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Squaw Valley

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Planning a trip to Squaw in 2014 and looking for some guidance on lodging in the village and time of season to go.  It's a 6-8 person boys trip with all good skiers and none with any experience in Tahoe region.  Snow conditions are always hit or miss, but is there a month that we should consider first.  Powder is always the mission.  I have another trip scheduled for the last week of Feb or first week of March.  This is typically prime time in CO with the right balance of new snow and sunshine, but I'm not familiar with the weather conditions at Squaw.  I would prefer to have a week or more separation between the two trips.  Plan for mid Feb or mid March?  Where to stay in village?

post #2 of 20

Sounds great, I've always wanted to get to that area as well.  There are plenty of regulars here that will chime in help you with everything you need to know.  EpicSki has a very solid foothold in that region.  Check back and this thread will certainly light up with useful info.

 

Start here:

Squaw Valley USA

 

 

alexzn has been one of EpicSki's ambassadors for that resort.  There are lots of other folks that also know the scoop there.

post #3 of 20

March tends...TENDS...to be the better of the snow months for here. Do you want to stay slopeside or are you willing to drive a bit? You can also consider Alpine Meadows for a house to rent, it is on Squaws ticket. 

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

I think slope side is typically the best option and I did see that Alpine was also on the same ticket which should be great.  We have rented houses in the past and had success so if this is a good option its worth exploring.  There will be a contingent that will sample the nightlife as well so I don't want to require too much driving if possible. 
 

post #5 of 20

I can't comment too much on Squaw's nightlife, as I'm usually skiing with my wife and kids.  I know there are good restaurants and bars in the village, but I'll assume the "scene" is nowhere near, say, Whistler.  The thing to keep in mind is that the actual valley floor, where lodging and restaurants need to be, is long and narrow and not near Tahoe's population centers.  Not too much of it is within walking distance of the slopes.

 

For slopeside lodging, the big options are The Village at Squaw, Squaw Valley Lodge, and Red Wolf Lodge.  There are some homes and smaller condos close-by that you may seek out, as well.  I don't really know the Alpine side as well.  I think there are homes on the Sherwood side (if that lift is running) and some units near the main parking area/lodge.  Alpine doesn't really have restaurants or bars or any sort of village.

 

I'll second the recommendation of March.  Not only does it typically bring a lot of snow, but it's also on a deeper base.  Not that February is bad.  April can often be good, too--usually better than January.

post #6 of 20
Excellent input from Xela and others.

March is essentially guaranteed to be better than February. Even this past year, I'd probably have opted for March.

I'd add the Resort at Squaw Creek to your slopeside lodging options. The homes on the Sherwood side are not a good option based on your criteria. And to the extent that you want someone else to cook for you at or near where your bed is, the only real option on the Alpine side is the Stanford Alpine Chalet. You might also consider Tahoe City, where you'll have a wider choice of restaurants than Squaw's base, not to mention bars, supermarkets, etc. Unless you choose a holiday period, it will take less than 15 minutes to Squaw or Alpine, and you'll have the option of Homewood or Northstar if wind or other weather issues shut most or all of Squaw or Alpine, which can happen for a day or even two.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Excellent input from Xela and others.

March is essentially guaranteed to be better than February. Even this past year, I'd probably have opted for March.

I'd add the Resort at Squaw Creek to your slopeside lodging options. The homes on the Sherwood side are not a good option based on your criteria. And to the extent that you want someone else to cook for you at or near where your bed is, the only real option on the Alpine side is the Stanford Alpine Chalet. You might also consider Tahoe City, where you'll have a wider choice of restaurants than Squaw's base, not to mention bars, supermarkets, etc. Unless you choose a holiday period, it will take less than 15 minutes to Squaw or Alpine, and you'll have the option of Homewood or Northstar if wind or other weather issues shut most or all of Squaw or Alpine, which can happen for a day or even two.

-1 on the Resort at Squaw Creek. Its detached from the rest of the village. Its not ski-in/ski-out if you miss the last chair. The rooms are small and no mini-kitchens.

post #8 of 20

I like the spring skiing in Tahoe.  March, April and even May can be good.  I usually stay in Tahoe City and ski Squaw, Alpine, Sugarbowl and then hit Rose on the way back to RNO.

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post

-1 on the Resort at Squaw Creek. Its detached from the rest of the village. Its not ski-in/ski-out if you miss the last chair. The rooms are small and no mini-kitchens.

 

Depends on what you're looking for.  If you miss the last chair, you can easily grab the shuttle from the main base. The restaurants are good (the Xmas buffet is becoming a family tradition), the overall feel is more high-end than the properties at the main base, and there are nice non-ski options like the ice rink.  YMMV.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

 

Depends on what you're looking for.  If you miss the last chair, you can easily grab the shuttle from the main base. The restaurants are good (the Xmas buffet is becoming a family tradition), the overall feel is more high-end than the properties at the main base, and there are nice non-ski options like the ice rink.  YMMV.

I was very disappointed with my stay at Squaw Creek. I forgot to add the parking sucks and the hot tubs are luke warm. They don't let you use the valet carts. Did I say the rooms are small and cramped. No couches, tables, room to breath, the windows don't open, etc. Taking the shuttle equals tons of walking. Never again! They larger rooms at the other facilities are much nicer. 

post #11 of 20

I heard good things about the Olympic Village Inn from a couple different people who stayed there last winter.

http://www.olympicvillageinn.com

post #12 of 20

He's got 6-8 people and OVI's rooms are tiny, sleep a max of 4 are especially 'compact' when the sofa bed is folded out in a tiny lounge kitchen with 2 chairs, 2 coffee tables and a tiny dining table taking up room . The rooms are basically 1 bedroom and a tiny lounge/kitchen with a loo/shower in between . There's a small balcony. There's not much room one bags are on the floor. But there's impeccably clean bbqs, heated pool. decent gym, sauna, clubroom kitchen, and 5 hottubs. There's a free shuttle from about 9am-5pm into the village, just a short 5 minute stroll away.

 

 

 

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 75

 

OVI's room. Ovi has a 50' heated pool, club house with bbq and a shuttle across the carpark to the village

post #13 of 20

 

These are pics from the Village at Squaw.

post #14 of 20

and red wolf has a club house, 1 bbq, 2 hottubs and it's out the back door to the lifts

post #15 of 20

As usual, Veteran shares his wealth of knowledge about Squaw's accommodations 

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post #16 of 20

I'm late to the party here, but there are my 0.02...  March does tend to be better than February statistically, so I would vote for March as well.  In recent years the weather has been totally unpredictable, so take that with a grain of salt.  FWIIW, historically for me the best bet for consistent powder days was the Christmas week, but in 2011 it totally sucked.  So March is when I tell my guests to come.  If possible try to get most of your skiing days midweek, the crowds will be a lot smaller and you may actually get a chance to ski some powder.   On weekend Squaw powder days competing with locals and Bay Area semi-locals is a thrilling sport that rarely gets you what you want.  I would try to stay in the village of near the village if you can afford that.  Don't count on much nightlife, but at least you can get into that KT22 line early on a good day.  I'd take the Village lodging over the resort at Squaw Creek any day. There is not much difference vis-a-vis ski-in-ski out, and with the installation of the new faster Red Dog lift people from the village side will get to the top of Snow King much faster than people who take the long slow resort chair (translation- people from the Village side will get the first tracks on both sides of Snow King).  

 

If you rent a couple of cars, a much more economical option would be to rent a house in Tahoe Donner (Truckee), which is a 20 min ride from Squaw.  The development has a clubhouse with hot tubs, gym, pool and sauna ($8/person/day).   This is clearly heresy, but if it's dumping you may consider going to Northstar instead of Squaw to enjoy very flat but relatively untouched snow instead of joining the junk show at Squaw's lower mountain.  But be there next day when they open the upper mountain after the storm.  It's a bit self-serving, but I do suggest you take a look at the guide to Squaw on the Epic's resort section to get oriented to terrain and run choices. 

post #17 of 20

JJQIV, the resort is not for everyone, but it's not as bad as you're making it out.  Keep in mind that it's a resort.  The idea is to pay more and let others take care of you.  Hence, valet parking, bell-hops, restaurants and room service instead of kitchens.  They even have a ski valet, which is a nice touch.  And the amount of walking involved in the shuttle should be minimal if you know where you're going.

 

I will grant you that the hot tubs are a long walk from the rooms, and that getting to the restaurants requires walking outside.

 

For my money, I pick the village, but the resort often runs attractive deals.  I know a number of families that choose the resort season after season.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

As usual, Veteran shares his wealth of knowledge about Squaw's accommodations 

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You should see the pics that can't be published biggrin.gif

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJQIV View Post

I was very disappointed with my stay at Squaw Creek. I forgot to add the parking sucks and the hot tubs are luke warm. They don't let you use the valet carts. Did I say the rooms are small and cramped. No couches, tables, room to breath, the windows don't open, etc. Taking the shuttle equals tons of walking. Never again! They larger rooms at the other facilities are much nicer. 


The studio units are really  tiny. I can't recall seeing more than a microwave. Yes the windows don't open. The pool and tubs (and ice rink) were in use a lot on cold days and the families were i them for 'ages'. The parking is dropoff + valet and the car is parked next to the tennis courts: pay your chaffeur more. Get the Sq Creek chair up the hill, and beat the shuttle-riders to the top. There's Sandy's Pub, shops and the new pizza place. What's the other larger nicer place? Oh yeah, the one with a tiny hottub and sauna and underground carpark.

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Who said you had to walk to the chairlift, it's right there off the deck on the right, next to the shuttle bus stop.

 

 

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Edited by veteran - 7/10/13 at 10:03am
post #20 of 20

lots of nice places in Donner, with nice prices I hear.

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