Tahoe trek: A gorgeous snowshoe romp through Squaw Valley

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Squaw Valley’s head-rush inducing steeps, moguls and cliffs have long been famous as a black-diamond dream, but down below the slopes, you’ll find an abundance of flat, wide trails. Strapping on a pair of snowshoes, I suddenly feel transformed from painfully awkward newbie skier into master snowshoer, skipping through the white stuff like a rabbit.

Rent snow shoes from the Nordic Center at the Resort at Squaw Creek, located at the top of the resort’s cross-country ski and snowshoe trailhead, or bring your own gear. Then kick off down one of the groomed routes at your own pace. No matter where you trek, there are no lift lines, no cumbersome gear, only you and the surreal prettiness of a bluebird day.

There are 400 acres of trails to be explored here. Whether you follow the snaking banks of Squaw Creek or wander off into a nearby wood — or take a tip from locals, who rave about the pristine paths that zig zag through Shirley Canyon — this is one of the most blissfully serene ways to experience Tahoe.

Best of all is the learning curve. Or rather, the lack of one. A jaunt on snowshoes is a total reprieve from having