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San Diego Ski and Snowboard Guide


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One of the biggest advantages of living in San Diego is our proximity to both the beach and the mountains. Here, 5 great destinations for skiing and snowboarding, plus suggestions about how to wind down after a day on the slopes.

Big Bear Mountain Resort/Snow Summit

Slopes: Fresh powder makes the 3-hour drive from home more than worth it. There's plenty of reasons why San Diegans chose Big Bear in record numbers: it has the largest beginner ski area in the region, and some of the steepest terrain in Southern California for more advanced skiiers. One of the biggest perks is rain or shine, you can count on fresh powder (Big Bear was the first place to in America to invest in their own snowmaking system, pretty rad!) Just two miles away is Snow Summit, which has steep and challenging slopes for skilled skiiers. You only need one ticket to enjoy both mountains, and there's a complimentary shuttle that'll take you from one spot to the other.

Non- Skiers: If the slopes just don’t provide the adrenaline rush you’ve been craving check out the zipline tours that run all year round.

Après-ski: Head over to the Sweet Basil Bistro and pick up one of their gourmet picnic baskets. You are able to mix and match the contents of the wicker basket, but the flank steak sandwich is a must try. They even come complete with utensils, cups and a table cloth.

Lift Ticket Prices: Full day pass is $56. Kids 6 and under are free. To save some cash check out the night skiing deal they offer for only $33.

Mountain High Resort

Slopes: Another popular ski destination for San Diegans, Mountain High offers three different resorts to chose from and all offer a variety of terrain. The North Resort is not open as of late, but it does offer a place to go tubing on the weekends. The East Resort is known for its awesome views of the Mohave Desert and has more of a laid back vibe for those that just like to cruise down the slopes. The West Resort is the place for freestylers and the snowboarders.

Non-skiers: Pick up a game of Frisbee golf over at North Park’s Sky High Disc Golf course.

Après-ski: Refuel after a long day on the slopes at Blue Ridge Inn. Order a steak accompanied by the Malaysian shrimp to replenish after a day of shedding the gnar.

Lift Ticket Prices: An all day pass is $59. If your birthday falls in winter months you’re in luck. Bring a valid ID and ski free for the day.

Snow Valley

Slopes: Strap yourself and your gear into the car and in just over 2 hours, you'll be ready to shred down the San Bernardino Mountains. Snow Valley now offers 14 different lifts with a variety of runs for everyone from beginners to advanced skiiers. The area is also home to a terrain park called The Edge that has different sized jumps for both skiers and snowboarders to master.

Non-skiers: This resort is as kid friendly as they come, so bring the whole family. They have mini snowmobiles for kids ages 6-12 and a track for them to explore. The resort offers a family pack that contains 2 all-day adult lift tickets (ages 13-64) and 2 all-day child lift tickets (ages 7-12) for $115.

Après-ski:  Fancy a fruity refreshment on the beach after your day of skiing? Then head over to the resort’s unique Margarita Beach, which is located at the base of Slide Peak. They serve a variety of snacks. Margarita beach is only open on the weekends and some holidays.

Lift Ticket Prices: An all day pass will cost you $54, they also offer night skiing at a discounted rate of $29.

Mammoth Mountain

Slopes: Although it takes 7 hours to make it to Mammoth, you will not be disappointed once you arrive. It has been rated the best in Southern California for its massive amount of trails, 150 to be exact, including 3,500 acres of terrain to explore.  If you want height, this is the place to be: the trails are the highest in all of California. To get there even faster, take a flight directly from the San Diego Airport to Mammoth Lakes. Flights depart daily at 7:40 a.m. and arrive in Mammoth just after 9 a.m. Return flights leave at 3:40 p.m. and will get you back home by dinnertime.

Non-skiers: Take a ride on the resort’s Scenic Gondola located at the summit of Mammoth Mountain. From 11,053 feet in the air, you’ll see some of the most stunning views SoCal has to offer.

Après-ski:  The hip place to be after you hit the slopes is Hyde Lounge, the latest addition to the Mammoth scene. The lounge scores high on the "cool chart" for serving unique dishes and featuring various celebrity DJs.

Lift Ticket Prices: An all day pass will run about $89, if you're an avid skiier they offer season passes that are good for a year from the date you purchased it for $799. Check out Liftopia for discounted rates and the best offers.

Mt. Baldy

Slopes: With just three lifts and six trails, Mt. Baldy is on the small side, but that also means there are hardly ever any crowds. Another attraction of the mountain (for some) is the snow isn't groomed, which makes it tougher for beginners, but far more challenging and fun for more advanced skiiers. The distance is also a major bonus: Mt. Baldy is just over 100 miles from San Diego.

Non-skiers: Enjoy the great outdoors and take hike on the Mt. Baldy Trail. Although you won't find any trees in this part of the Angeles Nation Forest, there is plenty of lush green vegetation, making it one of the nicest trails to walk along in the entire forest.

Après-ski: Take a relaxing ride up the Sugar Pine Chair Lift and do some stargazing. If you can get your mitts on some hot cocoa, all the better.

Lift Ticket Prices: The best bang for your buck is to become a member, which costs just under $20/month and gets you free lift tickets.

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