Ever since the movie G.N.A.R premiered showing Shane McConkey and friends doing goofy stunts while skiing some of the gnarliest, rockiest terrain that Squaw Valley has to offer, people have been drawn to this valley. It makes sense too. Who wouldn’t want to pole wack at the top of one of the many steep and narrow chutes that cover the infamous KT-22 chairlift, aka “The Mothership”? While you might think you are the best skier on the mountain, there’s also the off mountain culture that Squaw Valley is famous for as well. With so many unique bars scattered across Squaw Valley, it can be hard trying to find the right bar for you. Here are a few of our favorite bars (in no particular order) when we go visit Squaw Valley in the winter.
La Chamois and the Loft Bar
First place that is a must visit is Le Chamois and it’s not just because they are the number two Budweiser seller in the country. Hangout on the massive patio that surrounds the entrance to the bar, or hangout inside while you enjoy all the skiing relics that hang from the walls. Head upstairs to the Loft Bar where roof access is available if you’re OK with climbing through a window and standing on a fence-less roof.
This Mexican bar is located right in the parking lot of Squaw Valley and was originally made as the Olympic tuning and waxing center for the 1960’s Olympics. It was later renovated into a movie theater before becoming the bar that it is today. Come drink a beer at one of the Top 100 PBR sellers in the country and remember to ask for a “Shifter” for your first beer. A $1 PBR special that you can order once a night after getting off your shift, or if you can convince them you just got off one.
Named after the legend himself, Shane McConkey, who invented the rocker ski in 2001. This bar pays homage to Shane by offering the only 4lb burger in all of Squaw Valley and a special drink that is named the “Shane McConkey”. It might not come to any surprise, but that “special” drink is actually just a red bull vodka, but you get a cool glass that you’re allowed to take home and all the profits go to a foundation in Shane’s name.
The Umbrella Bar
At 8,200 feet the The Umbrella Bar has got some of the best views in the area, with scenery of Lake Tahoe, the Sierra Nevada and of course Squaw Valley. Located at the top of High Camp, you can ski right to the bar from the more challenging terrain or you can take the Aerial Tram up if you’ve already finished for the day. Remember to pack your swimsuit, because the Umbrella Bar sits right next to a giant outdoor jacuzzi that’s perfect for soaking in after a long day on the slopes. While you’re visiting High Camp make sure to check out the Olympic Ice Pavilion for some ice skating and for you history buffs they have a free Olympic museum.
KT Base Bar
Watching skiers ride down gnarly terrain is always entertaining, and doing it while sipping an ice cold beer out on the patio is even better. At the KT Base Bar you can do both of these things as the bar sits right under the KT-22 chairlift, voted best chair lift in North America, and faces the KT peak. There is a small indoor bar but everyone knows the real place to be is on the patio, watching skiers trying to lace a sketchy line down KT.
This mid-mountain bar at Squaw Valley’s sister resort isn’t a far drive and is definitely a place you gotta check out if you’re doing a day at Alpine Meadows. This cozy Bavarian beer garden has that German feel with brats, blond wood tables and warm fireplaces, while also offering outdoor seating. The best part about The Chalet is the 34oz glass boots that you can order any of their six draft beers in. It even comes with a lanyard so you can strap in around your neck while you’re hanging out, or skiing.
While you’re visiting Alpine Meadows, another bar that’s worth checking out is the Ice Bar right at the base of the Sherwood Chair. There’s nothing to fancy about this bar besides the ability to pretty much ski right up to it. You can enjoy their cheap $3 PBRs and $4 local draft beers while taking a break on one of the many Adirondack chairs that are scattered nearby. There’s always some entertainment at the Ice House as well, with lawn games and live music happening most days during the winter and spring.
If you’re planning on visiting Squaw Valley or Lake Tahoe this Summer make sure to check out our blog on Summer Activities at Lake Tahoe. Looking to take a trip out to Squaw Valley this winter? Make sure to use Ski Butlers to help out with all your ski rentals. Want to know what other people have to say about Ski Butlers? Check out some reviews. We can’t wait to see you at Squaw Valley this winter.