The Resort at Squaw Creek, an excellent base in the Sierra Nevada
A couple of years ago we had been to south Lake Tahoe, staying at the base of the Heavenly ski area. We enjoyed Lake Tahoe very much, and said next time we would like stay on the north side. The Resort at Squaw Creek turned out to be the perfect location. I would recommend this resort and the Lake Tahoe area in general to any of you who enjoy outdoor activities. The scenery is magnificent, with the mountains and the lake offering all sorts of things to do, such as golf and hiking in the other seasons. And since it's California, you're sure to find good food!
Since our main goal was skiing, the ski-in, ski-out location (Squaw Valley USA) was ideal. The main base area for Squaw Valley is about a five-minute drive away. Another ski area, Alpine Meadows, is only about 10 minutes away. Northstar is about half an hour away. So we were able to ski at all 3 areas during our week-long vacation. If you're willing to drive a little further, there are many more areas around Lake Tahoe. The ski areas offered lots of varied terrain for skiers of all abilities. There were many groomed trails, as well as lots of open bowls and ungroomed terrain above tree-line. Something for everyone! We chose not to bring our own skis and rented from "Tahoe Dave's". We had a demo package, allowing us to switch to different skis and try as many as we liked. This worked out really well, especially since our luggage didn't arrive with us - but that's a different story!
At the resort, I opted for a fireplace suite, which was really a one-bedroom condo unit. The kitchen was well-equipped, with a microwave, two-burner cooktop and even a dishwasher drawer. This allowed us to have breakfast in the room most days, although we really enjoyed breakfast at the Sweet Potatoes deli on the property. Your Starbucks coffee is refillable all day - I was sold! It was also nice to have a separate living space. The gas fireplace was controlled by a switch on the wall, very handy. Although I planned to use the fitness facilities, never got there, and didn't try any of the spa treatments. We made use of the three outdoor hot tubs - very nice after a day on the slopes. There is also an outdoor heated pool and a small ice skating area. The resort is really geared to families and children, although this was not a negative - everyone was having a great time. We didn't try the main restaurants (aside from the breakfast deli) at the resort, as there were many other choices at the Squaw Valley base area and in Tahoe City (it's really a small village) about 10 minutes away.
The one negative, and it was minor, was the parking situation. They charge $25 a day to valet park. So we opted to self-park. This involved walking down some stairs and through the valet lot to reach the regular parking lot. It was a bit of a hike after a day of skiing. Of course you can drive up to the main door for a quick drop-off of your stuff and then go park. Also, the guest rooms are in a separate building from the shops, restaurants and public areas. I didn't find this to be a problem, but some might see it as a negative. You have to go outside for just about everything.
Overall, this was one of our best ski trips ever. I would not hesitate to return to this resort. If you're thinking about a trip, it's an easy drive, less than an hour, from the Reno, Nevada airport. Although there are some shuttles and public transportation, it's worth renting a vehicle (SUV in the winter) to explore the area. And I much prefer the California side of Lake Tahoe - no casinos and away from all that smoke!