If you think googling ‘snow near me’ in Southern California is an oxymoron—think again! You don’t have to leave Southern California to play in real snow with these nearby winter wonderlands the whole family will enjoy
While planning your winter bucket list of activities in Los Angeles, you might be thinking about your favorite local holiday celebrations or which spot you should go to pick out your perfect Christmas tree. And while playing in Southern California snow doesn’t typically rank high on the list in this sunny region, thanks to some pre-winter storms, California mountains are covered in snow—making for some early openings for our local mountain resorts. Whether you’re a new or avid skier, a thrill-seeking snowboarder, into sledding or just want to make some snowballs making and throw them, this is the season to go have fun with the frozen stuff—even in SoCal.
1. Snow Play at Big Bear Mountain Resort
Just two hours away from DTLA (well, sans traffic), you'll find Big Bear Mountain Resort (BBMR) which is now open and has Los Angeles skiing down to a science thanks to loads of snowmaking taking place over the past few weeks. If you've been hankering to get the family up on skis or a snowboard, this is the place to do it—we especially love their advance reservations for tickets, gear, and lessons—saving you from waiting in line and a ton of time in the process. For those not quite ready to feel the need for ski or snowboard speed, head to Grizzly Ridge Tube Park, located at Snow Summit. There you'll find a magic carpet ride that takes you to the top and you can choose one of three 300-foot tubing lanes. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance.
Dates: Now-Apr. 2
Cost: $44-$59/day pass
880 Summit Blvd.
Big Bear Lake
2. Snow Play at Mammoth Lakes
Of course, we have a whole article on how to take your kids skiing at Mammoth but this mountain town offers more than just ski resorts near Los Angeles. Head to Woolly’s Tube Park for thrilling sled rides everyone will enjoy. For those 42” and smaller who aren’t tall enough to enjoy the ride, Woolly’s has a fun snow park area and heated deck serving up hot cocoa and adult beverages.
Dates: Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, 9-11, Dec. 16-Apr. 9
Cost: $40-$55/two-hour tubing session
Woolly's Tube Park & Snow Play
9000 Minaret Rd.
3. Snow Play at Mountain High Resort
Wouldn’t it be groovy to spend less time on the road and more time playing in the snow? Located just an hour and a half away from DTLA, Mountain High is the perfect place to get away for a fun day of skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. With an incredible snow system that covers 80 percent of the mountain, the resort strives to make the very best conditions consistently possible for its visitors. First-time skiers and snowboarders (or ones just looking to brush up on their skills) can take advantage of lessons from a wide variety of highly experienced instructors.
Is tubing more your jam? Then check out Yeti's Snow Play—the all-day tickets will grant you access to tubing, sledding, snow play, and scenic sky chairs on Mountain High Resort, plus access to all the food and retail shops on the mountain, tables with fire pits, photo ops with Yeti himself and free parking. Make sure to check out the height restrictions before you go.
Dates: Mountain High is now open; Yeti's Snow Play opens Nov. 25
Cost: $30-$79/all day tickets to Yeti's Snow Play
Mountain High Resort
24510 State Hwy. 2
4. Snow Play at Snow Valley Mountain Resort
Snow Valley, conveniently located in Running Springs, just 30 minutes from the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, is a super welcoming resort for a day of powdery fun. The resort features SoCal’s only chairlift-serviced sledding area (making it one of the best sledding near LA) and some of the longest runs in the region, making it the perfect place for kids (young and old) to sled to their heart’s content. Snow Valley also features award-winning ski and snowboarding lessons (both half-day and full) for all skill levels. Night skiing is also offered until 8 p.m. most days, weather permitting.
Dates: Opens Nov. 23
Cost: $129-$184 for kid's ski lessons
Snow Valley Mountain Resort
5. Snow Play at Mt. Baldy
Located just 52 miles outside of DTLA, it’s the perfect way to work in some snow play without much road time. The mountain features four chair lifts that provide access to skiing and snowboarding on a wide variety of terrain. For tubing, take the Sugar Pine Chairlift to the Top of the Notch recreation area for snow play at 7,800 feet above sea level. Purchase three-hour tubing sessions (inner tubes and hard shells are provided) and when everyone is finished (and famished), head to the restaurant on site for some burgers and unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains.
Dates: Opens Nov. 24. for weekends through Apr. 30.
Cost: $71 for all-day snow play
8401 Mt. Baldy Rd.
6. Snow Play at Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain
With five runs, a deep snowpack, and a covered magic carpet to take you up the hill, Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain is a swell place to spend the day frolicking in the powder. Evening tubing sessions are available as well. Want to create your own Cool Runnings moment? Check out the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain for an authentic bobsledding experience year-round.
Dates: Now through spring
Cost: $40/person; $25/child
Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain
800 Wild Rose Ln.
Big Bear Lake
7. Snow Play at Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
For the best snow tubing near me, head up to a little known spot, tucked away in the San Bernardino National Forest near Lake Arrowhead, Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park, SoCal’s oldest and largest snowtubing park. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs are available to riders so there’s definitely something for everyone in the family. Hours are subject to change due to weather and road conditions so be sure to call ahead and check with the park before you head out there.
Insider Tip: This spot only accepts cash but they do have an ATM
Cost: $20/person, per hour; $10 parking
Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park
34600 Hwy. 18
8. Snow Play at Mount San Jacinto Park
Easily accessible from Palm Springs, this snowy mountain top is only a short ride up the mountain. Take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (the world's largest rotating tram car and not for the faint of heart), up and away to the top of Mount San Jacinto Park. Once you reach the top, you can do everything from go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to sledding and snow camping. There are also two restaurants at the top in case you get hungry.
Dates: Open year-round; Snow is dependent on weather
Cost: $30/adults, $18/children (ages 3-10)
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
1 Tram Way