The Best Skiing in California

Looking for the best skiing in California? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around California. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top skiing spots in and near California

  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Ski and Snowboard Mammoth

    5.0
    At 11,053 feet, Mammoth boasts the highest summit of any California resort, making for deeper, higher quality snow, beautiful views and a season that can last until July. And with 3,500 skiable acres, 400 inches of snowfall and an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, we enjoy re-earning our...
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  • McCloud, California

    Mt. Shasta via Clear Creek Route

    11.43 mi / 7615 ft gain
    The least technical route to the summit of Mt Shasta begins at the Clear Creek Trailhead (elevation 6390 ft). Please note that although this is a less technical route, this is still dangerous and there have been deaths on Mt. Shasta because of falling rock. To start this, you should be a good hik...
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  • Mono County, California

    Leavitt Lake in Stanislaus National Forest

    4.0
    3 mi
    Situated on the eastern edge of Emigrant Wilderness, Leavitt Lake is a great introduction to backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. Leavitt Lake is located at the end of Forest Service Route 077 off of Highway 108. It is actually possible to drive to Leavitt Lake, but a high clearance vehicle is requi...
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  • Twin Bridges, California

    Hike Pyramid Peak via Rocky Canyon

    5.0
    7.4 mi / 4100 ft gain
    Pyramid Peak is the tallest peak in the Crystal Range and the Desolation Wilderness, just west of Lake Tahoe. On a clear day it can be seen from the Bay Area over 150 miles away. Named for its distinct shape, Pyramid a massive heap of glaciated granite slabs and talus, and the Rocky Canyon route ...
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  • Truckee, California

    Ski and Snowboard Northstar

    3.0
    Northstar California, previously known as Northstar-at-Tahoe, is located near the north shore of Lake Tahoe and is home to over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain. The resort is known for its laid back atmosphere coupled with high-end luxury accommodations, shopping and dining.The resort is home to i...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Nordic Ski and Snowshoe to Glacier Point

    5.0
    21 mi
    Known for its breathtaking vistas, towering granite faces, and thundering waterfalls, Yosemite National Park truly is one of the world’s most astounding landscapes. Though the park covers nearly 1200 square miles, the vast majority of the ~4 million annual visitors spend almost all their time ar...
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  • Soda Springs, California

    Hike to the Peter Benson Hut

    5.0
    11.6 mi / 1800 ft gain
    Drive to the top of Donner Summit via the Old Hwy 40 and park at the Donner Summit PCT trailhead, just past the Sugar Bowl Academy Building. Begin hiking up-hill through a somewhat forested area for about 2 miles. Shortly after you pass the trail sign for the Mt. Judah Loop, you will come to a sm...
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  • Bridgeport, California

    Climb Matterhorn Peak via the East Couloir

    10 mi / 6000 ft gain
    Matterhorn Peak in the northeastern Yosemite Wilderness is an SPS Emblem Peak and many regard it as the beginning of the High Sierra, as there are no peaks higher to the north in the Sierra Nevada.There are many routes to the summit, but the shortest and most direct (though not easiest) begins at...
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  • Echo Lake, California

    Cross-Country Ski or Snowshoe to Ralston Peak

    5.0
    This loop is best accomplished in 2 days, spending a night at either Ralston, Tamarack, or Cagwin Lake. Although this route is similar to hiking Ralston Peak in the summer, the trails are completely covered by snow so solid navigation skills are necessary. A map is required to find the best possi...
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  • Shaver Lake, California

    Camp at Bretz Mill Campground

    4.0
    / 3286 ft gain
    Bretz Mill Campground is truly one of a kind - no fee, open year round, first come, first serve. This is a wonderful campground is an oasis for those seeking to picnic, cool off during hot summer days, or explore snowy trails. This is also a great place to spend the night when many campgrounds at...
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  • Lone Pine, California

    Hike to The Tuttle Creek Ashram

    4.3
    3 mi / 1500 ft gain
    The Tuttle Creek Ashram is an abandoned stone building, "church" or place of enlightenment tucked away in the beautiful Eastern Sierra. Sitting at an elevation around 8000 feet, construction on the beautiful building was first started in 1928. The building took 20 years of hard manual labor to fi...
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  • Tahoe City, California

    Ride Twin Peaks in Lake Tahoe's Backcountry

    This trip is best done in two days with an approach day and then a descent day. Get started at the base of the Sherwood Chair on the backside of the Alpine ski area. Head up, outside of the ski area boundary toward the high ridge.Once on the ridge, you follow it south for a few miles until reachi...
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  • Tahoe City, California

    Camp at William Kent Campground

    / 6282 ft gain
    William Kent Campground is a few miles south of Tahoe City on Lake Tahoe's western shore. Access to the lake is just a short walk from the campground. The campground provides bathrooms, campfire rings, a trash dump station, firewood vendor, grills, picnic tables, and food storage lockers. Pets ar...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Cross-Country Ski to the Ostrander Ski Hut

    Start your trip from the Badger Pass ski area. The Glacier point road is closed past here, and you'll spend your first couple of miles skiing mostly downhill to the Bridalveil Falls trailhead.The Bridelveil Creek trail gains slightly less elevation but is less scenic and longer than the more popu...
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  • Siskiyou County, California

    Climb Mt. Shasta via the Hotlum-Bolam Ridge

    10 mi / 7200 ft gain
    The Hotlum-Bolam route follows the ridge between the Hotlum and Bolam Glaciers on Shasta's north side. It's an intermediate route that isn't much more technical than the south side routes, except for icy sections and possible late-season open crevasses. For this reason it's a popular alternative ...
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  • Truckee, California

    Cross-Country Ski to Drifter Hut

    9.6 mi / 980 ft gain
    Set out from the Tahoe Donner Cross Country center in Truckee at 6,650 feet elevation. Day passes range from $12 to $34, depending on time of day and skier age, and provide access to over 100 kilometers of groomed trails. Leaving the day lodge, there are multiple options for skiing up to Drifter ...
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