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Olympic Valley, California: Winter Playground PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Squaw Valley, Olmpic Valley, California - photo by Luxury Experience The thrill of alpine skiing and riding at Squaw Valley USA and Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, as well as cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, dog sledding, horse-drawn carriage rides, sledding, snowmobiling, skating, and a long skiing/riding season are a few of the reasons that make the Resort at Squaw Creek and Olympic Valley, California, a wonderful winter vacation.

Living in Connecticut, in the northeast of the United States, snow in winter is expected. It can arrive as early as Thanksgiving and may fall until Easter. In 2012 however, it was virtually a snow-less winter, snowing exactly twice, each time with the snow lasting less than 24 hours, much different than the winter of 2010-2011 when weekly snowstorms were the norm.  

To remedy our lack of snow, in late February 2012, Edward and I and flew out west to Olympic Valley, California, to enjoy the beauty of winter. On the day that we arrived at the Reno/Tahoe International Airport the snow had started falling and it continued to fall throughout our stay, ultimately depositing over 5 feet of snow, making for prime deep powder skiing conditions. 

Snow fall - Reno, NV to Tahoe, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Drive from Reno, Nevada to Olympic Valley, California

Oftentimes we take for granted what is seemingly commonplace, like snow in winter; not so the winter of 2012; we watched the falling snow in California with the fascination of someone experiencing it for the first time. Sitting in one of the three hot tubs at the Resort at Squaw Creek and gazing up at the large snowflakes falling all around us, we were captivated by Mother Nature, and we marveled at the majestic snow covered Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.   

During our stay, we skied the world-class Squaw Valley USA home of the 1960 Winter Olympics and its sister mountain, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, and experienced deep powder skiing at its best.   

 Olympic Valley USA, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Squaw Valley USA

We had great lunches after skiing, and enjoyed excellent dinners after pleasurable days of outdoor adventures, and even managed time to indulge in Spa treatments. It was a most memorable experience in Olympic Valley playing in Mother Nature's winter playground.  

Where to Stay  

We stayed at the luxurious, well-appointed 405-room and suite ski-in, ski-out Resort at Squaw Creek, where the magnificent scenery should be listed as one of the resort's many amenities. This year-round destination resort offers winter visitors the opportunity to experience alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, dog sledding, horse-drawn carriage rides, sledding, snowmobiling, skating, and more. 

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA
Resort at Squaw Creek

Our suite featured a well-equipped kitchen, a dining area, and a living room with a queen-size sleeper sofa, two comfortable arm chairs flanking a round wood table with a large lamp, a gas fireplace that added ambience and warmth, and a bay window that overlooked the mountains. The bedroom had a king "Deep Powder" pillow top bed and a desk and chair, and the spacious bathroom featured a walk-in glass shower, deep soaking tub, and many amenities.  

Suite - Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA
Suite at Resort at Squaw Creek

As skiers, we appreciated the on-site Squaw Creek Sports where we rented state-of-the-art equipment, we enjoyed the ability to ski-up and ride the Squaw Creek chair lift to Squaw Valley, as well as take the complimentary Squaw/Alpine Express Shuttle service from the resort to ski at Squaw Valley as well as at their sister mountain, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort 

The resort has a diverse selection of restaurants including Cascades, Sweet Potatoes Deli, Chuck Wagon, and Sandy's Pub where we experienced an enjoyable casual evening of dining, and Six Peaks Grille, where we began each day with wonderful breakfasts, as well as had excellent fine dining dinners.   

The 10-treatment room Spa at Squaw Creek has a diverse treatment menu, is pure indulgence, and was just what we needed after a day of skiing. We also experienced their dry saunas and steam rooms, worked out in the fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, and relaxed in the Spa's Sanctuary.    

Spa at Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA
Spa at Squaw Creek

We also experienced the 3 outdoor hot tubs, took a swim in the year-round heated swimming pool that was surrounded by snow, and felt the need to be children again and jump in the pristine snow and make "angels" while still in our bathing suits. 

Outdoor Heated Pool and Spas - Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA
Resort's Outdoor Heated Pool and Spas

Although it is a winter playground, it is also a year-round destination. For summer visitors, the resort has a Robert Trent Jones, Jr. championship 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, three outdoor swimming pools, outdoor hot tubs, hiking and biking trails, on-site fly fishing, boating, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and jet skiing on Lake Tahoe, which is North America's largest alpine lake and is the second-deepest lake in the United States, and horseback riding in neighboring Alpine Meadows.   

Families traveling with children will appreciate the year-round Resort at Squaw Creek's Mountain BuddiesTM supervised children's program for ages 4-12, and business travelers will appreciate the state-of-the-art well-equipped conference rooms.  

We made the most of our time at the Resort at Squaw Creek, and have lasting memories of a wonderful winter vacation.  

The Resort at Squaw Creek is conveniently located 42 miles west of the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, 200 miles east of San Francisco, and 100 miles east of Sacramento.   

Read about the Resort at Squaw Creek in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Adventures sections.   

For more information on the Resort at Squaw Creek, please visit the website: www.SquawCeek.com.  

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA

Resort at Squaw Creek
P.O. Box
3333
400 Squaw Creek Road 
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Toll-Free:    +1-800-327-3353
Telephone:  +1-530-583-6300
Fax:             +1-530-581-5407
Website:      
www.SquawCreek.com
Facebook:    www.Facebook.com/ResortAtSquawCreek 

Skiing Adventures  

New for the 2011-2012 season, the owners of Squaw Valley USA purchased Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, which meant that we could maximize our ski experience with only one season pass, lift ticket, or The Tahoe Super Pass, which was valid at both locations, and provided us with access to over 6,000 skiable acres, 43 lifts, and over 270 trails spread across eight Sierra Nevada mountain peaks.  

Riding the Chair Lift, Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley USA, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Riding Chair Lift at Squaw Valley

Skiing at Squaw Valley USA, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, was a once in a lifetime exhilarating experience. Jonny Moseley grew up skiing Squaw Valley USA, and it was wonderful to see the mountain through his eyes. It was also the first time that we had ever experienced skiing in deep-powder snow, and the wait was well worth it.

To watch a video interview with Jonny Mosely on his start in skiing and skiing Squaw Valley, please visit  the Luxury Experience Facebook page www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience.   

Jonny Mosely and Debra Argen Skiing Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley USA, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Jonny Mosely and Debra Argen at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley USA has a base elevation of 6,200 ft/1,890 m, a peak elevation of 9,050 ft/2,758 m, and a vertical rise of 2,840 ft/869 m. There are 6 mountain peaks, 34 lifts, trail classification of 25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, and 30% Advanced, 4,000 sk  able acres and a world-class ski school. 

Squaw Valley Trails, Olympic Valley USA, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Trail at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley USA is open Weekends and Holidays from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm, Weekdays from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm, and offers Night Skiing from 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm from mid-December until mid-April. 

Danny Sullivan, Michael Fenton, Edward Nesta skiing Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley USA, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Danny Sullivan, Michael Fenton, and Edward Nesta at Squaw Valley

Read about skiing at Squaw Valley USA in the Adventures section.  

For additional information on Squaw Valley USA, please visit the website: www.Squaw.com.  

Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley, USA, CaliforniaSquaw Valley Ski Corporation
P.O. Box
2007
1960 Squaw Valley Road
Olympic Valley, California 96146
United States
  
Toll-Free:      +1-800-403-0206
Fax:               +1-581-7106
Snowphone:  +1-530-583-6955O
Email:             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it    
Website:        www.Squaw.com 

We also experienced great skiing at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, where they have a base elevation of 6.935 ft/ 2,083m, with Scott Peak at an elevation of 8,289 ft/2,526 m, and Ward Peak at an elevation of 8,637 ft/ 2,633 m, 14 lifts, and a trail classification of 2,400 patrolled acres, and 100 designated runs: 25% easier, 40% more difficult, and 35% most difficult/expert.  

Debra Argen and William Maune at Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Debra Argen and William Mauney Guide/Instructor 
at Alpine Meadows

The Alpine Meadows Ski Resort lifts are open from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm during days of operation. The Special Tickets office is open to the public 7 days a week from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm.  

Roundhouse Chair Lift - Tahoe City, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Roundhouse Chair Lift at Alpine Meadows

Read about skiing at Squaw Valley USA in the Adventures section.   

Edward Nesta and Tanya Aghazarian at Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, CA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Edward Nesta and Tanya Aghazarian Guide/Instructor
at Alpine Meadows

For additional information on Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, please visit the website: www.SkiAlpine.com.   

Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, Calrifornia, USAAlpine Meadows Ski Resort
PO Box
5279
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
Tahoe City
, CA 96145
United States

Toll-Free:                    +1-800-403-0206
Telephone:                  +1-530-581-8310
Fax:                             +1-530-583-0963
Snow Report:              +1-530-581-8374
Disabled Sports USA: +1-530-581-4161
Email:                           This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tickets Email:              This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it           
Website:                      www.SkiAlpine.com 

Dining 

We began each day at Six Peaks Grille where we enjoyed hearty pre-ski breakfasts before heading out for a day on the slopes, where a wall of windows overlooked the snow covered mountains and provided the perfect backdrop to get us mentally prepared and excited for the day. 

Six Peaks Grille at Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, CA, USA
Six Peaks Grille

Over the course of our stay, we enjoyed the Sierra Breakfast with two eggs any style, breakfast potatoes, toast, and a choice of applewood-smoked bacon, sausage, or ham; fluffy and delicately golden Griddle Cakes; Belgian Waffle with fresh strawberries; Cinnamon Dusted French Toast with maple pecan butter, fresh sliced bananas, cinnamon, and powdered sugar; and the Ultimate Fruit Bowl which was a delicious mixture of honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, and was served with yogurt.  

Griddle Cakes at Six Peaks Grille at Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, CA, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Griddle Cakes for Breakfast

Six Peaks Grille is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 

Read about Six Peaks Grille in the Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections. 

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA

Six Peaks Grille
Resort at Squaw Creek
P.O. Box
3333
400 Squaw Creek Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Toll-Free:     +1-800-327-3353
Telephone:   +1-530-581-6621
Fax:              +1-530-581-5407
Website:       www.SquawCreek.com
Facebook:     www.Facebook.com/ResortAtSquawCreek 

After spending the morning skiing at Squaw Valley USA, we had a delicious, casual lunch at the restaurant/bar Rocker at Squaw, which opened in late 2011, and is located in The Village at Squaw

Rocker at Squaw - Spinach Flatbread - Photo by Luxury Experience
Rocker@Squaw - Spinach Articoke Flatbread

A few of our tasty lunch highlights included Spinach Artichoke Flatbread with Jack and Parmesan Cheese; Steamed Mussels served in a rich broth made with Newcastle Ale and topped with crispy, garlicky French fries, which was definitely a winning combination; Chicken Mac and Cheese, which was classic macaroni and cheese topped with smoked Buffalo chicken, blue cheese and scallions; and Grilled Fish Tacos made with halibut fish, avocado cream, salsa, and vegetable slaw, which were served with giant, golden and delectable beer battered onion rings. 

Rocker at Squaw - Fish Tacos - Photo by Luxury Experience
Rocker@Squaw - Grilled Fish Tacos

Rocker@Squaw is located in The Village at Squaw Valley near the Red Dog lift and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am until 9:00 pm for food, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm, and the bar is open later depending on the crowd. 

Read about Rocker@Squaw in the Restaurants section. 

Rocker at Squaw, Olympic Valley, CA, USA

Rocker@Squaw
The Village at Squaw Valley
Squaw Valley Ski Corporation
P.O. Box
2007
1960 Squaw Valley Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
United States
Telephone:    +1-530-584-6080
Email:            This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:       www.Squaw.com/Rocker
Facebook:     www.Facebook.com/SquawValley 

We enjoyed a casual evening dining at Sandy's Pub at the Resort at Squaw Creek, a sports bar featuring American pub cuisine where we watched the large screen televisions filled with images of skiing and riding (snowboarding).   

Sandy's Pub - Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA
Sandy's Pub at Resort at Squaw Creek

A few of the highlights of our dinner included Taffy Apple Salad, which was made with Braeburn apples, taffy glazed almonds, blue cheese, sundried cranberries, and spinach with a roasted shallot vinaigrette; Buffalo Wings with "Joey's" Award Winning Sauce; and "Mac" It Your Way, which was organic aged white cheddar, elbow macaroni, topped with Ritz cracker crumbs. 

Taffy Apple Salad at Sandy's Pub - Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA - photo by Luxury Experience
Taffy Apple Salad

Sandy's Pub is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.  Hours of operation are typically 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, and until 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday.  Food is served until 10:00 pm.   

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA

Sandy
's Pub
Resort at Squaw Creek
P.O. Box
3333
400 Squaw Creek Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Toll-Free:     +1-800-327-3353
Telephone:   +1-530-581-6617
Fax:              +1-530-581-5407
Website:      
www.SquawCreek.com
Facebook:    
www.Facebook.com/ResortAtSquawCreek 

We also had two dinners at the fine dining restaurant, Six Peaks Grille, where Chef de Cuisine Chad Shrewsbury focuses on steaks, sustainable, biodynamic produce, and seafood. 

Chef Chad Shrewsbury of Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, CA, USA
Chef Chad Shrewsbury

A few of the many wonderful highlights of our dinners included Filet Mignon, elegantly presented and paired with asparagus, whipped potatoes, and a rich pool of port wine demi glaze; Wild Salmon paired with asparagus, fingerling potatoes, and a classic béarnaise sauce; Heritage Farm Pork served with Wild Fruit Chutney, Bacon Potato Hash, and Bourbon Glaze; and Branzini Sea Bass served with gnocchi, olives, caper berries, and hot house tomato relish. 

Wild Salmon at Six Peaks Grille at Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley USA, CA - photo by Luxury Experience
Wild Salmon

Six Peaks Grille is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 

Read about Six Peaks Grille in the Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections where Chef de Cuisine Chad Shrewsbury shares a delicious taste of the restaurant with his recipe for Crispy Lamb Sausage with Toasted Fontina Cheese, Watercress, Egg Yolk, and Romesco Sauce

Resort at Squaw Creek, Olympic Valley, USA,  CA

Six Peaks Grille
Resort at Squaw Creek
P.O. Box
3333
400 Squaw Creek Road
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
Toll-Free:    +1-800-327-3353
Telephone:  +1-530-583-6300
Fax:             +1-530-581-5407
Website:     
www.SquawCreek.com
Facebook:   
www.Facebook.com/ResortAtSquawCreek 

Although we visited in winter when the mountains were transformed under a deep blanket of pristine snow, we look forward to returning in the summer months, to experience this gorgeous year-round destination and all of its warm weather amenities. 

Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley USA, CA - photo by Luxury Experience
See You Next Year at Squaw Valley!

The Resort at Squaw Creek is conveniently located 42 miles west of the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, 200 miles east of San Francisco, and 100 miles east of Sacramento.  

Read more about the Resort at Squaw Creek in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants: Six Peaks Grille, Restaurants: Rocker at Squaw, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Adventures sections.  

© March 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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