Ski California at These Family Friendly Resort Areas
Go Skiing and Stay at a Lake House for the Perfect California Get-A-Way
by Nathaniel Broughton
Think of a California vacation and visions of sunshine, warm weather, and beaches immediately enter your head. Although the sunshine part may be true, there are many California vacations that are the winter sports lovers dream.
Ski resorts can be found throughout the state, with the most populous area being the Lake Tahoe region near the California/Nevada state line.
One such resort is Heavenly, the largest resort in California. Heavenly not only hosts 85 runs, 29 lifts, and 4 bases, but also some of the most breathtaking views you’re likely to find anywhere in the country. Like most resorts, Heavenly offers private and group lessons for adults and children. One unique ski school feature is the special clinics especially for women wanting to hone their skiing skills.
Another popular, family friendly Tahoe area ski resort is Sierra-at-Tahoe, located in Twin Bridges, California, just south of the lake. Fifty percent of the 46 runs at Sierra-at-Tahoe are intermediate, with the remaining fifty percent split equally between beginner and advanced.
There are skiing and snowboarding lessons for beginners of all ages. Long term visitors may want to consider letting their children join one of the ski teams to improve their skills. There are also day care services, a tubing facility, and Adventure Zones, special ski areas designed just for kids.
Although you’ll find the most resorts in one place in Tahoe, there are may other excellent resorts in California. One such resort in northern California is Mount Shasta, the fifth largest peak in the state. Mount Shasta Ski Resort has 31 trails, 3 triple chairs, and 1 surface lift. The Marmot Ridge area of the resort is a learning area with terrain that is ideal for beginners and is often used by those attending ski schools. For a unique skiing experience, try night skiing which is offered on 14 of the trails at Mount Shasta.
If you’re looking to ski in central California, give the 67 trials at Bear Valley a try. The trails are 25% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 35% advanced, offering a good variety of trails for every level of skier or boarder in your family. The 10 lifts all have bear themed names such as Pooh, Koala, Grizzly, and Polar Express, the brand new high speed quad lift. There are lessons for all different age groups as well as a day care at Bear Valley.
Traveling further south is Mount Baldy, which is a short 45 miles outside of Los Angeles. The family owned Mount Baldy Ski Resort is known for having an unpretentious, down-home feeling, but also for having trouble with snow coverage. Although there is rarely a strong base at the beginning of the season, once winter hits that usually ceases to be a problem.
There are 26 runs on 3 mountains and a 2,100 foot vertical drop, the steepest in California. Mount Baldy is a favorite among expert skiers, but also has enough beginner terrain and a ski school to keep learners happy.
For your next ski trip or California vacation, check out one of these terrific lake rental: