Ultimate 72-hour Escapes: Squaw Valley


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How to get there

Fly into Reno/Tahoe International Airport, 42 miles from Squaw Valley, Calif. Plan on renting your own wheels: The North Shore is not as well connected as the South Shore. From the airport, head west on Interstate 80 and take Highway 89 at Truckee. From there, it’s eight miles to Squaw Valley Road.

Where to stay

A condo in First Ascent, where you can stow your vehicle underground, walk to the lifts and explore the boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, runs $169-$889 per night (866-818-6963; thevillageatsquaw.com). Or, on the southeastern edge of the valley, the 403-room Resort at Squaw Creek has four restaurants, an ice-skating rink and a spa. The Resort has its own chairlift, as well as free shuttles to the base area ($129-$549; 877-347-0347; squawcreek.com).

How to ski the mountain

Day One

Head up to the Gold Coast midmountain lodge and begin to warm up on the East Broadway, Mainline and Gold Coast chairs. Grab an early lunch at the Crossroads Café at Gold Coast, then work your way toward steeper stuff in Siberia Bowl. You’ll find a solid day of skiing by hopping from Squaw Peak to Emigrant Peak to Granite Chief-all open bowls with black and blue terrain.

Day Two Board the Cable Car to High Camp, which features an ice-skating rink and several restaurants. The Poolside Café at High Camp is a scenic spot to refuel. From there, take the Links lift to a ridge that drops down through glades and into Shirley Canyon, with several blues that cascade to the Solitude triple chair. Cap it off in Rainbow Bowl and on the experts-only Silverado chair.

Day Three Take the Red Dog lift and explore the two lower peaks- Snow King and KT-22. The first offers wooded intermediate pistes with meadow views; the second dishes out big challenges off the Olympic Lady and KT-22 lifts.

Where to rent skis Pick up a pair of the latest demo skis at a local institution, the 27-year-old Squaw Valley Sports Shop (530-583-3356).

Where to eat, drink and relax In the new Village at Squaw, a sure bet is the PlumpJack Balboa Café, a San Francisco-style bistro (530-583-1576). For sushi, pop into Mamasake, a recent addition (530-584-0110). For a mellow après hour, tip back a glass of cabernet at the wine bar at the Black Diamond Wine Exchange. Those looking for more color might try the Red Dog Bar & Grill at the base of the slopes.

Contact Squaw Valley: 800-403-0206; squaw.com. Snow report: 530-583-6955