Squaw Valley Travel Guide

squaw valley high camp

If you grew up in Northern California, you probably spent a fair share of winters in Lake Tahoe. I know I did! But I didn’t grow up with a family who skiied, so we stuck to other activities like ice skating and sledding. Fast forward to adulthood, I took up snowboarding on my own and I found myself visiting the same places. One place that remained constant was Squaw Valley, and I recently had the chance to visit and try my hand at skiing. It was a chance to get re-acquainted with the mountain, and to try skiing for the first time in 15 years. Alpine Meadows just joined the Squaw Valley family, and Alpine Meadows was actually the first place I ever tried skiing way back in the day. After spending a week at Squaw Alpine this January, here are my recommendations on what to do on your next trip to North Lake Tahoe.

The Village at Squaw Valley

Where To Stay

  • The Village at Squaw Valley: if you want quick access to the mountain, there’s no place better to stay. Split up into several buildings, The Village offers cozy accommodation with essential mountain features such as suite rooms, ski storage, and in-room fireplaces. There are also 8 outdoor hot tubs at The Village, so choose wisely! Your room key card will get you access to any of them.

Squaw Valley hot tubs

What To Do

  • Skiing: now through March 30th, you can try skiing through the $99 Learn to Ski & Ride Special at Alpine Meadows. Yes, you read that right. The promo includes a lift ticket, rentals, and a 2.25 hour lesson. That is an amazing value, so be sure to book in advance!
  • Snowtubing at SnoVentures: if skiing or snowboarding aren’t your thing, take a spin at snowtubing! Fun for both adults and kids, I guarantee you’ll have a few laughs and screams spinning down the hill.
  • Après-Ski at Le Chamois: whether you ski or snowboard at Squaw, this is the spot for a drink to unwind after hitting the slopes. There’s both an outdoor patio and indoor bar area, serving beer, wine, drinks, and food. On a busy ski weekend, this place is LIT.
  • Moonlit Snowshoe Dinner at Alpine Meadows: this was such a fun experience and one that I’ll never forget. This is a hiking experience that starts at the Alpine Meadows lodge and ends with a dinner at The Chalet, a Bavarian-inspired restaurant with an elevated mountain menu. I’m used to the light pollution of the city, so having the chance to hike up the mountain in the dark allows me to soak in the stars and moonlight, all while enjoying the silence of the crisp alpine air. The raclette and spätzle at The Chalet are heavenly, the ultimate reward after a long day on the mountain.

Adult Ski Lessons at Squaw Valley

Adult Snowtubing at Squaw Valley

Snowtubing at Squaw Valley

SnoVentures at Squaw Valley

Moonlit Snowshoe Dinner at Alpine Meadows

What To Eat & Drink

  • The Rocker: casual eats in a fun atmosphere, centrally located in The Village. Think chicken wings, nachos, burgers, and killer salads. Great comfort food so you can sleep well and hit the mountain the next morning!
  • Coffee Bar: my day doesn’t start until I’ve had my coffee, and Coffee Bar is a Reno-Tahoe staple. They have everything from coffee to matcha, and avocado toast to breakfast burritos. They also have outlets and wifi, in case you need to get some work done.
  • Six Peaks Grille at the Resort at Squaw Creek: for a decadent meal or maybe something for a special occasion, you can’t go wrong at Six Peaks Grille. There’s a romantic ambiance and outstanding menu featuring mostly local, organic, and sustainable ingredients. The wagyu filet and cranberry Moscow mule were out of this world delicious!
  • Granite Bistro: good lunch is critical to having a successful day on the mountain. Granite Bistro is *the spot* at High Camp. We enjoyed an amazing sit-down lunch feast, complete with loaded tots, garlic fries, hot chocolate, and tons of water to replenish our bodies at the high elevation.
  • Uncorked: take me anywhere, and I will naturally gravitate towards the wine bar. Conveniently, this spot was pretty much directly under my room. If you need an elevated wine selection for your après-ski experience, Uncorked is for you.

The Chalet at Alpine Meadows

Lake Tahoe view from Squaw Valley High Camp

Have you been to Tahoe before? After flying into the Reno-Tahoe airport and taking an easy shuttle ride to the resort, I’m not sure I’ll do the drive from San Francisco again.

Like this post? Pin this post and share the love. Be sure to check out some of my other United States or other travel content before you go. Thanks for reading!

Thanks Squaw Alpine for hosting me during my stay. Snowtubing photos by @Ben_Arnst.

8 Responses

  1. Andy February 19, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Good times – Northern California is amazing! I love your list of restaurants. Will definitely bookmark you post for my next vacation out west.

  2. Rachel G February 19, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    This sounds like such an amazing trip! And those outdoor hot tubs sound AMAZING. I don’t think I’d ever have enough coordination for skiing, but the tubing looks fun!

  3. Jenny February 19, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    This looks like such a fun time! I haven’t been skiing in so long.

  4. Lauren February 19, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    I grew up skiing at Squaw and Alpine Meadows, too! I can’t wait to go back again and see how much has changed at Squaw!

  5. Gerome of G&D Blog February 20, 2018 / 12:29 am

    I’ve neve been there. I would love to visit there someday with David, it could be part of our “goodbye US” tour this year. And I’m not sure if the weather there will cooperate with my body (or vice versa).

  6. Lacey February 20, 2018 / 5:07 am

    How cool! I’ve actually never been here, but it looks like so much fun!!!!

  7. Amanda Kruse February 20, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Definitely going to share this post with my husband. We are always looking for new places to ski and snowboard.

  8. Tina Chen February 21, 2018 / 9:53 am

    I live in FL and am shivering at the thought of getting out of the pool with snow outside!!!! Amazing photos! Haven’t been skiing in ages <3

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