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Ski in California: Top Destinations
Planning the perfect California ski trip
Ski in California: Top Accommodations
The best ski resorts in California
Given California's range of great ski resorts to choose from, you'll be hard pressed to choose which is best for you. This list aims to make that decision easier. Before you know it, you'll be staying at one of these three exceptional ski resorts.
1. Northstar California
Set by gorgeous Lake Tahoe, close to the Nevada border, this resort offers much more than skiing, with restaurants, spas, stores, and lodges. You'll find it's an exceptional destination even when you're away from the slopes. If you're trying to trim your golf handicap, Northstar offers an exceptional 18-hole golf course at 6,000 feet above sea level, with views unlike any course you've ever played. Of course, it wouldn't be a ski resort if it didn't offer world-class skiing, Northstar has dozens of ski trails catering to all skill levels. Better still, there's a dedicated ski school, allowing you to make the most of the mountain.
2. Mammoth Mountain
One of the state's most popular ski resorts, Mammoth Mountain boasts scenic trails for you to explore either on foot or by mountain bike in the warmer months. Winter, however, is when it truly comes to life – thousands of skiers and snowboarders of all ages head to Mammoth Mountain to test their skills. And if you want to explore, there are several professionally guided mountain tours and cross-country ski routes around the resort's peaks and forests. There's a dedicated ski and snowboard school, and if you develop a passion for the sports, you can even apply to join the official Mammoth Mountain ski and snowboard team, which has produced some of the country's best athletes.
3. Squaw Valley
This ski resort has a proud and interesting history, having hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. It's also one of the largest skiing areas in the United States. In a league of its own, Squaw Valley covers two mountains, giving it an exceptionally diverse terrain. Even the most skilled skiers will find something to challenge them. Off the slopes, there's plenty for visitors to do: there's an on-site spa, a yoga studio, and a museum celebrating Squaw Valley's Olympic history. This diversity and proud history makes Squaw Valley one of the best places to go skiing in California.
Best Places to Stay for Ski in California
Family-friendly ski resorts in California
One of the biggest challenges when traveling as a family is finding a place that suits everyone's tastes. Luckily, many of California's brilliant ski resorts are perfect for families. Each one of these three resorts will keep your family entertained for every second of your stay.
1. Sugar Bowl
Founded in 1939, Sugar Bowl is one of the oldest ski resorts in the state. It was inspired by Austrian ski culture, as evidenced by the quaint European-style design touches on the resort's buildings. The resort is home to an impressive 98 trails for skiers of all levels. Sugar Bowl also offers plenty to do in summer. Younger children will love getting close to nature at its summer camp, while teens will love climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking around the peaks and Lake Tahoe.
2. Heavenly Mountain
Heavenly Mountain sits in both California and Nevada, which may give the resort its two personalities: by day, it's a family-friendly destination, by night, a place where adults can have fun. There's a daycare center run by trained, experienced, and caring staff who will even teach your children basic ski and snowboard skills. While they're in good hands, you can challenge yourself on the resort's many ski trails, which cater to all skill levels. Heavenly Mountain is committed to sustainability and community giving, working hard to ensure nearby Lake Tahoe remains clean and pure so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
3. Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows is extremely close to Squaw Valley resort, resulting in the resorts sharing many facilities and being connected by gondola. In addition to offering 100 ski trails, Alpine Meadows has a great ropes course and climbing wall open all year long, making it a unique resort – ithas what it takes to entertain your whole family.
How much is a ski trip in California? From Boreal to Big Bear, HomeToGo has put together a special deep dive into the most affordable ski areas in California. This year's report compares 15 of the biggest and best ski resorts from across the state, so you can carve out your winter travel plans without getting buried by bills.
Scaling mountains of data and research, this year's report compares the affordability of lift tickets and overnight accommodations, as well as the search trends of skiers planning their vacations. Ski resorts provided their latest pricing data for lift tickets during peak season periods and HomeToGo data was used to find the average price per person to stay in a 6-person vacation rental. So strap on your skis and get ready to drop into HomeToGo's 2023 California Ski Price Index!
Most Searched Ski Spots in California - Ranked by Price
*accommodation prices are per-person per-night in a +6 person rental.
Closer Look: Budget Friendly Ski Slopes for 2023
Based on HomeToGo’s research, here’s an idea of the most affordable ski slopes to visit in California:
Located on Interstate 80 along Lake Tahoe, Boreal Mountain Resort is easily accessible for Northern California travelers. Boasting an average 400 inches of snowfall per season and 240 days of sunshine per year, the resort is home to spectacular views and a social atmosphere. With over 30 ski trails available, each ranging from easy to difficult rankings, adventurers can find the perfect slope for an outdoor thrill or a gentle slide. Guests can feed their inner adrenaline junkie by visiting any of Boreal Mountain Resort’s exciting amenities.
Adult Lift Ticket Price: $109.00
Median Accommodation Price: $47.29/person
Sierra at Tahoe
As one of Lake Tahoe’s largest ski resorts, Sierra-at-Tahoe is a prime winter destination for the Pacific Northwest. Explore over 2,000 acres of trails and terrain within the park’s borders, and even gated access to Huckleberry Canyon backcountry. With 47 trails and 14 chair lifts, Sierra-at-Tahoe is a top-ranked resort for both its slopes and its environmental education practices through Project Green Sierra. The resort invites visitors and frequent skiers to participate in philanthropic events during their stay, such as food drives or environmental clean ups. After a day of protecting Mother Nature, visit Sierra-at-Tahoe’s other draws, the four Kids Adventure Zones, Blizzard Mountain for snow play and tubing, three miles of snowshoe trails, and the TransWorld SNOWboarding Halfpipe.
NOTE: Sierra at Tahoe reopened for the first time in months after the Caldor Fire in August 2021.
Adult Lift Ticket Price: $108.00
Median Accommodation Price: $65.33/person
Entering its 72nd season, Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort continues its reputation as a mountain escape designed for families. With its recent modernization and innovations, such as a renovated family lodge, new chair lifts opening alternative slopes, an expanded Children’s Snowsports Center, and more, Dodge Ridge provides an inclusive variety of snowsports for its guests. The resort is open for year-round play with 1,600 vertical feet of skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, disc golf, and more. After a day of adventure, gather everyone at the family lodge for quality time and an energy refuel as all ages can enjoy food and beverages from Dodge Ridge’s several cafeterias and restaurants. The holiday season is made for family bonding, why not spend it in a winter wonderland?
Adult Lift Ticket Price: $109.00
Median Accommodation Price: $70.67/person
Ski areas were selected based on HomeToGo's most searched ski destinations in California for the 2023 season. From those top searched destinations, a short list of the top 15 ski areas was created.
Prices for lift passes were collected from the ski area websites. The lift pass price is for a full day’s skiing for an adult during the 2023 ski season. When date selection was required for ticket purchases, February 18, 2023 was selected as the date. These prices were researched in November of 2022 and may include discounts that are offered to customers who buy in advance.
The accommodation price is the average price per person to stay in a 6-person vacation rental found on HomeToGo within 2 miles of the ski area, for one night between the dates of December 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
Ski slope length was gathered from ski-resorts-stats.com and the ski resort websites themselves.
All prices in USD. Please note that this is a forecast and that prices may change between now and the upcoming season. Prices exclude sales tax.
Search trends are based on travelers searching for vacation rentals using HomeToGo.com at one of the ski destinations in our report with a check-in from December 1 to March 31 of 2021-22 / 2022-23.
For additional information, please contact [email protected]
Recommended Accommodations for Ski in California
Frequently Asked Questions
Skiing in California: How much does it cost to rent a vacation rental in California?
HomeToGo has ideal rentals for Skiing in California, with retes as low as $84 per night.
Can I find a vacation home for a group of guests for Skiing in California?
Usually the size of a House rental is 186 m² and can fit 7 guests on average which is great for large groups.
What is the best month for skiing in California?
January and December are when the temperature is at the lowest in California - something worth to consider when planning your ski trip.
What types of vacation homes are available for Skiing in California?
You can browse 39,830 House rental and 9,870 Apartment rental for Skiing in California right here on HomeToGo.
The Weather in California
Average Nightly Rental Prices in California
Vacation Rental Price Information in California
Vacation Rental Availability in California
Rental Availability Information in California
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