Skiing in Olympic Valley
Resort at Squaw Creek. Cross-country skiers enjoy looping through the valley's giant alpine meadow. The resort rents ski equipment and provides trail maps. 400 Squaw Creek Rd., Olympic Valley, CA, 96146. 530/583–6300; 530/581–6637 pro shop. www.squawcreek.com.
Squaw Valley USA. Known for some of the toughest skiing in the Tahoe area, this park was the centerpiece of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Today it's the definitive North Tahoe ski resort and among the top-three megaresorts in California (the other two are Heavenly and Mammoth). Although Squaw has changed significantly since the Olympics, the skiing is still world-class and extends across vast bowls stretched between six peaks. Experts often head directly to the untamed terrain of the infamous KT-22 face, which has bumps, cliffs, and gulp-and-go chutes, or to the nearly vertical Palisades, where many famous extreme-skiing films have been shot. Fret not, beginners and intermediates: you have plenty of wide-open, groomed trails at High Camp (which sits at the top of the mountain) and around the more challenging Snow King Peak. Snowboarders and show-off skiers can tear up the six fantastic terrain parks, which include a giant super-pipe. Ski passes are good at neighboring Alpine Meadows; free shuttles run all day between the two ski parks. 1960 Squaw Valley Rd., off Hwy. 89, 7 miles northwest of Tahoe City, Olympic Valley, CA, 96146. 800/731–8021 lodging reservations; 530/452–4355 snow phone; 800/403–0206 information. squaw.com. 170 trails on 3,600 acres, rated 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced. Longest run 3.2 miles, base 6,200 feet, summit 9,050 feet. Lifts: 29, including a gondola-style funitel, a tram, 7 high-speed chairs, and 15 fixed-grip chairs and 5 surface lifts.
Tahoe Dave's Skis and Boards. If you don't want to pay resort prices, you can rent and tune downhill skis and snowboards at this shop. 3039 Hwy. 89, at Squaw Valley Rd., Olympic Valley, CA, 96146. 530/583–5665. www.tahoedaves.com.
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