Winter Ski-tastic

Heavenly features 34 miles of groomed trails covering 4,800 skiable acres, making it the largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area.
Heavenly features 34 miles of groomed trails covering 4,800 skiable acres, making it the largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. Photo Visit California.
Share
Tweet
Email

By Michele E. Buttelman 

Weather forecasts are encouraging for an improved winter snowpack this season, which means that California ski areas may expect new dustings of fresh powder at higher elevations.  

Snowboarders and skiers can expect a “robust” snow season according to numerous “powder chaser” reports. 

The best resource for determining where and when to hit the slopes remains the daily California Snow Report found at www.onthesnow.com/california/skireport.  

The California Snow Report shows the snow cover in California. For each ski resort you will find the essential information from its snow report: snow depths, open slopes and lifts, date of the last snowfall, today’s weather. All the information you need to choose the right ski resort for you in California. Click on the name of a resort to obtain its complete snow report. You’ll never have to wonder if it’s snowing in California again. 

The Lake Tahoe region offers some of the most legendary skiing and snowboarding in California.
The Lake Tahoe region offers some of the most legendary skiing and snowboarding in California. Photo Visit California.

What’s New 

This winter, you’re likely to find upgrades, renovations, and enhancements at your favorite resort, including higher capacity chairlifts, more efficient snowmaking equipment, a speedy new gondola and even expanded terrain. 

Base to Base Gondola Palisades Tahoe 

The long-awaited Base to Base Gondola opened Dec. 17 at Palisades Tahoe. The Alpine Lodge and The Village at Palisades Tahoe will now be connected by a 16-minute ride across stunning views of the Sierras and Lake Tahoe. Spanning 2.4 miles and 2,000 vertical feet, the ride will be one to remember. 

Skiers and riders will now have uninterrupted access to all 6,000 acres of terrain at both Alpine Meadows and Palisades Tahoe in addition to one more way to access the steeps and chutes off of KT-22. You no longer have to choose between Alpine or Palisades – explore both mountains with easy access to epic terrain. 

Comstock Express Lift at Northstar 

Northstar is celebrating its 50th anniversary and will mark the occasion with the new and improved Comstock Express lift, a high-speed six-person chair. 

As one of the mountain’s most popular lifts, the improvement turns the four-person chair to a six-person high-speed lift. The updated lift will offer shorter wait times and more uphill capacity. 

The new Comstock lift will be the third lift to have this alignment at Northstar. The lift was in operation on opening day at Northstar in November.  

Mt. Shasta Ski Park  

Mt. Shasta completed construction on its new Gray Butte chairlift. The fixed quad lift gives skiers access to higher-elevation terrain and five new runs, including a three-mile-long cruise from top to bottom. The lift provides access to nearly 100 acres of intermediate, advanced, and expert terrain. The newly opened slopes include the park’s first-ever double-black-diamond run. The ski park has also invested in high-performance rental equipment.  

People have been clamoring for additional terrain at Shasta for a long time. Skiers and snowboarders are getting what they want, said Mt. Shasta officials. “The new lift and new terrain are going to make skiing and riding a much better experience up there.” 

Mammoth Mountain is one of the largest ski areas in California, with three base lodges and over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain.
Mammoth Mountain is one of the largest ski areas in California, with three base lodges and over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain. Photo Visit California.

Mammoth Mountain, Mammoth Lakes 

The resort has invested $5 million in new, energy-conserving snowmaking equipment. For non-skiers, Woolly’s Tube Park will offer expanded tubing lanes, better snowmaking capabilities, a new elevated conveyor lift, expanded parking, and a larger snow play and sledding area. In January, Top Chef alums Michael and Bryan Voltaggio will open Vulcania, an American-Italian eatery, in The Village at Mammoth. 

 
What’s New SoCal 

Mountain High, Wrightwood: Mountain High has invested more than $1 million in improved snowmaking capabilities. Night skiing and snowboarding will be offered Wednesday–Sunday during peak season. 

Big Bear Mountain Resort, Big Bear Lake: Big Bear’s two jointly managed mountains, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, completed a $2 million upgrade to Laybacks Bar at the Bear Mountain base area and a $1.2 million upgrade to the ski rental shop, and added 10 acres of remote parking. 

Established in 1939, Sugar Bowl is one of California's most legendary ski resorts.
Established in 1939, Sugar Bowl is one of California’s most legendary ski resorts. Courtesy Sugar Bowl.

Top 8 California Ski Resorts 

Big Bear Mountain Resort 

www.bigbearmountainresort.com/winter 

Big Bear Mountain Resort at Big Bear Lake includes two major ski areas with one entry ticket valid at both Bear Mountain offering 748 acres of skiable terrain and Snow Summit, with 240 skiable acres. Known for its state-of-the-art facilities, Bear Mountain resort has 27 trails accessed by eight lifts. 

Mountain High 

www.mthigh.com 

This award-winning resort is the most popular ski area in Southern California. Three ski resort areas are available to skiers, with the same entry ticket.  

The West Resort offers a wide variety of runs, including technical trails used for contests. 

The East Resort has the longest runs, jaw-dropping viewpoints of the Mojave Desert, and expert slopes with challenging moguls. 

The North Resort is well suited for families and newbies learning to ski. It features 70 acres of beginner-level runs. 

Palisades Tahoe 

www.palisadestahoe.com 

This premier resort boasts some of the longest ski runs in North America. Palisades Tahoe hosted the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and since then has been known for its advanced terrain and excellent ski conditions. 

Heavenly Ski Resort 

www.skiheavenly.com 

Heavenly features 34 miles of groomed trails covering 4,800 skiable acres, making it the largest ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. 

Snowboarding in the Moonshine Terrain Park at Northstar Mountain Resort near Truckee.
Snowboarding in the Moonshine Terrain Park at Northstar Mountain Resort near Truckee. Photo Visit California.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area 

www.mammothmountain.com/winter 

Mammoth Mountain is one of the largest ski areas in California, with three base lodges, over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, and 25 lifts that provide access to 175 trails. 

Northstar California 

www.northstarcalifornia.com 

Northstar is the most family-friendly ski resort in Lake Tahoe, thanks to its kids’ activities, ski school and extensive network of well-groomed trails. Many of the runs have lovely views and traverse pristine pine forests. The ski resort covers 3,170 acres, with 100 runs that are accessed by 20 chairlifts. 

Sugar Bowl 

www.sugarbowl.com 

Established in 1939, Sugar Bowl is one of California’s most legendary ski resorts: the first ski area in the state to install a chairlift and the first in the West to install a gondola. Walt Disney was one of the original investors in the Sugar Bowl ski resort and one of the resort’s mountain peaks is named after Disney. 

Mt. Shasta Ski Park 

www.skipark.com 

Mt. Shasta has added terrain and upgraded equipment this year.  

Adventurous snowboarders love the terrain parks: Silvertip Terrain Park for beginners and intermediate-level riders, and the more advanced Revolution Terrain Park. 

Cross-country skiers will find plenty of picturesque terrain to explore at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, along with ski rentals and lessons. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS