Though not as big as its neighbour and partner in crime Squaw Valley, the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort has a reasonable amount, and a high quality, of terrain.
It is located near the North Western tip of Lake Tahoe around 8 miles West of Tahoe city and just south of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort.
Orientated more towards the free-rider more than the freestyler, there is still something for most riders from beginner to expert and enough to keep the freestyler out of trouble.
Alpine’s Mountain Stats
Whilst it has a modest vertical drop compared with some of the other resorts I’ve looked at recently, it does have a reasonable area with 2,400 acres of ride-able terrain and a reasonably high top elevation of 8,637ft.
|Alpine Meadows Mountain Stats|
|Resort Elevation: 2,633m (8,637ft)|
|Vertical Drop: 550m (1,800ft)|
|Ride-able area: 2,400 acres|
|Annual Snowfall: 450” (11.43m)|
|No. of Lifts: 13 (11 chairlifts, 2 surface lifts)|
|No. of trails: 100|
|25 (25%) Beginner (Green)|
|40 (40%) Intermediate (Blue)|
|35 (35%) Advanced (Black Diamond)/Expert (Dbl Black Diamond)|
|No. of parks: 2 parks|
|Night Riding: No|
Free-riding and Trails
There is plenty of variety in terrain and anyone from Beginner to Expert will find something to suit. If you’re lucky enough to get a powder day (won’t have to be that lucky with average snowfall of 450 inches!) then there’s some great backcountry terrain that will reward its explorers with great views of lake tahoe.
With over 100 trails you shouldn’t ever get bored of the corduroy if that’s where you prefer to stay and lift access is good so no hiking is necessary if you aren’t into earning your turns.
There are plenty of bowls (7), steeps, chutes and tree runs to keep the free-riders and all mountain riders happy as Larry.
Alpine has 2 parks, Howards Hollow and Tiegel Park. It seems like they change the location and names of their parks a bit so best bet is to ask around when you get there.
There is also plenty of natural freestyle riding with lots of natural hits when you know where to find them. Ask around so you know where to look.
There are no night riding facilities at Alpine Meadows. However there is night riding at the nearby Squaw Valley resort which is in partnership with Alpine Meadows.
Night riding at Squaw, which is just a 15 minute drive north of Alpine, is from 3-7pm but only runs on Saturdays during January, February & March plus December 27th to 30th (weather permitted of course).
Usual opening date
Opening day is normally mid to late November with the exception being the latest season.
Past 5 years opening dates:
2010/2011 Season: November 20, 2010
2011/2012 Season: November 23, 2011
2012/2013 Season: November 16, 2012
2013/2014 Season: November 27, 2013
2014/2015 Season: December 12, 2014
Usual closing date
Closing day is a little bit more erratic and over the last few years has ranged from late April to late May.
Past 5 years closing dates:
2010/2011 Season: May 31, 2011 (plus 4th of July weekend)
2011/2012 Season: May 13, 2012
2012/2013 Season: April 26, 2013
2013/2014 Season: April 27, 2014
2014/2015 Season: Yet to close
Lifts operate daily from 9am to 4pm – weather permitted.
Have you Ever Been to Alpine Meadows?
If you’ve even ridden Alpine Meadows it would be awesome to hear of your experience. Just leave a comment below.
Any other questions or comments welcome as always.
Photo by David Arpi [CC BY 2.0], via Flikr
Ray Makar says
Very informative post. What surprised me is the cheap prices of tickets.
Thank you for sharing this information.
Hey Ray – I thought the tickets were quite pricey myself – though pretty good if you also take advantage of Squaw Valley also. I guess if you include that it does make the tickets pretty good value. And maybe I’m used to cheap prices! Thanks for visiting.