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Hiking

Ride the Aerial Tram to High Camp and choose from a variety of trails (maps available from Guest Services). Climb to the weathered buttresses atop Squaw Peak, visit the historic Watson Monument at Emigrant Peak, or meander through the meadows covered with wildflowers, and enjoy the panoramic views afforded from Squaw's spacious upper mountain.

 

Hiking Trails

Hiking Map

All listed mileage is one way.

Easy To Moderate

  • FREE Guided Hikes (approximately 1.5 miles)- Open
    Squaw Valley's free guided hikes on the 1.5 mile High Camp Interpretive Trial leaves daily from High Camp. Hikes depart High Camp at 12:30pm Monday-Thursday and 12:30pm & 2:30pm Friday-Sunday, weather and conditions permitting. More info »
     
  • High Camp Loop (approximately 1.23 miles)
    This gentle trail begins at High Camp, traverses the ridge to the top of the Links Chairlift. Hikers then loop down through the upper mountain’s spacious open bowls to High Camp. During the winter this area serves as Squaw Valley’s beginner ski and snowboard slopes.
     
  • High Camp to the top of the Gold Coast Chairlift (approximately .92 mile)
    Follow the High Camp Loop trail past the Links chairlift and continue until you reach the Gold Coast lift. This trail offers views of Lake Tahoe, the surrounding mountains and the meadows below.
     
  • Trollsteigen (approximately .06 mile)
    This gentle trail traverses the base of Olympic Valley from the Resort at Squaw Creek to the Village at Squaw Valley. The trail meanders in and out of the trees just above the valley floor. Enjoy spectacular views of the meadow and surrounding peaks. 

 

Moderate to Difficult

  • High Camp to the top of the Emigrant Chairlift (approximately 1.38 miles, 680’ elevation gain)
    This trail offers a stunning 360 degree view of Lake Tahoe and surrounding mountains from the top. The historic Watson Monument is located near the top of the chairlift.
     
  • High Camp to the top of Squaw Peak (approximately 2 miles, 844’ elevation gain)
    Follow the trail from High Camp, past the Gold Coast lift and continue up to the top of the Palisades for a view of the Granite Chief Wilderness and Squaw Valley below.
     
  • High Camp to Shirley Lake & down Shirley Canyon (approximately 4 miles, 2000' elevation loss)
    This is a great half day hike through a mountain canyon that passes by waterfalls and spectacular granite boulders. Hikers begin on either the Shirley Lake trail (a dirt road) or the Solitude trail (a narrower single track trail). Once the trails meet and you reach Shirley Lake hikers can either hike back up to High Camp and ride the Aerial Tram down for free or hike down the canyon. Please Note: This trail may sometimes be hard to follow, so remember the general rule is to keep the creek on your left side and follow it down until you arrive at the base of the mountain. There are also some steep sections to negotiate through the granite so hiking boots are strongly recommended.
     
  • Thunder Mountain Trail (approximately 3.2 miles, 2000' elevation gain/loss)
    The Thunder Mountain Trail is the perfect hike to explore Squaw Valley from the base to High Camp. Hikers can start their adventure at the bottom of the KT-22 lift. From here you will walk towards the very wide bridge, which is where the route begins. The trail is clearly indicated by blue markings. Continue on the trail winding up the mountain. Your final destination will be just below the paintball fields at High Camp. PLEASE NOTE that the Thunder Mountain Trail passes over the summer construction access road. Please be aware of vehicle and heavy machinery traffic. Do not continue on the summer construction access road as it is closed for hiking. 
     
  • World Cup Trail (approximately .75 miles, 600' elevation gain)
    Use this trail to access the national historic and scenic designated Western States Trail which stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah to Sacramento, California. 

We invite hikers to explore the posted trails at Squaw Valley. All hikers who arrive at High Camp el. 8200' can ride the Aerial Tram down during operating hours free of charge.

 

Hiking Map

Hiking Map

Download 2014 Squaw Valley Hiking Map

Squaw Valley Hiking Map

 

Free Guided Hikes

Daily Free Guided Hikes

Join one of Squaw’s experienced hiking guides for a memorable mountain experience. You will start out from the top of Squaw Valley’s Aerial Tram at High Camp (elevation 8200’) to begin your adventure. In addition to the spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains, take in the beauty of the meadow wild flowers exploding into bloom.  Hiking trails abound for all levels of ability.

Days Time Leaves High Camp Cost
Monday - Thursday 12:30pm FREE (with purchase of Aerial Tram ticket)
Friday - Sunday 12:30pm and 2:30pm FREE (with purchase of Aerial Tram ticket)

All hikes depart from the lawn at High Camp.  Hike difficulty will be based on the group ability and size. 

 

Hike With a Naturalist

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) and Squaw Valley are sponsoring a naturalist hike out of High Camp! This nature ramble will focus more on birds, geology, and wildflowers than on covering terrain. We will take in the views and discuss whatever natural history stories we come across. TINS co-founder Will Richardson will lead the hike. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen and dress appropriately.

  • Dates: June 24, July 6, August 10
  • Time: 10:40am-1:00pm. Meet at Aerial Tram building. Please arrive a few minutes early to purchase tram ticket and meet the group.
  • Difficulty/Elevation Gain: approximately 1 mile, mostly rolling and easy, but we will be starting at 8200' 
  • Cost: Free with purchase of Aerial Tram ticket
  • Registration: Limited to 25 participants; please contact Will Richardson for registration or more information - will@tinsweb.org; 530-587-6895

 

Hike With Care

Hike With Care

Squaw Valley offers guests many excellent hiking options for a fun day on the mountain. Following are some tips and a few rules to ensure that you have an enjoyable mountain experience.

  • Hiking not permitted on the summer construction ride. Please be mindful of all posted signage.
  • Please respect Squaw Valley’s beautiful natural environment by observing all signs and staying on designated trails and roads. Do not cut switchbacks. Stay out of any construction or roped off areas.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. Many of the mountain trails traverse rugged terrain.
  • Carry along plenty of water (never drink directly from a stream) and a snack or energy bar.
  • Squaw’s mountain environment is prone to sudden weather and temperature changes so please carry adequate clothing.
  • To prevent sunburn always use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses for protection from the high altitude rays.
  • In case of an emergency, dial 0 from a phone at the base of our lifts or have a Squaw Valley team member contact an EMT.
  • Please do not hike alone. Outdoor adventures are fun for the family, but hiking is only a group activity.
  • While hiking please keep an eye out for Squaw Valley maintenance vehicles and mountain equipment working on resort lifts and facilities.
  • Please stay off chairlifts and towers. During our summer maintenance, lifts may be started without warning.
  • Seek shelter during thunderstorms. Stay off ridge tops and away from tall trees, lift towers, and large rock outcroppings, as they can attract lightning strikes.
  • Lightning travels at the speed of light. If lightning is in the area, ALL Tram operations will be suspended until lightning clears. See our lightning safety guide.
  • No smoking, please. The fire danger in this area is very high during the summer.

 

Dogs

You are welcome to bring your dog with you on your hike at Squaw Valley. Please be sure to bring a leash as all dogs must be leashed while riding in the Aerial Tram and inside any buildings or facilities. There is no charge for dogs on the Aeria Tram. Once at High Camp, your dog is welcome on the hiking trails, however, dogs are not permitted at the roller skating rink and pool, nor in any restaurants. We ask that you use your best judgment in leashing them on the trails.

Keeping Things Green

Keeping Things Green

Squaw Valley has an environmental improvement department devoted specifically to projects such as erosion control, revegetation (incorporating the use of natural grasses and wildflowers) and the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for construction projects.

We recognize the importance of stewardship in managing the forest and vegetation that support ecosystems and allow for public recreation opportunities. As you explore the far reaches of Squaw Valleys mountains and valleys you might notice areas that are roped off or that appear to have been freshly seeded or planted. These are examples of efforts to improve the mountain’s natural vegetation, riparian areas, and wetlands, all of which contribute positively to water quality. The Valleys forested and revegetated land absorbs rain, refills underground aquifers, cleanses water, slows winter runoff, reduces flooding, and overall, sustains watershed stability and resilience.

Please respect our natural environment and avoid disturbing these areas.

Have a great day on the mountain!

 

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