Top California Ski Resorts
California is home to some of the best ski resorts in North America. With mild winters and countless resorts lined up and down the Sierra Nevada mountain range, you won’t want to miss days spent on the slopes at these resorts. Below, Gearo has put together a list of the top ski resorts in California to help you decide where your next ski vacation will be.
Top California Ski Resorts Stats
|Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows||Olympic Valley, CA||Skiable Terrain||3600 Acres|
|Heavenly||South Lake Tahoe, CA||Skiable Terrain||4800 Acres|
|Mammoth Mountain||Mammoth Lakes, CA||Skiable Terrain||3500 Acres|
|Kirkwood||Kirkwood, CA||Skiable Terrain||2300 Acres|
|Northstar||Truckee, CA||Skiable Terrain||3170 Acres|
1. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows – Top California Ski Resort
Topping the list at number one is Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley, California. Squaw offers tons of terrain options for skiers and riders of all ability levels. In fact, this famous resort is known for hosting the 1960 winter games making it one of the most historic and well-known resorts in the state. You’ll find that this resort has 65% beginner and intermediate terrain, leaving some legendary steeps, cliffs, and chutes for expert riders. This resort also has an average of 450 inches of snowfall each year and over 300 sunny days. Last, this resort is known for having the longest season with the best spring skiing in the Lake Tahoe area.
2. Heavenly – Top California Ski Resorts
Firstly, Heavenly is known as the largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area with 4800 skiable acres. There is a variety of terrain for all ability levels at this resort, and 28 lifts to choose from. Additionally, this resort offers the best view of Lake Tahoe from the top of Adventure Peak. with 97 trails, the resort has everything from green, beginner runs to 1,600-foot chutes for your expert skiers and riders. Lastly, This resort has an average snowfall of 360 inches per year so you just might catch a stellar powder day if you visit.
3. Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth is located about 5 hours from Los Angeles and hosts the highest lift in the state at around 11,000ft. Inbounds, there are 150 runs to choose from including groomers, bumps, bowls, and steep chutes. Additionally, this mountain offers tons of steep skiing and riding for intermediate and advanced visitors. There aren’t a ton of options for beginners so watch out if you are a newbie planning a trip to mammoth. Lastly, if you are an intermediate skier or rider Mammoth should be at the top of your list, as 40% of their runs are for intermediate skiers and riders.
4. Kirkwood- California Ski Resort
Kirkwood is known for having some of the best snow due to its large amount of snowfall. This resort includes a wide variety of terrain for all ability levels with the base elevation sitting at about 7000ft. Known for its beauty, Kirkwood offers winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, and even, backcountry skiing expeditions. The high elevation at this resort creates something called the K-factor due to a geographical predisposition, making the snowfall there the lightest, driest, and highest in inches of anywhere in the Tahoe region. There are over 2300 acres of groomed runs for beginners, so this resort really has it all.
5. Northstar – California Ski Resort
Northstar has an interesting history, as it was created due to an extinct volcano that erupted and created the Lake Tahoe area. This resort is known for offering visitors a cool Cali vibe with a little luxury included in the accommodations. Secondly, there is a total of 20 lifts that give access to over 100 runs. The trails at Kirkwood offer plenty of runs for intermediate and beginner skiers and riders. Additionally, they are nationally recognized for their ski and ride school for adults and children. Lastly, the resort includes a 1,400 square foot cross country center for those who want to try multiple winter sports while visiting.