Tucked back between Tahoe City and Squaw Valley, and nestled off the Truckee River, Alpine Meadows is the ‘local’s local’ mountain, enjoying the highest snow fall among Lake Tahoe ski resorts, generally more than 400 inches each winter. As a low-key counterpart to its next-door neighbor resort, Squaw Valley (just one ridgeline over), Alpine Meadows was developed in 1961 by a close-knit group of Bay Area residents.
Alpine Meadows is marked by the classic ski cabins and Swiss chalets, giving this community a throwback to vintage Tyrolean. It offers just the right amount of sophistication and prime skiing without the unnecessary thrills, a place where the charm of ‘Old World’ Lake Tahoe can come alive.
A remote and widely unknown community at Alpine Meadows is located on the backside of the mountain: the Alpine Peak and Ward Creek subdivisions. They are located about 5 miles from the lake in Blackwood Canyon at Ward Creek. Due to the nature of their seclusion, these communities are not for everyone. But they are perfect for the outdoor adventure and wilderness explorer, who enjoys backcountry living and easy access to untracked trails. But don’t be completely fooled by this rustic set-up – you will still find homeowners’ tennis courts in this neighborhood.
In the summer, Alpine Meadows offers some of the best fly-fishing in the Lake Tahoe basin at Bear Creek. Bear Creek is also the most alluring of neighborhoods in Alpine Meadows. In fact, some homes are located directly on the rushing creek. Leading out of Bear Creek to the Truckee River below, you’ll notice the majority of homes in Alpine are built along the canyon walls. Subsequently, these cabins were built to handle large snow loads, and you will find a diverse mix of architecture as a result of the sloping land. The appeal behind real estate at Bear Creek is the onsite property manager included in the HOA for snow clearing (you’ll need it!), access to a private swimming pond with sandy beaches, and privately maintained roads.
As a mountain community, the attraction behind Alpine Meadows’ method is the easygoing ambiance, and friendliest atmosphere. Like any Alpine Meadows enthusiast, start your day with a killer breakfast at Crest Café, located at the bottom of the Alpine Meadows road; or try a $1.50 PBR all day; and reserve your après ski hunger for River Ranch Lodge and Restaurant, where you can watch the Truckee River rush by in the winter and spring. Don’t forget an all-time Lake Tahoe favorite: live music on the Alpine deck in the springtime.
In years past the debate over Alpine Meadows versus Squaw Valley, and a possible partnership, appeared never-ending. Until the winter of 2011/12. In September 2011, Squaw Valley announced a merger with neighboring Alpine Meadows, and the Tahoe Super Pass was born. Despite the “one mountain, one pass” mentality, Alpine Meadows continues to preserve its unruffled approach to winter sports and unique charm.
Alpine Meadows resort says it best: “There is an energy at Alpine Meadows resort; a heartbeat. This mountain mesmerizes us with perfect powder which lingers days after a storm; grants moments of clarity on quiet traverses through snow covered pine trees; and converts visitors to locals with seven open bowls, gentle, top-to-bottom cruisers, and forested glades. Alpine Meadows mountain resort allows its visitors to feel unabashed joy harbored in every soul’s inner child.”