Zones: Squaw Valley USA
Nathan Kendall photo
With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, home to the 1960 Olympic Games and the backdrop to the 1984 ski movie classic Hot Dog, Squaw Valley is one of the most prestigious and breathtaking resorts in the world. Opened in 1949 by a Wall Street lawyer turned mountain lover, Squaw's past is filled with humble beginnings frequented by Hollywood's elite and come to love by big-mountain greats.
Generally known as one of the best big mountain resorts in the U.S., Squaw is more than a mountain, it is the mountain. At the top of the historical Tram awaits an oasis complete with a lagoon, restaurants, ice skating rink and more. Surrounding High Camp lies a playground for all ages that will leave a place in your heart forever.
The Village at Squaw offers a number of unique, family owned and operated restaurants and businesses making it one-of-a-kind. The mountain also implements an impressive children's program called Squaw Kids encouraging the greats of tomorrow. For all your snowboard needs make sure you visit Tait's Boardshop. Squaw is the total package, a must-visit for any snowboarder or mountain-lover around the world. The time is now.
Photos courtesy of Squaw Valley
Located off Highway 89 between Truckee and Tahoe City, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA is just 42 miles from Reno, 96 miles from Sacramento and 196 miles from San Francisco via all weather Interstate 80.
There are hundreds of daily flights into Reno Airport just an hour from Squaw. Take the North Lake Tahoe Express if you don't want to rent a car. Depending on where you're staying, the hotel may provide a pick-up service. The drive is about 7 hours from Los Angeles, 8 from Salt Lake City, UT, and 3 from San Francisco.
At first glance the overbearing peaks glaring you in the eye when you drive into the Valley can be intimidating. The main rock face named "Tram Face" is technically out-of bounds and rarely rode by pros. If covered enough, maybe once a season, so don't start thinking the whole mountain is a bunch of steep rocks.
Although the infamous KT-22 with some of the most easily accessed big-mountain terrain is right at the base, in reality only about a quarter of the mountain can be seen from the Village. Once whisked away by the historical Tram to the top or (for those who know the mountain a little better) the Funitel gondola, terrain of all varieties and abilities awaits. If you don't have someone who knows the mountain to guide you, carry a trail map and go on an adventure you'll more than likely never forget. It's really no wonder why big mountain riders including Jeremy Jones and Ralph Backstrom call Squaw home.
Matt Palmer photo
Annual Snow Fall: 450 inches
Uphill Capacity: 49,000 people per hour
Elevation: Summit– 9,050 feet
Base– 6,200 feet
Skiable Acres: 4,000
Snowmaking: 600 acres
Terrain Parks: 3, one Superpipe
Average Winter Temps: 20 F low, 40 F high
Lift Ticket Pricing: Adult all day tickets are $88, afternoon (after 1pm) are $64 and night tickets are $35. Buy consecutive days and get better rates. Check out the complete list of pricing and buy early here.
Season Passes are one of the best deals around starting at $399 with village discounts as well.
The Village at Squaw Valley (left)
Stay in the heart of the Village and walk right to the lifts in the morning. The Village at Squaw offers studios – three-bedrooms with amenities including kitchenettes, 8 outdoor hot tubs and fitness facilities.
Resort at Squaw Creek
Located on the Squaw golf course and on its own road, the 9-story black hotel is hard to miss on your way into the valley. The four-star Resort at Squaw Creek is a place all its own complete with five restaurants, a full service spa, shopping, huge pool, spas and even its own chairlift to access the mountain.
PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn
One of Squaw's original properties dating back to 1959, PlumpJack is completely renovated in rustic and prestigious stylings. The rooms are cozy and beds are a dream. PlumpJack provides complimentary breakfast, two outdoor hot tubs and its own bar and restaurant so you never have to leave the Inn, unless of course you want to ride.
This am/lunch spot has fresh squeezed oj, smoothies, a variety of local coffees and delicious bagel sandwiches. It's the perfect quick to-go spot before hitting the mountain.
The Blue Onion Cafe
A quaint sit-down breakfast and lunch spot, The Blue Onion will fill you up before a long day on the hill with its eggs benedict and huevos rancheros. For lunch, come for the homemade soups and paninis.
Get your sushi and sake fix at Mamasake. The small and generally packed sushi bar is another local favorite with a beer and handroll $5 happy hour special.
The Auld Dubliner (left)
A fine Irish pub, the Dubliner is decked out in native decor and offers great lunch and happy hour specials. Get your fill of fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, Guinness and whiskey. Check out the online calendar for weekly live music and karaoke.
Goodtimes To Go
A new addition to the Village, Good Times is the spot for $1 beer happy hour. Good Times is an ice cream parlor and sandwich shop as well to help you from getting too drunk at the high elevation.
Come to watch the game or relax on the patio at the Blue Coyote bar and grill. This burgers and fries joint has a full bar and offers Monday night football specials in a fun and relaxing environment.
Wild Flour Bakery
Wild Flour is a locals favorite and for good reason. With locations in both the village and High Camp, Wild Flour sponsors pros coaxing them with fresh baked cookies and sandwiches.
Le Chamois & Loft Bar
A Squaw staple for more than 40 years, the "Chammy" as the locals call it is the place to hit for apres. Located in the original part of the European-style village, memorabilia lines the two-story loft bar where locals and visitors come to get rowdy. Order a pitcher of beer, pizza and garlic chips, sit on the sun deck and enjoy the views.
Fireside Pizza Co
Fireside Pizza Co is the family-friendly pizza joint in the village. Serving gourmet pizzas and pasta, cozy up next to the fire on the patio and enjoy an evening with the fam.
Because of noise ordinances in the Village, most of Squaw shuts down semi-early. There isn't a specific late night party spot, but some of the restaurants have live music and DJ's throughout the week. If you're looking to venture outside of the Valley, head to nearby Truckee or Tahoe City, where there are more options for late night partying, just don't drink and drive.