Top-Rated Ski Resorts in California: While California is well-known for its pristine beaches, the Golden State also draws many avid skiers to enjoy gliding down the scenic slopes of its towering mountains.
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From the Sierra Nevada to San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains, there are various regions that feature exceptional ski resorts.
The powder-covered slopes, pleasant winters, and stunning alpine vistas ensure an unforgettable adventure.
‘There are many world-class ski resorts here that offer an epic skiing experience to beginners and professional skiers alike.
Wondering which one would be perfect for you?
We’ve got you covered with our list of the 7 Top-rated ski resorts in California, in 2023.
We’ve taken into various factors such as facilities and the ski terrain to hand-pick these top choices.
Palisades Tahoe #1
Around a four-hour long drive away from San Francisco lies Palisades Tahoe.
Nestled in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains, it offers access to a breath-taking landscape with mesmerizing views of Lake Tahoe.
It hosted the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and prides itself on some of the longest ski runs in North America.
It receives around 450 inches of snow in the winter season and around 300 sunny days a year, making it ideal for skiers.
With a ticket to Palisades Tahoe, you’ll also get access to the nearby Alpine Meadows ski resort.
This means that you can enjoy 6,000 acres of skiable terrain. There is a diverse variety of runs here totalling 270, offering something for beginners and pros alike.
If you wish to indulge yourself in a bit of luxury, stay at the Resort at Squaw Creek, a four-star resort perched amidst a beautiful meadow.
It offers all the amenities you need for a relaxing time including a full-service spa, a fitness centre, numerous sporting apparel shops, and an outdoor skating rink.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area #2
Nestled in the eastern Sierra Mountains, the charming mountain town draws skiers from across the nation.
From cross-country skiing to snowmobiling and mountain biking, there is a plethora of activities to enjoy here for adventure enthusiasts.
With over 11,000 feet of elevation, the place gets ample snowfall. You’ll have access to more than over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain.
With around 175 trails accessible via 25 lifts, there is no dearth of options here.
If you’re a pro skier, you’ll be delighted to know that the place abounds in expert-suited trails.
You can choose from around 9 lodges. When hunger strikes, head to one of the many excellent restaurants here.
Visiting with kids?
Each lodge here features a Mammoth Kids School where the little ones can learn from professional trainers.
If you too want to brush up your skills, you can enrol for lessons at Mammoth’s Ski & Snowboard School available at every base lodge.
Seeking some adrenaline rush?
The town is home to Unbound Terrain Parks that offer a challenging but exciting ski experience for daring skiers.
Heavenly Ski Resort #3
Ski over vast ski slopes that feature over 97 runs and are surrounded by majestic pine forests.
Sounds surreal doesn’t it?
Heavenly Ski Resort offers many such experiences. Overlooking Lake Tahoe and surrounded by snow-laden mountains, Heavenly Ski Resort offers postcard-worthy views.
Skiers get access to skiable trails sprawled over 4,800 acres. Perched at an elevation of 10,067 feet, the resort receives an average snowfall of around 360 inches.
It boasts of the longest run on the West Coast with a trail that runs for five miles. From intermediate slopes to double-black diamonds, the resort offers something for everyone.
If you’re not in the mood to ski, you can also enjoy a gondola ride without getting a ski lift ticket, or a day or season pass.
The gondola ride will lead you to the observation deck where you can soak in stunning views of Lake Tahoe and can also buy a souvenir from the numerous shops.
Big Bear Mountain Resort #4
Perched amidst the impressive San Bernardino Mountains, this beautiful resort at the Big Bear Lake features two main ski areas, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.
The first offers 748 acres of skiable terrain while the latter has 240 acres of skiable area.
You can access both with one entry ticket. Both of them offer plenty of intermediate runs.
Bear Mountain is home to one of the best snowmobiling terrain parks in North America.
Visiting with family?
Snow Summit is considered to be family-friendly and features around 30 blue run trails, which make it an excellent choice for beginners. Both of the resorts offer skiing and snowboarding classes if you wish to improve your skills further.
Sugar Bowl #5
Looking to avoid crowds?
Head to Sugar Bowl Ski Resort.
Located on the southern side of Lake Tahoe, it is known for its rich variety of slopes that suit everyone, from beginner to pros.
One of the oldest resorts in the state, it features the state’s first chairlift and the first ski gondola on the west coast.
You can access the 1,650-acre ski area which is protected from the wind, making for an enjoyable ski experience.
The runs go through Donner Summit’s four beautiful mountain peaks. Gliding over these trails with majestic pine forests all around is an enthralling experience.
There are 103 trails catering to different skill levels. You can access them via 12 lifts. Most of these trails are suited for the intermediate level.
You’ll find excellent dining options and lavish accommodations. Ski lessons are also available for kids and adults alike.
Badger Pass Ski Area #6
Located near the renowned Yosemite National Park, Badger Pass Ski Resort is the oldest ski resort in California.
If you’re looking for a relatively affordable ski resort, this place won’t disappoint.
Nestled in the scenic Central Sierra mountain range, this resort features alpine ski slopes.
You’ll also find terrain for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow tubing.
The resort has a family-friendly vibe. What’s more? It’s only a four-hour drive away from San Francisco, making it perfect for a weekend ski trip.
Mt. Shasta Ski Park #7
How about skiing at the foot of a snow-laden volcanic peak?
Perched at an elevation of 7,500 feet, Mount Shasta offers a thrilling skiing experience.
The Mt. Shasta Ski Park is nestled at the foot of the peak at an elevation of around 5,500 feet.
Skiers can explore 635 acres of skiable terrain which features 38 downhill trails.
The longest run here goes over two miles, drawing many skiers to enjoy an exciting experience.
The resort offers Silvertip Terrain Park for beginner and intermediate-level riders. If you’re a pro, head to the Revolution Terrain Park.
The park features a 2.5-kilometer trail. After a fun experience outdoors, head to one of the many excellent restaurants in the town for a scrumptious meal.
You’ll also find many lodges and dining options in the nearby towns of Dunsmuir and McCloud. With so much to offer, it is one of the best ski resorts in California.
So, choose the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an epic ski trip in this incredible state.
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Q. How many ski resorts are in California?
There are around 34 public downhill ski resorts.
Q. Does California have any ski resorts?
The golden state is home to many ski resorts, many of which are in Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, and Yosemite.
Q. How far is LA from skiing?
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is the closest to LA at a distance of around 314 miles.