Alpine is a mid-sized ski area that service 3 peaks and offers quite varied terrain, six bowls, steep chutes, gentle glades, and endless cruisers and is frequented by many of the locals.
Alpine would attract more people and attention if it weren't in the shadow of Squaw Valley. It is a smaller, friendlier area, without Squaw Valley's big corporate feel.
It is far smaller than it’s more famous neighbor, but at 2,000 acres is still a very respectable ski hill. A has a good selection of steep chutes for the black diamond aficionados, like "Our Father." For beginners and intermediates, a wide variety of nice cruiser blues, with views of Lake Tahoe.
For the adventurous, take the Summit-Six or Alpine Bowl chair and hike up the hill just a short distance and you are on the backside and High Traverse. Not a lift in sight and snow untouched by grooming machines. From the bottom, you can take other lifts for more backside skiing, or take a trail back to the front.
Everything within the resort boundary is fair game whether it is a marked trail or not.
Alpine also has a decent ski school and offers snow-shoeing if you really want a workout.
Alpine is low and tends to get slushy when it is warm. If it’s going to be warm and sunny, go to Heavenly, Squaw, or Kirkwood, as they all have higher elevations.
I skied here just out of curiosity, wanting to try a variety of resorts in the area, and because I came upon it before I got to Squaw. It is a nice area, but if you are going to drive an hour from South Lake, I would go the extra few minutes to Squaw, unless you are in the market for a smaller, friendlier, less commercialized experience, and a cheaper lift ticket.