Thursday, January 12, 2017

Road Trips - Squaw Valley and Plump Jack Inn

We just returned from a 5 day trip to Lake Tahoe last week where we made Plump Jack Inn at Squaw Valley our base. It was the first time I've stayed right in the village and it was great not having to drive to ski each day. In fact we didn't use our car after we arrived, as everything was within walking distance or a quick shuttle ride away.

Plump Jack's rooms were lovely, well-equipped for skiers and felt roomy enough for my family of four. 

They had the brilliant idea of a including a great wicker tower of drawers in the room which was perfect for hats, gloves, scarves, goggles and all that. I'm also a huge fan of hooks in a hotel room which they happily had in a large amount.

The bathroom had a tower for towels and toiletries and was large. Our room felt very spacious and the beds are very good.

Convenient for skiers is the free breakfast buffet each morning which was yummy and included cooked eggs, potatoes and pancakes, fresh fruit and great tea, coffee and juices. I liked their famous homemade granola with yogurt. 

The hotel will store your skis downstairs which makes it very convenient and the ski hill is a four minute walk from the hotel. They also have their own ski rental shop in the hotel.

I liked this rack in the entry for all the wet clothes, helmets and boots, etc. Someone clearly thought about all the details here.

Max and Jackson getting ready to hit the slopes.

From our room you could see the tram and little skiers coming down the mountain. One day I stayed in and ordered lunch from room service. 

What a view!

As you can see from the patio, the week we were there they had more snow than they have had in many years.  In fact there was so much snow, Squaw Valley closed down the lifts one of the days due to avalanche dangers. 

That day we took a shuttle to a neighboring resort, Squaw Creek and had lunch. 

The boys tried the sled hill there and and after our lunch we checked out the shops and got hot cocoa.

We had lunch in the pub there with great views. Amazing amount of snow!

There is a free shuttle that goes to Squaw Creek Resort running all day from the bottom of the lifts so it's easy to get over there in about five minutes. 

Later that afternoon we sat in one of the two jacuzzis at Plump Jack under snow covered trees. It was kind of magical!

 Out by the jacuzzis. The hotel provides flip-flops and robes, so you can make a dash even in snow.

 At night the place gets pretty hopping with a lively bar scene.

If you can't get a table you can hang by the fire pit where many are drying their gloves and having warm drinks. 

We had popcorn and people watched while we waiting for our table in the cafe. Everyone is pretty welcome here from couples to big families and even pets. There was a Saint Bernard and a cat with their owners enjoying the evening, so it's a diverse crowd!

Dinner at the Plump Jack Cafe restaurant was excellent. We especially liked the cauliflower soup and homemade bread and the wooded expanses out the windows...

 The Bar has a great menu as well and is busy all day long with people enjoying a more casual lunch and dinner there. Don't miss their homemade hummus!

If you've never been to Squaw Valley, it's beautiful and worth a visit. The skiing is probably one of the best in the West with big open mountains as well as long trails. It's one of the largest ski areas in the U.S. with 30 lifts, an aerial tram and the only funitel in the country. They also host night skiing and a ticket to Squaw also lets you ski at Alpine Meadows next door as well. The views are phenomenal and there is something for everyone. I find the history here fascinating too as it was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics. 

A very snowy day!

There are plenty of lodging options at Squaw from condos and townhouses to the large hotel Squaw Creek. If you appreciate a smaller and more charming accommodations, Plump Jack is a great choice with just 56 rooms and suites. We loved the homey feeling you get from staying here and the kindness from the staff as well. Great service all around. I hope to stay there again and highly recommend it. 

  One day my son Jackson and I took walk around the village to take in all the beauty of the snow storm.

Conveniently, a few steps from the inn, the Village at Squaw has many restaurants, shops and coffee spots.

Right around the corner from Plump Jack is Le Chamois a funky pizza joint and bar. 
It's one of the few original buildings left of the old school Squaw Village and has great history here. Fun pictures of past ski champs, old maps and brochures from the Olympic Games and a chairlift seat make it a favorite apres-ski spot for many.

How about an adirondack chair made of skis? 

These were made for a sunny day!

This may be a great year to get some skiing in. So far the powder has been amazing. Squaw Valley just got 7 feet of snow this week!

More info about the history of beautiful Squaw Valley here...

This article tells how much Walt Disney was integral to the success of the 1960 Olympics. I had no idea!

Love this post about how the 1960 Olympics were the first games to ever house athletes, and had facilities built just for the event. Again IBM and others were integral and the first ever instant replay happened here!

Some of the historic buildings still remain...

Like the one behind my son Jackson here. .. May you never be too old to catch snowflakes! 


For more ideas on ski trips..Pop over to my friend April's blog where she wrote about a fun and easy getaway to Park City/Deer Valley on her blog, Ms B in the Bay Area.

 As usual all opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

Photos property of Northerncalstyle. Please use by permission only. Second photo courtesy of PlumpJack.


  1. Hi Kim - Super fun post! You are bringing back many memories of skiing at Tahoe as a child. I remember those huge drifts of snow and it seems we haven't had this kind of major snowstorm there in years. How fun that you caught that beautiful snow -- and at such a perfect place as Squaw Valley. Plumpjack is fun!! I've dined there but never stayed at the hotel. Happy new year to you and your family, Kim!

    1. Hi Heather, I agree the big snows remind me of being a kid too... We've has so many years of droughts. It was a fun way to start the new year. Happy New Year to you too! xo

  2. Kim, As usual you bring the most magical, fun, narratives, and pictures of all...I loved going skiing through your eyes and words and finding such tidbits as towers of towels and hooks for coats...I loved your picture through the window of eating lunch while watching the ski lifts...I haven't been to Tahoe but now I have enjoyed it through your wonderful words...Thank you for the fun...Happy New

    1. Dear D, I hope you get to visit Tahoe sometime. I haven't even done it justice with no photos of the beautiful lake! I'm glad you appreciate the details too. :) Thanks for your kind notes and I wish you a Happy New Year too!

  3. What a great get away for your family. Squaw is great place but never stayed at Plump Jack Inn. Your photos are great. Your fortunate you spend quality time with your boys something to cherish.

    1. Sheila,Thank you. I do feel lucky to spend some quality time for a bit before school started again! Happy New Year. :)

  4. Hi Kim,
    Thank you for choosing to stay at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn and for the awesome write up! If you can believe it the snow is now twice as high as it was during your visit. We hope to see you back soon.
    Thank you
    PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn Guest Services

    1. Thanks so very much. Was a great stay and I hope to stay again- perhaps during the summer. You run a lovely inn!

    LOOKS COZY.................

    1. Thanks Contessa. I looked for you son! There were a lot of cute young guys with beards I'm afraid... xo

  6. Great review Kim! You really captured the feeling at Squaw last week. I'm looking forward to checking out Plumpjack! Nice to run into you and your family :)

    1. So nice to run into you ladies last week! I hope you managed to have fun even with the crazy weather! Thanks for reading! xo