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Squaw Valley California (US)

Ski Resort Review, Information and Guide

Gold Coast mid mountain lodgeVillageLake view from peak

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Squaw Valley Summary:

Base: 6,200 ft
Summit: 9,050 ft
Vertical: 2,850 ft
Ski area: 4000 acres
Chair Lifts: 27
Gondola & Trams: 2
Terrain parks: 3
Snowfall: 450"

Runs/trails:

Beginner: 25%
Intermediate: 45%
Advanced: 30%

Trail Maps:

Squaw Valley CA Weather:

Squaw Valley Description:
Squaw Valley Village and mountain

Squaw Valley is the largest of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts and boasts over 4,000 acres of terrain and over 170 ski trails. Resorts in the Lake Tahoe area are blessed with large annual snow falls which over the last five years have exceeded 450 inches a year at Squaw! The synergy of a vast terrain and lots of snow make Squaw Valley a popular ski resort destination.

There is a single main mountain base village which launches a gondola, cable car and multiple chair lifts to provide mountain access. The "High Camp" facilities at the top of cable car can be enjoyed by skier and the non-skiing visitor. It hosts an ice rink, poolside cafe, restaurant and bar.

Squaw Valley was also the host of the 1959-1960 Winter Olympic VIII games as advertised by the entrance to the resort. Squaw Valley Olympic sign

Squaw Valley Terrain:

Squaw Valley is know for a vast array of black diamond runs and the snow dumps to enjoy them. These common heavy snowfalls are a double edged sword, they lead to road closures which prevent both the skier and the resort workers from getting to the resort. Don't give up the day as the road crews are effective and when the lifts open, powder pleasures await.

Beginners and Intermediates:

The base of Squaw greets beginners with a short practice "green" run to get aquanted with skiing. The base lifts "Squaw One Express" and "Red Dog" will take you to some intermediate "blue" runs. Once aquanted with the lower base runs, the Tram and Gondola provide access to the base of a broader choice of beginner and intermediate runs on the upper part of the mountain.

Beginner run Beginner "green" run: "Links" above the "High Camp" station.

Intermediate run Intermediate "blue" run: Top of "Emigrant"

Expert Runs:

As mentioned earlier, Squaw has a lot of "black diamond" terrain. While Squaw seems to have a reputation for steep runs, I found them all to be comfortably within the skill level of almost any advanced skier. I did not find anything which would require warnings or would be labeled "extreme". The most challenging terrain can be found off of "Red Dog", "Olympic Lady" and "KT-22" lifts.

Moguls: I did not find any dedicated mogul runs.

Advanced Runs

Advanced Runs

Trees:

There is limited tree skiing, the best of which I found to be off of "Red Dog" Lift. While "Red Dog" Lift is marked as a "blue" or intermediate ski area, I found that this part of the mountain had more challenging runs than many of the black diamond marked areas. Try it out!

Skiing trees

Out of Bounds:

Squaw Valley is surrounded by private land and is "very strict about having closed boundaries", according to resort spokesman Derek Moore (quoted by the LA Times November 1, 2005). Going out of bounds at Squaw can lead to a fine or even having a lift pass revoked for life.

Terrain Parks:

Squaw Valley has three terrain parks and with small to large features to support the beginner to advanced rider.

  • Beginner: Papoose Discovery area
    (Bottom of "Far East Express Lift" near the parking lot)
  • Intermediate: Ford Belmont Terrain Park
    (Open for night skiing)
  • Advanced: Riviera Monster Park (andHigh Camp rail yard) and Superpipe
    (Open for night skiing. Access via "High Camp Lift")

Superpipe The Superpipe is located next to Gold Coast Lodge.

Squaw Valley Apr├ęs Ski and Nightlife:

Apres ski festivities seem to start early on a nice day, in fact, around lunch time if the weather is accomodating. Many find the patio at the base of the KT-22 lift too nice to leave and park themselves for the afternoon enjoying the comraderie of friends and the sunshine.

Patio at base of KT-22 lift Patio at base of KT-22 lift

Alexander bar at High Camp Alexander at "High Camp" is a good rest stop before catching a night run.

Le Chamois Le Chamois in the base village: Pizza and sandwiches

Options:

  • Vertical Training Lounge
  • Sundeck Tavern
  • Dave's Dell
  • Plaza Bar
  • Bar 1 (music, dancing and sports bar)
  • Bar 6 (sports bar)

Where to eat:

Locally at Squaw Valley mountain base village:

  • Sierra Sunrise Biscuit Company: Breakfast and Lunch
    (Located in the cable car building)
  • Le Chamois/Loft Bar: Pizza and sandwiches
  • Euro Snack: Belgian waffles and euro hot dogs
  • Blue Onion: Breakfast and lunch
  • Full list of dining options

Night Skiing:

Night skiing is available from 4:00 pm till 9:00 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays and from 4:00 pm till 7:00 pm Monday to Thursday from mid December till the end of March. This is included with your regular lift ticket. The run from "High Camp" to the base as well as the "Ford Belmont Terrain Park" and "Riviera Superpipe" terrain parks.

High Camp and Night Start at "High Camp" (top of the tram)

Night Skiing

Village & Shopping:

The village at the mountain base of Squaw will supply most needs for those shopping for others or for yourself. There are a plethora of ski and clothing shops as well as restaurants.

Base Village

Base Village

Squaw Valley Lodging and Accommodations:

Lodging is available at Squaw Valley resort, North and South Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area.


Directions to Squaw Valley:

  • From Reno NV: 42 miles
    • Take Interstate 80 WEST into California and on to Truckee.
    • Take the Highway 89 SOUTH Exit towards Lake Tahoe/Tahoe City/Squaw Valley.
    • Follow Highway 89 SOUTH 8 miles to the Squaw Valley Rd. Exit. Turn RIGHT and follow Squaw Valley Rd. to the base of the mountain.
  • From San Francisco: 96 miles from Sacramento/ 196 miles from San Francisco
    • Take Interstate 80 northeast into the Sierra Nevada.
    • Exit at Truckee, onto Highway 89 SOUTH, towards Lake Tahoe/Tahoe City/Squaw Valley.
    • * Follow Highway 89 south 8 miles to the Squaw Valley Rd. Exit. Turn RIGHT and follow Squaw Valley Rd. to the base of the mountain.

Road Conditions:

Transportation:

  • North Lake Tahoe Express - Shuttles: Reno airport to Truckee, Alpine Meadows, Incline Village, Tahoe City and Squaw 1-866-216-5222

Map of Squaw Valley CA Area:

Google Map

Squaw Valley (mountain base):
Lake Tahoe, California United States
Latitude: 39.196195
Longitude: -120.234811

Links:


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