Best Time To Ski Palisades Tahoe For Smaller Crowds: The introduction of the Ikon Pass has made Squaw Valley more popular as a destination resort, but best time to ski Palisades Tahoe—the former Squaw Valley—is definitely midweek when all of the weekend warriors from the Bay Area are off the slopes and back to work. The holidays are busy, as one would expect. The biggest crowds of the season, however, come on powder days when the parking lots fill up by 9am and all the diehard locals call in to their jobs to chase snow. It’s best to plan your trip midweek for not only the crowds but also for more affordable lodging at the Village at Palisades Tahoe.
Skiing Palisades midweek in April is also a good time to go because it’s when the snowpack tends to be the deepest, the spring break crowds are dying off, and there’s fun springtime events such as the Cushing Crossing and soaking in the hot tub at High Camp in between runs. The Alpine Meadows side of this soon-to-be connected mega resort tends to be quieter than the legacy Squaw side, something to keep in mind.
Cheapest Time To Ski Palisades Tahoe: Like most other ski resorts in the Tahoe area, you’ll get the best daily lift ticket rates when you purchase online in advance if it’s not on a Saturday or Sunday. In early December, midweek lift tickets start at $85 online ($109 at the window) and then they stay in the $122-$160 range until they start going back down in late April. However, since Squaw Valley is part of the Ikon Pass then it makes more sense to buy that early in the season if you plan on skiing more than six days at any of its 41 ski destinations this season.
For lodging, skiers should look to mid-January and April for the best prices.
Best Time To Fly To Palisades Tahoe: The closest commercial airport to Squaw Valley is the Reno-Tahoe International Airport 48 miles north on I-80. Most major airlines including American, United, Delta, and Alaska have regular stops in and out of Reno, but Southwest Airlines has the cheapest rates (one-way tickets start at $69 midweek) and lots of arrival/departure time options. Get the most out of your ski trip by flying in as early as you can, renting a 4WD car and driving straight to Squaw; you can get a free daily lift ticket when you present your Reno-Tahoe International Airport boarding pass on the same day you ski. However, traffic can get backed up on I-80 especially during winter storms and chain controls are in place so again it’s best to try to come in midweek if you can.
Best Time To Ski Palisades Tahoe For Snow: Palisades (Squaw Valley / Alpine Meadows) usually has its deepest snowpack in March, after steadier storms patterns have rolled through beginning in mid-February. Squaw Valley will also try to stay open as late as it possibly can, sometimes even keeping the lifts turning through the Fourth of July, depending on snow.