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Squaw Valley USA

Check out the Unofficial Guide to Squaw Valley for details on things like secret stashes, best places to ski, avoiding lift lines, and other local insights on the mountain. 


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Trail Map
Trail Map



Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Squaw Valley Lodging Packages


Through Squaw Valley USA, a variety of multi-night multi-ticket packages at lodgings at or near Squaw Valley 4-8 Starting at $99 per person per night quad occupancy for two night stay

The Village at Squaw Valley

1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146





Room Choices

4-8 Ski Packages Starting at $140 per person per night double occupancy, 3 nights, plus three tickets total.


725 Granlibakken Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145


Rooms and Amenities 2-14 Ski packages start at $114 per night

Circus Circus

500 North Sierra Street Reno, Nevada 89503





Room Amenities

4 Ski Packages Starting at $65 per person per night double occupancy


There's an entire article on dining at Squaw here.



Squaw Valley USA

Squaw Valley USA boasts over 4000 acres of skiable terrain. Spread over six peaks, and accessed by the most advanced lift system in the world, Squaw enjoys an annual snowpack of over 450 inches, and an abundance of warm California sunshine nearly 300 days of the year. With Squaw's immense size, it can cater to skiers and snowoarders of all abilities. 70% of the terrain is geared for the beginner and intermediate skier, with wide open bowls and carefully groomed runs. Advanced skiers are treated to vast areas left in their pristine state for a true wilderness experience and some of the most challenging terrain in the world.

Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet2
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow3
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double8
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple9
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad3
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person4 Express/HS
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Total number of lifts33
Lifts-Total lift capacity49,000/hr.
Trails-4-Expert only
Trails-5-Terrain park3
Trails-6-Half pipe1
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run3.2 miles
General-Base elevation6200'
General-Vertical drop2850'
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds4000 acres
General-Snow making coverage600 acres
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: GREAT mountain, Close to 80/The Summit, Diversity of terrain, Awesome village at bottom of mountain

Cons: None

I have skied all of the mountains in Tahoe over the past 25 years and I never tire of Squaw. It has  terrain that challenges the very advanced skiers--that's a given. But what I really love about it is that it has a TON of challenging terrain for the intermediate - advanced skier, which is where most skiers classify, myself included.


I was at Squaw last weekend in the middle of a big storm. It was raining at the bottom of the mountain, but sure enough when I got off the gondola mid-mountain, it was pure snow. At the top it was a literal white out. That weekend I did some of the best skiing of my life in knee-high powder. The wind was pelting us on the front sie of the mountain, but on the backside near the Shirley's Lake chair it was a calm snowy day in the woods. The Tree Runs 1-5 were amazing, as were the backside bowls off of the top of the mountain.


They recently renovated the restaurant mid-mountain was CROWDED. But had good hearty food.


It was my birthday weekend, and for a treat my boyfriend rented a condo in the village at the base of the mountain. (The village is new in the past 10 years--it was buit to resemble a European ski village and is really pretty). If you ever get the chance to stay in the Squaw Valley resort village, I recommend it. Our condo was so convenient, had a nice kitchen, a great whirlpool tub, and was just really comfortable. We met friends for drinks in the village and ate at the village bistro one night. It was just awesome. Not sure how much it cost--it seems liek it would be pricey. But definitely worth it if you want something a little luxurious.


Pros: easy peasy

Cons: none

The North Lake Tahoe Express shuttle from Reno Tahoe Airport to Squaw are excellent. After a very long trip from half a world away and a bit to drink in LA, I landed at Reno Airport at 6pm, was on the shuttle at 7pm (last ride for the day) to Squaw and it was $45. The guy even came outside to tell me the shuttle arrived. It was just so easy. I can highly recommend it. 


Pros: Lots of runs to progress on

Cons: gets over-crowded

I had only skied once in my life (I was 10), then skied at Squaw as a beginner when I was 24. It's a completely reasonable drive from San Francisco.


I got a lesson in the morning on some bunnies, then ended up skiing blue greens for the rest of the day after that.


There are a ton of blue and green runs so I was thoroughly entertained, but the mountain is so huge that the very advanced skiers I was with just did their own thing all day and had a blast as well.


I have been back since, still an intermediate, and messed around the terrain park a bit, but I don't know enough about terrain parks to leave a review for that. I'll definitely hit Squaw again.


Pros: Legendary terrain, big mountain, nice views...

Cons: Need to be an expert to really enjoy it

Squaw's reputation is built on its expert terrain and for a good reason- if you ski Squaw, you can ski anywhere.  The mountian is huge and has tons of nooks and crannies that you learn only in several years of skiing there (and then yuo keep discovering new places long time after that).  Snow is Sierra sticky cement, which makes a lot of very steep runs actually skiable, which is one of the reasons why Squaw is a magnet for ski stars.  On a sunny powder day the mountian looks like a Warren Miller movie- skiers ripping huge air and huge turns everywhere (on a second thought, some of those guys ARE in the Warren Miller movies, so no wonder).  On the other side of the spectrum, the bunny hills are at the top of the mountain, so beginners actually get to see the views and understand what skiing is about (unlike other mountains where they get stuck at the bottom with a view of a valley parking lot).  If I had to list a drawback it is that the intermediate terrain is not nearly as exciting as expert terrain, so my guests may not have the same great experience, but I am certainly not complaining...  


Other things: season pass was stupidly expensive until this year.


Pros: amazing terrain

Cons: not much of a town around it

this is a great mountain.  it's so huge -- feels like the biggest in tahoe, to me -- so it's got almost any type of terrain imaginable.  it particularly has a lot of runs for the intermediate/advanced (myself included).  feels like you could ski all day and never repeat a run.


only drawback is that there isn't much of a town around it, so if you make a trip out to tahoe you're likely going to stay at least a bit of a drive from the mountain.  last time we hit up squaw, we stayed a 15 min drive away (which feels like an eternity if you're a spoiled californian and are used to skiing mammoth, where there is lodging abound within a short shuttle ride away).  but i can live with the drive....


....which brings me to the other con that is worth docking a star (to those of us who are trimming back in this economy)...the lift tickets are exorbitantly expensive (like at mammoth), but it's hard to swallow because squaw is surrounded by so many other good mountains that are much cheaper.


anyway, still like this place and will definitely keep going back.


Oh -- side note.  This might be totally irrelevant to most people, but the food at the lodge atop the funitel at Squaw is TERRIBLE.  A lot of people brought their own sandwich fixings, which seemed like a good idea because a) it'd definitely be tastier, and b) it'd definitely be waaaaay cheaper.  I saw this guy in front of me in line buy an apple and a hard-boiled egg for $5.50.  Seriously.


Pros: Best Chair (KT) in North America

Cons: Worst Management in North America

Skiing here is really extreme; it has "extremely" good terrain if your an expert or beginner (not so much for intermediates), but the mountain experience can be "extremely" bad many days. I've been skiing here since 1972 and have seen the highs and lows. Right now it is the lows with an ownership/management team that sucks you into buying a pass then doesn't run lifts and seems to use the first excuse possible to lay off staff and shut down terrain (and no, I don't and have never worked there).  The mountain has great terrain, but you realize after spending time at other big mountains such as Mammoth, Alta and Jackson just how poorly this place is run. Squaw survives on its expert terrain (and it has a high dirt bag factor that for the most part you can get past), but it could be so much better. Hey, at least they gave us a ski-through Starbucks. New lifts, snow making, helpful/friendly staff; not so much. 


Pros: History, steeps, variety, lift network

Cons: 140 miles away

I first skied Squaw in 1962 and haven't been there since 1989, but the season pass prices have gotten ridiculously cheap.  Prohibitively expensive by the day, it has now become a bargain if one commits to a season.  $429 for a Bronze pass, blacked out between Christmas and New Years, MLK and Presidents weekends, and Saturdays in Jan-Feb.  I DO NOT want to be anywhere near the place at those crowded times, and that limited pass costs just a bit more than four days at the daily rate.  Insane.


It is the Mother Church of the High Sierra ski resorts, hands down.  Heavenly and Mammoth may have big numbers, but Squaw has what is to me the perfect bunch of mountains spread out as far as the eye can see driving in.  So many exposures, so many hidden treasures, so many world-class skiers, the history, the lifts, the village.


I haven't been there in person in 25 years, but that's all about to change.  I still have dreams about skiing at Squaw after all these years.  Reunion season.


Pros: Lots of terrain

Cons: Getting anywhere

I've skied here many times and for the money, I'd go next door to Alpine, just less pretension, less crowds, more skiing.