Living in the state of California has its benefits. As a fellow San Diegan and former ski Instructor I can tell you about all the in's and out's of the resorts Southern California has to offer! From learning to snowboard at Big Bear, obtaining a seasonal pass for Mountain High and consistently going boarding on school nights to actually dropping a semester from the community college to live in Mammoth. Each resort has their pros and cons, and in my opinion, they benefit each rider depending on what level of skill they are at. Have no fear. I am here today to show you why you wouldn't want to miss out on boarding this winter of 2018.
1. Mammoth Ski Mountain Resort
The Village Shopping Area at Southern California's Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort
Mammoth Mountain will forever be my number one choice. This mountain scales a total of 11,053 feet and takes the trophy for the highest ski resort in California. Located just around 330 miles north of Los Angeles, Mammoth has grown to become an iconic location for powder shredders and tourists every year. If the average annual snowfall of 400 inches doesn't do it for you, maybe having the ability to keep lifts running as late as the 4th of July will!
I highly recommend this vacation spot for people who are experienced because Mammoth is the furthest out of the three locations and the most costly. If your priorities are to have fun with the family, sled, hike/explore the mountain on skis or snowboard (assuming you know your pizza and French fries), this is a great choice.
However, with 25% of the mountain trails containing beginner trails and you have never stepped foot on snow...I would then direct you towards the closer and smaller ski resorts we have. According to a SoCal law firm, Law Offices of Howard Kitay, snow sports is a common activity with risk of injury. Since personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence, I wouldn't expect any compensation when you were the cause of your injuries. For that reason, I'm only looking out for your best interest, experience, and your wallet!
2. Bear Mountain
Overview of Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort in Big Bear Lake, CA
Big Bear Lake is located in the San Bernardino Mountains and offers over 200-acres of freestyle terrain. Bear Mountain is half the distance of Mammoth and is known as the closest snow resort from San Diego. Open til' about mid-April each year with a combined annual snowfall of 100 inches, Bear makes up for the dry seasons with state of the art snow blowing technology. As a mountain with many terrain park awards, it holds true as a staple in progression and development of many SoCal riders.
I recommend checking out this location if time and budget are of concern. With over 32 different runs you have the option to ride natural terrain or freestyle. With a smaller mountain comes tighter spaces, but you also get more beginners in one location. If you are looking to go somewhere close that doesn't require heavy planning, Bear Mountain Ski Resort is your best bet.
3. Mountain High
Mountain High Logo
Located in the tucked away town of Wrightwood, CA just an hour from Los Angeles, Mountain High takes the gold for the closest ski resort from your office. Don't let me forget to mention the lift ticket prices. They range from $40 to $80 depending on the season. Despite Mountain High being the smallest, they offer amazing customer service and an outstanding one on one snowboard and skiing lessons. You are more likely to find a good instructor for a decent price here versus the other SoCal mountain resorts.
Mountain High is divided into two separate mountains: the East Resort and the West Resort. The East is known for their long runs, more snow, moguls and an amazing view of the Mojave desert. On the West Resort, there are shorter but more advanced runs and a very diverse terrain park.