Bear Creek Association

Gondola Construction: What to Expect

5 May 2021 8:45 AM | Beth Scanlan (Administrator)

We anticipate construction activities to begin soon on the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows base-to-base gondola. Construction activities will include (in approximate order) tree cutting, tree removal by helicopter, excavation & blasting, and building of terminals and towers. Local residents can anticipate the following impacts due to these activities:
Anticipated Impacts:

  • Hiking trail closures: Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail will experience intermittent closures throughout construction this summer. During closures, hikers are encouraged to use other trails, with nearby Shirley Canyon and Granite Chief trails in Olympic Valley as great alternatives. Hikers who ascend to High Camp during operating hours of the Aerial Tram can download for free.
  • Estimated hiking trail closure durations for Five Lakes Trail and Western States Trail: 12 days in May, 14 days in June, 10 days in July and five days in August.
  • Closures will be communicated with access road signs, trailhead signs, the Squaw Alpine app and @Squawalpineops on twitter.
  • Tree cutting: Nearly all tree cutting will take place on the Alpine Meadows side, relatively little tree cutting needs to happen on the Squaw Valley side. There will be noise from chainsaws and tree felling around the Alpine Meadows base area. The Tree cutting areas will be closed to the public.
  • Excavation & blasting: Plan for noise from blasting and heavy machinery. Excavation areas will be closed to the public while work is ongoing.
  • Helicopter flying: Plan for noise from helicopter flying.
  • Parking: Areas of the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley parking lots will be closed for equipment and construction material staging. The most convenient parking areas will remain available.
Construction Hours:
  • Noise emanating from construction activities, including helicopter flights, is prohibited on Sundays and Federal Holidays, and will only occur:
Monday – Friday, 6am-8pm (during daylight savings time, summer)
Monday – Friday, 7am-8pm (during standard time, fall)
Saturdays, 8am-6pm. Helicopters may be used on Saturdays, as needed.
Placer County’s Planning Director is authorized to waive these time frames based on special circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions.
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