The Resort at Squaw Creek

The Resort at Squaw Creek
For many, a ski vacation makes winter better. If you’re part of that group, consider spending time at The Resort at Squaw Creek. Located in Olympic Valley just outside the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee, the resort offers a variety of winter sports, including ski-in, ski-out access from the hotel.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows are two of the largest ski resorts on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, offering over twenty lifts divided up into fifteen different “zones” ranked by the difficulty. The runs are fairly long, and there’s a great deal of acreage to cover; it’s possible for a skier to spend a week here without getting bored. Keep in mind that California snow, nicknamed “Sierra Cement”, is wetter and heavier than what’s found in other states; you will get a great workout skiing here!

New skiers will appreciate access to both half-day and full-day lessons, with instructors teaching both groups and individuals. There is a chairlift specifically for children, and a large “bunny hill” for those new to the sport. Rest assured, however, that there are many runs rated as “difficult” or “expert”; nearly half the terrain offers challenges for experienced skiers.

Beyond downhill skiing, there are trails where one can cross-country ski or snowshoe, as well as an ice-skating rink and a hill for sledding. Those who want to swim are in luck, as there are outdoor heated pools and hot tubs. Looking for some rest? The spa offers massage, body treatments, and facials.

Keep in mind that this is the north shore of Lake Tahoe, in the state of California; gambling is only offered on the Nevada side of the lake. Beyond a band playing in the lobby area (which also has a mini-bar and comfortable seating), there’s isn’t any nightlife. Non-skiers and non-athletes won’t find a lot of interest here beyond the spa; this is a place focused on the outdoors and on winter sport. As the ambiance is family-oriented, this resort is a great place for those with young children who either want to learn to ski or play in the snow; it’s also an excellent location for winter-sports oriented family reunions.

All this winter fun makes people hungry. The breakfast buffet offers made-to-order omelets as well as other egg dishes, pastries, croissants, yogurt, cereal, and fruit; there’s also a sandwich shop which offers quick breakfasts and lunches. From noon on, there’s a pub, a pizzeria, and a steakhouse (the only restaurant which takes reservations.)

The hotel offers nine floors of lodging, ranging from single rooms to two-bedroom suites with living area, dining table, and gas fireplace. All rooms include a small kitchenette area with a miniature refrigerator, a coffee maker, a microwave, and a sink; the suites also feature a small electric range, dishwasher, dishes, and utensils. The beds are comfortable, the rooms well-appointed.

This is not a budget resort; rooms can be as high as four hundred dollars a night. Those interested in visiting who prefer not to pay so much should look for one of the numerous specials offered, which can cut the price of lodging in half. Lift tickets run around one hundred and fifty dollars a day, but buying in advance and purchasing multi-day packages are ways to bring the price down. Considering that families can park the car once and then ski, play, dine, and stay without having to travel, the cost may indeed be well worth it.

The Resort at Squaw Creek, 400 Squaw Creek Road, Olympic Valley, California, (530) 583-6300.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this resort or with Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows. I paid for my activities and lodging with my own funds.

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Winter Weather in California

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