Squaw Valley is a residential and recreational preserve, offering 4,000 acres of lift-served terrain, an annual snowpack of more than 450 inches and an abundance of warm California sunshine almost 300 days out of the year.
To ensure time is spent skiing, not waiting in lift lines, Squaw is serviced by one of the most extensive lift networks in the world.
With 31 lifts and an uphill capacity of 49,000 skiers per hour, Squaw Valley has become one of the largest ski areas in the country. Because of its immense size, Squaw caters to skiers of all abilities.
Seventy percent of Squaw’s terrain is geared for the beginner and intermediate skier with wide, open bowls and miles of meticulously groomed runs. For the more adventurous skier, vast areas have been left in their pristine state for a true wilderness experience and some of the best advanced skiing anywhere.
To brush up on technique, the Squaw Valley Ski School maintains a professional staff of instructors and offers programs for skiers of all ages and skill levels.
Squaw offers a skiing experience with grooming machines working countless hours every night, not only on beginner and intermediate slopes, but on some advanced runs as well, thanks to two winch cat systems.
- Summit: 9,050 feet
- Base: 6,200 feet
- Vertical Drop: 2,850 feet
- Lifts: 33
- Skiable Area: 4,000 acres
- Annual Snowfall: 450 inches
Squaw Valley Insider Tips
Favorite Run - Everything off of KT-22.
Favorite Lift - KT-22 is called the Mothership because it takes you to the best skiing in North America.
Favorite apres ski - Le Chamois - cheap beer, great pizza and the best sundeck in the world. Every pro skier in the world is there in the afternoon. It is a who's who.
Powder Stash - I probably shouldn't tell this, but OK, don't take KT-22 on a powder day. Instead take the tram up to Granite Chief. There are powder days where I am in fresh tracks 3 or 4 laps before people get there.
Fondest memory - I was 7-years old and it was the first time hiking up to ski the Palisades. I got back to Santa Cruz and was telling all my buddies, but they didn't understand.
What do you love about Squaw - it is the ultimate playground, Squaw has all the hucks, steeps and features of anywhere in the world, but in a nice controlled environment. I just love it.
Why do they hate you at Squaw - there are many people who say it is my fault that the KT-22 lines starts at 6:30AM because me and my buddies are the ones who started getting there that early and now it's packed.
What is your favorite run?
That's a tough one. I'd say (if you've read Squallywood you might know what I mean) the hero factor on KT is hard to beat. Taking the nose into the fingers on a powder day (at any time of the day) is a pretty fun run unless you blow up and get heckled from the chair!
What is your favorite lift?
Would it be cliche to say that KT is my favorite lift (in particular the fingers)? There's a lot of great terrain at Squaw, but the vibe of KT-22 on a powder day is unexplainable. Just watching all of these amazing skiers drop cliff after cliff first run of the day is awesome.
Favorite powder stash?
If I told you I'd have to kill you, just kidding. Last chance has got some goods late in the afternoon on cold days. It tends to heat up, but it's still a fun non stop run with plenty of freshies.
Favorite apres ski?
Wildflower bakery hands down (no they don't serve beer, but they have the best cookies/pizza bagels). I go there everyday and often twice a day when I'm on the mountain. If I'm really feeling like a beer then I might stop by Le Chamois.
Anything else that is cool?
There are a ton of amazing skiers and snowboarders in Squaw. It's just rad to be surrounded by everybody crushing it everyday.
2002 Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke has long been one of the top lady bump skiers in the world, and she's back on the U.S. Olympic Team, heading to the Vancouver Games. Here, she shares her inside info on her favorite mountain, Squaw Valley:
Favorite Ski Resort: Squaw Valley USA
Best Run at Squaw: West Face of KT22
Best place to find powder: If I told you I'd have to kill you!
Best Apres Ski: Start off with a cookie at the Wildflower Baking Company and then head over to the Chamoix. Then go into Tahoe City for drinks at the Bridgetender!