OTL Home Guide
Guide/
 

Skiing and Snowboarding

Snow in Southern California?? You bet. Claremont is less than two hours from no less than five skiable mountains. The season typically begins in late November and ends by April. Most resorts only need reservations during holidays; group rates are often available for groups of 20 or more (call the resort for details). All of the resorts listed here offer ski and snowboard rentals and lessons.

For the latest road conditions in California you can call 1-800-427-ROAD on any touchtone phone, or check the CalTrans website. Four wheel drive and/or snow chains are often required. Pep Boys and AutoZone both carry snow chains (around $40), but call ahead to see if they have the right size for your car.

The resorts are continuously adding lifts, changing trails, and building terrain parks. The figures below are from the 2003-2004 ski season.

 

Mount Baldy

Highlights:

A mere 30-minute drive from campus, with some of the best slopes in Southern California.

Directions:

25 minutes. From campus take Monte Vista Ave North. Continue North as it becomes Padua Ave. Turn right on Mt. Baldy Rd, and follow it through Baldy village until it dead-ends at the Baldy Ski Area parking lot. There are rarely enforced chain/4WD restrictions, but if there's fresh snow you'll often need chains for the switchbacks at the end of the road.

Description:

26 runs, 4 lifts, 400* acres, 1400'* vertical (5650'-7050'*).

Mount Baldy differs from other area ski resorts by offering not so much runs as mountainsides. Only one or two runs are groomed, but the sparse forests are perfect for making your own trails. They don't get much snow (bring your rock skis), but when there's coverage, there's no better place to spend an afternoon after classes. They often have a few jumps and jibs to play on, but there's not much of a terrain park.
It doesn't mention it on their website, but if you leave early they'll give you a voucher pro-rated by how many hours you skied.

*Acreage/vertical reported by the mountain's website are larger, presumably because they are for the property owned. The numbers above are from weather.com and represent the skiable area.

More Info:

Website: www.mtbaldy.com
Snow Report: (909) 981-3344
Reservations: (909) 982-0800

Back to top

 

Mountain High

Highlights:

Bigger than Baldy and with more terrain park and beginner runs, but a step below Big Bear/Snow Summit.

Directions:

50 minutes. Take I-210 East to I-15 North. Take the CA-138 exit West toward Wrightwood. Make a left on Highway 2; the mountain is 3 miles past Wrightwood on the left. You'll pass the East resort first (taller but only open mid-winter) and then the West resort.

Description:

46 runs, 13 lifts, 415 acres (220 skiable), 1600' vertical (6600'-8200').

Mountain High is a good all-around ski resort. The trials are varied, though not as steep as some of the other resorts, and it has a decent-sized terrain park with a small halfpipe. Check the "Ticket Deals" section of the website for better prices.

More Info:

Website: www.mthigh.com
Snow Report: 1-888-754-7878
Reservations: 1-888-754-7878 x7808

Back to top

 

Big Bear / Snow Summit

Highlights:

The largest ski resort in Southern California. There are two distinct mountains: Snow Summit, which is less steep, and Bear Mountain, which has more forest and off-trail slopes and a massive terrain park. Lift tickets are for both mountains.

Directions:

One hour, 45 minutes. Take I-210 East to its end. Continue on Highland (210 may be extended through here in the future) through the town of San Bernardino. Take CA-30 North to CA-330 East through Running Springs to CA-18 East. Turn right across the Big Bear Lake dam (staying on CA-18), go into town, and turn left on Paine (before the Starbucks) and then right on Big Bear Blvd. To get to Snow Summit turn right on Summit Dr; to get to Big Bear make a right on Moonridge Rd.

Description:

Bear Mtn: 34 runs, 12 lifts, 748 acres (200 developed), 1665' vert (7140'-8805').
Snow Summit: 26 runs, 11 lifts, 230 acres, 1200' vertical (7000'-8200').

Bear Mountain is almost entirely Terrain Park, including a 15-foot halfpipe. There's also some good off-trail skiing, though it's possible to get stuck in some of the valleys and have to hike out!
Snow Summit is better for beginners, as it is less steep and entirely groomed. It also has a "family fun park" with smaller jumps and jibs.
Lift tickets are good at both resorts (with the exception of some of the season passes). You can rent skis/snowboards in town for as low as $15/day, much cheaper than at the resorts.

More Info:

Website: www.bigbearmountainresorts.com
Info: (909) 866-5766
Reservations: (909) 866-5841

Back to top

 

Snow Valley

Highlights:

Snow Valley is slightly closer than Big Bear/Snow Summit but smaller and not as tall.

Directions:

One hour, 30 minutes. Take I-210 East to its end. Continue on Highland (210 may be extended through here in the future) through the town of San Bernardino. Take CA-30 North to CA-330 East. Continue on CA-18 East, Snow Valley is 5 miles past Running Springs on your right.

Description:

30 runs, 11 lifts, 240 acres, 1030' vertical (6800'-7830').

More Info:

Website: www.snow-valley.com
Info: (909) 867-2751
Snow Report: 1-800-680-SNOW

Back to top

 

Mammoth Mountain

Highlights:

If you haven't heard of Mammoth, you haven't been skiing. Go for Reading Days, go for Spring Break, or go for a weekend; it's some of the best skiing in North America.

Directions:

Between 5 and 6 hours. Take I-210 East to I-15 North. Exit onto CA-395 North toward Adelanto. Don't miss that exit. Continue on 395 all day. About 30 miles past Bishop exit and make a left onto CA-203 at Mammoth Lakes Junction. Remember to slow down as you go through towns! The speed limit drops rapidly from 70 to 25 and local police always patrol these areas.

Description:

150 runs, 29 lifts, 3500 acres, 3100' vertical (7953'-11053').

Mammoth is big. There's everything from beginner areas to forests to terrain parks (3) to double-black chutes down the backside of the mountain. Explore. A few years ago they added a gondola that goes straight to the village, so if you get the right condo you can walk to the lifts.

More Info:

Website: www.mammothmountain.com
Info: 1-800-MAMMOTH
Snow Report: 1-888-SNOWRPT
Reservations: 1-800-626-6684

Back to top

 

June Mountain

Highlights:

The younger sibling of Mammoth is smaller, cheaper, and less crowded. It also has some of the best (and biggest) terrain parks in the world.

Directions:

About 6 hours. Follow the directions to Mammoth, but continue North on the 395 20 miles further until you come to June Lake Loop (CA-158). Make a left and follow that into town. The slopes are just past town on Main St.

Description:

50 runs, 8 lifts, 500 acres, 2590' vertical (7545'-10135').

Don't let the numbers fool you. This place may be smaller than Mammoth, but it's bigger than anything in SoCal. Longest run is 2.5 miles. They pride themselves on having some of the largest jumps and pipes anywhere (groomed nightly), and you can catch pros and semi-pro's on the slopes when they open up a new park. The CalState winter games were held here in 2004. The easiest way down to the parking lot is a blue ("intermediate") run, but even first-time skiers have had a great time here on past trips.

Mammoth tickets and season passes are also good here.

More Info:

Website: www.junemountain.com
Snow Report: 1-888-SNOWRPT
Reservations: 1-888-JUNE-MTN

Back to top

 

Tahoe

Highlights:

The Tahoe area is home to many world-famous ski resorts, including Alpine Meadows, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Northstar, Squaw Valley, and others.

Directions:

About 8 hours. The quickest way is to take I-210 West to I-5 North to Sacramento, then I-80 East to Tahoe. You can also take CA-395 North the whole way from Bishop (start with the Mammoth directions above), but this road is subject to closure after winter storms and takes over 9 hours (5 from Bishop).

Description:

There are too many resorts to describe in detail here, but check the websites below for more info.

More Info:

Ski Lake Tahoe
Tahoe's Best: Skiing

Back to top

 

Guide Home
Introduction
Notes About the Guide
Credits

Destinations
Introduction
Anza Borrego Desert
Chocolate Mountains/Colorado River
Death Valley
East Side Sierras
Joshua Tree National Park
Mountain Home State Park
Mt. Whitney
Sequoia & Kings Canyon
Sespe Wilderness/Hot Springs
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park

Hiking
Introduction
Bear Creek
Cajon Pass
Cucamonga Canyon
Deep Creek Hot Springs
Grass Mountain
Ice House Canyon
Iron Mountain via Hwy. 39
Iron Mountain via Mt. Baldy
Mt. Baldy via Bear Flats
Mt. Baldy via Devil's Backbone
Mt. Baldy via Sierra Club Cabin
Ontario & Bighorn Peaks
San Gorgonio
Sunset Peak
Tahquitz Peak

Backpacking
Introduction
Bridge to Nowhere
Devil's Punchbowl Loop
Icehouse Canyon
Fishbowls Swimming Holes
Mt. Lowe Front Country Loop
Mt.San Gorgonio Dry Lake and Dollar Lake Loop
Bridge to Nowhere

Climbing
Introduction
Apple Valley
Big Rock
Corona Del Mar
Devil's Punchbowl
Joshua Tree
Point Dume
Red Rocks
Stoney Point
Suicide Rock
Tahquitz Climbing
The Falls
Williamson

Skiing
Introduction
Mount Baldy
Mountain High
Big Bear / Snow Summit
Snow Valley
Mammoth
June Mountain
Tahoe

Biking
Introduction
Cleveland National Forest
Sunset Peak
San Gabriel Foothills

Maps

Equipment