Images courtesy of @Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley Mountain Guide - Top Trails, Itineraries & Dining

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

Squaw Valley Terrain Guides



While not well known for its beginner terrain, Squaw does have dedicated learning areas. Unlike most resorts, most of the green terrain is at the top and comes with some of the best views on the mountain. Beware though, there is no easy way down. Newbies can take the tram or Funitel to access the upper mountain terrain and then take the lifts back down to avoid the connecting steep blue runs


More than a third of Squaw’s terrain is classified as intermediate and some of the trails marked black are "doable." Snow King, Shirley Lake and Solitude are all rife with Blues. Take the Siberia Express for access to peak to base cruisers. Intermediates must be careful when boarding lifts and choosing routes as the advanced terrain is very advanced and lifts like KT-22 load at the main base but have no easy way down.


Expert options here are seemingly endless. K-22, Granite Chief, Headwalll, and Silverado have some of the best extreme runs in the U.S. Olympians and X Games athletes flock here (Julia Mancuso and Johnny Moseley have trails named after them). It's rare to find this much extreme skiing at one resort. Expert terrain is not just steep but includes unmarked rocks, cliffs, trees. This mountain very much follows the "just send it" mantra!

  • Squaw's six peaks are mostly open bowls. Specific trails blend into one another and navigation is done by referring to the name of the peak or a lift serving an area.

  • Squaw does not differentiate between advanced, expert and extreme terrain. See our separate Advanced and Experts itineraries to maximize your time while staying safe. ​

  • Despite more than 70% of Squaw's 170+ trails, being rated blue or green and serviced from the same lifts, it can be challenging for groups of varying abilities to stay together

Top Trail Picks

Trail Name
Area / Getting There

Starting Out


Dedicated learning area with two magic carpets and an easy to ride lift

SnoVentures Activity Zone; Directly underneath the First Venture Chair

Easy Scenic

Snow Flower

A short gentle run that comes with some of Squaw's best lake views; make several laps around the area

Big Blue; Take the Tram to High Camp; make your way to the Big Blue Express and exit left

Scenic Groomer 

Emigrant Face/Gully

Easy, groomed run with panoramic views of the area

Big Blue; Exit the Emigrant Quad to the left

Warming up

Shirley Lake/Solitude

Secluded area with relatively gentle terrain, regular grooming and loosely spaced trees; perfect for making quick laps to fire up the legs

Shirley; On Squaw's backside; Take the Funitel from the Base; then make your way to Big Blue to reach the backside

Scenic Cruiser

Lake View

Stare at the lake as you make your way down this long, but reliably groomed run

Snow King; Exit the Squaw Creek lift to the left and make you way down around the ridge


Ridge Run/ Killys

An excellent choice for the intermediate skier looking for a groomer off of Siberia; it's easy to lap this one

Siberia; exit the Siberia Express to the right; head down the ridge; Ridge Run turns into Killys when the groomed path drops off the ridge to the right

Groomed Burner

C2 Ridge/Bullet

The run of choice for the intermediate skier looking to test themselves off of the Headwall Express; regularly groomed, head down a fun and fast ridge run with views of Lake Tahoe

Exit the Headwall Express to the left and follow the groomed trail down the C2 Ridge until it breaks left into Bullet


Granite Glades

A natural playground! Despite a more mellow pitch, these glades have it all. Great tree spacing, natural granite ledges, cliffs, gullies, and chutes

Granite Chief; On Squaw's backside; Take the Granite Chief Quad and exit right

Showing Off


Featured in a number of ski movies,  this is one of the best places to see some the extreme skiing Squaw is famous for; choose from a few options with varying degrees of difficulty; start with National Chute if you haven't been up before. It's plenty steep for most and won't have any mandatory cliff drops like some of the others

Exit the Siberia lift to the left; take off your equipment and follow the boot track up the ridge for ~20 minutes

Fresh Powder

Mosley's (West Face)

Premier Squaw Valley powder run. This is the reason there’s a line for KT starting at 6:00am on snow days. It’s long, steep and wide open!

Head up KT, go right, past patrol shack down the ridge, Mosley's is to the left

Bumps (Advanced)

Olympic Lady (Area)

Test your skills — conditions here are often windy and the snow can be crusty; steep, treeless, and laced with cliff bands

Take KT-22 and head left around the Eagles Nest; you’ll see the top of the Olympic Lady chair and can drop in anywhere

Steeper Glades

Red Dog Glades

Most of Squaw is above the tree line, but Red Dog Glades will satisfy your tree craving

Snow King; Jump on the Red Dog chair and unload to the right; drop into the trees from there or work your way down the ridge and drop in when it becomes less steep

Steep with Cliffs

Nose Chutes/West Face Alternates

Truly an advanced skiers paradise; here lies some of the best extreme skiing off of KT-22. Big cliffs, tight chutes, and long steeps

KT-22; Exit right and head past the patrol shack, and continue down the ridge as far as you can. This will access the Nose and Nose Chutes which feed into the West Face Alternates. To access only the alternates exit the ridge left into Mosley’s (The West Face) and stay right moving around the cliff band

Steep & Deep

Tower 16/Broken Arrow

One of the most iconic areas to ski at Squaw; a playground on a powder day; known for its unique granite rock formations, this was actually Walt Disney’s inspiration for the Thunder Mountain ride 

Exit Big Blue right and follow the signs to the bottom of the Baileys Beach lift; here you will find a gate for Tower 16. Some hiking required for Broken Arrow *There is also a Broken Arrow lift next to the bottom of Big Blue, but when this chair is not running you will have to unload the Funitel and head up Big Blue


Class/Hour Glass Chutes

Series of ideal Squaw Valley chutes; these two are the easies to find (you can see them from the Headwall Express) and have varying degrees of difficulty to meet your skill level

Headwall; exit left and head down the groomed C2 ride and stay right past the cat track to The Slot; keep checking left and when you pass an abandoned lift shack, merge left to drop into the Cornice Bowl

On Mountain Dining Recommendations

Squaw has 4 on-mountain dining options that have been upgraded beyond Cliff bars and coffee. Head to the Gold Coast or High Camp for cafeteria style offerings along with spectacular views at 8,200'. For greater variety head, head to the Base Village. Ikon Pass Holders will receive 15% off. Our top picks are below:

High Camp

Conveniently accessible by Tram, take advantage of dining at 8,200 with breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. For a more relaxing, sit down lunch, consider Granite Bar featuring the High Camp burger, fish tacos soup and salad. The Marketplace also has grab and go options, is convenient for re-fueling, and great for a coffee break or lunch, before conquering more of the upper mountain. 


Olympic House

Located at the base of KT-22, Olympic House is the go to lunch spot for the lower mountain. There are convenient and casual service windows, each with a unique cuisine. Options include a burger bar, a smokehouse window and a Greek food station. They also recently added a vending machine for delicious Ramen Bowls (yes these actually exist!). There are also a few bars, including KT Base bar.

Plaza Bar Olympic House.jpg

Gold Coast Lodge

Located in the heart of the upper mountain, the Gold Coast Lodge offers traditional ski fare at the Arc and Mexican cuisine at Funi's. The Arc has burgers,  chilli, Asian cuisine, and a full salad bar. It also has two full service bars and a large outdoor/indoor seating area with great views of the Palisades. For burritos and nachos, head upstairs to Funi’s for quick and delicious food at reasonable prices.


Squaw Valley Mountain Stats

Terrain Mix
Size / Elevation
  • Peak: 9,050 ft | 2,760m

  • Vertical Drop: 2,850 ft | 869m

  • Base: 6,200 ft | 1,890m

  • Total Area: 3,600 acres |14.6 sq km

Terrain Overview

​Mountain Range: Sierra Nevada

  • 170+ Trails   

  • 16 Bowls

  • 5 Terrain Parks

  • 6 Peaks

Highest Peaks

  • Granite Chief (9,006 ft)

  • Squaw Peak (8,885 ft)

  • Squaw Valley Base Area (Main)

  • Resort at Squaw Creek

On Mountain Dining

  • 4 on mountain & more options at the base (see our guide)

Lift Stats

Uphill Capacity: 53,500 ppl / hr

29 Total Lifts

  • 1 Aerial Tram (110-person)

  • 1 Funitel (28-person gondola)

  • 4 High speed six packs

  • 3 High speed quads

  • 1 Quad

  • 9 Triples

  • 5 Doubles

  • 3 Surface Lifts

  • 2 Magic Carpets

  • 2 Minimum lifts to access peak from base

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