Beginner and advanced snow enthusiasts alike have their pick from more than 100 trails funneling down from two mountain peaks at this winter sports destination.
The Alpine Meadows area has two peaks, 20 ski and snowboard areas serviced by 13 lifts, and more than 100 trails in all. These trails are split into the “Frontside” and the “Backside,” with options for all levels in both areas. An average annual snow fall of 450 inches (11 meters) makes Alpine Meadows a great winter sports destination. It’s also beautiful for hiking in the warmer months.
A group of San Francisco skiers stumbled across the snow bowl under the Scott and Ward Peaks in the 1960s. They pooled their resources to develop a small resort, which opened in 1961. Fifty years later, Alpine Meadows merged with the nearby Squaw Valley Resort.
Visit the guest services center to orient yourself and pick up maps, event tickets and lift passes. No matter what your skiing skills, there are private lessons, group classes and multi-day lessons available. Those with a competitive spirit can join the ski or snowboard team for a race. Don’t miss the resort’s long terrain parks: Try the jumps and tricky corners of The Firing Line and stunt your way down to the bottom of Sandy’s Corner.
When you’re ready for a lunch break or après-ski drinks, head to the main lodge to check out the sun deck, shops, café and playground for kids. You don’t even have to take off your ski boots at the Ice Bar at the base of Sherwood Chair; just order your drinks or snacks at the window. Just like the resort itself, this snack hut is open year-round, because the fun on the mountain doesn’t stop as the mercury rises. In the warmer months, you can hike and climb, and enjoy the spring concert series from March onwards.
Alpine Meadows is located east of Tahoe City, south of Squaw Valley. A complimentary shuttle service runs to-and-from most of the lodges on the northern and western shores of Lake Tahoe and in nearby Truckee.
The resort itself doesn’t have on-site accommodations. One good lodging option is the Squaw Valley resort, which offers reciprocal ski pass privileges with Alpine Meadows. There’s a free shuttle bus every 20 minutes connecting the two resorts. Rent a locker at either resort for the day or to store your gear overnight.