The Ultimate Ski Vacation: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
It’s not every day you get to fill your lungs with the crispest air, bag the highest peaks, or shred some of the most badass terrain in North America. Whether you’re a guy who prefers a high-end, no holds-barred ski vacation, or you’re a skim bum turned corporate dude looking to relive your glory days, your annual ski trip is a sacred, time-honored tradition. In our winter Ski Series, we’re delivering you a go-to guide, so you know where to stay, what to eat, and, in some cases, how to discover things only the locals know.
Just 45 minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows claims over 6,000 skiable acres in North Lake Tahoe. With the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains serving as a backdrop for your winter vacation, it’s tough to tell which is bluer – the lake’s crystal water or the 300 days of sunny, California skies. Skiers, we promise you’ll love this beautiful destination.
Home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is not only a world-class resort, but is known for its deep-rooted ski culture that attracts some of the most adventurous freeskiers from around the world. Squaw’s neighbor, Alpine Meadows — both mountains are accessible by just one lift ticket – offers more of a down-home feel, keeping true to those good ole California vibes.
Where to stay
With direct lift service to Squaw Valley, the Resort at Squaw Creek is located in the heart of Olympic Valley, and offers the ultimate in luxury lodging. Looking to go big? Book a bi-level penthouse with sweeping views, picture-perfect windows, and everything you could need, or want, in a luxury spot.
Where to eat
At Graham’s at Squaw Valley, no one’s a stranger and warm fireside seats attract tired skiers and draw hungry bellies in from the cold. California cuisine and an award-winning wine list accompany the breathtaking views of the area’s rugged peaks. Originally built as the first home in Squaw Valley, Graham’s is not only a modern hot spot, but a treasured restaurant with a storied past. And when you’re looking to really treat those taste buds, look no further than a beloved local spot. Everyone needs a sweet fix after a day on the slopes, and the place serving up the best is undoubtedly Wildflour Baking Company. After your final hot laps, hit up this spot for mouthwatering cookies.
Where to shred
With two mountains, 6,000 acres, and 14 zones, the resort is divided into Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley, with plenty of enviable terrain to keep you busy, and the KT-22 zone is no exception. Voted best chairlift in North America, KT-22 is not your beginner’s lift. Steeped with 2,000 vertical feet of chutes and cliffs, the terrain is zoned for only the most adventurous of athletes.
Best Après Watering Hole
Located at Squaw Valley, Le Chamois & Loft Bar is the spot to be seen post shred. According to Powder Magazine, Le Chamois is “a vortex that draws people in at the end of the day where they can brag about what they skied.” This is the kind of place where locals meet up without having planned on it, and visitors are lucky enough to get an inside peek into life in a ski town.
Talk of the town
One of the most popular lifts at Squaw Valley, the Siberia Express chairlift, was just replaced, and folks are pretty jazzed about it. The once-high-speed quad has been replaced with a shiny new high-speed six-passenger chairlift to improve reliability, efficiency, and operational effectiveness. The lift accesses the Siberia Bowl, Mainline and the Mainline Terrain Park, as well as the sprawling Gold Coast area. Brand-spanking new lift for the 2015-16 season – boom!