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The California Ski Tour to Plan Next
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The California Ski Tour to Plan Next

You're going to love skiing in California when you visit these ski destinations—powdered slopes and stunning winter sceneries await.

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5 min read

January 28, 2022

Snowy mountains and powdered slopes aren’t the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Golden State because the sandy beaches, sunny skies, and desert valleys steal the spotlight. However, there are numerous world-class ski destinations hidden among California’s majestic mountains.

Whether you’re eyeing the top ski resorts in California or looking for the nearest slope to test your skills, there are destinations fit for every skier (or snowboarder) on this list. Get ready for the ultimate winter getaway; you’re going to love making skiing in California an annual ritual.

Where to Go Skiing in Southern California

Doesn't skiing down Big Bear Mountain look incredibly enticing? Pack your bags and head to Big Bear for a wonderful adventure.

Big Bear

Wondering where to ski in California? The alpine regions of Southern California make for an especially exciting ski tour. Big Bear Mountain Resort is the epicenter of skiing and snowboarding in the region, and for good reason. For starters, there are two ski properties on-site: Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Bear Mountain is known for its award-winning terrain parks, highest lift-served peak, and largest beginner area in SoCal. Meanwhile, Snow Summit is renowned for its 240-plus acres of skiable terrain and wide-open runs. After you’re done skiing, head to the town of Big Bear, where you’ll find plenty of incredible lodging, restaurants, and nightlife destinations for an evening of relaxation.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a trip to Mount Baldy to ski in a winter wonderland.

Mount Baldy

The San Gabriel Mountains in San Bernardino County boast some of the best ski resorts on the California map. The mountain features 26 trails for every level serviced by four ski lifts, plus a seven-lane tubing park. California skiers looking for a challenge will be pleasantly surprised; about 54 percent of the runs on this mountain are advanced, with the longest one spanning two and a half miles.

Located a mere 20-minute drive from Los Angeles, Mount Baldy Ski Resort boasts the quickest accessible ski tour getaway from the city. Besides offering some of the best skiing in California and lessons for those looking to brush up on their skills, this awesome resort also features a 15-minute ride on the Sugar Pine Chair lift taking you to the popular Top of the Notch Restaurant. California skiers frequent this restaurant for its scenic panoramas and apres-ski hangouts. At an elevation of 7,800 feet, the dining destination features an excellent menu and sweeping views of the Angeles National Forest overlooking Southern California.

Lake Arrowhead

Don’t spend too long searching for where to ski in Southern California; head straight to Lake Arrowhead. Whether you’re embarking on a winter getaway with your family, taking your significant other on a cozy adventure, or planning a solo trip around California, booking a winter cabin around Lake Arrowhead doesn't disappoint. 

Exhilarating winter activities await you on the mountains surrounding Lake Arrowhead. At an elevation of 5,174 feet lies the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, which promises to satisfy the needs of snow-sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Ice skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and, of course, some of the best skiing in California will have you on your feet all day. Plan your ski tour in December, and you’ll find yourself in a winter wonderland with the entire town filled with holiday cheer and festive decorations; frolic in the great outdoors to your heart’s content.

Where to Go Skiing in Northern California

Mount Shasta

From hiking and ice skating to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, Mount Shasta has an abundance of fun things to do during the winter holidays. Reserve your tickets at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, the go-to spot for NorCal skiers. Mount Shasta Ski Park caters to California skiers of all levels, with the terrain divided into 20 percent beginner, 55 percent intermediate, and 25 percent advanced lanes. There are more than 425 acres of skiable land and 32 trails at the park, with the longest one spanning 1.25 miles. How many ski resorts in California are able to rival this?

You won’t have to limit your ski tour to one day either; there are a variety of lodging options on Mount Shasta. A popular choice is the Mount Shasta Resort, which features an 18-hole golf course, a spa, and eateries. If you feel like switching it up, The Mount Shasta Ranch Bed and Breakfast is a great alternative to a hotel. The two-story ranch house offers affordable comfort in a rustic setting that’ll make you feel right at home after skiing in California’s Shasta region.

Admire the breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada as you fly down the powdered slopes in Squaw Valley.

Squaw Valley

As the host city for the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley delivers when it comes to winter sports activities. You don’t have to be an Olympics-level champion to book a tour at this NorCal ski spot, though—there are fantastic beginner runs located in the mid-mountain area as well. The intermediate and beginner slopes are a far cry from the run-of-the-mill, lower mountain slopes found at other locations. High Camp offers four lifts to mellow groomed trails, where you can enjoy some of the best skiing in California while admiring the extraordinary lake and mountain views.

Expert California skiers will love the Palisades chutes. This “Squallywood” terrain has been featured in countless ski films. Expect a crowd at this Squaw Valley spot, and if you go big here, plenty of chairlift riders will likely watch and cheer. Stay the weekend at Squaw Valley Resort and hone your skiing and snowboarding skills amongst world-class champions for the ultimate motivation. It doesn’t get much better than the best ski resort in California.

One of the most popular winter getaways in California, Lake Tahoe has it all and for every level of skier too!

Lake Tahoe

Buckle up your boots, bring out the skis, and don your winter coat—it’s time to conquer the powdered slopes of Lake Tahoe. You’ve been on a getaway to the south side of this majestic lake many times before, but you’ve seriously missed out if you haven’t taken a ski tour on the northern side of Lake Tahoe yet. Northstar California Resort is located near the north shore of Lake Tahoe and is known for its impressive 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, high-end luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, and shopping. 

This awesome ski resort boasts seven world-renowned parks, offers tree skiing in California, gets 350 inches of snow per year, and has terrain suitable for any ability—60 percent is categorized as intermediate level. Many of the parks on-site also offer extra features, so the resort is perfect for families who won’t be spending all their days skiing. Don’t forget to check out Riglet Park either. Designed specifically for kids ages six and under, this ski resort makes sure your trip won’t involve much whining from the little ones.

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