UPDATE: MAY 14, 2021
Tree cutting in the Five Lakes Trail area concluded sooner than expected. Five Lakes Trail is open.
UPDATE: MAY 12, 2021
The Five Lakes trail will be closed Thursday and Friday, May 13 & 14, for tree cutting. Here are some other hiking recommendations in the area.
UPDATE: MAY 7, 2021
On Monday, May 10, tree cutting will begin at the Alpine Meadows base area and the Caldwell property in Alpine Meadows. There will be noise from chainsaws and tree felling in these areas. Tree cutting areas will be closed to the public. Five Lakes Trail is not anticipated to be closed for this phase of work, stay tuned for additional updates.
UPDATE: MAY 5, 2021
Gondola Construction: What to Expect
We anticipate construction activities to begin soon on the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows base-to-base gondola. Construction activities will include (in approximate order) tree cutting, tree removal by helicopter, excavation & blasting, and building of terminals and towers. Our guests, staff and local residents can anticipate the following impacts due to these activities:
- Hiking trail closures: Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail will experience intermittent closures throughout construction this summer. During closures, hikers are encouraged to use other trails, with nearby Shirley Canyon and Granite Chief trails in Olympic Valley as great alternatives. Hikers who ascend to High Camp during operating hours of the Aerial Tram can download for free.
Estimated hiking trail closure durations for Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail: 12 days in May, 14 days in June, 10 days in July and five days in August.
We understand that these intermittent closures will be a real inconvenience to our local community and visitors, and will be communicating closures with access road signs, trailhead signs, the Squaw Alpine app and @Squawalpineops on twitter.
- Tree cutting: Nearly all tree cutting will take place on the Alpine Meadows side, relatively little tree cutting needs to happen on the Squaw Valley side. There will be noise from chainsaws and tree felling around the Alpine Meadows base area. The Tree cutting areas will be closed to the public.
- Excavation & blasting: Plan for noise from blasting and heavy machinery. Excavation areas will be closed to the public while work is ongoing.
- Helicopter flying: Plan for noise from helicopter flying.
- Parking: Areas of the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley parking lots will be closed for equipment and construction material staging. The most convenient parking areas will remain available.
- We do not anticipate any impacts to skiing and riding operations due to these construction activities.
We will provide updates as exact dates are confirmed. All construction activity will be dependent on weather, conditions, and logistics.
Noise emanating from construction activities, including helicopter flights, is prohibited on Sundays and Federal Holidays, and will only occur:
- Monday – Friday, 6am-8pm (during daylight savings time, summer)
- Monday – Friday, 7am-8pm (during standard time, fall)
- Saturdays, 8am-6pm. Helicopters may be used on Saturdays, as needed.
- Placer County’s Planning Director is authorized to waive these time frames based on special circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions.
Questions? Reach out to GondolaConstruction@squawalpine.com.
April 12, 2021 Update:
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is preparing for the construction of the base-to-base gondola connecting the two areas. This is a tremendously complex project, with four terminals spanning two ski areas, and our team will continue to work closely with Leitner-Poma on the planning and construction.
Will there be any construction impacts to ski operations?
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows plans to operate skiing and riding as conditions permit. We currently anticipate operating until the end of May, but much will depend on weather and snow conditions. Should there be any construction impacts to operations, we will communicate with skiers and riders about potential impacts that affect the spring season.
How long will construction take/When will the gondola open?
Construction timelines and opening date are dependent on weather, conditions and logistics.
Where will the gondola go?
The gondola will transport guests between The Village at Squaw Valley and the Alpine Meadows Base area. Guests will also have the option to disembark at the KT-22 mid station. There will be no onload/offload access for Squaw Alpine guests at the Alpine Meadows Mid-Station.
Does the gondola provide access to KT-22?
Yes, the gondola will add lift access to the top of the KT ridge at Squaw Valley from either base area, at the rate of 1,400 people per hour. KT-22 lift has an hourly capacity of 2,100.
Will it be possible to ski between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows once the gondola is installed?
No, the terrain at the two areas is not contiguous, and installation of the gondola will not open additional skiable terrain. Skiers and riders will be able to use the gondola to travel between the two mountains in about 16 minutes, instead of getting in their cars.
Will the gondola installation result in the addition of new terrain access between the two mountains?
The gondola will not add new terrain to the resort. Terrain that will be connected by the gondola is not contiguous.
What is the hourly capacity of the gondola?
The gondola will have the capacity to transport 1,400 people per hour in 8-passenger cabins.
How long will it take to get between the two mountains on the gondola?
The gondola ride is anticipated to take 16 minutes.
When will the gondola operate?
The gondola will operate during the winter season only, as late as April 30, when both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are open.