Squaw Valley Resort Guide

Squaw Valley is one of my favourite ski resorts in the US. If you are looking for a variety of terrain and a higher standard of accommodation in the Lake Tahoe area you should make Squaw your first choice.
James Rivers
Product Manager - USA
Squaw Valley is one of my favourite ski resorts in the US. If you are looking for a variety of terrain and a higher standard of accommodation in the Lake Tahoe area you should make Squaw your first choice.
James Rivers
Product Manager - USA

The Skiing

The Skiing

There really is skiing to suit everyone here from the superb mid-mountain learn to ski area, to cruisey blues through the trees and the famous steep chutes, bowls and glades for experts riders. Their superb value season pass also offers unlimited skiing in Alpine Meadows, just a 10 minute drive away no gives you access to over 6,000 acres of incredible skiing and fantastic Californian powder, with the option to up-grade to the "silver" pass which also includes the resorts of Sugarbowl and Sierra at Tahoe. The big spring snowfalls also makes this a great option for Easter skiing. 

The snowfall here in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is just incredible with an average of over 400 inches. More often than not it dumps down overnight leaving you with bluebird skies and epic powder the next day. Tahoe also boasts 300 days of sunshine a year so the conditions are just perfect for those jealousy-inducing action/deckchair shots.

Ski Lake Tahoe 7 Resort Pass – Covering all the resorts around the Lake, if you are feeling adventurous then this is the pass to get. The pass includes Squaw Valley,Alpine Meadows (10 mins), Northstar (20 mins), Heavenly (45 mins), Kirkwood (1hr),Sierra at Tahoe (1hr) and Mount Rose (20 mins).

Beginners - High Camp is the perfect area for beginners and novices with seven chairlifts accessing greens and easy blues. The ski school is fantastic and there are some great programmes for kids. Note that if you are staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek later in the season, you may need to head to the main Village to meet for ski school.

Intermediates - For intermediates the choice is endless. There is everything from wide cruisey blues to some pretty scary, but well maintained blacks that will help them gain confidence and progress.

Advanced - The KT22 and Headwall areas are infamous and huge! There is so much on offer for the advanced skier here so talk to locals and find out where the spots are based on the current conditions.

General

General

Childcare - Kids can ski from 3 years old at Squaw and the Squaw Kids Children’s Center offers and excellent range of programmes. Alternatively the Mountain Buddies programme at the Resort at Squaw Creek offers activities for children aged 4 or older. However there is no real daycare option or childcare for younger children at Squaw Valley.

Transportation - If you are staying in the resort centre you aren’t going to need transportation unless you are heading out to the other resorts and if that's the case then you really will need a hire car. The Resort at Squaw Creek has its own shuttle for getting you into town and there are also shuttles that run from the village out to Truckee or even Reno.

Weather - This area is not prone to the freezing temperatures that you can get in Alberta or Colorado in January. March is a fantastic time to go and traditionally the area receives the best snowfall at this time. Tahoe also gets 300 days of sunshine a year so if its not dumping it down then make sure you have the suncream ready. It has one the latest seasons in North America (generally until May) and the spring skiing is awesome with quiet slopes and good snow late into the day.

Supermarkets - Alice's Mountain Market is the Village grocery and Spirits of the Valley is the liquor store right next door. For a bigger selection you will need to go to SaveMart in Truckee or Safeway in Tahoe City.

Bars and Restaurants

Bars and Restaurants

Restaurants

Le Chamois in the Village at Squaw is a favourite serving hearty lunches and dinners.

Fireside Pizza Co. is another popular choice, although at weekends we recommend booking as this gets packed!

The Plumpjack Café is a chain of 4 restaurants, the main one at Squaw Valley Village, which wins numerous awards with the local food and drink magazines – this is a must-visit restaurant when in Squaw.

The Resort at Squaw Creek is another place for some excellent food, with Ristorante Montagna serving delicious pastas, fish and meat dishes.

On the mountain - High Camp, at the top of the Gondola, has five great restaurants – Wildflour Baking Company, serving homemade pastries and cakes (always long queues here - the locals' favorite!), and the Terrace Restaurant with spectacular views over Squaw Valley, Alexander’s Café & Bar, and the Poolside Café, and BBQ area. Gold Coast has 3 restaurants, The Oasis Food Court, which serves great noodles, drop in for a quick fix at the coffee hut, or relax at either the Mermaid or Waterfall Bar. The Crossroad café or The Ground Floor which is where you get the usual pizza’s and burritos for a serious energy fix.

Best après

Squaw actually has one of the best après ski atmospheres in the US, particularly at the weekends which see skiers coming up from the Bay Area.

Bar One - A Squaw legacy and the centerpiece of the Olympic House base.

The Auld Dubliner - Offering live music a few times a week and serving up huge portions of delicious Irish fare. With more Guinness than Dublin, the words liquid-dinner, may cross your mind.

Mamaske - The renowned “$5 beer and hand-roll special” (offered from 3-5 pm) draws locals and tourists to Squaw Valley’s spectacular sushi spot.

The Loft Bar - This “world famous” dive is the locals' favorite and dubbed Squaw Valley’s very own fraternity.

Plumpjack’s - A more intimate and tranquil après ski experience with gourmet food and impeccably mixed drinks.

Activities

Activities

  • Ice skating at the Olympic Ice Pavilion
  • High Camp Swimming Lagoon & Spa
  • Indoor climbing wall
  • The Squaw Valley Adventure Center
  • Cross country and snowshoe center
  • Sleigh rides
  • Dog sled tours
  • Video arcade
  • Outdoor fire pit and events plaza offering ongoing festivities and events
  • Casinos in Heavenly or Reno

Every holiday is tailor-made, just for you.

Call 01273 224060 for advice from our ski specialists.