Winter Get-away: Lake Tahoe skiing at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows

Get the best out of Tahoe’s north shore ski resorts this winter. Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via flickr

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., February 4, 2013 — Breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe, sweet Sierra skiing and easy proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area are only some of the reasons to pack your bags and head off to Tahoe’s North Shore this winter, while the snow is still good. If it’s been a while since your last trip to the slopes at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, it’s time to consider a return visit.

Because both resorts have merged operations, there’s only one mountain pass to worry about. Shuttles connect Squaw and Alpine, so you don’t have to think about driving yourself. Between Squaw’s 3,600 skiable acres spread across six peaks and Alpine’s 2,400 acres for skiing, there are plenty of options for skiers of all levels of experience. At the moment, I’m still an intermediate skier, and after two days, I felt I had plenty of trails to play on.

Head out with sled dogs for an alternate to an afternoon of skiing. (Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via flickr)

Head out with sled dogs for an alternate to an afternoon of skiing. (Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via flickr)

Home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley’s miles of groomed trails, wide-open bowls, big beginner areas, world-renowned steeps, and manicured terrain parks and pipes offer a wealth of ways to fill your day. Improve your skills with a lesson or just hit the slopes yourself and have fun. Don’t skip a look at the events calendar for everything from competitions to ski adventures to après specials.

If you’re a Starbucks fan, make sure to visit North America’s first ski-in/ski-out Starbucks, right at Gold Coast. Even if you decide to take a day off from skiing, there are plenty of other things to do, from snowshoeing to dog sledding.

Be sure to work in equal time for turns at Alpine Meadows. Aside from its varied-level trails, the terrain park has expanded to an entire mile-long park run, making it the longest terrain park run in the Tahoe region. Continue your ski school lessons here with kids and adult programs as well as private lessons. Always wanted to learn to telemark? You can do that here too. As with Squaw, a handful of events mark the calendar every week.

Views from the top of Roundhouse lift at Alpine Meadows. (Photo: Miguel Vieira, via flickr)

Views from the top of Roundhouse lift at Alpine Meadows. (Photo: Miguel Vieira, via flickr)

Take advantage of the great season thus far and head out to the Left Coast for some quality skiing. I’ll return in the spring for an update.

Where To Stay

If Squaw Valley is high on your ski list this winter, the best ski-in/ski-out luxury accommodation is the Resort at Squaw Creek. Much more than a convenient place to access both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, the resort is also a sweet spot to relax when you’re off the mountain.

Don’t miss the opportunity to chill out après-ski in one of the resort’s hot tubs or at Sandy’s Pub.

The hotel’s 405 guest rooms range from deluxe rooms to fireside suites to bi-level penthouses. All rooms have at least a full bath, LCD flat-screen TV, robes, hair dryer, coffee maker, and refrigerator. Suites and penthouse rooms have resort kitchens and gas fireplaces. Rates at the hotel start at $229 per night, and vary depending on type of room and time of year.

Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill is an avid kayaker and owner of Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jill K. Robinson

An award-winning journalist and adventure seeker, Jill K. Robinson has been a columnist with The Washington Times, Communities section since 2011.

Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, American Way, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Robb Report, Westways, Journey, Let's Go with Ryanair, World Hum, Gadling, Lonely Planet and more. She lives in a small California beach town near the big wave surf spot, Mavericks, and divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day.

Always eager to take a leap into the unknown and experience new things, Jill shares adventure sport and travel highlights—even when the adventure isn’t adrenaline pumping or bone crushing. Adventure is sometimes only a state of mind.

Find Jill on and Twitter @dangerjr 

Contact Jill K. Robinson


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