Alpine Meadows3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    67%
  • Would Revisit
    67%
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Alpine Meadows California
Alpine Meadows California
Alpine Meadows receives plenty of snowfall
Alpine Meadows receives plenty of snowfall
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has some nice groomers
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has some nice groomers
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort CA
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort CA
Alpine Meadows powder day
Alpine Meadows powder day
Alpine Meadows CA - Photo: Tom Zikas
Alpine Meadows CA - Photo: Tom Zikas
Alpine Meadows has interesting terrain for advanced riders
Alpine Meadows has interesting terrain for advanced riders
Alpine Meadows has a good kids ski school
Alpine Meadows has a good kids ski school
Alpine Meadows CA
Alpine Meadows CA
Views of Lake Tahoe from near the top
Views of Lake Tahoe from near the top
Alpine Meadows Ski Area
Alpine Meadows Ski Area
Plenty of interesting terrain
Plenty of interesting terrain
Alpine receives 450" of snow on average per season
Alpine receives 450
Stanford Alpine Chalet is the closest Alpine Meadows lodging
Stanford Alpine Chalet is the closest Alpine Meadows lodging
The Stanford Alpine Chalet has a good social area
The Stanford Alpine Chalet has a good social area
Alpine Meadows snow is typically a little heavy
Alpine Meadows snow is typically a little heavy
Nice views of Lake Tahoe
Nice views of Lake Tahoe
Lots of outdoor deck space at the base
Lots of outdoor deck space at the base
One of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts
One of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts
Photo: Estelle Rachel Woods
Photo: Estelle Rachel Woods

Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

The Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is ideal for skiers who love powder and simplicity. No one needs frills or trimmings at Alpine Meadows CA because it’s all about the thrills and skiing. Whilst snorkels on a powder day at Alpine Meadows are mandatory, you’ll potentially prefer to be on skis rather than a board.

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is a place of contradictions – it finds the balance between being low-key yet tough. Some of the terrain is for the seriously adventurous, yet it has a relaxed culture (generally!) and a family friendly environment. Facilities are few, but perfectly adequate.

Alpine Meadows Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Alpine Ski Resort has 100+ trails and 2,400 acres (971 hectares) of terrain, which is the average size of the major Lake Tahoe ski resorts. The vertical drop is relatively small at 1,800 feet (549 metres).

Alpine Meadows skiing is renowned for its advanced and expert terrain, with seven bowls, steep chutes, cornices, and trees. Officially 35% of the trails are rated as black, and of course there’s so much more off-piste and backcountry terrain to challenge. And like some other gnarly US ski resort counterparts, the Alpine Meadows ski resort doesn’t differentiate between advanced, expert and extreme terrain, so you’ll have to figure it out for yourself.

Even though the Alpine Meadows Resort is best known for the expert skiing, there are also plenty of cruisers for intermediates (40% of trails) and mellow runs for beginners (25%).

Alpine Meadows Snow

If you love big dumps then you might score one at the Alpine Ski Resort. On average the resort scores 450 inches of typical Lake Tahoe powder, so it generally falls a little heavy which sticks to the steeps nicely. There is also snowmaking on trails on 9 out of 11 of the lifts.

Where is Alpine Meadows CA?

The Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is right next door to the high profile Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The two ski areas are on the same lift ticket but they aren’t connected via the slopes (yet!), unless you head into the backcountry. There are frequent shuttles that connect the two ski resorts.

Alpine Meadows is located in the Tahoe National Forest near the north shore of Lake Tahoe in California. It is 6 miles (9.5km) northwest of Tahoe City, and 13 miles (21km) south of Truckee. Nearest major airports are Reno/Tahoe (1 hour drive, 72km, 45 miles), Sacramento (90 minutes drive, 177km, 100 miles) and San Francisco (3 hours drive).

Alpine Meadows Lodging

There is no slope-side Alpine Meadows lodging. The Stanford Alpine Chalet provides lodge style accommodations that are about 5 minutes walk from the base area. Other lodging options are situated about 1.5 miles down the road from the ski resort, and include vacation rentals, cabins, and some condos.

Alpine Meadows Lodging Listings

Stanford Alpine Chalet Stanford Alpine Chalet
 $$$
Lodge-style chalet with a lovely social atmosphere & quality food located 0.5 miles from Alpine Meadows lifts. Rooms have various bedding configs for up to 5 guests all with private en-suites. The property has a common hot tub..
Squaw Valley village area is located just 6 miles away and has several accommodation options however most do come with a premium price tag, especially those that are ski-in/ski-out.

Village at Squaw Valley | Hotel & Apartments Village at Squaw Valley
 $$$$
4-star ski-in/ski-out hotel rooms & 1, 2 & 3 br condos for up to 8 guests. Apartments have fireplaces and full kitchen facilities. All lodgings have flat screen cable tv, free wifi, access to hot tubs, saunas, fitness center & more ..
Squaw Creek is even closer (to the east of the main Squaw Valley village). There is basically one large hotel resort & spa complex that provides access to the ski slopes via its own dedicated lifts and ski runs.

Resort at Squaw Creek | Squaw Valley Accommodations Resort at Squaw Creek
 $$$-$$$$
4-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with double, twin & 1br suites (up to 4 guests per suite). There is a restaurant, poolside bar, bar/lounge, fitness center, all seasons pool complex, hot tubs, sauna, spa services, games arcade and much more..
See more Squaw Valley Lodgings here >>

Nearby Tahoe City has hotels, inns and condos, or alternatively you can stay in Truckee lodging.

Facilities

The finest amenity at Alpine Meadows CA continues to be the mountain itself. There are a few daytime dining and après options, ski school and equipment rentals, but no other extra-curricular activities.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Alpine Meadows

Pros
  • The low profile of Alpine Meadows is advantageous to those who want a pure skiing experience without the pretence.
  • On non-powder days, it’s a friendly locals’ mountain.
  • The Alpine ski resort has excellent terrain for advanced and expert riders.
  • The views of Lake Tahoe from the top are great, but when it’s draped in 3 feet of powder, most will be happy to forego the vistas and gleefully accept the faceshots!
  • Like various other Lake Tahoe ski resorts, Alpine Meadows generally scores plenty of snowfall.
Cons
  • Sharpen your elbows for a powder day as every 2nd local will turn up to compete with you for freshies.
  • Now that it’s part of Squaw Alpine, Squaw Valley prices apply.
  • Sadly for boarders in particular, Alpine Meadows has too many long traverses and flat run outs when there’s powder. And considering the lift layout, you often have to return to the base to do laps of the decent terrain which gives you a nasty sense of déjà vu.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • There’s no slope-side Alpine Meadows lodging or a village with restaurants and bars.
  • There are negligible activities other than skiing and snowboarding at the resort.

Ski tours in or near Alpine Meadows

Cat Skiing Tours
Pacific Crest Day Cat Skiing DETAILS
LAKE TAHOE | DAY CAT SKIING TOURS
8 - 12 Runs | Over 12,000 vert feet
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in USD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 399
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Escape the crowds in Lake Tahoe & come and play in the 3,000 acre private powder playground with Pacific Crest Snowcats. Book a seat for yourself, a few of you or a whole cat for a private day with your ski buddies! Seats book out early so be sure to book soon.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Alpine Meadows here