The 5 Best Skiing Resorts in California
The Golden State is typically known for its sunshine and warm vibes, but don’t let its reputation fool you. California offers some of the best winter ski spots in the entire country, from steep slopes to unique lifts and trails. We’ll dive into all the best resorts to gear up for your best season yet.
Best Spots for Skiing in California
When discussing where to ski in California, athletes must head over to Olympic Valley for some Palisades adventures. Northwest of Tahoe City in the Sierra Nevada range with 6,000 acres of skiable terrain, there are legendary lifts waiting for you. There are 11 lifts to lead you through various resort hotspots on the Palisades Tahoe trail map.
Palisades Tahoe is home to everything from mountain-top beginner slopes with views of Lake Tahoe, to plunging chutes for Olympic-level skiers. Take a ride on the iconic KT-22 or Siberia lifts before dropping in to show off your skills. Each day should start and end in The Village.
The spot will be your launching pad for adventure and welcoming relaxation after an action-packed day on the mountain. Between convenient slope side rooms, coffee shops, gear stores, and wine bars, The Village helps make the most of your stay. When it comes to booking a room, this resort’s amenities are unmatched.
Most lodging options will provide accommodations like private balconies, full kitchens, and in-room fireplaces. And don’t worry about scraping snow off your car once it’s time to go; the resort offers free underground parking. Other amenities include the Billiards lounge, workout centers, pools, and more.
Plan on brining the whole fam along on your next skiing escapade? Palisades Tahoe has got big groups covered. Whether you’ve got 10 folks or 400, the suit-style rooms will leave everyone feeling comfy and cozy after a long day of California skiing.
Now that you know where to stay, let’s check out pass options. Getting an aerial tram ticket will grant access to all of the high camp activities: roller skating, guided hikes, disc golf, geocaching, and lawn games. To fit your ski preferences, check out their adaptive, weekday passes, spring ticket trios, and more.
Kirkwood Ski Resort
Now, it’s time to venture south of Lake Tahoe. With 2,000 feet of vertical drop and over 2,300 acres of terrain ranging from beginner runs to adrenaline-rushing cliffs, there’s something for everybody at “the Wood”. Snowstorms come from the north and south, funnel through a tight canyon up the Sierra Foothills, and unload to Kenwood’s perfect position.
There are five peaks to explore, and you can check out the mountain’s live feed before going out. That way, there’s no surprises once you’re on the slopes. Whether you’re looking to spend the day skiing or explore all season long, Kirkwood offers plenty of pass options.
Spend your time on the Kirkwood slopes perfecting your craft with professional teachers. Their selection of signature ski lesson programs will help make your journey down the hill that much more enjoyable. After a long day on the mountain, kick back and relax at one of this California ski resorts lodges.
Keep close to the ski school and rental shop with a townhome rental. Inside you’ll find a full kitchen, gas fireplace, private garage, whirlpool tub, and more. Stock your vacay home with snacks and refreshments from the general store or savor a Kirkwood Inn special.
What’s cooler than skiing on an extinct volcano? When what’s now known as Mount Pluto erupted two million years ago, its lava and mudflows dammed present day Lake Tahoe. The mountain at Northstar California resort has 3,170 skiable acres with 100 trails to glide down.
Beginners, intermediate skiers, and experts alike can find a fitting trail to glide down at Northstar CA. You can also check out the Northstar California snow conditions and live cams for a full idea of what you’re getting into before hitting the slopes. With six different pass options, accommodating your needs is simple.
Even new skiers can enjoy Northstar’s epic trails. They offer plenty of child and adult lessons as well as private lessons. After a full day of snow-filled fun, unwind in one of Northstar’s lovely lodges.
There are 14 total lodging options, so finding the perfect fit for your group is simple. Visitors love the one-four-bedroom condos with full kitchens and fireplaces, all within a mile of the Village. Those looking to stay in the heart of Northstar should book at Timber Creek Lodge.
Don’t forget to stop by in the summer for golfing, village roller skating, bungee trampolines, and more. If you’re already a pro skier, the resort even offers mountain bike lessons! Northstar provides all the Lake Tahoe fun you’ll need through each season.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
We couldn’t forget about California’s leading four-season mountain resort! With the state’s highest lift-served summit at 11,053 feet, this resort offers plenty of unique experiences. Their winters are long and legendary – known for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the entire United States.
Mammoth Mountain is located in Mammoth Lakes, California along the 395 corridor in the Eastern Sierra. Stay updated with the location’s real-time updates on weather and forecast information by checking out their live cams. They offer a wide selection of winter activity passes, ranging from the Ikon Pass to cross-country skiing passes.
While you’re there hitting the slopes, don’t forget to check out the famous and scenic gondola ride. Wooly’s tube park provides high speed fun for the whole family in snow tubes. Head to a rental shop for some snowmobile adventures in the cool Mammoth Mountain weather.
Their ski school provides personalized lessons that all ages can learn from. Even if you’re new to the sport, adult discovery lessons will have you mastering the basics in no time. Don’t worry, the fun doesn’t end once the sun sets, and your gondola ride is over.
For stunning views, ski-in ski-out convenience, and easy access to all the fun, book a stay at Mammoth Mountain Inn. Those looking for a more rustic and historic feel will love Tamarack Lodge. Other favorites include the Village Lodge, Juniper Springs Resort, and a selection of luxury rental homes at one of the best ski resorts in California.
When the snow has melted, Mammoth Mountain transforms into a summer wonderland, providing endless adventures. Check out their summer season passes if golfing and biking seem like your ideal way of soaking in the sun. Other awesome summer activities include cliff climbing, exploring the bike park, a green gondola ride, and the family adventure center.
Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort
Big Bear Mountain is the place to be for Southern Californians; it’s located within the San Bernardino National Forest. Get prepped for opening day this ski season! Ski and snowboard lift tickets, lessons, rentals, and snow tubing will all be available come November.
There are 11 trails and 15 lifts to adventure through, with plenty of beginner routes as well as some tougher terrain for the experts. Their trail maps and webcams will keep you posted with daily Bear Mountain Ski Resort snow conditions, and you gear up to hit the slopes. Offering a 200-acre winter playground for skiers and snowboarders, Bear Mountain is a winter wonderland.
When our surroundings turn from sparkly white to green and lush, the adventures at Big Bear are still unfolding. Get your blood pumping with some mountain biking or take a leisurely stroll through the trails. Golfers of all levels will experience a unique game on the site’s course.
Other summer festivities include zip lining, bungee trampoline jumping, wall climbing, and more. See when these activities are open, check out restaurant menus, find the nearest ski lift, and more with the resort’s app. It’ll keep visitors updates with what’s running, what’s going on, and where to go at the ski resorts in California.
With all these incredible resorts to check out, a winter trip to Cali doesn’t sound so bad. Stay up to date with the resorts’ conditions and availability for the ski season of a lifetime. Before you start loading up the gear, head to Crow Survival for more on all things skiing.