Where to find the very best of Palisades Tahoe
Where to find the very best of Palisades Tahoe
If you’re unfamiliar with Palisades Tahoe, you’re not alone; previously known as ‘Squaw Valley’, it underwent a name change in 2021 out of respect to the local Washoe Tribe, the Indigenous Native American people of Lake Tahoe.
It’s always been one of the biggest resorts in North America, and these days, it continues to be a progressive and boundary-breaking skiing and snowboarding destination in many different ways.
With so much to discover across the two mountains, 6000 acres, 270 runs and 34 lifts, we’ve done the homework for you in finding the must-sees and must-dos across every element of the resort - so you can spend less time researching and more time enjoying your ski holiday.
From the best place to ski and board through to the best place to get a coffee, here’s your ultimate guide to the best of Tahoe.
The best powder stashes
The terrain at Palisades Tahoe is legendary, and with 11m of snowfall here every season, you’ll have plenty of powder stashes to discover across the mountain.
One hot tip direct from the locals is to start with the KT-22 chairlift on a powder day. Nicknamed
‘The Mothership’, pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones has previously said that it’s this chairlift that convinced him to move to the area, with some of the best chairlift-accessed terrain to be found anywhere in the world.
The best new experience
There’s a brand new gondola in town as of the 22/23 season called the Base to Base. By connecting the two ski areas of Palisades Tahoe, skiers and boarders will enjoy even easier access between The Village and the Alpine Lodge.
A bonus - experts can upload at the KT-22 mid-station, and get a shortcut to all that powder we mentioned earlier.
The best fun fact
Palisades Tahoe hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, which put it on the map as one of the major must-ski resorts in North America. It was the only time that the Winter Olympics have been hosted in California, and Walt Disney directed both the opening and closing ceremonies.
The best coffee
While Palisades Tahoe is home to the world’s first ski-in, ski-out Starbucks, the true coffee snobs go elsewhere for their caffeine fix. Wildflour Baking Co., tucked into Olympic House, is legendary for both its coffee and bagels, along with other delicious treats made from scratch.
If you hang out long enough in the cafe, you may even spot an Olympian - they offer a lifetime cookie pass for gold medalists. Or you can purchase your own cookie pass and get 15% off everything.
The best après
Le Chamois is an institution on the mountain, and the best place to buy a beer and get talking with a local to find out their secret spots on the mountain. Their pizzas are also famous in town, with dough made daily from scratch, rolled out to order and topped with a special house sauce recipe.
The best event
The Cushing Crossing is the most-hyped event of the season - a pond skimming competition where everyone dresses in their craziest costumes and is judged by celebrity judges. With a free concert held afterwards and epic prizes to be won, it’s well worth a watch. And as a bonus, you can enjoy the other spring perks of visiting Lake Tahoe, like mountain biking in the afternoons.
The best activity to do with kids
There’s tubing and mini-snowmobiling available at Palisades Tahoe, along with scenic aerial tram rides, but what takes the top spot is the resort’s ice skating rink. With the best views to take in while you skate, you can join family-friendly games of Broomball on Friday nights, or enjoy disco skating on selected nights, complete with tunes and lights.
The best souvenir
Shane McConkey was a beloved pro skier from Palisades Tahoe that passed away in a ski base jumping accident. His foundation continues to support the worldwide community of skiers, adventurers and everyday people who share a passion for life, and they support causes that protect kids and wildlife.
By picking up a Shane McConkey Foundation hat or T-shirt in resort, you’re not only supporting a great cause but a nod to one of the people that is so foundational to the spirit of the community.
You might even like to plan your trip around The Annual Pain McShlonkey Classic, which hosts events such as the Hot Dog Downhill and International Snowblade Day. There’s a whole lot of prizes to be won and a lot of fun to be had.
The best way to get there
You can fly direct to Reno-Tahoe International Airport from many other locations, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, and the resort is just a 1.5 hour drive away. Or fly to San Francisco and enjoy a four-hour road trip up to Lake Tahoe and the mountains it has to offer.
The best place to sleep
Let us help you with that one. We know all the best accommodation options in town, and can line you up with the one most suitable for your stay.