Mount San Antonio, better known as Mount Baldy, is the highest peak of the Los Angeles county at 10,068 feet and is the closest skiing to the U.S.'s third largest city. Although the mountain may not be a big resort with the extra fluff, it's still a great ski area, especially for those looking to hit the slopes just for the day.
Located just 45 miles from L.A., the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts sits on a peak at 8,600 feet and sports a respectable 2,100 vertical feet. The mountain offers a bit of everything, from easy milk runs to some seriously hairy black diamond experiences for the advanced and expert skiers and riders. There's a terrain park, and Mt. Baldy can boast the steepest descent in all of southern California: Thunder Mt. and Chair 1 will take you to Nightmare—a 36 degree slope that maintains the drop for 1,000 vertical feet. When it's good, Mt. Baldy is everything you'd expect of a world-class ski resort, found in a charmingly nostalgic throwback to the resort's earlier back country beginnings. Learn about the experience of skiing the area and all about the many terrain parks.
The resort was founded by Herb Leffler and Jim Chaffee in the 1950's. The early days demonstrated the innovative nature, as these two built tow lines out of an old Hudson engine that Jim got from his father, who owned a mechanic's shop. Herb helped out and pitched in $150. That humble beginning is gone now, replaced by several quad chairs, but the innovative spirit that formed a ski resort in Southern California can still be found there.
If you've never been on skis before, you'll be off to a great beginning and in warm and capable hands. There are other ski resorts in Southern California, and nobody's going to try to say that Mt. Baldy is the very best of them, but it certainly has a lot to offer with an excellent location.
The Angeles National Forest is just north of the city. Hop on the 605 to the 210 to Exit 52 onto Base Line Road. Follow the signs and you are there!
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