Alpine Meadows, one of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts
Alpine Meadows, one of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts
Heavenly ski resort straddles California and Nevada
Heavenly ski resort straddles California and Nevada
Kirkwood Ski Resort California
Kirkwood Ski Resort California
Ski California at the upscale Northstar
Ski California at the upscale Northstar
Skiing in California - Mammoth Mountain
Skiing in California - Mammoth Mountain
Squaw Valley is one of the steep California ski resorts
Squaw Valley is one of the steep California ski resorts
Sugar Bowl is another of the CA ski resorts with steeps
Sugar Bowl is another of the CA ski resorts with steeps
Not quite in California but the Stateline casinos are right on the border
Not quite in California but the Stateline casinos are right on the border
Mammoth Ski Resort California
Mammoth Ski Resort California
Kirkwood Ski Resort CA
Kirkwood Ski Resort CA
Northstar has lots of great activities
Northstar has lots of great activities
Ski California - Alpine Meadows
Ski California - Alpine Meadows
Squaw Valley Ski Resort California
Squaw Valley Ski Resort California
Northstar is a family friendly California ski resort
Northstar is a family friendly California ski resort
Heavenly Lake Tahoe
Heavenly Lake Tahoe

California

Skiing in CaliforniaSki California?! When you think California it seems more natural to conjure up thoughts of sunny beaches where the weather is always warm. The concept of skiing in California may seem somewhat strange, but high up in the mountains lie some of the best ski resorts in the USA.

In keeping with the expectations for the state, there is generally plenty of sunshine at the California ski resorts. It is not uncommon for snowstorms to blow through in the evening and for it to be sunny the next day. Powder and sunshine – perfect!

California SnowThe volume of snowfall in some parts of California is fantastic, particularly with the Lake Tahoe ski resorts. As examples, Alpine Meadows has an average annual snowfall of 12.5 metres (about 500 inches) and Kirkwood has a whopping 15.2 metres (600 inches) – one of the biggest snowfalls for a ski resort in the world!

The powder doesn't tend to be as light and dry as Utah snow or Colorado snow, but in the event that the snow is NQR, most of the resorts have immaculately groomed runs. Most of the Tahoe ski resorts also have well developed snowmaking facilities.

California Ski ResortsBig is best when it comes to USA ski resorts and California is no exception. Mammoth Mountain is unoriginally “mammoth”. Squaw Valley is also large, but Heavenly is huge with almost 2,000 hectares of ski terrain.

California not only has quality but also quantity when it comes to ski resorts, with 40-plus downhill and cross-country resorts. No wonder there aren’t many cat skiing operations in California – there’s no space left!

The California ski resorts can be grouped geographically into major areas.

Northern California Ski Resorts- Cedar Pass Snow Park
- Coppervale
- Gold Mountain
- Mt Shasta Ski Park

Lake Tahoe Skiing- Donner Summit area
    o Boreal
    o Donner Ski Ranch
    o Soda Springs   
    o Sugar Bowl

- North Shore Lake Tahoe
    o Alpine Meadows
    o Homewood Mountain Resort
    o Squaw Valley
    o Diamond Peak (NV)
    o Mt Rose (NV)
    o Tahoe Donner
    o Grandlibakken
    o Northstar

- South Shore Lake Tahoe
    o Heavenly
    o Kirkwood
    o Sierra at Tahoe

Central California- Badger Pass
- Bear Valley
- Cottage Springs
- Dodge Ridge
- June Mountain
- Mammoth Mountain
- Montecito-Sequoia
- Shirley Meadows
- Sierra Summit

Southern California Ski Resorts- Angeles Crest Resorts
- Bear Mountain
- Big Air Green Valley
- Buckhorn
- Mountain High
- Mt Baldy
- Ski Sunrise
- Snow Summit
- Snow Valley

There are various international airports serving the California ski resorts including LAX (Los Angeles International airport), San Francisco and Reno/Tahoe.