When you think of California your mind probably wanders to miles and miles of coast line with epic surf breaks, and some of the world’s most iconic cities, and you’d be right. However, farther inland you have some seriously awesome mountains that boast some world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
So, if you’re thinking about your next holiday on the slopes, here are 5 reasons why California should be top of your list.
Apart from flying down the mountains past beautiful vistas, après-ski has to be the next thing about a snow holiday, are we right? Nothing beats kicking back after a hearty dose of slope fun in one of California's top alpine resorts. And, most importantly it's not exclusive, so you don't have to have been on the mountain all day to enjoy. Have a beer (or two), dance the night away to live music or toast marshmallows around a fire, the choices are endless.
If you're looking for a little more luxury with your post-slope celebrations, Northstar California in Lake Tahoe is where it's at. Guests can enjoy complimentary bubbles or sparkling cider at the East Ridge each day at 2pm and then pop on down to 'Aching Feet Rescue' at the swish spa at Ritz-Carlton. There's no better way to end a day on the slopes than with a massge and a soak in a heated pool.
Insane terrain parks for those who love a nose grab or two
You don’t have to travel far from Los Angeles to get in on all the high-adrenalin park action. Mountain High Resort which is located 90 minutes from the city is hugely popular with snowboarders and skiers looking to take on jumps and half pipes for a thrilling afternoon of nose grabbing.
Other awesome parks across California, such as Mammoth Mountain, host major snow sport competitions; Big Bear Mountain in Southern California’s San Bernardino range is home to the epic Red Bull Plaza, with urban-inspired features for snowboarders that also is home to several winter kick-off events.
Super friendly resorts for active families
If you want more from your winter holiday than just making snowmen and snow angels, take your tribe to the Californian Mountains for some good-ole fashioned family fun. While most resorts offer lessons for first timers, Sierra-at-Tahoe is ideal for families wanting to learn how to rule the slopes. The resort offers age-specific lessons for the kids and for parents who want the joy of teaching their kids themselves, there is even a unique class called “Teach Your Child”.
Apart from offering a wide range of lessons, Mountain High is home to SoCal’s largest tubing park, North Pole Tubing Park. Kids and parents can race or ride solo along the 12 different tubing lanes, for some serious fun! If you’re in Mammoth, they too have some tubing fun at Wooly’s Tube Park. Your kids will never have had so much fun.
Spectacular mountain views & beautiful towns
The skiing is great in the Golden State, but the views are even better. With wraparound views of alpine lakes, mountains and majestic winter wonderlands, you won’t want to come back down. Just take the spectacular views from Lake Tahoe; with one beautiful lake between them, both Lake Tahoe North and Lake Tahoe South also have six amazing resorts. On one side of the ridge you get to see Lake Tahoe from above and on the other side you have views of the Nevada desert, not forgetting the towering Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance.
At the bottom of the slopes are the beautiful mountain towns that offer up plenty of places to dine, shop, relax and spend the night, there’s also tons of outdoor spaces for a gathering of your people around fire-pits and to listen to live music. At the village of Northstar there’s more action to be had on the ice rink and in Tahoe City you can shop ‘till you drop and then watch the sunset over the lake at Jake’s On the Lake, pure bliss!
There’s more fun to have off of the slopes
With slope fun and après-skiing aside, many of the Californian resorts have a plethora of other fun-filled activities for you to sink your teeth into when you’re done skiing. Use that remaining energy to try snowshoeing, zip lining or for the more adventurous, end the day trying out fat-tire snow bikes at Royal Gorge Cross Country Resort, fly through the forests and meadows with not a care in the world.
So there you have it, California isn’t just beaches and cities, it’s also epic mountains, stunning views and pure adventure. Enjoy.