Looking for a winter wonderland escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles? You don’t have to travel far to find a place to play in the snow. Southern California is home to several mountain ranges and ski resorts that offer a variety of winter activities, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and tubing. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time skier, these destinations have something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to experience snow near Los Angeles, including popular ski resorts, nearby national forests, and lesser-known gems. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable winter adventure.

1. Lake Tahoe

lake tahoe snow winter
Lake Tahoe, located just a short drive from Los Angeles, is a winter paradise for those looking to experience the beauty of snow. This picturesque mountain lake, which straddles the California-Nevada border, is surrounded by several ski resorts that offer a wide range of winter activities for all ages and abilities.

One of the most popular ski resorts in Lake Tahoe is Squaw Valley, which is known for its diverse terrain and stunning views of the lake. The resort boasts over 3,000 skiable acres, with a variety of runs for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. There are also several terrain parks, including the Olympic-sized halfpipe, where visitors can catch air and show off their tricks.

Another great ski resort in Lake Tahoe is Heavenly Mountain Resort, which offers breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountain range. The resort features a wide variety of runs, including over 4,800 skiable acres, and an extensive snowmaking system that guarantees a great ski season.

For those looking for a more low-key experience, the nearby national forests, such as the Eldorado National Forest and the Toiyabe National Forest, offer miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing trails and snowmobiling opportunities. The forests are also home to several snow-capped peaks, which provide great opportunities for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

Lake Tahoe also offers a variety of other winter activities such as ice-skating, snowmobiling, and dog sledding, all of which are perfect for families with children and non-skiers.

When it comes to accommodations, Lake Tahoe offers a wide range of options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly vacation rentals. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Lake Tahoe has something for everyone.

Overall, Lake Tahoe is a great destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. With its world-class ski resorts, breathtaking scenery, and wide range of winter activities, Lake Tahoe is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy a winter wonderland.

2. Angeles National Forest

The Angeles National Forest, located just a short drive from Los Angeles, offers a wide range of winter activities for those looking to experience the beauty of snow. The forest, which covers over 700,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains, is home to several ski resorts, as well as miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing trails, and snowmobiling opportunities.

One of the most popular ski resorts in the Angeles National Forest is Mountain High, which is known for its diverse terrain and great snow conditions. The resort features three separate areas, each with its own unique ski runs and terrain parks. The East Resort offers a variety of beginner and intermediate runs, while the West Resort is perfect for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The North Resort is also home to the largest night skiing operation in Southern California, where visitors can hit the slopes under the stars.

Another popular ski resort in the Angeles National Forest is Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts, which offers a wide variety of runs and terrain parks. The resort is known for its great snow conditions and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

For those looking for a more low-key experience, the Angeles National Forest offers miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, as well as snowshoeing trails, perfect for those who prefer a more leisurely pace. The forest also offers several snowmobiling opportunities, which provide a great way to explore the backcountry.

The Angeles National Forest also offers a variety of other winter activities, such as ice-skating, snow tubing, and sledding, which are perfect for families with children and non-skiers.

When it comes to accommodations, the Angeles National Forest offers a wide range of options, from camping to cabin rentals, and even hotels. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the Angeles National Forest has something for everyone.

Overall, the Angeles National Forest is a great destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. With its world-class ski resorts, breathtaking scenery, and wide range of winter activities, the Angeles National Forest is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy a winter wonderland.

3. Mount Shasta

mount shasta
Mount Shasta, located in northern California, is a great destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. The mountain, which stands at 14,179 feet tall, is a popular spot for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities.

One of the most popular ski resorts in the Mount Shasta area is Mt. Shasta Ski Park, which offers a variety of ski runs and terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort features over 35 runs, with the longest run being 1.5 miles, and a vertical drop of 1,700 feet. The resort also has a snow tubing area, where visitors can slide down the mountain on inner tubes.

For those looking for a more low-key experience, Mount Shasta offers several opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The mountain is home to several groomed trails, as well as backcountry trails, which are perfect for exploring the mountain’s remote areas.

Mount Shasta is also a popular spot for snowmobiling, which provides a great way to explore the backcountry. There are several guided tours available, which take visitors through the mountain’s remote areas and provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

When it comes to accommodations, Mount Shasta offers a wide range of options, from camping to cabin rentals, and even hotels. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Mount Shasta has something for everyone.

Overall, Mount Shasta is a great destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. With its world-class ski resorts, breathtaking scenery, and wide range of winter activities, Mount Shasta is the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy a winter wonderland.

4. Mount Baldy

mount baldy
Mount Baldy, also known as Mount San Antonio, is a popular destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. The mountain, which stands at 10,068 feet tall, is located in the San Gabriel Mountains and is a popular spot for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

One of the most popular ski resorts in the Mount Baldy area is Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts, which offers a variety of ski runs and terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort features over 50 runs and a vertical drop of 1,200 feet, with the longest run being 1.5 miles. The resort also offers a snow tubing area, where visitors can slide down the mountain on inner tubes.

For those looking for a more low-key experience, Mount Baldy offers several opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The mountain is home to several groomed trails, as well as backcountry trails, which are perfect for exploring the mountain’s remote areas.

Mount Baldy is also a popular spot for snowmobiling, which provides a great way to explore the backcountry. There are several guided tours available, which take visitors through the mountain’s remote areas and provide stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

When it comes to accommodations, Mount Baldy offers a wide range of options, from camping to cabin rentals, and even hotels. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Mount Baldy has something for everyone.

5. Mountain High Resort

Mountain High Resort is a popular ski resort located in the San Gabriel Mountains, just a short drive from Los Angeles. The resort features three separate areas, each with its own unique ski runs and terrain parks. The East Resort offers a variety of beginner and intermediate runs, while the West Resort is perfect for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The North Resort is also home to the largest night skiing operation in Southern California, where visitors can hit the slopes under the stars.

Mountain High Resort offers a wide variety of terrain, with over 80 runs and 16 lifts. The resort also features a terrain park with over 50 features, including rails, boxes, and jumps, as well as a superpipe and a halfpipe. The resort also offers ski and snowboard lessons for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Mountain High Resort also offers snow tubing, which is a great way for visitors to enjoy the snow without the need for specialized equipment. The resort has several snow tubing lanes, which are perfect for both kids and adults.

The resort also offers a variety of other winter activities, such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, which are perfect for families with children and non-skiers.

6. Lassen Volcanic National Park

lassen volcanic national park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a beautiful national park located in northern California, about a five-hour drive from Los Angeles. The park is known for its volcanic landscapes, including Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the park’s centerpiece, as well as other volcanic features such as fumaroles, mud pots, and hot springs. It also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and snow sports.

During the winter, Lassen Volcanic National Park receives heavy snowfall, making it a great destination for snow sports such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The park has several groomed trails and backcountry trails which are perfect for exploring the park’s remote areas. Visitors can also enjoy snowmobiling, which is a great way to explore the park’s backcountry.

7. Big Bear Lake

big bear lake winter california
Big Bear Lake is a popular destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. The lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, and offers a wide range of winter activities for visitors of all ages and abilities.

One of the most popular winter activities at Big Bear Lake is skiing and snowboarding. The lake is home to two ski resorts, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, which offer a variety of ski runs and terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Snow Summit is known for its wide variety of runs and family-friendly atmosphere, while Bear Mountain is known for its challenging terrain and terrain parks.

8. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway

palm springs aerial tramway
For those looking for a unique way to enjoy some winter fun, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is a great place to visit near LA. The aerial tramway takes visitors up over the San Andreas fault, offering some great views of the surrounding desert landscape. With more than 20 stops along the way, the tramway has plenty of ways to get you up and over the desert. The final stop on the aerial tramway is 150 feet above the desert floor, offering some great views of the surrounding landscape. The aerial tramway is a fun way to get in on some winter activities, and it’s also a great way to explore the surrounding desert landscape.

9. Idyllwild

Idyllwild
For those looking for a winter getaway that’s a little closer to home, the town of Idyllwild is a great option. The town is located in the San Jacinto mountains, and it’s a popular winter getaway option for many people in Southern California. The area is also home to a number of hiking trails perfect for visitors looking to enjoy some wintertime hiking. You can also explore the area’s many waterfalls and other water-based activities. With plenty of hiking trails and other winter activities perfect for visitors looking to get in on some winter fun, Idyllwild is a great option for people wanting to get in on some winter activities without having to travel far from home.

10. Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead is another popular destination for those looking to experience the beauty of snow near Los Angeles. The lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, and offers a wide range of winter activities for visitors of all ages and abilities.

One of the most popular winter activities at Lake Arrowhead is skiing and snowboarding. The lake is home to the Snow Valley Ski Resort, which offers a variety of ski runs and terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort features over 240 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 1,200 feet, with the longest run being 1.5 miles. The resort also offers a snow tubing area, where visitors can slide down the mountain on inner tubes.

11. Convict Lake

convict lake winter
Convict Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, about a four and a half hour drive from Los Angeles. The lake is known for its clear blue waters, spectacular scenery, and a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, hiking, and winter sports.

During the winter, Convict Lake receives heavy snowfall, making it a great destination for snow sports such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The lake is surrounded by the Inyo National Forest, which offers miles of groomed trails and backcountry trails that are perfect for exploring the area’s remote areas. Visitors can also enjoy snowmobiling, which is a great way to explore the backcountry.

12. Palomar Mountain

Palomar Mountain is a beautiful mountain located in Southern California, about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. The mountain is known for its spectacular scenery and a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and winter sports.

During the winter, Palomar Mountain receives occasional snowfall, making it a great destination for snow sports such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The mountain is surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest, which offers miles of hiking trails that can be used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as backcountry trails that are perfect for exploring the area’s remote areas. Visitors can also enjoy snow play activities such as sledding and tubing.

13. Sequoia National Park

sequoia national park winter
Sequoia National Park is a beautiful national park located in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, about a four-hour drive from Los Angeles. The park is known for its towering giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman Tree, which is the largest tree in the world by volume, as well as its spectacular scenery, and a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and winter sports.

During the winter, Sequoia National Park receives heavy snowfall, making it a great destination for snow sports such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow camping. The park offers several groomed trails and backcountry trails that are perfect for exploring the park’s remote areas. Visitors can also enjoy snow play activities such as sledding and tubing.

14. Kings Canyon National Park

KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Kings Canyon National Park is a beautiful national park located in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, about a four-hour drive from Los Angeles. The park is known for its spectacular scenery, including the deep glacial canyon for which it is named, as well as a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and winter sports.

During the winter, Kings Canyon National Park receives heavy snowfall, making it a great destination for snow sports such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow camping. The park offers several groomed trails and backcountry trails that are perfect for exploring the park’s remote areas. Visitors can also enjoy snow play activities such as sledding and tubing.

FAQs

Where does it snow in California?

It snows in the mountainous regions of California, such as the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range. Places like Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, and Mount Shasta are known for their skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Additionally, some parts of the Shasta-Trinity and Mendocino National Forests, and Lassen Volcanic National Park also receive snowfall. However, snowfall in California is not as common as in other states.

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Brandon Cross
Travel maven. Writer. Reader. Organizer. Beer advocate. Creator. Evil explorer.