’Tis the season to snowboard, sled and make snow angels. With the closest snowfall less than an hour away from Santa Clarita, a day trip can make everlasting winter memories for all ages.
Whether it’s your first time in the snow, or you have a season pass to the ski resort, there are a few important tips to remember while heading up the mountain.
First, wear weather appropriate clothing. Temperatures in the mountains can be below 30 degrees during snowfall, so it is important to stay warm. Waterproof snow pants, a snow jacket, gloves, beanies and warm socks are a few clothing suggestions. If you plan to go skiing or snowboarding, goggles are suggested for safety.
Another safety tip is important during travel, snow chains.
“You can expect strict chain control at any given time. It’s strictly enforced,” said Officer Rich Anthes, Public Information Officer for the Fort Tejon Area Office of the California Highway Patrol. “There are no exceptions.”
This is for your safety, during natural snowfall, cars can be stopped before going up the mountain if they are without snow chains or 4-wheel-drive.
“They will turn people away when it becomes to crowded in cars,” Officer Anthes said.
When headed up the mountain to Frazier Park it is important to be respectful of property owners and stay off of private property.
“When pulling off the road to park, pull completely off the roadway,” Officer Anthes said.
When the roads are icy, go slowly.
“When the sun starts setting the snow turns into ice,” Officer Anthes said. “Maybe bring have a shovel in the car.”
Frazier park Mount Pinos is a place many families go sledding or just play in the snow.
As the location is family friendly, it is important to watch for children as many people pull off the roadway to play in the snow.
For skiers and snowboarders, a 75-minute drive to Mountain High is perfect for a day trip.
“Mountain High consists of three separate areas; East, West, and North,” according to its website.
The snow resort offers rentals, sport shops, food and beverage facilities and more.
The slopes are open morning until night from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
“Your single Mountain High ticket is good at all places and traveling from resort to resort is easy with our free shuttle service,” according to its website.
Mountain High offers a resort with beginner terrain catering to families and introductory skiers that is open on peak weekends and holidays.
Mountain High North also includes the North Pole Tubing Park with up to 10 lanes and two moving carpets.
“When you choose Mountain High, you are guaranteed to spend less time on the road and more time on the mountain,” according to its site.
For more information on Mountain High, or to buy tickets, go to https://www.mthigh.com/site.
Opening three weeks earlier than last year, the mountains are filled with natural and made made snow for all ages to enjoy.
“We’re known as SoCal’s snow capital,” said Justin Kanton, marketing manager for Big Bear Mountain Resort. “Snow Summit is open seven days a week and Bear Mountain is open seven days a week beginning Friday.”
With two slopes, the resort caters to all ages. “We’re calling it the season to learn,” he said.
Snow Summit is more family-centric and Bear Mountain has more terrain for more advanced skiers and snowboarders, Kanton said.
The resort offers lessons for riders 4 and up. They also offer a place called Grizzly Ridge, for families and little kids who are not necessarily looking to ski or snowboard, Kanton said. “We pride ourselves on our teaching staff.”
The resort currently has five runs open, but plans to expand as the weather conditions permit.
Throughout the season they are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The first night session will be Dec. 8 from 6-8:30 p.m.
You can book tickets in advance online, Kanton said. “Season passes are currently on sale too.”
Prices for season passes go up on Dec. 22.
Depending on the weather, Big Bear Resort is scheduled to remain open until April, Kanton said.
Besides the slopes, the Big Bear resort offers events throughout the season.
For more information on events and ticket pricing, go to www.bigbearmountainresort.com/.
Located off Highway 395 about 200 miles away from Santa Clarita, Woolly the Mammoth shreds snow with riders down Mammoth Mountain.
The mountain offers 3,500 skiable acres at three different lodges seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,said Justin Romano, communications assistant with Mammoth Resorts.
Main Lodge, Eagle Lodge and Canyon Lodge are open to all ages.
“Canyon Lodge is the best beginner area,” Romano said. “They offer lessons from there.”
The resort offers group and private lessons. Groups for ages 3-4, 5-7, 8-12, 13 and up and privates for all ages.
They also rent equipment, Romano said. “We rent everything, bindings, boards, helmets and more.”
Woolly’s Kids Park is on the road up to the Main Lodge, he said. “It’s fun for whole family.”
With options for all ages, the resort will be open as long as possible, weather permitting.
“We’re letting fun rule,” Romano said. “There is something for everyone on the mountain. It snows a whole lot here.”
As of Monday, Mammoth Mountain had the most snow in country, he said. “This is the place you want to be riding this winter break.”
For tickets and more information, go to https://www.mammothmountain.com/.
Mammoth Mountain’s sister resort, June Mountain opens December 21.
“Kids 12 and under ski free there,” Romano said. “It’s a great family mountain.”
The mountain is located about 18 miles north of Mammoth.
For more information go to junemountain.com.