When Josh and I not only discovered this hike, but a super secret (well, probably not that secret) pro tip I’m about to share, I verbally proclaimed, “I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE THIS PRO TIP ON THE BLOG.” Your mind and wallet will thank you by the time you’ve read — or most likely skimmed — this blog post.
To celebrate our five-year wedding anniversary, we decided to splurge on a night at The Village at Squaw Valley and I must say, it was pure perfection. From the room that was surprisingly bigger than our condo, copious amounts of rosé, and scenery so beautiful it made us question our life decisions, it was everything you could want in an anniversary weekend. Included in this weekend of so-mushy-I’m-starting-to-sound-pretty-damn-annoying-glee was a hike up Granite Chief and a little Pacific Crest Trail trekking.
The views on the seven-mile trek were gorgeous and the patches of remaining snow provided ample entertainment. We spotted some rugged PCT-ers, but only saw two other groups of people, well, that’s if you don’t count the mosquitos that continue to be my worst enemy.
After we reached the top we contemplated making the hike back down, but we could also easily hike to the Squaw Valley Aerial Tram and get a quick ride back down. On any other day, I’d demand that we hike back down. But given the amount of money we spent on the room, I thought it might not be a bad idea to take advantage of the amenities we paid for. So the tram it was! We made our way back down to the tram but stopped for a bit so I could dominate Josh at cornhole.
We were unsure how much the tram ride would set us back, but were pleasantly surprised when it was free. Hurrah, the tram was free! Or so I thought…
The ride down was picturesque, but also strangely full of dogs that kept breaking out in an almost dog fight. As we exited the tram we saw a line full of families waiting for their ride up, followed by a ticket kiosk listing the tram prices. Wait, it’s not free?! It’s $34 for an adult ticket – what?! We just rode that bad boy for nada and can only conclude that there was some outdoors enthusiast/business genius behind this money saving blessing.
So to the great people of Squaw Valley who crafted this payment system, ultimately rewarding hikers with a free tram ride back down, the Williams family thanks you! We spent the $68 that we saved on a fantastic sushi dinner. Great for us, not so much for the spicy tuna.