Squaw Valley To Shirley Lake and High Camp

Quick Facts

  • Length: Squaw Valley to Shirley Lake: 2.9 miles; Shirley Lake to High Camp: 1 mile.
  • Total elevation Gain: Squaw Valley to Shirley Lake: 2100 ft; Shirley Lake to High Camp: 1 mile and 650 ft of total elevation gain.
  • Map.


This is a very nice hike that starts from the Squaw Valley ski resort.  The trails first follows a path in the wooded valley of the Squaw Creek.  Along the creek, there are many beautiful ponds in which you can swim.  After crossing a tributary stream, you will reach some large and very beautiful sloping granite plaques, that you can simply walk up.  After the granite plaques, there is a relatively short stretch on broken rock, after which Shirley Lake is reached.

Shirley Lake is where the bottom of the Solitude lift is; the lake is unspoiled by the presence of the nearby chairlift.  Only the North side of Shirley Lake is accessible, as the South side is swampy.

Once at Shirley Lake, you can either descend the same way you came, or you can continue up to High Camp, following a brief 1-mile hike that will take you approximately half an hour.  The view from High Camp is well worth it, and if the aerial tramway is open (check before starting the hike!), you can use that to go down quickly.