Traffic & Parking
Recently, we have had an exciting amount of snowfall, which has increased demand for skiing/riding at Squaw Alpine, and has attracted many other Californians to come to the area to sightsee and snow play in the North Lake Tahoe area. To help our guests be more prepared this weekend, we have the below tips and answers to frequently asked questions.
How will I know if parking is full?
Our parking is likely to fill up quickly at both mountains this weekend. Once lots are full, they are full, and there is no reason to continue driving towards Squaw Alpine. If you do continue driving on Highway 89, you are helping to create a large traffic jam that will annoy you and everyone around you, and when you finally get to Squaw Valley Road or Alpine Meadows Road, you’ll be turned around before you ever get to the resort.
To help avoid this, we provide regular updates on our parking lot status updates through the Squaw Alpine app. Make sure you have your notifications turned on. Additionally, you can follow our Squaw Alpine Ops Twitter account. If you are following both of these, you will get push notifications on parking status, and you will see our Twitter updates on our parking capacity as well.
Can I reserve parking in advance?
If you want to guarantee a spot for yourself, some parking is available to pre-purchase for Alpine Meadows, but otherwise, all of our parking is free, and it is first-come, first-served.
What should I do if parking fills up?
If we say our parking is full, it is FULL so please do not continue to the resort. We will not have spots in our lots until later in the afternoon. Drop-offs are not permitted when parking is full.
If you are unable to park at either mountain and need to make a change to your lift ticket, lesson, rental/demo or activity reservation, you can fill out our refund & date change request form. We honor all refunds that are requested due to park out conditions.
An alternative to driving yourself to the resort is taking the free local TART bus. You can park in either Truckee or Tahoe City and the bus will bring you to The Village at Squaw Valley or to the base of Alpine Meadows, where you can take a shuttle up to the mountain. If the lots fill up and you can’t make it, you can check out our suggestions for other things to do in Lake Tahoe.
Why was traffic and parking so difficult last week? Will it be the same this weekend?
Due to Covid-19, we have made changes to our transportation initiatives, as a safety precaution. We have discontinued our Protect Our Winters Carpool Program (because we are not encouraging people to rideshare during Covid) and so we are seeing fewer people per vehicle than usual, which means that our parking lots fill with fewer people at the resort. We also have suspended our supplemental trips on the Park & Ride program that we fully funded, which added extra TART buses exclusively for use at Squaw and Alpine, and the Mountaineer shuttle service has ceased operations for the remainder of this season as well. (Mountaineer will be back next year).
These programs were suspended because there has been very little usage of public transportation options due to Covid, and local funding mechanisms have suffered significant revenue losses due to business closures. In addition, the North Tahoe region continues to see a large number of non-ski/ride sightseers and snow-players, which puts significantly more cars on the road than in a typical season. All of these factors have led to longer traffic lines and full parking. The best thing you can do is be prepared and be flexible.
Please remember to carpool and tailgate only with your household.
How To Access the Mountain
There are no day-of tickets available at Squaw or Alpine and online tickets for Saturday are sold out. If you do not have a pass or pack, you must purchase your tickets online in advance. If you are unable to acquire a ticket or pass online in advance, please don’t come – we look forward to seeing you later this season. The only exception to this is for Ikon Friends & Family tickets, which should be purchased day-of at any ticket window. Friends & Family tickets cannot be purchased online or in advance, but they will not sell out.
If you need to request a refund or change the date of your visit, you can fill out our refund & date change form to get started. Please note: If you need assistance with a lodging reservation, do not use this form. Call 1-800-403-0206 and one of our agents will help you.
Face Coverings and Social Distancing
Physical distancing and mask-wearing will be strictly enforced: A two-layer face covering is required at all times except when skiing and riding down the mountain. Masks and gaiters can get soggy, so consider packing several. You can keep them dry in a bag in your pocket, or leave extras in your car.
If you’re still looking for the perfect two-layer neck gaiter, we recommend Phunkshun Wear! These face coverings are available to purchase at Parallel Mountain Sports in the Village at Squaw Valley and Estelle Sports located in the Alpine Meadows Lodge.
Because of the physical distancing measures enacted within lift lines and on chairlifts this year, lines appear long but wait times are close to normal in most cases. You can use the Squaw Alpine app to check wait lift times while you’re on the mountain.
Limited Indoor Capacity
Please remember, indoor capacity remains limited due to Covid protocols, so please be prepared to spend extended periods of time outdoors. We recommend that you kit your car out with a thermos of hot water, extra layers, and a good playlist, in addition to all of the standard equipment you should carry for snow. If you’re planning on tailgating in the parking lots, please only do so with your household.
Dining & Shopping
While the Stay-Home order has been lifted, Placer County is still in the Purple Tier of Covid regulations. This means that our restaurants are open for to-go food or outdoor seating only. You can plan ahead and order online from a number of our establishments. Our retail locations, meanwhile, are open for business at 25% capacity. Please know and respect our local regulations.