Hiking Squaw Valley & Lake Tahoe

Squaw Valley and the surrounding Sierra Nevada provide some of the most spectacular settings in the world.  You can access a variety of hiking trails right from the base of Squaw Valley.  Trails lead to waterfalls, alpine lakes, meadows, peaks, and lookouts.   

Please be advised: the Aerial Tram and all High Camp activities are currently closed. There will be no downloads available for hikers. 

Hiking Trails Squaw Valley

Trollstigen Trail - Hiking Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe
Trollstigen Trail

Distance: .6 mile
Elevation: 189' gain/loss

This gentle trail traverses the base of Olympic Valley from the Resort at Squaw Creek to the Village at Squaw Valley. The trail meanders in and out of the trees just above the valley floor. Enjoy spectacular views of the meadow and surrounding peaks.  

Hiking Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe - World Cup Trail
World Cup Trail

Distance: .7 miles
Elevation: 488' gain/loss

Use this trail to access the national historic and scenic designated Western States Trail, which stretches from Salt Lake City, Utah to Sacramento, California.  

Hiking Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe - Shirley Caynon
Shirley Canyon Trail

Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation: 2,109' gain/loss

This is one of Lake Tahoe's best half-day hikes. Hike alongside waterfalls and granite boulders and take in breathtaking views of Squaw Valley. To access the trailhead, go to the end of Squaw Peak Road and park on the side of the road. This trail can be difficult to follow, so remember the general rule is to keep the creek on your right and follow it up for about 2.5 miles until you come to giant granite rock slabs. You will cross over this section and continue up to Shirley Lake. There are steep and rocky sections, so hiking boots are strongly recommended. Visit here for a detailed guide to hiking Shirley Canyon.

Hiking Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe - Thunder Mountain Trail
Thunder Mountain Trail

Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation: 2000' gain/loss

The Thunder Mountain Trail is the perfect hike to explore Squaw Valley from the base to High Camp. Hikers start their adventure at the bottom of the Exhibition chairlift or from the bottom of the summer construction access road at the bottom of the KT-22 chairlift. From here follow the signs that lead you up the South fork of Squaw Creek toward the top of the Ariel Tram and High Camp . Continue on the trail winding up the mountain. Your final destination will be just below the Ice Rink facility at High Camp. PLEASE NOTE that the Thunder Mountain Trail passes over the summer construction access road in three different locations. Please be aware of vehicles and heavy machinery traffic. Do not continue on the summer construction access road as it is closed for hiking.  

For those looking for a shorter adventure check out the lower portion of Thunder Mountain. Just a ½ mile up the trail Thunder Mountain crosses Squaw Creek via the footbridge and offers stunning views of the creek, valley, small waterfalls and beautiful flora and fauna.  Just beyond that take a dip in the historic Olympic era pond.  This pond was created to be the main portable water source for the Olympic Village in 1960.  Today it is used by hikers to cool off during the summer months.

Squaw Valley Hiking Map

Summer Hiking Map for 2020 at squaw valley

Top Hikes North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe has some of the region's best hiking, and most of the trails are right in our backyard! Scroll through to read about our top 5 Lake Tahoe hiking trails. 

Eagle Rock

Distance: 0.7 miles
Elevation: 239' gain/loss
Directions to trailhead

If you're looking for a short hike with spectacular views, this is the hike for you. You'll ascend a steep but well-traveled trail to the top of Eagle Rock, where you'll have an incredible view of Lake Tahoe. Don't wander too close to the edge, as there is quite a large dropoff. 

Hiking Lake Tahoe - Five Lakes Trail
Five Lakes Trail

Distance: 5.0 miles
Elevation: 1,118' gain/loss
Directions to trailhead

Located in Alpine Meadows, this popular 5-mile hike is a moderate level of difficulty. Be prepared for some exposed switchbacks in the beginning and cool off with a swim in one of the lakes! 

Hiking Lake Tahoe - Stateline Trail
Stateline Lookout

Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 400' gain/loss
Directions to trailhead

Cross over into Nevada for a hike that is friendly for all skill levels. This 1.5 mile hike takes you up to a fire lookout with a stunning view of Lake Tahoe. This trail is a great option for families (and dogs are welcome, too!) 

Hiking Lake Tahoe - Pinedrop Trail
Pinedrop Trail

Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation: 141' gain/loss
Directions to trailhead

Head to the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista to access several hiking & biking trails, as well as a playground, sports fields, and a dog park. The Pinedrop Trail is an easy, beautiful option with a paved path if you'd like to accommodate a stroller or wheelchair. 

Hike Lake Tahoe - Mt. Judah Loop
Mt. Judah Loop

Distance: 4.8
Elevation: 1,220' gain/loss
Directions to trailhead

Climb to Donner Peak and enjoy the striking views of Mt. Rose, Truckee, Donner Lake, and Coldstream Canyon.  The Mt. Judah Loop Trail starts on the Pacific Crest Trail and connects all the way to Squaw Valley via the Granite Chief trail for those looking for a longer hike.

Top 5 Hikes North Lake Tahoe Map

Here are a few tips to make the most out of your day on the mountain.

Safety Tips at Squaw Valley
  • Please stay off chairlifts and towers. During our summer maintenance, lifts may be started without warning
  • In case of emergency, dial “0” from phones at base or top of any lift, or 6205 from any house phone or 530-584-6205 from an outside phone.
  • During thunderstorms, stay away from ridge tops, tall trees, lift towers and large rock outcroppings as they can attract lightning strikes. If lightning is in the area, ALL Tram operations will be suspended until lightning clears.
  • Please respect Squaw Valley’s beautiful natural environment by observing all signs and staying on designated trails and roads. Do not cut switchbacks. Stay out of any construction or roped off areas.
  • No smoking, please. The fire danger in this area is very high during the summer.
  • Be aware, company vehicles travel on Summer Road. Use caution.
  • For those planning to take the Tram down, be sure to check the Tram operating schedule prior to hiking up. It is currently closed.
General Hiking Tips
  • Wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. Many of the mountain trails traverse rugged terrain.
  • Squaw’s mountain environment is prone to sudden weather and temperature changes so please carry adequate clothing.
  • Bring plenty of water (never drink directly from a stream) and a snack or energy bar.
  • Always use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses for protection from the high altitude sun.
  • Do not hike alone. It is fun and safer when done with a group.
Helpful Apps
  • Squaw Alpine App - Download the Squaw Alpine app to access summer hiking maps, track hiking performance, find your friends on hiking trails and more!
  • AllTrails - Over 100,000 trail maps plus reviews and photos crowdsourced from hikers and bikers
  • Trailforks - Over 130,000 trails contributed by users and approved by local trail associations  
We're Dog Friendly
  • You are welcome to bring your dog with you on your hike at Squaw Valley.
  • Please be sure to bring a leash as all dogs in the Village at Squaw and inside any buildings or facilities. 
  • Please pick up after dogs.
  • Please don’t let dogs disturb wildlife.