West of Tahoe City, the Squaw Valley Resort has over 170 runs spread over 3,600 acres that are served by 27 lifts with a maximum descent of 2,850 feet. The massive Squaw resort covers six mountain peaks with 16 distinct bowls, and due to its massive size, it attracts huge crowds. It's treeless, windy upper bowls get icy and skied off pretty quick. While it receives over 300 inches of snowfall annually, the snow is renowned to quickly turn from powder into hardpacked "Sierra cement". The runs range in difficulty from 25% beginner to 45% intermediate to 30% difficult.
Squaw is known for high-speed cruisers, as well as technical chutes and cliff drops (see Silverbelt Chair). For challenge, try KT-22 peak heading down the Fingers Chutes or the Palasades above Siberia Bowl for double-black diamond chutes. If you're on a powder hunt, try Granite Chief.
For the freestyle snowboarders in your crew, there are four terrain parks at Squaw to session. These parks include the Belmont Park, Gold Coast Park, Mainline Park, SnowVentures Start Park and High Camp Park. In addition, there is a halfpipe to checkout.
Squaw Valley recently merged with Alpine Meadows. It is possible to snowboard a backcountry route from Squaw Valley to Alpine Meadows.
While better known for the snowboarding, this area is not known for its nightlife. For apres ski, try the Loft Bar or The Slot at the base, but the best bets are back in Tahoe City (Pierce Street Annex, Pete & Peters, Naughty Dog) or Truckee (American Bar, Tahoe Taps or the Tourist Club).
To reach Squaw Valley ski area by air, use the airport in Reno (RNO). There are shuttles up to the resort, or you can easily follow US 80 west towards Donner Pass. It's about 42 miles from Reno. The lodging options at Squaw and nearby towns are very limited and very expensive. There is no real central village charm in this purpose-built base area.
Overall, Squaw Valley Resort is the 10th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 19 snowboarding resorts in California. Several of the better snowboarding resorts are nearby Squaw Valley Resort including Kirkwood Ski Area, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Northstar at Tahoe Ski Area, Sierra at Tahoe Ski Area and Sugar Bowl Resort.
Local Contacts: Squaw Valley Resort ski area (530) 583-6985; Central Reservation (800) 403-0206; California Tourism (916) 444-4429; Daves Board Shop (530) 582-5665; Alpine Skills Guides (530) 426-9108; Tahoe Avalanche Info (530) 587-2158.
Best Season: Dec. - Apr.
Average Difficulty: Moderate
Base Camp: Pepper Tree Inn, Tahoe City (800) 624-8590; Mayfield House B&B, Tahoe City; Holiday Inn Express, Truckee
Luxury Loding: Plumpjack Hotel (530) 583-1576; Resort At Squaw Creek (800) 403-4434
Breakfast Restaurant: Mountain Nectar at base
Reference Source: click here https://squawalpine.com/
GPS: 39.195738, -120.235251
Date Published: 12/24/2015
Date Updated: 1/2/2019
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