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Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley Ski Resort Guide

Squaw Valley, United States

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForIntermediates, Snowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski!
Highest Lift2,720m
Resort Height1,860m
 Nearest AirportsReno Tahoe and Sacramento
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Squaw Valley

The site of the 1960 Winter Olympics and internationally recognised world-class ski resort. Squaw Valley has a huge number of chair lifts serving one of North america's largest ski areas. There's a ski-in resort at Squaw Creek opened in the early 1990s followed by a new pedestrian village.


The American ski resort of Squaw Valley is at an altitude of 1,860m.

Squaw Valley has direct access to 100 marked pistes, served by a total of 31 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 1,860m, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,720m, skiing and snowboarding is assured throughout the season.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Squaw Valley?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Squaw Valley.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Squaw Valley

Ski Area Stats

Squaw Valley Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Number of runs
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Squaw Valley Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,720m
Lowest Piste1,860m
Resort Altitude (Squaw Valley)1,860m
Max Vertical860m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Squaw Valley
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Squaw Valley Overview

One of North America and the world's major resorts, Squaw Valley 's history as a ski resort dates back to the late 1940's when the resort's first chairlift was installed. A little over a decade later the resort's meteoric rise saw it hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. With more than 30 lifts, including North America's first Funitel, serving 4000 skiable acres Squaw is definitely a world class resort.

In the later 1990s, and at the time still family-owned, Squaw created a resort village at its base, in partnership with Intrawest who then ran a dozen major North American resorts including Whistler.

The resort's achievement in hosting the 1960s Olympics is still a topic of conversation more than fifty years on. It wasn't just that the area succeeded in staging what was then the world's largest games, with a thousand competitors from 34 nations, a little over a decade after Squaw's inception, but that the resort actually won the bidding five years earlier, in 1955, when it was virtually unheard of outside California.

The first Games to be nationally televised and to house the athletes in their own Olympic village, the opening and closing ceremonies were orchestrated by Walt Disney and involved over 5,000 participants and the use of 1,285 musical instruments.

Squaw Valley's history does go back a little further than the start of the ski industry in the area of course. The Washoe Native Americans were the original inhabitants, then the town of Claraville grew up in the 1860s where today the entrance to Squaw Valley stands. The valley's popularity then was the result of silver being discovered in the area. The town's population peaked at 1000 residents and, whilst ranchers, shepherds, miners and trappers came and went, it wasn't until the Squaw Valley Development Corporation was established in 1948 that the area really took off.

 Notable Ski Runs

The longest possible descent in Squaw Valley is 5km long and the most difficult run is the 'West Face - vertical'.


Famous for having some of the steepest terrain in North America, Squaw also has less widely publicised beginner terrain which, as you would expect from a resort with its reputation, is also world class. Unusually, the beginner slopes are at the top of the mountain so beginners can benefit from the same views and higher-elevation snow conditions as the more experienced. Beginners should take the recently refurbished cable car to High Camp and head through the sliding doors to the top of Bailey's Beach. Nor should intermediates feel too intimidated by Squaw's reputation as 45% of the terrain is geared up to suit them. Siberia Express, Gold Coast and Mainline are all good routes to use to get your first taste of open bowl skiing, whilst Shirley Lake Express gives you a choice of five tree runs.

For better skiers, the KT- 22 Peak, accessed by the KT-22/Olympic Lady Express Lift, is legendary. From the top of KT22 the entire spine of the snow covered Sierra Nevada is strung out in bold view for the eye to see. It was the late Wayne Poulsen who whimsically christened the peak by counting how many kick-turns it took his wife Sandy to get down its West Face! Today, the X generation laughs at the thought of this, but don't realize that up until the 60s you didn't really ski the 75 Chute, you traversed it, all except Swiss skier Squaw Valley instructor Joel Auckenthaller.

Some guests visiting Squaw's slopes wouldn't have a clue that a restaurant aptly named The Cornice used to sit near KT's present top terminal, or that there was actually a family of eagles that roosted in the Eagle's Nest. West Face, renamed Moseley's in February 1998 in honour of Squaw Valley Freestyle Team member and Nagano Gold Medallist Jonny Moseley, is the flagship of KT's double diamond terrain. Bumps on the

steep slope stay cold, soft, and gullied into massive mounds storm-to-storm. Negotiating down its rippled compressions is like facing hand-to-hand combat. But KT-22 also has plenty of terrain to offer the intermediate-level enthusiast. From the top, head west along the Saddle Traverse and drop into the long lovely gradients of the Saddle. Keep skier's right for its steeps and a fun finish, or cruise left onto the well-groomed paths and the Mountain Run.

Squaw Valley offers good sking, particularly, for Intermediate skiers.


In 1995 Squaw accepted more first time snowboarders than skiers for the first time, a sure mark of its commitment to the sport. The resort's Central Park is located at the top of the Funitel under the Riviera and Belmont lifts. It incorporates two half pipes and two terrain parks, groomed with the aid of two Pipe Dragons. Open for 12 hours each day, Central Park has a throbbing sound system with foodlighting for night time action. The terrain features under Riviera are for advanced riders, those on Belmont for beginner and intermediate freestylers.

The snowboard school offers Sunday sessions including freeriding, terrain park and halfpipe instruction. New last season, Squaw Valley added a Park Bully and a Super Pipe Dragon to its fleet of grooming equipment. This now allows the resort to expand the terrain park and build a Super Park - including table top jumps, a quarter pipe, rail slides, spines, volcanoes and fun boxes.

Location and Map

Where is Squaw Valley?

This ski resort is in Fresno, California, United States.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Squaw Valley is Reno Tahoe, 55 minutes drive away.

Sacramento and Chico Muni airports are all within three hours drive.

Reno Tahoe is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The 31 ski lifts are able to uplift 49,000 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 290 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Squaw Valley open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is late November, and usual closing is Early May (Sometimes opens weekends in May and even June if snow pack is in reasonable condition).

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Squaw Valley, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Squaw Valley Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Squaw Valley

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Squaw has a lively apres ski scene centred on the base area and other lift stations, as well as in the various lodgings in the area. The Olympic Plaza Bar on the second level of the main Plaza building is one of the most popular when the lifts close. It contains a full service bar, multi-level lounge with major sporting events on satellite TV, ski movies and a large sun deck. Nearby Bar One is another popular rendezvous with live music at weekends and a DJ on 'Big Wednesdays. The Loft Bar in Le Chamois is the place to find local legends and good laughs (not to mention the food).

Squaw Valley