Winter Wonderland: California Snow Parks

 Winter Wonderland: California Snow Parks

It’s hard to believe that winter is just a few weeks away.

Granted, you’d never know with all this blistering hot summer weather that’s been upon us lately. Oh who are we kidding? It’s not like any of this is out of the ordinary. I mean, we do live in SoCal! It’s always a sprightly 70 degrees here year-round!

But as much fun as we have baking in the sunshine in bikinis and boardshorts or biking on the boardwalk for hours on end, many of us simply need to get a dose of our favorite winter sports and wintry weather fun every year. And of course, we all have to make the trek to local mountains and distant snowy escapes in order to do so.

From snowboarding the slopes with friends to making snow angels with the kids and gondola rides with loved ones, discover your local Winter Wonderland escape at these nearby Mountains and Snow Parks.

Mammoth Mountain

So you want to ride California’s favorite, snowiest, biggest, sunniest playground of a mountain? Well, you’ve come to the right place dear skiers and snowboarders. Mammoth Unbound Terrain Parks have been rated among the top ten parks in North America for eight years in a row and it’s easy to see why. With seven parks and three halfpipes in the mix, spread across 90 acres of terrain, Mammoth Mountain has something fun for all levels of expertise. Calling all College students! Get in all your skiing and riding in without being forced to eat Top Ramen for your Mammoth College season pass for only $299 with minimum blackout dates or spend the extra bucks for a no-hassles, no-blackouts Unlimited College pass for $669. Splurge! Let’s be honest, you know you need that three day trip! When you book a minimum 3 night stay for the 2010/2011 winter season in any Mammoth slopeside hotel, you’ll receive a $100 Mammoth Resort Card! Buy your passes and book your accommodations at

Opening Day is Thursday, November 11th and Mammoth Mountain is packing in a ton of action-packed events. Start your ski season off with a great value and make First Tracks to Mammoth this November. When you stay two or more nights, you’ll receive a lift ticket for each person for each night stayed. After you pack it all in on the slopes, make sure you don’t miss out on a very special performance by Swedish-bred band The Sounds on Saturday, November 13th. Purchase your tickets now for $25 in advance before this event sells out! Get more details here!

Bear Mountain Resort

Bear Mountain is the Mecca for snowboarders and skiers in So Cal. Bear Mountain proudly offers skiers and snowboarders almost 1,700 vertical feet of top-to-bottom terrain spanning four mountain peaks and encompassing several perfectly groomed and powder-packed runs. You’ll find all levels at Bear Mountain including the 200-acre Freestyle Park where you can test your skills on the in-ground superpipe, in-ground standard halfpipe, rails, wall rides, boxes, s-turns, spines, and many other custom creations; and Deer, Goldmine and Bow Canyons serve up some of the best tree skiing and riding in Southern California. To top it off, the Superpipe at Big Bear Mountain’s “The Park” was named number one in the nation in “Transworld Snowboarding” 2009 Resort Poll. All day regular season lift tickets for adults 22 and up run for $56, $46 for a half-day, $33 for the night and $23 for a half-night. Even better, your Big Bear lift ticket is good over at its sister mountain, Snow Summit. Big Bear Mountain Resort is located at 880 Summit Blvd. in Big Bear Lake – approximately 3 hrs from downtown San Diego. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, please visit

Mountain High

At 120 miles away, Mountain High is the closest major mountain resort to San Diego. Mountain High boasts three separate resorts with a total of 16 lifts featuring 2 high speed quads, 2 quad chairlifts, 2 triple chairlifts, 5 double chairlifts and 5 handle tows. Mountain High offers two types of lift tickets: the Flex Ticket (starting at $50) is available in any 4 or 8-hour block of time and the Point Ticket lets you choose the number of runs you wish to take per day and is sold in point blocks of 200 for $55, 500 for $139 or 1,000 for $189. Splurge! Get an adult anytime season pass to Mountain High for just $349 and ski or snowboard all season for less than the cost of 6 visits. Order yours today! If skiing or snowboarding just isn’t your forte, then head over to the North Resort for another kind of fun in the snow. The North Pole Tubing Park is the largest tubing facility in Southern California with up to nine lanes, two moving carpets and custom tubes. Tubing tickets cost $20 for two hours and $35 for the whole day. Mountain High is located approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, please visit

! On November 15th, Mountain High will release its $1.99 application for both iPhone and Android model smartphones. The Mountain High app offers fingertip access to on-mountain conditions along with the latest photos, videos, and live cam images. New for 2010/11 is a Terrain Park feed that keeps park rats abreast of daily changes. Weather Underground will provide custom weather forecasting, and guests who have lost their way can use the Directions button to activate their phone’s GPS navigation.

Mt. Baldy

Dubbed as “Southern California’s Best Kept Secret,” Mt. Baldy offers all levels of skiing and boarding from the very beginner to the steepest vertical drop in Southern California. Mt. Baldy offers skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snow play and scenic chair rides from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and 7:30 am to 4:30 pm on weekends and holidays. Purchase a Special Virtual Season Pass with blackout dates for only $84 or spend a few bucks more for no blackout dates for $129. Splurge! Snag your 2010/11 season pass for only $374 or purchase a Club Card for $129 that allows all skiers and boarders access to the slopes for $15 per day when reservations are made by internet or $18 per day when made by phone. Mt. Baldy is located approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from downtown San Diego. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, please visit

Snow Summit

The sister resort to Bear Mountain, Snow Summit boasts one of the highest ratios of snowboarders to skiers in the world. Located 2 hours east of Los Angeles in the San Bernadino Mountains, Snow Summit features 12 lifts and boats five terrain parks ranging from easy to edgy, as well as two halfpipes, the East Why Halfpipe and the ZZYZX Halfpipe for extreme-sports aficionados. Miracle Mile, Summit Run, Ego Trip and Westridge are prepped and ready for the season, having received their first layer of snow this past Tuesday night. Grab your boots and gear all you serial skiers and boarders out there, Opening Day is nearing the bend! Lift tickets for Snow Summit’s regular season currently run at $56 for a day, $46 for a half-day, $33 for a night and $23 for a half-night. Splurge! Your 2010/2011 dual mountain season passes is valid at both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Get access to 26 lifts, 430 developed acres, 55 plus runs and the most amazing collection of parks, pipes and rails around. Purchase your season pass today! For those that are new to the slopes or simply want to brush up on their skills, Snow Summit offers professionally taught skiing and snowboarding lessons for all ages from beginners through experts starting at $69. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, please visit

Wanna Getaway
? The Half-Day Getaway program lets you ski or ride all morning and leave in time to be home by early afternoon with some real savings! You can get a credit voucher for up to $19 if you turn in your All-Day Area Use Lift Ticket by 1:00pm at any open ticket window.

Snow Valley

Located at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, this 130-mile drive is well worth the trip. Boasting 4 lifts, 19 trails and a packed powder surface, Snow Valley has something for every level of skier and boarder. Holiday lift ticket prices start at $64 for an all-day trek, $54 for a half-day and $29 if you’re looking for a nighttime ride. Serious about boarding? Season passes for adults ages 20-64 currently run for $389, teens ages 13-19 cost $319 and children ages 7-12 cost $199. Not ready to jump the gun and test out your boarding skills? If you’re looking for a different kind of winter adventure, check out the Snow Play area for some thrilling downhill sledding and tubing, or send the youngsters over to the Mini Snowmobile Park. For more details and to purchase your lift tickets and season passes, visit

Bring the fam
! Looking for a great day on the slopes with your family at a fantastic price? Snow Valley offers a Family Fun Pack of 2 adult/teen (ages 13-64) and 2 child (ages 7-12) lift tickets for $115 available online only.

Lake Arrowhead

Nestled in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest, the Lake Arrowhead resort paradise features numerous outdoor recreational activities and stunning year-round scenery and wildlife. Wintertime activities in Lake Arrowhead include a snowshoe tour hosted by the Ranger Station and Discovery Center and a variety of group-guided winter hikes. To top it off, Lake Arrowhead boasts one of the world’s most beautiful outdoor skating rinks. In addition to the outdoor recreational activities, Lake Arrowhead also offers an assortment of lodging, shopping and restaurants, perfect for a fun-filled getaway. Lake Arrowhead is located approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from downtown San Diego. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, visit

Mt. Waterman

Located a short drive from Los Angeles, Mount Waterman is So Cal’s oldest ski and snowboard lift. Mt. Waterman boasts a variety of wide open beginner and intermediate runs as well as some of the most challenging expert terrains available. If you’re a novice boarder or skier, take a lesson with one of the certified instructors in the newly expanded beginner’s area. If you’re a pro, then Mt. Waterman’s all new grooming equipment and increased ski area is the perfect place for you this winter season. Half-day lift tickets cost $40 and full day tickets cost $50 for adults 18-64, $40 for full day and $30 for half-day for teenagers age 13-17. If you’re serious about boarding, get your hands on a 2010/11 season pass for only $300 and $100 for kids ages 16 and under. Mt. Waterman Ski Resort is located in La Canada. For more details and the fastest and easiest route from San Diego, visit