California, with exceptional diversity, is famous for its sunshine, surf, and cities. The state is also home to stunning mountain ranges and world-class ski resorts. From the family-friendly slopes of Heavenly Mountain to the professional-level Squaw Valley, California is the perfect state for skiers of every kind.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
for Ski in California
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time for skiing in California?
It's coldest in January and December which should provide enough snow for a ski trip in California.
The Weather in California
- Rainy days
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