Best Places to Ski/Snowboard in California

By October 8, 2018

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Are you looking for some of the best places to hang out and ski in California?

Whatever your skiing level, whether you’re a rookie or pro, we’ve scoured high and low to bring you the best places to ski in the Golden State.

Best Places to Ski for Beginners

If you’re new to the skiing game and aren’t sure which mountains have your best interests at heart – fear not. We bring you the top beginner-friendly ranges in California.

Mammoth Mountain

MAMMOTH LAKES, CA - Beautiful day at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California

Mammoth Mountain is the perfect place if you’re a brand new skier because it boasts a ski school as well as 18.4km of easy slopes.

The slopes are wide and manageable, with a beginner’s area to practise what you learned in ski school.

There are also practice lifts at the base of the mountains to help you get back to the top and slide back down again.

Alpine Meadows

Young mixed race woman wearing teal jacket and white helmet snowboards on a clear blue day

Alpine Meadows is a ski resort nestled in the picturesque North Lake Tahoe district, offering beginners 25km of uninterrupted rookie-friendly wide slopes to enjoy.

The availability of 11 chairlifts and two surface lifts makes navigating your way around the resort easier.

On-site is a Ski & Snowboard School for those in need of some coaching.

Best Places to Ski for Intermediate Level Skiers

If you’re an amateur skier and are seeking a little bit of a thrill ride, these following three places just might be what you’re looking for.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Successful young man skiing in the mountains Sheregesh. Caucasian Skier on a background of sky. A skier dressed in a bright costume descends from the mountain on skis at high speed.

Just as the name suggests, this resort sits in an idyllic region boasting great mountain ranges for skiers of all levels.

Intermediate skiers are particularly spoilt for choice thanks to the fact that 45% of the 4,800 acres of skiing area is specially designated for intermediate skier use.

Snow Summit

Located in Southern California, Snow Summit boasts an impressive 240 acres of intermediate-friendly skiable ranges.

With more than 31 trails to choose from, there’s lots to discover outdoors.

The resort itself is at an elevation of 7,000 feet and may be accessed thanks to the presence of 14 lifts.

Northstar California

Skiers and snowboarders descend the slopes at Northstar Ski Resort, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

If you’re looking for a place to ski that’s less crowded than other places, then this is the place to be.

In fact, the peace, quiet and seclusion that Northstar offers you are one of the reasons it is well-loved by intermediate skiers.

You don’t have to worry about being disturbed by rookie skiers.

Enjoy the great outdoors in Northstar.

Best Places to Ski for Advance Level Skiers

If all you’re looking for is fun, fun and more fun, then these three advanced level skier options might be a right fit for you.

Sierra At Tahoe

LAKE TAHOE, SIERRA SKI RESORT, CALIFORNIA, USA- People skiing during snowing day at the Sierra by Lake Tahoe

Whether you’re an advanced skier or a freerider, you’ll be happy to know that Sierra at Tahoe is one of the premium places to tackle in California.

Boasting 11.5km of difficult slopes, this place is not for the faint-hearted. There are several extremely difficult as well as steep runs to navigate.


On the ski run. Panoramic shot while skiing

If you’re looking for thrilling in-bound terrain then this is the place to check out.

Not to mention that the resort is generally uncrowded, as well as having some of the highest snowfalls in the country.

It’s less crowded here because it takes a bit of effort to get here – at least 45 minutes by car and you have to pass through two mountain passes.

However, when you get there, it will be well worth the trip.

Unusual Locations to Ski

If you’re the adventurous type and are looking for more than just a place to ski, this destination may be right up your alley.

Squaw Valley

Panoramic view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with Lake Tahoe in the background, from the top of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort, between Truckee and Tahoe City, on a partly cloudy winter day in December

Squaw Valley is known for being one of the best places to ski in California, but there is also a different reason why this place is popular.

Snowboarding and skiing in June. Yeah, you read that right.

Squaw Valley is home to some of the quirkiest skiing sights you’ll ever experience.

Imagine people snowboarding in nothing else but swimsuits and bikinis. Yes, Squaw Valley is famous for its super long seasons such as the one experienced during the 1960 Winter Olympics.

It’s perfect also for beginners.

This resort offers beginner-friendly slopes, as well as the illustrious Squaw Valley Snowsports School for those who need to have someone take them through the basics.

An easy valley run and practice lifts make for an easy-access skiing area.

Total beginner skiing area is approximately 25km.

There are other mountains that remain open just as long – Mammoth Mountain being just one example.

Safety First on the Mountains

Whichever level you’re at, skiing and snowboarding can be great fun.

However, always pay attention to any warnings the resort or your training instructors may give you regarding a particular route.

Also, keep in mind any avalanche warnings and avoid skiing in restricted closed-off areas.

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