The highly-anticipated gondola that will connect Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Meadows is set to be completed for the 2022-23 ski season. It will create the third largest ski area in North America, covering 6,000 skiable acres, eight peaks and over 270 trails.
The ski resort’s owner and operator, Alterra Mountain Company, recently announced the completion of the gondola as part of their $65 million investment in the resort.
The 16-minute gondola ride will take skiers and riders between the two base areas, The Village at Palisades Tahoe and Alpine Lodge, reducing road congestion in the region and making it easier to enjoy both mountains in a single day. It is the first gondola of its kind in North America, with four terminals connecting two base areas via a climb of nearly 2,000 vertical feet, offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.
In 2011, the resort (then named Squaw Valley) purchased the nearby Alpine Meadows, stoking postulation about a possible merger of the resorts in the coming years. Now, as the project comes closer to reality, skiers will be able to trek from one resort to another in under 20 minutes.
The project was green lit following approval from the Tahoe National Forest, which 20 percent of the project will lie on. One obstacle in the plan has been the nearby Granite Chief Wilderness, which environmentalists expressed concerns over the ecological impact of the project. But after 2,400 pages of studies, the plan has been deemed the most environmentally friendly and furthest away from the wilderness area as possible.