Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, which was formerly known as Squaw Valley Ski Resort, is a ski resort located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in the Lake Tahoe region. The resort boasts over 6,000 skiable acres of terrain and offers a wide variety of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Palisades Tahoe also has a variety of backcountry experiences, and cat skiing opportunities, as well as a lift-served terrain park.
Palisades Tahoe is also a host of multiple major ski and snowboard events like the World Cup and multiple US Ski Team events. It also hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.
It is worth noting that the name change from Squaw Valley Ski Resort to Palisades Tahoe was made in 2021 because the term "squaw" is considered a racist term.
Alpine MeadowsPalisades Tahoe actually encompasses two resorts: the old Squaw Valley and the Alpine Meadows area. The former is now being designated as the Palisades Mountain (or Olympic Valley) side and the latter retaining its moniker as the Alpine Meadows side. A lift ticket purchased at Palisades gets you access to both hills.
In December 2022, a $65 million, 2.4-mile Base to Base Gondola opened. It now only takes 16 minutes to get from one resort to the other. It also provides 6,000 acres of terrain.
WeatherThe ski season at Palisades typically runs from November to June, depending on snow conditions. Palisades is known for its long ski season and gets some insane amounts of snow at times. Within a 24-hour window, feet of snow can fall. This happened during the 26/27, 18/19, and 22/23 seasons where the resort needed to temporarily shut down due to extremely heavy snowfall. While waiting through the closures isn't fun, the powder you get to carve afterward is.
It's not all good, though. Palisades Tahoe is susceptible to high winds due to its higher elevations being above the tree line, which can result in lift closures. Also, due to its proximity to the Pacific, the mountain can sometimes get heavy wet snow, also known as Sierra Cement.
We recently ranked all of California's ski resorts, so you can see where Palisades Tahoe stacks up against all its nearby ski hills!
Palisades Tahoe is a part of the Ikon Ski Pass network. This allows you to buy one lift pass, and ski at all or most of the Ikon-sponsored slopes with it throughout the year, depending on the type of pass you bought.
There are numerous options to stay at Palisades Tahoe around the resort. Check out the available options with the form below.
Palisades Tahoe Mountain Resort Terrain Overview
Palisades Tahoe has a total of 274 ski trails, which are serviced by 42 ski lifts, gondolas and/or trams. The amount of skiable area in this park is huge, with a maximum of 6,000 acres available to skiers. This area is equivalent to 2,428 hectares, 9.4 square miles, or 24.3 square kilometers.
Palisades Tahoe's slopes see on average 400 inches (10.2 meters) of snowfall a year. That is almost 33 feet every year!
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort Elevation
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort has a summit elevation of 9,050 feet, or 2,758 meters. However, not all of that elevation is able to be skied. The base of the ski slope sits at 6,200 feet above sea level, creating a ski hill that is 2,850 feet (869 meters) high. This is referred to as the slope's vertical drop - or a measure of how high the skiable hill is.
The summit of 9,050 feet makes this ski resort one of the highest in the country. The average ski slope summit is around 4,000 feet, so this is extremely high compared to its peers.
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort Difficulty Level
62.5out of 100
DID YOU KNOW?
At Parks & Trips, we've created a proprietary Difficulty Score that attempts to show how difficult a particular ski slope is. We get to this number by combining a number of metrics for each resort and comparing them to its peers. Most of the score is based off the amount of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort, but also includes a few lesser-used metrics as well.
Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then assigns each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier to ski than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
Skiable Terrain by Difficulty Level
Palisades Tahoe has 6,000 total skiable acres, which can be broken down into the three main groups of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert.Palisades Tahoe's difficulty level is higher than average, which is because 43% of its ski trails are rated as intermediate, and another 32% as expert.
Beginner trails (identified by a green circle) are the easiest trails on the hill with a gradual 25% or less gradient, and are usually wide to accommodate beginner skiers.
Intermediate trails (identified by a blue square) are usually the most popular and crowded runs, which have a slope of anywhere between 25-40%.
Expert trails (identified by a black diamond... or two) are the hardest slopes on the mountain, and have very steep gradients over 40%.
Is Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort good for beginners?
Palisades Tahoe is above average in its difficulty level, so... probably not? It will depend on which trails you take since only 68% of its trails rated for either beginner or intermediate skill levels.
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort Location
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort is located in the state of California, USA. This ski area is nearest the town of Olympic Valley, CA.
Olympic Valley, CA 96146 USA
View on Google Maps
Getting to Palisades Tahoe Mountain Resort
By Car: If you are driving, you would set your GPS to either the ski resort's name (Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort), its coordinates of 39.18600, -120.23800 (latitude, longitude), or simply drive towards the town of Olympic Valley, CA to get close.
By Air: If you are coming in from across the country, then you may need to board an airplane to get here.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airport(s) to Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort.
|Reno–Tahoe International Airport||RNO||Reno, NV||33 mi|
|Sacramento International Airport||SMF||Sacramento, CA||80 mi|
|Oakland International Airport||OAK||Oakland, CA||147 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airport(s) to Palisades Tahoe.
|Sacramento Mather Airport||MHR||Sacramento, CA||72 mi|
|Redding Municipal Airport||RDD||Redding, CA||142 mi|
|Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport||STS||Santa Rosa, CA||146 mi|
There may also be much smaller regional airports next to Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, but we didn't list them here due to the fact that no major airlines go through them.
Other Nearby Ski Resorts
Skiers will - especially if coming from far away - try and visit a couple different slopes all in the same trip. Here are the closest other ski slopes within 100 miles of Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort.
|Palisades Tahoe - Palisades Mountain||Olympic Valley, CA||9,050 ft||62%||0 mi|
|Palisades Tahoe - Alpine Meadows||Alpine Meadows, CA||8,637 ft||53%||1 mi|
|Granlibakken Tahoe||Tahoe City, CA||6,350 ft||15%||5 mi|
|Sugar Bowl||Truckee, CA||8,383 ft||53%||7 mi|
|Homewood||Homewood, CA||7,880 ft||58%||8 mi|
|Northstar||Truckee, CA||8,610 ft||58%||9 mi|
|Donner Ski Ranch||Norden, CA||7,781 ft||38%||10 mi|
|Boreal||Soda Springs, CA||7,700 ft||30%||12 mi|
|Tahoe Donner||Truckee, CA||7,350 ft||26%||12 mi|
|Soda Springs||Soda Springs, CA||7,300 ft||31%||12 mi|
|Mount Rose||Reno, NV||9,700 ft||60%||20 mi|
|Heavenly||South Lake Tahoe, CA||10,067 ft||73%||24 mi|
|Sierra-at-Tahoe||South Lake Tahoe, CA||8,852 ft||53%||27 mi|
|Kirkwood||Kirkwood, CA||9,800 ft||68%||36 mi|
|Dodge Ridge||Pinecrest, CA||8,200 ft||54%||71 mi|
Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort Mountain Stats
|Summit Elevation||9,050 ft|
|Base Elevation||6,200 ft|
|Vertical Drop||2,850 ft|
(25% Beginner, 43% Intermediate, 32% Expert)
|Avg. Annual Snowfall||400 inches|