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Skiing in California

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Ski in California: Top Destinations

Planning the perfect California ski trip

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.

Ski in California: Top Accommodations

Apartment South Lake Tahoe
Jan 23 - Jan 30
-17%
$410
$339 per night
Apartment ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
4.7
"Outstanding" (23 ratings)
South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California
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House Olympic Valley
Dec 6 - Dec 13
$322 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
4.7
"Outstanding" (36 ratings)
Olympic Valley, Placer County, California
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Condo Olympic Valley
Jul 22 - Jul 29
$250 per night
Condo ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
5.0
"Excellent" (6 ratings)
Olympic Valley, Placer County, California
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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

House Incline Village
Mar 1 - Mar 8
$469 per night
House ∙ 5 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
4.7
"Outstanding" (158 ratings)
Incline Village, Washoe County, Nevada, United States
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House Tahoe City
Sep 23 - Sep 30
-37%
$446
$281 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
5.0
"Excellent" (2 ratings)
Tahoe City, Placer County, California, United States
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Cabin Homewood
May 6 - May 13
-53%
$533
$248 per night
Cabin ∙ 8 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
4.9
"Excellent" (12 ratings)
Homewood, Placer County, California, United States
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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Recommended Accommodations for Ski in California

House Tahoe City
Sep 23 - Sep 30
-37%
$446
$281 per night
House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 3 bedrooms
5.0
"Excellent" (2 ratings)
Tahoe City, Placer County, California
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House South Lake Tahoe
Apr 1 - Apr 8
-21%
$437
$347 per night
House ∙ 10 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms
4.7
"Outstanding" (26 ratings)
South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, California
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Condo Mammoth Lakes
Sep 23 - Sep 30
-34%
$458
$303 per night
Condo ∙ 10 guests ∙ 4 bedrooms
4.8
"Excellent" (15 ratings)
Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, California
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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

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- Rainy days

Average Nightly Rental Prices in California

Vacation Rental Price Information in California

Vacation Rental Availability in California

Rental Availability Information in California

Skiing in California Inspiration

Top Vacation Ideas in California

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