Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Tahoe City, California 96146

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort Professional Review and Guide

"Alpine Meadows rests on the southeast edge of the 1.2 million-acre Tahoe National Forest. Elevations climb from around 1,500 feet in the western foothills to more than 9,000 feet at the Sierra Crest. Landscapes are mixed, and depending on altitude, expect to find everything from chaparral and Ponderosa pine at the lower and mid elevations to lodgepole pine and manzanita at the subalpine elevation. Above timberline, look for vast volcanic bowls of virgin powder strewn with mule deer, bighorn sheep, and gray fox tracks. Tahoe National Forest, designated in 1907, is one of the most historically significant of the national forests, having hosted the 1849 Gold Rush and having served as the gateway through which most emigrants gained entry into California. Native Americans have used what is now know as Donner Pass for thousands of years. It was through this nearby natural turnpike that the ill-fated Donner Party of 1846–1847 met their demise. Tucked on the edge of this vast and wild land, the Alpine Meadows/Donner Summit area receives some of the deepest snows in North America."

More Alpine Meadows Ski Resort Professional Reviews and Guides

"The 9-mile journey from Alpine Meadows to Twin Peaks is a rigorous undertaking by anyone’s standards, but the incomparable views from the ridgecrest section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT ) and the Twin Peaks summit are hard to beat.

The trade-off for such magnificent scenery is a 2-mile climb from Alpine Meadows to the Five Lakes basin, followed by another, almost-2-mile, switchbacking climb to the Sierra crest. Once the crest is gained, the hiking is much less difficult and the marvelous views are nearly unremitting."

"Resting atop the Sierra Nevada crest between the famous ski areas of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, the shallow basin of Five Lakes sits in an easily accessible corner of the Granite Chief Wilderness. Although the trail gains 1,000 feet of elevation in about 2 miles, it is still a fairly easy and popular hike, yet usually not as crowded as are many trails in the Lake Tahoe area. Not only is the hike to Five Lakes a good leg stretcher, it also surveys contrasting landscapes, ranging from granitic bedrock to volcanic rocks and ski resorts to pristine wilderness. Swimming is a major attraction at the lakes, but the waters remain cold until late summer. The USDA Forest Service strongly discourages hikers from bringing dogs to Five Lakes, so heed the principles of Zero Impact and please leave your dog at home."

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort Reviews

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Did this hike on a Saturday morning by myself. Took me a little less than 2 hrs round trip from the road to the nearest of the lakes and back. The trail was quite well maintained. Saw lots of other people, a few with dogs. The beginning is a nice workout with sustained vertical. Once you gain the saddle the scenery gets really stunning, with interesting pink granite and great views. The lake I saw was small (more like a pond) but scenic. Recommended.
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I've done this trail twice before and love many things about it: 1) it's only 3 hours from the Bay Area (so faster than driving to most scenic Sierra hiking spots); 2) it has beautiful lakes; 3) your hike can be as easy/hard as you want it to be. My husband and I went backpacking here once, hiking in maybe 2-3 hours from the parking lot, and while I stayed near a lake all day reading and getting some sun my husband took off and did some hiking on his own. Definitely bring a topo map, though...we were lucky we had walkie talkies when my husband got lost! :s

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort Photos

Trail Information

Tahoe City
Nearby City
Vertical Drop
Skill Level
2100 acres
Skiable Terrain
Number of Runs
2.5 miles
Longest Run
1 high-speed six, 1 high-speed quad, 3 triples, 6 doubles, 1 surface, 1 Sunkid surface; 15,000 skiers per hour.
Lifts and Capacity
Mid-November to May
6,835 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,637 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Nov 2018