Ski Areas in California

-A diverse and beautiful state with 3 different mountain ranges that are home to 28 ski areas, California has Winter weather like nowhere else in North America. Known for huge snow dumps and gnarly Pacific storms that give way to bluebird sunny skies, Cali also boasts some of the most scenic ski areas around and some of the best corn snow and Spring skiing conditions.

Alpine Meadows (Alpine @ palisades) (CA)

Resort Classification: (Cat 4) Large

Known as the “little brother” of the Palisades family, and while Alpine Meadows may certainly be the smaller and less steep of the two Ski Resorts, it definitely still packs a punch and has a lot to offer, including great tree skiing and a long snow season.



Nestled one Valley over from its “bigger brother” formerly known as Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows looks to be fully connected and be part of one big Palisades Resort by 2023 via a base to base gondola.

Alpine Meadows has 13 lifts accessing 2,400 acres of skiable terrain and over 100 named ski runs. Alpine consists of a “front side” and a “back side”. With the front containing most of the groomed terrain and a mix of green, blue and black runs, and the back side containing mostly black off-piste terrain.

Famous For:

-Superior tree skiing compared to their neighbor to the North, and comparatively way better lift lines and smaller crowds. 

-Alpine stays open top to bottom for as long as the snow holds out, and can usually make it into early May, with great corn snow Spring skiing.


Infamous For:

-In contrast to their neighbor over the ridge (Palisades/Squaw), Alpine Meadows does not have the same quality of aggressive steep terrain or  quantity of large open bowl skiing.

-A horrific mega avalanche back in 1982 that spawned the movie “Buried”. Thankfully Alpine has maintained a good reputation for safety and snow terrain management since this unfortunate incident.

-Alpine/Palisades has caught flack from locals and the “Keep Squaw True” movement over recent years for wanting to install a Gondola to connect the two ski areas.

Closest town with lodging:

The closest town with lodging for this ski area is: Home rentals are available within a short drive of the ski area, but the closest hotels are around the bend in the Olympic Valley or down the road a few miles in Tahoe City where plenty of Hotel/Motel options are present.


Closest City with An Airport:

The closest major city with a commercial airport for this ski area is: Reno, NV. which is miles away via I-80, and Sacramento, CA. which is 120 miles to the West via I-80.


Season Pass Reciprocation

Alpine Meadows falls under the Ikon Pass and has unlimited access through reciprocation with: Winter Park, CO. Copper Mt. CO. Eldora Mt. CO. Mammoth Mt. CA. June Mt. CA. Big Bear Mt. CA. Stratton, VT. Sugarbush, VT. Showshoe, WV. Tremblant, QC. Blue Mt. ON. Solitude Mt. UT. as well as 30 other ski areas with limited access.

Mnt stats



Base Elevation: 6,835ft

Peak Elevation: 8,637ft

Vertical Drop: 1,802ft

Skiable Acreage: 2,400

Annual Snowfall: 400″

Number of Trails: 100+


Terrain Stats



Beginner Terrain: 25%

Intermediate Terrain: 40%

Advanced  Terrain: 35%

Expert Terrain: —

Av. Opening Date: Late Nov

Av. Closing Date: Early May


Chair Lifts



Low Speed Doubles: 5

Low Speed Triples: 2

Low Speed Quads: 0

High Speed Quads: 3

High Speed 6 Packs: 1

High Speed 8 Packs: 0


Other Lifts


Half Day

Rope Tows: 0

Magic Carpets: 2

T-Bar / Pomas: 0

Gondolas / Trams: 0

Chondolas: 0

Snow Cats: 0




Trails to ski and snowboard.

  • Snow Making
  • Night Skiing
  • Snow Tubing
  • Nordic Trails
  • Backcountry Gates
  • Uphill Traffic Allowed



 New Gondola to connect with Palisades.

  • Ski Lessons
  • Snowboard Lessons
  • Equipment Rentals
  • Snowboarding Allowed
  • Small Terrain Park
  • Big Terrain Park



Skiable Acres, including some great tree skiing!

  • Slopeside Lodging
  • Free Parking
  • RV Camping Allowed
  • WiFi Available
  • Cell Service
  • Pass Reciprocation

This chart represents the different difficulties of terrain.

Beginner Runs


Intermediate Runs


Advanced Runs


Expert Runs



Ski trail logos

Photos courtesy of:

The ski area photos above are provided courtesy of Snow Life LLC ©

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Lift Ticket Deals

SNow life ratings system.

Below is a series of ratings for this ski resort that is based upon the opinion of skiers and snowboarders directly associated with the Snow Life network of web pages. These ratings are based on personal experience from us actually going there and shredding it up. If an NR appears instead of the rating, it means we haven’t shred there yet, but rest assured, it’s on the list!!! Ratings are from 1-10, with 1 being poor, and 10 being the best.

sl rating:   7.7




Groomer quantity


Groomer quality




Value for Day Ticket


Apres Scene


Snow Quantity


Snow Quality


The Steeps


Lift Infrastructure


Glades / Tree skiing


Views / Scenery

Most of the steeps are on the backside! go check it out!

*Insider Tip*

Resort hours and location

Below are the operating hours for the lift system during the Winter Season according to this ski resort.


2600 Alpine Meadows Rd, Alpine Meadows, CA. 96146

Weekdays: 9am – 4pm

Weekends: 9am – 4pm

Kemper Snowboards

Snowboard company

Founded in 1987 in Ontario, Canada and recently relocated to Park City, UT. Kemper is a legendary brand in the snowboarding community for their quality, design, and those rad neon colors! If you’ve looking for a new board for this season, or trying to make an addition to your quiver CLICK HERE to check them out!


Ski and snowboard company

The legend continues. Making Skis since 1907, along with boots, accessories and now snowboards too! CLICK HERE to add another pair of sticks to your quiver, or simply check out there awesome stockpile of skis and gear!

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