Where to Ski in California, Including Information on Travel, Lodging and Dining

When we think of California, most of us think of the famous tourist attractions like Disneyland or cities known for other activities, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco. We may not realize that there is also some pretty good skiing in California as well. You've probably heard of California ski resorts such as Squaw Valley, Mammoth, or Mt. Shasta. Did you remember that these, along with many others, are located in California? In case you have forgotten, we're here to give you information about some of the major California ski resorts, along with information on getting there, staying there, and eating there. And even if you haven't forgotten about skiing in California, you'll still find this page is a good place to start when planning your California Ski Adventure! Whether you prefer downhill, crosscountry, or snowboarding, there's a place for you. And most resorts feature other winter activities such as snowshoeing or snowtubing too, for those who would like a change of pace. We'll even describe some activities for after skiing, if you're ready for more. Let's go!

Best Loved Ski Resorts in California

California's ski resorts can be divided up by area: North, Central, Southern, and Lake Tahoe. There's something for everyone in each area. Whether you're looking for a glitzy ski resort like you'd find in Europe, or something small, cozy and family-friendly, here are just a few resorts you can choose from, by area. Including will be travel directions as well as dining, lodging, and other activities.

Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts

Squaw Valley
Located in the north Lake Tahoe area, you can fly into Reno, then rent a car for the 42-mile drive to Squaw Valley. Can also drive, it's 42 miles from Reno, 96 miles from Sacramento, and 196 miles from San Francisco. Enjoy downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, and ice skating. Ski & lodging packages area available at the Village at Squaw Valley (starting at $114 per person) or the Squaw Valley Lodge (starting at $117 per person). You can also stay at one of the many hotels in nearby Lake Tahoe. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, too. Breakfast or lunch at the Blue Onion; snacks and quick lunches available at Euro Snack or Dave's Deli; or for a full and leisurely lunch or dinner, try Le Chamois or back in Tahoe, Alexander's Cafe.

At the other end of Lake Tahoe, you'll find the Heavenly. It's California's largest ski resort, with 4,800 acres of ski terrain and 95 ski trails for all ski levels. When you're not skiing, you may enjoy snowtubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or a movie theater and the Tahoe night life. For lodging accomodations, choose from hotels and motels, condos, or bed & breakfasts. Packages are available which include your skiing and lodging, and other options, too.

Northern California Resorts

Mt. Shasta Ski Park
One of your smaller ski parks, Mt. Shasta features 425 acres of skiable terrain and 32 trails, with ski areas for all levels of expertise. There are terrain parks for all levels of skier, and ski schools, too. You can also enjoy night skiing here. There are several dining choices at Mt. Shasta to begin, break up or end your ski day. You'll find Ski & Stay packages available in nearby area hotels and lodges: Dunsmuir, Mt. Shasta, and McCloud, California. Some choices include Mt. Shasta Resort and Dunsmuir Lodge.

Cedar Pass Snow Park
Located in the far northeastern corner of California, about 20 minutes from Alturas, California. Alturas is 50 miles sourth of Lakeview, Oregon; 150 miles northeast of Redding, and 180 miles north of Reno. This is a family-friendly, small ski area that is will appeal to those who enjoy skiing and snowboardingin not-crowded conditions. The lodge has eating facilities and ski shop. Lodging and dining facilities are located in the nearby towns of Alturas and Cedarville.

Central California Ski Resorts

Mammoth Mountain
Located in central California, the closest major city to Mammoth Mountain is Reno, about 165 miles east of Mammoth and about a 3-hour drive. San Francisco is about 320 miles to the west, and from the Los Angeles area you'll have about a 5 hour drive. You'll find several lodging choices for your Mammoth ski adventure. Stay right in the town of Mammoth at the Village Lodging condos; Juniper Springs Resort close to town, with upscale condos and townhouses; Mammoth Mountain Inn at the 9,000 foot level is home to hotel rooms and condos all within easy reach of ski slopes; or try Tamarack Lodge & Resort on Twin Lakes, with easy access to cross country ski trails.

Bear Valley
Located between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, Bear Valley Ski Resort is easy to get to from most any point in California. There are 67 ski trails and 1,280 skiable acres to have fun int. 40% of the ski trails are geared to intermediate skiers, 25% to beginners and 35% to expert. Bear Valley receives on average 360 inches of snow annually. Lodging choices for this resort include the Bear Valley Lodge and Village Resort and nearby condos and cabins. Dining choices are varied as well, and you'll enjoy downhill and crosscountry skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Sierra Summit
Located in the Sierra National Forest at Huntington Lake, about 65 miles northeast of Fresno, this resort offers more than 45 ski trails and 3 freestyle parks, a half pipe and family fun zones. About 33% of the ski trails are geared to the intermediate skier, 28% to the advanced, with the remainingg trails rated for beginner and low-intermediate skiers. The Sierra Summit Inn offers overnight lodging, or you can choose from condos and private home rentals, cabins and bed and breakfasts in nearby Shaver Lake or Huntington Lake. RV parking is also available, with reservations recommended. Plenty of dining choices at the resort, too--including the Day Lodge for breakfasts or lunches; the Summit Dining Room offers all meal options on most days, or there are several options for snacks and light meals, as well as a picnic area.

Southern California Ski Resorts

You may not realize that there are ski resorts in southern California, too. Most of us think of that area as being sun and fun with Disneyland and the nearby beaches. Here are a few ski resorts located in the southern California area.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort
Located about 30 minutes from the base of the San Bernadino Mountains, this resort offers about 35 trails over 240 in-bounds skiable acres of fun. If you'd like to try other winter sports besides skiing and snowboarding, the Snow Play area offers family fun activities like snowtubing. At the resort there are several dining options, including three Chalet restaurants, the Hub or Fatty's Sports Bar. Snow Valley is a day use resort, but lodging is available in nearby Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, or Crestline. Choose from hotels and motels, or cabin rentals.

Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain is located in the San Bernadino Mountains in the Big Bear Lake area. 40% of its ski trails are rated for intermediate, and 30% for advanced. The other 30% is geared for beginner and low intermediate skiiers. It's also been rated the #1 park for snowboarders in the nation by Transworld Snowboarding Magazine. There are no lodging facilities directly associated with Bear Mountain resort, but there are a number of private lodging options in the area, including full-service hotels and motels, condos, and private homes.

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