California Express Gondola

Category: Press Release
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows Eyes 2019-20 Winter Season for Opening of California Express Gondola

Guests and Community can Help Realize Long-Held Dream of Connecting Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows 

[Olympic Valley, Calif.] Oct. 25, 2017 – Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows formally announced its plan to install a base-to-base gondola connecting The Village at Squaw Valley and the base area at Alpine Meadows today. The freshly branded “California Express” gondola is targeted to open ahead of the 2019-20 winter season. The connection of these two great mountains will realize the long-held dream of the pioneers who brought the sport of skiing and the 1960 Winter Olympics to Squaw Valley nearly 60 years ago.
The proposed connection is currently under a joint agency review and assessment with the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Placer County. With help and support from the local community and loyal resort guests, once it is open, the gondola will finally offer skiers and snowboarders a cohesive, seamless ski and ride experience that includes access to the 6,000 combined acres of incredible terrain at both mountains without use of a car, and additional lift access to the top of the KT ridge.
“With the connection of two of California’s most iconic mountains via a gondola offering spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada, we wanted a name that was fitting and had a clear association with California,” said president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “Naming the gondola the ‘California Express’ was a natural choice. Especially since California, more widely known for its beaches than mountains, also offers some of North America’s most abundant snowfall, stunning scenery, and world-class ski and snowboard terrain.”
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is committed to ensuring the gondola is sensitive to the environment, native habitat, and nearby public lands when it is built. To this end, the design plan for the California Express prioritizes environmental sustainability at every step. This includes:

  • Protecting and preserving all identified critical habitats;
  • Avoiding crossing into the Granite Chief wilderness boundary;
  • Reducing car and shuttle traffic between the two mountains that impacts guests, residents and employees;
  • Minimizing visual impacts by limiting the number and height of gondola towers to maintain the scenic beauty of the area; and
  • Eliminating the need to construct access roads by using helicopters and overland crews for construction.

Pending approval by public agencies, the resort believes it can make the California Express a reality in time for the 2019-20 winter season. Residents and resort guests can voice their active support for the California Express to make this long-held dream reality.

To learn more about the California Express and how to help make it happen in time for the 2019-20 winter season, visit
About Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows
Voted ‘Best Ski Resort’ in North America for the second year in a row by USA Today and 10Best Readers’ Choice, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an internationally renowned mountain resort in North Lake Tahoe, California. Spanning over 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains, skiers and riders of all ability levels are welcomed by over 65 percent beginner and intermediate terrain, 14 easy-to-navigate mountain zones and a custom app to make the most of every visit. The resort features slopeside lodging at The Village at Squaw Valley®, which bustles year-round with nonstop events and over 50 bars, restaurants and boutiques. With an annual average of 450 inches of snowfall and 300 sunny California days, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is known as the Spring Skiing Capital™ as it provides one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in Lake Tahoe. Visit or call 1.800.403.0206 to learn more.