Ready to hit the slopes? There are more than 30 ski resorts right here in California.
Only about an hour and a half hour away from L.A. and Orange County, Mountain High is the closest ski resort in the SoCal region. The All Mountain Terrain Park takes up the entire West Resort; you’ll find jumps and jibs on almost every open trail. Plus, Mountain High has College Night on Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and March 7. You can ski from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for only $20. Plus, enjoy discounts off drinks and food at BullWheel Bar and Grill, where there will be live DJs, raffles, giveaways and more!
The Big Bear ski park is home to the Geronimo run, the highest, steepest and most challenging lift-served peak in Southern California. The terrain park has more jibs and transitions than any other SoCal resort and four pipes, including the area’s only “Superpipe.” Hike to the base area park known as “The Scene” for a cold beer or a hot cocoa at the Beach Bar. Take the free shuttle to Snow Summit and the Westridge Terrain Park where you can snowboard under the lights. Discount: Ski free on your birthday.
Only 45-miles outside of L.A., Mt. Baldy is the perfect destination for scenic rides and tubing. The tubing park is located at the top of the Sugar Pine Chair Lift, and it operates each day for three 2-hour sessions. If you’re ski/snowboard newbie, Mt. Baldy also offers ski and snowboard lessons for only $69. The package includes roundtrip ticket on the Sugar Pine Chair lift, all-day lift ticket for the beginner area, your choice of either skis, boots & poles or snowboard & boots for the day and one group lesson.
SNOW VALLEY MOUNTAIN RESORT
If you like hitting steep terrain, then you’ll love the Show Me and Snake Run trails in Snow Valley’s backcountry Slide Peak area, where you can also make a pit stop at Margarita Beach or Outpost 8 for something to eat and a hot or cold libation. Snowboarders will find unique jibs such as the Anaconda Rail, C-Wall and Trapezoid Box in The Edge Terrain Park. Night sessions occur until 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. Discount: Ski free on your birthday.
This resort is relatively small and a good place to go if you want to avoid crowds. There are trails for all skill levels, but advanced skiers will find a challenge in four un-groomed runs, including the ever-popular Mikey Likes It trail. Alta Sierra’s tube park is lift-adjacent so there’s no hiking involved for tubers; a two-hour session, including tube, is $20. Discount: 20 percent off with a current student ID.
If you’re interested in racing, then China Peak is the place to go to learn the basics, hone your skills or to just be a spectator. The Far West Central Series Super G and Giant Slalom events will be held here on Feb. 23-24. The Tollhouse in the terrain park is filled with boxes, rails, jump lines, hips and spines suitable for intermediate and advanced riders. Discount: There are various offers, including $45 lift ticket Sunday-Friday and on non-holidays with a current picture college ID.
HEAVENLY MOUNTAIN RESORT
Yes, you’ll find great skiing and snowboarding, but Heavenly also has a reputation as being the place to go to party, party, party! The Unbuckle Apres ski party takes place daily from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and you can expect music, drinking, dancing and the Heavenly Angels (who are ripping skiers by day and go-go dancers by night). Scheduled special events include the USSA Freestyle Championships in March and on-mountain concerts during Spring Loaded 2013 in late March and early April. Discount: The College Tahoe Value pass is available to those with a college photo ID and a copy of a current transcript with 12 or more credits.
For ski reports and weather conditions in California and elsewhere, visit onthesnow.com where you’ll also find information about newly announced discounts and deals.