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Where To Play In The Snow Near Los Angeles

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Los Angeles has some beautiful weather, but sometimes you need to be reminded that there are changes in the seasons other than year-round summer weather. These places are close enough to Los Angeles that you can get a taste of winter weather while still being close enough to home. So, if you're looking to have some fun and play in the snow, go skiing or snowboarding, visit these top spots around Los Angeles that are filled with snow.

big bear lake - VERIFIED Getty
(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Bear Mountain At Big Bear Lake
43101 Goldmine Dr.
Big Bear Lake
(909) 866-4607

Located 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Bear Mountain is a unique mountain resort surrounded by the beautiful San Bernardino National Forest. Located within Big Bear Lake, Bear Mountain is one of two of the most popular destinations for those looking to go skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sledding, or just have some good old fun in the powdery snow. Whether you're an avid skier, a new snowboarder, or just want to have fun for the day, Bear Mountain in Big Bear has plenty of options for you. This destination has half-pipes for snowboarders, as well as 748 permitted acres of places to take on the snow. Bear Mountain is also home to one of the largest areas for those looking to learn to ski or snowboard as well. With certified and professional instructors, Bear Mountain makes it easy and fun to get going on a snowboard or on skis. After a cold day in the snow, there are also plenty of dining options to grab a hot cup of cocoa, or eat some tasty food. Altitude ranges here from around 6,750 to 9,000 ft. and the area boasts around 300 days of sunshine a year with semi-moderate temperatures during winter.

big bear lake mountain
(credit: Eiko Tsuchiya/shutterstock)

Snow Summit At Big Bear Lake
880 Summit Blvd
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-4607

Snow Summit, which is also located by Big Bear Lake and is a sister resort to Bear Mountain, is a short ride from Los Angeles and offers one of the larger areas for skiing and snowboarding in Southern California. With a stunning view of Big Bear Lake, Snow Summit is one of the most popular areas for snow sports, and for those looking to enjoy the beauty of the snow. With over 240 acres of skiable terrain, and 31 trails, Snow Summit is considered to be one of the most dependable and reliable spots to visit if you're looking for snow as well. They even have a state of the art snowmaking system if they need to pack some more snow in. It's a great destination for those who are experienced, as well as for those who want to learn. With one of the largest learning areas in Southern California and a new facility for first timers, Snow Summit is a popular for those who are new and want to be taught by experienced professionals. They also offer a tube park, family-friendly eateries, and much more.

(credit: Snow Valley Mountain Resort)

Snow Valley Mountain Resort
35100 CA-18
Running Springs, CA 92382
(909) 867-2751

With snowfall estimated at around 12 feet during winter, Snow Valley Mountain Resort is a prime option for Angelenos looking for some fun in the snow. Located in Running Springs, it is the oldest operating ski resort in Southern California and is one of four top resorts in the San Bernardino National Forest. Drive just two hours on the I-210 to get there, and once there, enjoy a haven for those that love the snow. Giving Angelenos a chance to experience a true winter all season long, Snow Valley offers learning lessons for children for both skiing and snowboarding, as well as a snow play area for kids. For adults, there are plenty of trails to ski down, too. The highest peak is at an elevation of 7,841 feet, and the ski resort offers plenty of trail types for all experience levels on its 240 acres of skiable area.

Mountain High - VERIFIED
(credit: Mountain High)

Mountain High
24510 State Highway 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(888) 754-7878

About an hour drive from Los Angeles, Mountain High is a snowy ski resort nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains. Comprised of 3 resorts, this snowy oasis offers a variety of lifts and terrains to appeal to any type of ability level. With its close proximity to L.A., you can ski, snowboard and snow tube at this great resort and head back home when you're done in the same day! Aside from skiing, snowboarding and tubing, the resort area offers sightseeing, shopping, dining and more. The resort is also home to an acclaimed Children's Academy for kids to learn how to snowboard or ski, as well as a virtual snow indoor training simulator. And, if you head to the North Resort, you can take part in the North Pole Tubing Park, which features 10 tubing lanes and custom tubes.

snow trees
(credit: Gurcharan Singh/shutterstock)

25225 Highway 243
Idyllwild, CA 92549

This little mountain town nestled in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park has something for everyone. From snow for the kids to play around in to cute bed and breakfasts for the family to stay overnight and great restaurants for mom and dad, its a peaceful and idyllic (no pun intended) place to get around and enjoy the winter weather. Idyllwild has no skiing, so it doesn't get as crowded as some mountain spots, but there are hiking trails and rock climbing which are breathtaking.

Mt Baldy
(credit: Naaman Abreu/shutterstock)

Mt. Baldy
8401 Mt Baldy Rd
Mt Baldy, CA 91759
(909) 982-0800

When it's snowing on Mt. Baldy you can see it from most of the greater Los Angeles area due to its close proximity. That means it won't take you too long to get there, although you'll feel like you're on a fabulous ski vacation that is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles proper. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, there is plenty of fun to be had in the snow, including tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and more. This destination is also great for kids, as there are ski school lessons. And, just because it's close doesn't mean it's not exciting. Mt. Baldy is home to the steepest vertical drop in Southern California.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
(credit: City of Angels/shutterstock)

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tramway Rd.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(888) 515-8726

Palm Springs evokes images of palm trees and cocktails, not snow and hot chocolate. But, winter weather is just a tram ride away. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway starts at the Valley Station and travels more than 5,800 feet up to Mountain Station in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. There's plenty to do once you're at the top, including sledding, having a snowball fight, going skiing or building snowmen. You can also rent cross-country skis and snowshoes for further explorations for the adults. If it's possible to make it to through the Desert View Trail, check out the view from 10,000 feet.

snow tubing
(credit: Alfira/shutterstock)

Frazier Mountain
3538 Mt. Pinos Way
Frazier Park, CA 93225
(661) 245-3438

If you've ever driven the Grapevine to the San Francisco area and wondered what was in that beautiful open space, its Frazier Park. Frasier Mountain is part of that area and it's a great place to take a quick day trip and play in the snow. Located right off of Interstate 5, Frazier Mountain is a broad, pine-forested peak within the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. Go tubing, sledding and jump around in this snowy oasis during the winter months.

Lake Arrowhead - VERIFIED snow
(credit: Lake Arrowhead)

Lake Arrowhead
28200 California 189
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
(909) 337-3715

Lake Arrowhead is just a few hours outside of Los Angeles and is a great place to spend a weekend playing in the snow. The lake itself is beautiful, and Lake Arrowhead Village offers a nice afternoon of shopping, eating, and hiking. There is even an outlet mall with quaint little shops, a playground for kids, festivals throughout the year, and access to day hikes. The drive should take around 2 hours and is well worth it once you enter this idyllic setting.

angeles crest national highway
(credit: Angel DiBilio/shutterstock)

Angeles Crest Highway
Eagles Roost Picnic Area
Angeles Crest Highway
(909) 866-5766

If you don't have a lot of time and just want a place to play in the snow, Angeles Crest Highway is just a short ride away from most areas of L.A. Skip the big lift ticket prices, and head to this destination just north of La Canada. The higher you go into the mountains, the more likely you'll get better snow, but one of the best spots to visit here is Eagles Roost Picnic Site. For a small parking fee, you can enjoy the snowy surroundings and even go tubing or sledding nearby.

snow tubing
(credit: Irina Rogova/shutterstock)

Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
34600 CA-18
Green Valley Lake, CA 92341
(909) 867-2640

Who doesn't love holding onto a rubber tube and sliding down a hill? If you're one of those people looking for some fun in the snow, head to SnowDrift Snow Tubing Park. As Southern California's largest and oldest tubing park, SnowDrift is great for adults and kids alike. Race down the snowy slopes with tubes designed to not only be fast but also safe. SnowDrift even offers slopes for beginners, intermediate riders and advanced riders.

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