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3 Iconic Places to Snowboard and Ski in California

A list and breakdown of three spots you don't want to pass this season.
It's time to head to the snow for that fresh pow. Dust off your snowboard and skis, we've curated a list of three snowboarding and skiing spots you won't want to miss this season and included a breakdown of each to help you plan the best trip!

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Mammoth Lakes

Mammoth Mountain

What is Mammoth Mountain?

Mammoth Mountain is located six hours east of San Francisco and a five and a half hour drive north of Los Angeles. It is 11,053 feet above sea level and was once an active volcano, erupting just over 100,000 years ago. In the 1800s, Mammoth received its name from the mining culture at the time. The name was used as a marketing scheme to get people to come see the abundance of 'mammoth riches'. As many believe, Mammoth is not named after the wooly mammoth.

Dave McCoy was the first to recognize the area of Mammoth as sufficient for skiing. He was officially permitted to open the area for skiing in 1953 and built the first ski lift in 1955. Fast forward to 68 years later, and Mammoth is now California's highest lift-served resort, getting over 1 million snowboarders and skiers a season.

How much are lift tickets in Mammoth?

The Ski Lift prices vary day to day, and month to month. There are different prices depending on the age of the skier or snowboarder, and how many days you plan to be out on the mountain. From the youngest rider to the oldest a ticket can vary between $114-$300. For a more precise price we recommend going to their website.
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Are there any discounts in Mammoth?

  • Have you thought of booking ahead? Book before November 13th you can save anything from $60 to 50% off various packs, which include lift and lodging.
  • Have you heard of June Mountain? Your Mammoth lift tickets are valid same-day at June Mountain. June Mountain is located 20 minutes north and is usually less crowded.
  • Do you have a friend or family member with an IKON pass? They are able to purchase 8-10(depending on their pass), discounted lift tickets for friends and family at 25% off each.
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South Lake Tahoe


What is Heavenly?

Heavenly is a mountain resort based in South Lake Tahoe. It is the highest mountain resort in Tahoe and spans across California and Nevada. The California side opened in 1955, and the Nevada side opened in 1968. It was founded by Chris Kuraisa in partnership with Rudy and Trudy Gersick. The name Heavenly stems from historical documents that listed the area as Heavenly Valley due to the luscious landscape. Today Heavenly is still known for it's scenic slopes, and robust snowmaking.

How much are lift tickets in Heavenly?

Lift ticket pricing will vary day to day, by age and if you are purchasing a single, double or multiple day ticket. From the youngest rider to the oldest a single day ticket can vary between $117-$260. For a more precise price we recommend going to their website.
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Are there any discounts in Heavenly?

  • Have you thought of purchasing your lift ticket online? You can save up to $50 by purchasing your lift ticket online versus purchasing it day of.
  • Have you heard of the Epic or Tahoe pass? These passes include discounted packaged deal rates from the ski lift, to the resort, and include buddy passes that can get your friends without an epic pass a discounted lift ticket rate. Each pass varies on the amount of locations you can travel to, and blocked dates.
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Big Bear Lake

Bear Mountain

What is Big Bear?

Big Bear is located in Southern California and is a three hour drive from Los Angeles and a four hour drive from San Diego. The name 'Big Bear' stems from the immense amount of grizzly bears that used to be prevalent in the area. Due to the grizzly bear's mass extinction in Southern California, there are now only black bears in Big Bear.

People began making their way up Big Bear mountain to ski in the 1940's and through the years various skiing companies operated in Big Bear. Big Bear Mountain resort was officially established in 2002 and has grown since. Today Big Bear is known for being a year round recreational oasis, and having the highest lift-served peak in Southern California.

How much are lift tickets in Big Bear?

Big Bear offers decently priced lift tickets. Similar to other resorts, pricing varies day to day, and by age. You can purchase a lift ticket anywhere from $99-$169. For the best pricing estimate we recommend going to their website.

There is also an option to purchase a full day ticket, second session ticket (valid noon-6PM on select dates) or a night session ticket (valid 3:30-8:30PM on select dates).
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Are there any discounts in Big Bear?

  • Have you thought of purchasing your ticket online? If you purchase your lift ticket online versus day-of you can save up to $50.
  • Are you an active duty or retired military personnel or family member of one? Big Bear offers a military discount of 25% off year round.
  • Do you have a Saturday rental reservation? If so, you qualify for a free Friday night session ticket.
  • Is your birthday this winter? A free birthday lift ticket is redeemable on your legal date of birth.
  • Did you know Big Bear has season passes? There are four different passes to choose from with varying benefits. IKON Pass is also accepted in Big Bear.
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Each spot has it's pros and cons and each skier or snowboarder may prefer one over the other. Mammoth, Heavenly and Bear Mountain majorly defer in the amount of runs and levels they offer. But, if there is one thing each spot has in common, it's that you will have a great time!

*The diagram below gives a breakdown of each spot.
The amount of green, blue, black diamond, and double black diamond runs at Mammoth, Heavenly and Big Bear Mountain.

Looking for new gear this winter?

Check out the SANDMARC TriMag Goggles, with an included three lens magnetic system to handle sunny and cloudy conditions in your adventures.