Lake Tahoe Skiing: Alpine Meadows
There is an energy at Alpine Meadows, like a heartbeat. Beyond its scenic natural beauty is Alpine’s mysterious ‘je ne sais quos’ character that escapes spoken or written word.
This mountain mesmerizes us with perfect powder that lingers days after a storm; grants moments of clarity on quiet traverses through snow-covered trees; and converts visitors to locals with seven open bowls, gentle, top-to-bottom cruisers and forested glades.
Alpine Meadows opened in 1961, with the notion of offering a more relaxed atmosphere and family-friendly experience than its glamorous, energetic neighbor, Squaw Valley USA.
From atop the peaks of the recent Olympic host: Squaw Valley; a group of avid outdoorsmen from San Francisco spied the beckoning valley to the south; they coveted its spanning powder bowls and its gracefully spaced juniper, western white pines and aspen trees. Visions of yesteryear are realized today; carefully tended groomed trails remain surrounded by Alpine’s great amphitheater of off-piste bowls, sinewy chutes and craggy peaks.
Top elevation: 8,637 feet
Vertical drop: 1,802 feet
Terrain: 100-plus trails
Terrain parks: 3
Ski season: November to May
Average snowfall: 365 inches
Base elevation: 6,835 feet
Beginning trails: 25%
Intermediate trails: 40%
Advanced trails: 35%
Chair lifts: 14 lifts including one high-speed detachable six-passenger chair; two high-speed express quads; three triple and five double chairs; three surface lifts.
Day lodge, rental and repair shop, parents’ lounge, indoor play area, retail shops, mid-mountain restaurant, ski and snowboard school, and a new base area restaurant.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.