Options abound while waiting for snow at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Northstar California Resort
December 13, 2017
Amid the seemingly endless hours of skiing and snowboarding fun, there are numerous non-skiing activities going on at the largest resorts in the Truckee-Tahoe region.
"Off the mountain is where the most unexpected memories are made," said Stephanie Myers, communications specialist for Northstar California Resort.
"It's surreal to weave through the silent forest on snowshoes or feel inspired looking up at the glowing Sierra night sky. Small moments like sinking into the Village cabana cushions in between laps on the ice rink or roasting marshmallows together are what make the winter experience so special," she added.
Northstar California Resort and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows offer several family friendly experiences for people who still want to relax with snow under foot, but without bindings.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
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"The Aerial Tram at Squaw Valley takes guests on a 10-minute ride from the Village at Squaw Valley, located at 6,200 feet, to High Camp, elevation: 8,200 feet. With unobstructed views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada, the Aerial Tram ride is truly breathtaking," said Sam Kieckhefer, public relations coordinator for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.
The jaw-dropping journey delivers guests to the recently remodeled High Camp where Kieckhefer recommends taking in the sights and fresh mountain air before stepping into one of the recently remodeled restaurants: Terrace Bar, Marketplace and Granite Bistro.
"Executive chef Tiffany Swan and High Camp chef Andrew Gregory have put together all new menus, including Marketplace's grab-n-go fresh sandwiches and salads, Granite Bistro's international menu and Terrace Bar's signature cocktails," Kieckhefer added.
Snowy Fun for the Smallest Adventurers
SnoVentures activity zone is like a tamed-down terrain park; an area to spend hours playing and learning to maneuver on skis or a snowboard.
"SnoVentures is Squaw Valley's family fun zone. Gently sloped terrain serviced by an easy-to-ride beginner lift and two surface carpets means it's perfect for beginner skiers and snowboarders. Plus, snow tubing, mini snowmobiles, a day lodge and a free shuttle from the Village circle means it's perfect for families looking for additional activities to round out their ski vacation," Kieckhefer said.
Dreamy Trek Through Trees
For snow enthusiasts looking for an activity after the mountain closes, the Moonlit Snowshoe Tour and Dinner at Alpine Meadows is a way to appreciate the natural landscape once the sun has gone down.
"After the mountain closes and the winter moon rises, experience a snowshoe tour to the mid-mountain Chalet at Alpine Meadows. Enjoy an intimate seated dinner where you'll be served an Alps-inspired menu with dishes like potato cheese soup, chicken cordon bleu and apple strudel. This unique experience is only available for 50 guests and available during select dates during the winter season," Kieckhefer said.
Northstar California Resort
Serene Tranquility and New Perspectives
"The Cross-Country, Snowshoe and Telemark Center is on-mountain, and yet feels like it's miles away. Over 30 kilometers of quiet, perfectly groomed trails weave into the forest and end at the peaks overlooking Lake Tahoe," Meyers said.
Adventurers can choose to snowshoe, cross country ski or fat tire bike on the trail system and can elevate their snowshoeing experience by joining a Star Gazing Snowshoe Tour with star guide and poet, Tony Berendsen.
Located at mid-mountain, guests can slide down Northstar's 200-yard snow tubing hill individually or in a daisy chain together. Also, in the Village they can rent ice skates or bring their own to glide across the ice under the stars and twinkle lights, surrounded by fireside cabanas and boutiques.
Retail Therapy & Wellness Opportunities Abound
For entertainment on the cobblestone walkways of Northstar's village, specialty shops provide activities and retail therapy when off the slopes.
"Feel the warmth of candle wax and blend the perfect scent at the Villager Candle Shop," Myers said.
Tahoe Spa, Yoga and Wellness offers an array of bodywork treatments and classes, and is a place Myers says guests can seek alpine sanctuary for local nature inspired treatments and reawakening of the body. With holidays just around the corner, Northstar's upscale shops offer gifts for anyone on your list. Yogis should gravitate toward the Lululemon boutique recently added to the village. And a downtown Truckee favorite, Mo, Jo & Zoe will also debut a location in the resort's village.
Traditions to Warm Your Belly & Heart
"After ski school gets out each day, it's S'mores Time at 4 p.m., as ambassadors descend upon the Village carrying silver platters covered in ooey-gooey chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow treats," Myers said.
For guests looking to enjoy a refined dining experience, Myers recommends the Mountain Table Dinner Series, which she describes as marrying food and wine for a private dinner culminating with a surprise transportation twist. This winter's series will feature SIMI, Prisoner, Charles Krug, and Rodney Strong Vineyards.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass