101 FUN Things To Do in Olympic Valley

Thanks Nicole Cheslock, a part-time ski instructor, journalist and public relatsions consultant, living in Truckee, who sent me this list of 101 FUN Things To Do in Olympic Valley.

Whether you visit for a single day or come for a lifetime, the allure of Olympic Valley is unmatched. Most commonly referred to as Squaw Valley, the area has captured the hearts, minds and lives of people seeking everything from the best skiing and riding in North America to a greater awareness of how they fit into the world. Explore as much of the mountain as you possibly can, stay or dine at the Resort at Squaw Creek, discover gems in the Village at Squaw Valley, and above all else, soak in the natural beauty and spirit of the wonderfully magical place nestled between Lake Tahoe and Truckee. 


  1. Ski steeps. Hike the Palisades, Mainline Pocket and Granite Peak. Want a challenge? Do them all in one day.
  2. Ride up the Tram. See if you can spot the sleeping dog in the rock formation.
  3. Ski Olympic Lady on a powder day.
  4. First tracks on Chute 75.
  5. Another powder day. Ski Heidi’s. Let the snow fill your tracks. Go back for more.
  6. Ski the chutes off the Cornice II chair.
  7. Point ‘em in Silverado.
  8. Go on an adventure. Take Kitchen Wall into Sun Bowl.
  9. Ride Smoothies on a spring day.
  10. Explore the mountain from the Resort at Squaw Creek to Granite Peak.
  11. Need some pointers? Squaw Valley offers Chutes & Hikes on Monday mornings.
  12. Demo fat powder skis or a new board.
  13. Never been in a terrain park? Start small with the jumps accessible from the Belmont chairlift.
  14. Race the clock or a friend on the racecourse between the Gold Coast and Shirley Lake chairs.
  15. Say “hi” to the person sitting next to you on the chairlift. You just might start a conversation with a world champion skier or rider, make a new friend or meet your future spouse.
  16. Spend a few hours with the Ski and Snowboard School. There is something for everyone – toddlers to seniors, first timers to experienced and cautious to dare devil: Tuesday Tips (free), Women of Winter Wednesdays, Vintage Squaw Thursdays, Jibs & Jabs on Fridays plus daily group and private clinics.
  17. Thank a ski patroller.
  18. Go tubing.
  19. Make snowballs.
  20. Take the free shuttle to Alpine Meadows.


  1. Get to know someone in the crowd over a few beers at Le Chamois.
  2. Pick up a copy of “Squallywood,” the guide to Squaw Valley’s most exposed lines by Robb Gaffney. Complete as much as you dare.
  3. Get a picture of yourself on the podium in the small Olympic Heritage Museum at High Camp (free admission).
  4. Learn more about Squaw Valley’s Olympic heritage during a free two-hour walking tour on Jan. 20 (meet at the information desk next to the Tram building at noon). Can’t make it? Pick up a copy of David Antonucci’s book “Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games.”
  5. Get educated. Squaw Valley Ski Patrol offers free avalanche awareness and companion rescue workshops on the first and fifteenth of the month (5:30 to 7 p.m. through April at the Ski Patrol base).
  6. Immerse yourself in the striking outdoor photography that graces the walls of Gallery Keoki. Also see the one of a kind Judy Klimek jewelry pieces.
  7. Peruse the half-price used books (and full-price chocolate truffles) at Spirits of The Valley.
  8. Explore the speaker series offered by Squaw Valley Institute (an example – Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will speak at the Olympic Village Lodge on Feb. 13).
  9. Hot tub at High Camp.
  10. Lounge in the heated pools at the Resort at Squaw Creek.
  11. Kick back and enjoy the tunes. Free, live après ski music in the Village.
  12. Mingle over après ski at bar of choice: Take in the views from the KT Sun Deck and Bar One in the Olympic House.
  13. Rent the movie “Hot Dog” and see how many places you recognize.
  14. See the creative stained glass walls at the Squaw Valley Chapel, a tiny gem on Squaw Peak Road.
  15. The Orchestra and Community Choral Artists of the Tahoe Area (TOCCATA) frequently perform at the Resort at Squaw Creek and Squaw Valley Chapel. Visit toccatatahoe.com for details.
  16. Missed out or want to relive high school romance? Deck yourself out for the annual Squaw Valley Prom (Feb. 23). The theme is Spring Break 1999.


  1. Warm yourself from the inside out at Soupa. With daily vegetarian and vegan options, everyone is welcome.
  2. Try something, anything, from Wildflour Bakery Company in the Olympic House. Fresh baked cookies, tasty vegan chili, pizza bagels and more.
  3. Taste the tacos at the Cornice Cantina and enjoy the great cilantro sauce with chips.
  4. Enjoy a beer and hand roll at Mamasake for just five dollars (3 to 5 p.m. daily).
  5. Pop into Dave’s Deli for a nourishing pocket snack or quick lunch to go.
  6. Fire roasted corn in the Village. There is a good reason this local business has been around for more than a decade. The corn is yummy. Try an ear with butter.
  7. Savor Cinderella Pumpkin Bisque with poached Dungeness Crab Cakes at PlumpJack Café. Don’t leave before dessert. PlumpJack’s Chocolate Mousse S’More featuring liquid fudge and delicious house made marshmallows is absolutely divine.
  8. Have a slice or share a pie and make difference. For the entire year, Fireside Pizza is donating a portion of proceeds from pizza slice sales to SkiDucks, a completely volunteer run organization dedicated to sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding with underprivileged children. Diners are also invited to add one dollar to their bill for SkiDucks.
  9. Honor skiing legend Shane McConkey with a Seagram’s Vodka and Red Bull served in a commemorative glass at Rocker. Six dollars from each cocktail is donated to the McConkey Foundation.
  10. Take your inner sommelier on an adventure. Discover wines from near (Sierra Foothills) and far at Uncorked Squaw Valley.
  11. Open wide. The scrumptious made to order wraps from Mountain Nectar are humongous.
  12. Bite into the Fish & Chips at the Auld Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant.
  13. Savor a freshly made crepe with Nutella.
  14. Split a sweet Belgian waffle from the Euro Snack shack near the large fire pit near the entrance to the Funitel.
  15. Make fondue (ingredients are available at Alice’s Market).
  16. Treat your eyes and taste buds. Madagascar Vanilla Buttercream on a vanilla bean cupcake, Red velvet cake with classic cream cheese frosting, vanilla cake with coconut cream filling, chocolate cake topped with marshmallow cream frosting, a light caramel drizzle and toffee candy bits… the mouth-watering choices go on at Batch Cupcakery in Olympic House.
  17. Roast marshmallows at the Resort at Squaw Creek.
  18. Sip any one of the signature cocktails at Six Peaks Grille.
  19. Cocoa with a hint of schnapps. Imbibe at your bar of choice.
  20. Hot Buttered Rum. Enjoy one at Bistro 22. While you’re there, try the Mac & Cheese.
  21. Choose from more than 50 toppings to make your own frozen yogurt sundae at the Euro Sweets shop.
  22. Consider yourself a carnivore or omnivore? Try the four-pounder Gnar Burger at Rocker.


  1. Marvel at the remarkable cloud formations.
  2. Breathe in the crisp mountain air. Exhale. Repeat.
  3. Make snow angels.
  4. Build a snowman.
  5. Soak in every moment on blue bird days. Make that every day.
  6. Gaze up at the stars in the night sky. Make a wish.
  7. Rise for Dawn Patrol, Squaw Valley’s 7:40 a.m. Tram ride offering early access to Shirley Lake and Granite Chief skiing and riding.
  8. Cross country ski in the meadow.
  9. Listen to the sounds of nature.
  10. Go night skiing.
  11. Discover your favorite hot toddy. Experiment.
  12. Take pictures of the beautiful, the zany, the heart-warming.
  13. Take in the panoramic views. How many amazing views of Lake Tahoe can you see from 8,200’?
  14. Study snowflakes. Each one really is different.
  15. Ice skate under the stars at the Olympic Ice Pavilion.
  16. Plan an evening snowshoe hike or sign up for a guided moonlight snowshoe tour (Jan. 25 and 26, Feb. 23).
  17. Spend the early evening skiing and savoring bites with your sweetheart during Nachtspektakel, a traditional European-inspired touring event (meet at the Tram Building at 3 p.m. on Feb. 9).
  18. Go sledding.
  19. Cuddle by a fire.
  20. Pick up a fun teaser, puzzle or game at Mind Play and spend the day or night entertaining your brain.
  21. Let snowflakes kiss your cheeks (if it’s not snowing this week, plan your next trip).


  1. Enjoy a dog sled ride in the meadow (Insider’s tip: if you’re in front, keep your mouth shut).
  2. Check out the funky tops, bottoms and knits at Edin Boutique.
  3. Learn three ways to knot a tie (Atlas).
  4. Support a locally owned business with the purchase of an Arcade stretchy belt (available at The Ledge).
  5. Treat yourself or a woman you love to a pair of the irresistible BedHead pajamas (Lather & Fizz).
  6. Let a masseuse at the Resort at Squaw Creek flush out impurities, stretch tight muscles and prepare your body for another day of action with an Olympic Sports Massage.
  7. Indulge. Trilogy Spa’s Lehua Honey Rainbar includes a personal body treatment with sea salt exfoliation, Island Lehua Honey, ultra moisturizing coconut oil and a scalp massage.
  8. The sun takes a toll. Beautify with one of the Resort at Squaw Creek Spas delicious treatments including an anti-aging aromatherapy or firming facial.
  9. Make goofy faces, strike a pose and smile while capturing memories in the Photo Booth (Olympic House game room).
  10. Take a horse drawn sleigh ride from the Resort at Squaw Creek.
  11. Find a deal at Squaw Valley Outfitters.
  12. Pop into the shops: Check out new gear. Get outfitted.
  13. Support Squaw Valley Fire Department. T-shirts for sale.
  14. Interested in making Olympic Valley your home or a home away from home? Check out the real estate for sale.


  1. Walk, cycle or run on the bike path.
  2. Learn to play pickleball.
  3. Jog with your dog.
  4. Go country. Wild West Cowboy weekend.
  5. Fly away. Kite Festival
  6. Ground yourself. Wanderlust California (July 18 to 21)
  7. Hike to Squaw Peak, 8,900’.
  8. Go big. Extend your Shirley Canyon hike to the Palisades and on to KT-22


Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.