Immerse yourself in the magic of the wilderness on scenic hiking trails through the Squaw Valley region. From easy strolls to half-day hikes and longer expeditions, this pristine mountain landscape is an inspiring destination to go for a stroll outdoors. Follow creeks to sparkling alpine lakes and stumble upon meadows full of wildflowers. Hike to jaw-dropping viewpoints where it seems like you can see forever. If you're looking for fun things to do outside in Squaw Valley, the region's best hiking trails are a fantastic place to start.
Before you set off into the wilderness, be sure that you're prepared. Always check the weather forecast and let someone know where you're going, even for a short afternoon hike. And don't leave home without these top 10 essentials for summer hiking in Squaw Valley:
With beautiful waterfalls, granite boulders, and inspiring views of Olympic Valley, this half-day hike is one of the best you'll find in the region. The 3.6-mile trail can be challenging, steep, and rocky, so wear proper hiking boots. You'll need to be in good shape to hike up the trail. From the trailhead at Squaw Peak Road, the trail leads up to Shirley Lake and High Camp. You'll follow a creek and pass flowing waterfalls and massive granite boulders - and if you time it right, you'll also see meadows blooming with wildflowers. About 2.5 miles up from the trailhead, you'll reach a giant granite slab that you'll shuffle up to reach Shirley Lake. Go for a dip - it's the perfect way to cool off after the hike! Or simply relax in the shade. Keep going up to High Camp for killer views - along with refreshments at Granite Bistro Café. Ride down the Aerial Tram for free! Note: You can also ride UP the Aerial Tram and do this trail in reverse by heading down to Shirley Lake and the trailhead.
With wildflower-covered meadows and lush greenery at every turn, Palisade Tahoe's high alpine region is a beautiful environment to explore in the summer. In the winter, this area is a skier's and snowboarder's paradise - but in the summer, it's a playground for leisurely mountain strolls and challenging hikes. Hop on Palisade Tahoe's Aerial Tram to ride up to High Camp, where you can access several scenic trails for hiking and walking. You'll find easy walks along with more strenuous trails so that you can choose the right one for your fitness and skill level - and then you can ride the Aerial Tram back down to the Village at Palisades Tahoe. Our favorite trails at High Camp include:
This fantastic trail leads you to five wilderness lakes that are nestled in a dense pine forest and surrounded by granite. In just about an hour, you can reach the five lakes on the five-mile round-trip trail, which climbs 1,000 feet into the Granite Chief Wilderness. It's not just one of the best trails in the Olympic Valley region - it's one of the best trails in California. It's very popular too, so arrive to the trailhead early, especially in the summer months. You'll find the trailhead near Alpine Meadows Ski Area, which is well-marked with signage and a map. It tops out at 7,400 feet at five unspoiled lakes. You'll find plenty of granite slabs to sit on and enjoy the sunshine, plus stunning scenery - make sure that your camera's battery is fully charged!
Chart your own course through an epic mountain landscape at Squaw Valley Lodge, the perfect basecamp for your summertime adventures. Enjoy easy access to all of the trails, parks, and fun things to do outside in Olympic Valley from our hike-in/hike-out hotel. Relax in a condo-style suite that's fully outfitted with everything you need for the ultimate mountain vacation, including a full kitchen or kitchenette, microwave, refrigerator, Wi-Fi, and HDTVs. Suites with fireplaces and balconies are also available - and our location is steps away from the restaurants and shops of Squaw Valley. Where will your path lead to this summer? Choose your own adventure and find your ideal hiking trail when you plan a getaway to Squaw Valley Lodge.