It’s sometimes a strange experience visiting a ski resort in the middle of Summer. It can feel like you’ve walked into a ghost town. When we arrived at Squaw Valley the outlook seemed a bit more promising. Ours wasn’t the only car in the car park and as we walked towards the village, there were more than a few signs of life.
One of the first things that I noticed was that there was a mini golf range set up. A father and his young son were taking turns to play on the course that was sensitively laid out around the village. You’d barely notice the course was there if it weren’t for parents and children wandering around with their clubs.
A good number of the shops and restaurants were open. We wandered around The North Face shop as well as another clothing shop where there were some great bargains to be had on winter clothing.
On such a hot day, the Ben & Jerry’s shop was a welcome relief so we stopped in for a couple of their delicious shakes: Cherry Garcia and Mint Choc Chip. Needing something a bit more substantial, I stopped in at the Mountain Nectar Juice and Bagel shop for a turkey and avocado wrap. It’s take-out only at Mountain Nectar but they have a small but shaded seating area outside where I enjoyed what was possibly the heaviest sandwich I’ve eaten in a long time. Fortunately I was able to share some with my husband, as I’m not sure their sandwiches are really meant for one person only. My husband’s sister, mum and her husband checked out the Blue Coyote opposite. It’s a sports bar specializing in burgers and salads where the portions are equally generous.
After refueling, three of us decided to take the cable car up to the High Camp area. It costs $20 per person, which is a somewhat on the expensive side considering the ride up only takes 9 minutes. That said, if you have time, you can incorporate other activities into your ticket for a small additional price. At High Camp during the summer you have the option of ice-skating, swimming in their lagoon and spa or purchasing a sunset dinner package for Alexander’s Café. All these passes range from $26 - $46 for adults.
Unfortunately on the day of our trip, there were some forest fires nearby and the views were significantly restricted. We were unable to see Lake Tahoe but the views of the village below and the rock formations on the way up were still quite spectacular. Once at the top there’s a viewing platform, which is an obvious place to stop and take some photos.
A short walk downhill and you pass the small swimming lagoon and spa. The pool wasn’t too busy and seemed like a great place to cool off. Further down still and we found the Olympic Ice Pavilion, which was also fairly quiet. I was somewhat impressed by the fact that Squaw keeps alive such a strong memory of its Olympic heritage. They played host back in 1960. Between the ice rink and the pool there’s a small room with a collection of newspaper articles, statistics and a video documenting the 1960 games.
As we walked back towards the cable car we noticed a small stage. As it turns out they host a series of mountaintop concerts in addition to sunset and full moon hikes and some stargazing sessions which sounded interesting.
The cable car departed every 20 minutes so we had a short wait before returning back to the main village, which we realized is actually fairly small once you get a birds eye view. Squaw Valley is obviously a different world during the winter months but for a summer visit, there’s definitely enough to do to keep families occupied as it caters well to older and younger generations alike.
Tel: (530) 583-6985