Tips for a Smooth 4th of July at Squaw Valley

Category: General
  • Lake Tahoe Freedom Fest Skiing on 4th of July Wiggle
  • Lake Tahoe Freedom Fest Skiing on 4th of July Wiggle

We can't wait to celebrate this unbelievable season with our final weekend of skiing & riding, live music and more! Lake Tahoe Freedom Fest is a popular event, so check out these tips to ensure you have a fun and seamless weekend. 

A Few Important Things to Know: 

1. If you are a pass or pack holder, don't forget your pass!

We've seen it before. You've left your winter coat at home. You arrive at Squaw. You unpack the gear from your car & make your way to the Funitel. You wait in line, excitedly anticipating opening. You get to the gates and... you realize that your pass is in your winter jacket -- at home! Make sure you bring your pass with you so that you don't have to wait in line. Not sure which pass is your most recent one? That's okay! Bring your pass into the ticket office sometime in June if you can to get it sorted out. If that isn't an option for you, our ticket scanning staff can activate the pass for you at the gate, which is much quicker than having to go back to the ticket office. 

Another reason to bring your pass: Ikon Pass & Ikon Base Pass Holders get 15% and 10% off at Squaw-owned retail stores in the village. Excludes Patagonia and hard goods like skis, boards, etc. 

2. If you haven't bought a ticket yet, do it now.  

Save up to $20 when you buy your ticket online in advance. Buy your ticket here

3. Arrive Early

Lake Tahoe is a popular 4th of July destination! Get to the mountain early to avoid holiday traffic and get the most out of your day on the hill. Lifts open at 8am.

PLUS: If you are one of the first 1,000 people to board the Funitel on the 4th of July, you will get a free Freedom Fest T-Shirt! T-Shirts will be given away at the top of the Funitel in the Gold Coast plaza area. If you are not one of the first 1,000 guests, you may buy one onsite from Parallel Mountain Sports and Squaw One Logo Company in the Village or the Gold Coast Demo Center at the top of the Funitel. 

4. Carpool 

Not only does this help with traffic reduction and lowering carbon emission, carpooling also helps to ensure that you will get a spot, as we have filled up on 4th of July in the past. Our A Lot is a first-come, first-serve carpool parking lot for those who are very prompt. 

5. Consider biking to and from Squaw

The bike path from Tahoe City along the Truckee River is an awesome method of summer transportation that, again, will help with traffic reduction. If you don't want to bike home, you can take advantage of the TART bus, which stops at Squaw Valley every half hour. On 4th of July, you can take the bike path directly to Tahoe City to watch the fireworks instead of driving, too. 

6. Stay Hydrated 

Upper Mountain at Squaw Valley is located 8,000 feet above sea level, and the July sun can be strong. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill up at one of our many water fountains at Gold Coast and in the Village. 

7. Wear Sunscreen & Sunglasses

The California sun is strong in July, especially on the upper mountain. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and your goggles or sunglasses.

8. Wax Your Skis & Snowboard

Snow tends to be sticky this time of year and you will want the extra layer of wax to help you maintain speed. 

9.  Bring a Bathing Suit and Towel

Not only is skiing & riding in a bathing suit a fun item to check off your bucket list, but you can also head to High Camp after the slopes to soak at the Pool & Hot Tub. Entry to the pool is $10 for Ikon Pass holders and $15 for everyone else. On busy days, towels can run low, so consider bringing your own. Tasty and refreshing food and drinks are also available at High Camp during Freedom Fest!

10.  Bring warmer layers for the evening

While the daytime weather will mostly likely be warm and sunny, temperatures in Lake Tahoe often drop into the 40s or 50s at night in the summer. If you're sticking around for the free Paul Oakenfold concert and laser show on July 5, bring a few extra layers to stay warm as the sun goes down.

11. Take advantage of the Squaw Kids Adventure Camp. 

The Squaw Kids Adventure Camp is offered on the holiday weekend of July 6th and 7th from 9am-3pm. Daily adventures may include swimming, Aerial Tram rides, Eco-hiking, nature crafts, map and compass class, roller skating, geo-caching, engineering lego build/tech projects, disc golf, climbing wall, lawn games, scavenger hunts, cooking class, yoga, flower press and tree recognition - all the stuff kids love! 

12. Make the most of the amazing event lineup and have fun

You can view the entire event lineup on the Lake Tahoe Freedom Fest event page

We can't wait to enjoy some summer skiing & snowboarding with you! 

Can I purchase a ticket in-person on 4th of July? 

Tickets will be available on-site, but we strongly recommend purchasing in advance to limit the time you spend at the ticket windows and save up to $20. 

I am skiing but my friend/family member does not ski. What can they do? 

Non-skiers are encouraged to use the Aerial Tram for sightseeing. In addition to the Sightseeing Package, we also offer an Adventure Package, which includes access to our mountain-top Hot Tub & Pool. We also have an exciting event lineup and other activities such as the Tahoe Via Ferrata available from July 3-7th. 

What lifts will be open on July 3-7? 

Weather, snow, and conditions permitting, we are expecting to have Gold Coast, Shirley, and Big Blue spinning. We also expect to have the Palisades and Siberia open for hiking. It is extremely important that you do not hike in closed areas. 

Will I have to take the Funitel back down to the village? 

Yes. Every skier & snowboarder will be required to download on the Funitel as Mountain Run will be closed. This can take some time, but there will be live music as well as food & drinks at the top of the Funitel for your enjoyment. Once you download, you are welcome to use your ticket to go up the Aerial Tram to High Camp, where you can soak in the Hot Tub or swim in the pool. 

Can I park overnight at Squaw Valley to avoid traffic? 

If you would like to park in our lot overnight, there is a $50 overnight fee. You must reach out to security to arrange the details. Get more information here