, Squaw and Alpine Meadow are perfectly suited to groups with mixed tastes and abilities. Last time we checked the resort had special offers for groups of over 20 – saving you money on lift passes, lessons and even food!

More Squaw Valley Holiday Resources


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