Our nation’s most populous state is the also third largest and stretches from the northern Redwood and Douglas-Fur Forests, through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mojave Desert down to the southern tip.

What Makes California Unique?

Visitors to the state can watch expert surfers in the colder northern waters and then drive through the breathtakingly large Redwoods.  You can visit the legendary Alcatraz in San Francisco one day then experience some of the world’s top ski resorts near Lake Tahoe. Or if you enjoy more fair weather, take a trip to L.A. during the winter, enjoy big city life, and then drive an hour into the San Bernardino Mountains for better skiing than you would imagine for a southern region. In all, California has over 20 ski resorts!

Major Ski Resorts

The northern region of California is probably most famous for the wine district and Redwood Forest. These areas are truly worth visiting in your lifetime. Even a very large family, holding hands, can’t wrap around some Redwoods. They are simply awe-inspiring. Just north of Redding is Mt Shasta, although less known, it is set in a stunning part of the state and offers excellent skiing for all levels.

If you are looking for top skiing and snowboarding, head to central California. The main attraction would be Lake Tahoe—just two hours from Sacramento—offering 12 ski resorts within a short drive (often shuttle service between them) and breathtaking views of a lake that was formed over 2 million years ago. Whether you visit the largest ski resort of the area, Heavenly, or prefer a less populous attraction like Diamond Peak, you won’t miss out on excellent runs either way. Lake Tahoe’s major ski areas also include Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Northstar, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, and Mt Rose. There are more ski areas, but we have focused on these resorts and have provided original information on lodging, ski levels, off the mountain activities, and information snowboarders will need and love.

Still central California, no more than 100 miles south of Tahoe, are Badger Pass, Mammoth Mountain, and June Mountains—located in the Inyo National Forest and the eastern Sierra Mountains. A favorite among snowboarders like Shaun White, the area is pristine, quaint, and awesome winter fun.

Located in the southern region of California, in the San Bernardino Mountains, are the ski resorts of Mt Baldy, Big Bear, Snow Summit, and Snow Valley. Within a short drive from L.A.’s beaches, you can literally ski in shorts and a t-shirt during the early and late ski season.

Vacation Coupons

Read more about each of California’s impressive winter vacation destinations and head there this winter. We have California covered from the North to the South with discounts and deals on lodging, ski rental equipment, lift tickets, dining, and more.

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Photo Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort