Squaw Valley is defined by snow. In most people's minds, when they think of this area, they think of it in a winter scene. That's understandable since the 1960s Winter Olympics is what put it on the map as a skiing destination. It's also understandable because it's still one of the premiere ski resort areas in the country. When you take the tram to the top of the mountain (do this, even if you're not a ski nut or if it's summer!) and you look at the run that was used for downhill competition for those games, it makes your stomach tighten right on up. It's practically vertical! How on earth do you get down that even on your two feet, much less with skis attached to them?! But, every day there's snow on that mountain, plenty of people who've come to Squaw Valley just for this reason do get down it, and with grace and style. And, that slope aside, Squaw has an abundance of ski runs that are perfect for beginners or for athletes who are honing their skills. This cross-accessibility isn't always the case in the steep terrain around Lake Tahoe, and it makes Squaw skiing, as well as other snow sports, even more attractive.
To house all these enthusiast, Squaw Valley has built several popular resorts. But the land around the mountain is also dotted with lots of vacation rental houses that fill the range of accommodation needs.
Squaw Valley Takes on the Seasons
But latter-day Squaw Valley has grown into a year round place. In summer, locals and visitors take advantage of the phenomenal hiking and mountain biking trails. Most of the biking trails that are accessible from Squaw and the general West Shore require experience, strong lungs and legs of steel, but hiking is perfect for anyone with the desire to climb every mountain. Golf, too, is a great way to spend the day when the weather cooperates. Fishing is too. The "city center" that exists at The Village at Squaw Valley is a draw for many reasons. Here, the 10-somethings find miniature golf, a climbing wall and an acrobatic bungee jump area (if you're older, you should still try this . . . it's a blast!); the 20-somethings find fun bars, beer events, street dances to live music and romantic restaurants; the everyone-somethings have cool shopping and other restaurants, trips 2,000 feet up on the tram to High Camp where, in the summer, they can swim in the huge pool, lounge in the hot tub, grab a snack and a drink, play disc golf and take a hike.
Squaw Valley is also defined by balance. At the end -- or beginning -- of a day, area yoga studios invite you in to center, stretch and breathe.