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Images courtesy of @Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows Mountain Guide - Top Trails, Itineraries & Dining

Experience Alpine Meadows like an insider. Find out where to ski with top trails and full day itineraries for intermediates and experts. We also show you where to eat on the mountain. Plus, check out the mountain stats.

Alpine Meadows Terrain Guides

 

Beginner

Alpine Meadows makes up for its lack of beginner terrain with a convenient, easy to navigate layout. Much of the area surrounding the main lodge and parking lots is a designated slow zone. There are two carpets and two beginner-only lifts within walking distance from the base area, enabling learners to progress to the nearby lifts that service intermediate terrain. Confident beginners will also enjoy the easier Blue runs here.

Intermediate

A blue square at Alpine Meadows can mean many things, but we usually equate them with fun! From the shorter opening runs off of Kangaroo chair, to breathtaking views from the Lake View area, to high speed laps from the summit; intermediate skiers and riders can have whatever they desire. Try one of the many options off of Roundhouse Express before working your way up to Alpine Bowl off of the summit.

Advanced/Expert

Like Squaw Valley, Alpine does not designate any of its runs as "Double Black," but don't let this fool you; the terrain can be intense. Scott Chair is one of our favorite areas for steep trees and gullies, while the hike-to terrain in all directions off of Summit Express provides endless opportunities to check out open bowls, tight chutes, moguls, and more. Head to Wolverine Bowl to get your first taste of this incredible advanced skiers' playground.

  • While many of the hike-to-trails at Alpine appear easily accessible on the map, some of this terrain is more difficult to reach. Be prepared to walk for up to an hour to reach some areas
     

  • California skiing often means following the sun for the best terrain throughout the day. Check out our Intermediate and Expert itineraries to make a plan
     

  • Skiers of varying ability levels should be able to stay together on most of the upper lifts 

Top Trail Picks

Category
Trail Name
Description​
Area / Getting There
 

Just Learning

Subway Beginner Area

Dedicated beginner area that runs along the lift line; gentle pitch and wide enough to learn those turns

Easiest to access from the left side of the parking area (when looking at the mountain); the Subway Chair is just a few steps off of the pavement

Starting Out

Meadow Beginner Area

Next lift up the hill from Subway Chair, Meadow offers slightly more incline 

Meadow Chair; coming from the lodge, head left, just past Treeline Cirque 

Warming Up

Kangaroo Main Run

Though rated blue, this run is wide open and a natural progression from the beginner areas

Kangaroo Chair; head back under the lift and stay to your skier's right

Groomer

Weasel Run

Wide, longer groomed run with plenty of places to take breaks

Treeline Cirque; exit the the chair at the mid-station and head back down the chair line

Scenic Cruiser

Outer Limits

With some of the best views of Lake Tahoe on the mountain, this long, moderately pitched groomer will challenge you to focus on your skis!

Exit Lake View Chair to the right

Burner

Alpine Bowl

Ski peak to base; this is one of the steeper groomed runs at Alpine; very wide and usually sunny

Summit; Exit Summit Express straight ahead and follow the traverse before dropping in on your left

Scenic Groomer

Robin Hood

The best groomed run to access the backside; start through the forest and finish in a wide open bowl with great views of the South Bowls

Sherwood Express; exit to the right

Steep & Deep

Wolverine Bowl

Starts off in a massive open bowl with cliff faces and alpine peaks in every direction, and fresh snow below! On lower snow years there is also a groomed track down the middle where you can pick up some speed

Exit Summit Express to the right and follow the boundary line, drop in right before the hiking track begins

Glades

Gentian Gully

Beautiful secluded trees on a powder day and a fun gladed, mogul challenge on others; come here when you're looking to escape the crowds

Exit Scott Chair right and immediately traverse back under the lift line

Showing Off

Scott Chute

This steep, wide chute follows Scott Chair, giving you the option of bumps (or powder on the right day), small cliff drops, and the best audience on the mountain!

Exit Scott chair to the right and immediately head back the way you came up

Fresh Powder

Sun Bowl

An Alpine classic for hike-to terrain; Sun Bowl offers the longest and most open run around. This mellow hike is well worth it for amazing views and seemingly endless turns

Summit Express; Go straight and start hiking up High Traverse; pass through the top of Ward Peak on your way and drop in toward Sherwood Express

On Mountain Dining Recommendations

Alpine Meadows is not going to "wow" most people with their dining options, but there are a few good options to to refuel and relax. The main lodges primarily serve traditional cafeteria-style food. Grab a seat outside and enjoy the views from The Chalet or Treats Cafe has delicious options for those on the go. Our top picks are below:

The Chalet

For a unique experience that lets you step away from the slopes, head to The Chalet. Located in the middle of Weasel run, it's a relaxing spot for Bavarian-style cuisine and drinks. The inside is small but cozy. Grab a beer outside and don't miss the chance to sit on the deck, or right on the snow (chairs included).

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Treats Cafe

What initially looks like your usual snack bar actually has a great selection of delicious food to go. Grab a sandwich or pizza bagel on those days you just NEED to get back to the lifts. The name fits here as delicious cookies and desserts will reward you for the turns you've made. Try the chocolate chip cookie pie if you really want to cure your sweet tooth.

Image by Grayson Smith

Ice Bar

Though more of a spot to grab a drink outside with the locals, Ice Bar is also a convenient stop for snacks and bratwurst. Located just above the base of Sherwood Express, there is outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying a cocktail or beer and soaking in some sun and incredible views of the Sierra crest.

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Alpine Meadows Mountain Stats

Terrain Mix
Size / Elevation
  • Peak: 8,637 ft | 2,633m

  • Vertical Drop: 1,802 ft | 549m

  • Base: 6,835 ft | 2,24083m

  • Total Area: 2,400 acres |9.7 sq km

Terrain Overview

​Mountain Range: Sierra Nevada

  • 100+ Trails   

  • 7 Bowls

Peaks
  • Ward Peak (8,637 ft)

  • Scott (8,289 ft)

Base
  • Alpine Meadows Base Area (Main)

On Mountain Dining

  • 2 on mountain and 5 more options at the base (see our guide)

Lift Stats

Uphill Capacity: 18,700 ppl / hr

13 Total Lifts

  • 1 High speed six pack

  • 2 High speed quads

  • 3 Triples

  • 5 Doubles

  • 2 Surface Lifts

  • 1 Minimum lift to access peak from base

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