California ski resorts are numerous and range from amazing Lake Tahoe destinations to Mt Shasta and more. If you were to pose the question 'what is the best ski resort in California?' a lively debate would surely develop. How do you choose between Heavenly, Lake Tahoe and Mammoth? In truth, there is a ski resort in California suitable for every type of skier and for every California ski vacation preference. So how do you decide where to go? A number of factors should be considered.
What parts of California are you interested in visiting? Are you looking for a family oriented ski resort in California, or an area suitable for singles? What types of terrain do you enjoy skiing or riding, and what do you want out of your California ski vacation?
With its 360 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine, snow-sliders will be in heaven at the Heavenly Ski Resort Lake Tahoe. This splendidly versatile California ski resort is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range at Monument Peak. Straddling the state line between California and Nevada, a vacation at the Heavenly Ski Resort Lake Tahoe gives you the exciting experience of skiing from one state to the other. Heavenly has 17 lifts in California and 12 lifts in Nevada.
Even with an average of 360 inches of snow, the Heavenly Ski Resort Lake Tahoe still has one of the most extensive snowmaking systems in the United States. With 4,800 acres of terrain, Heavenly is one of North America's largest ski areas. Your entire family will love the Heavenly Ski Resort Lake Tahoe. Their day care and kids programs will keep everybody happy!
Ski Resorts in California
While Heavenly is, well heavenly, as long as you are in the Lake Tahoe area, you may as well visit another ski resort in Lake Tahoe. Beginner and intermediate skiers and riders who are looking for a ski resort in Lake Tahoe should consider Squaw Valley. Seventy percent of the Squaw Valley terrain consists of wide open groomed runs that are suitable for cruising. However, there is also a good deal of ungroomed advanced terrain. If you hate lift lines, Squaw Valley might be the best ski resort in Lake Tahoe to visit, since Squaw has the most extensive network of lifts in the world!
If you have a good tolerance for altitude, at 7,800 feet, Kirkwood has a higher base elevation than any ski resort in Lake Tahoe. The 2,000 foot vertical drop will be a thrill for all skiers and riders, and the 529 inches of snow is sure to please all of its visitors. Kirkwood has 12 lifts and 2,300 acres of skiable terrain.
If you have already skied or rode the Lake Tahoe ski resorts, and are looking for a different experience, plan a trip to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort in the Sierra Nevada. Not only does this mountain have California's highest elevation, Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort also has the longest ski season. This is a mountain where you will never get bored. Mammoth has 3500 skiable acres, 3100 vertical feet and 150 trails. The Mammoth Mountain Ski resort has 31 lifts, which include four high speed quads, four quads, seven triples, 12 doubles, two gondolas, one T-Bar and one Poma. Snowboarders will love the Olympic-size Super Pipe. If you are looking for a mammoth skiing or riding experience, visit the Mammoth Mountain Ski resort.
Top image: North Lake Tahoe/Jeff Dow