Ski resorts on the West Coast offer over 1,300 miles of slopes on majestic mountain ranges. When winter comes, crowds descend on the mountain regions of states, such as California, Oregon, and Washington for skiing and snowboarding during the day.

    The more adventurous can tackle cross-country ski trails and terrain parks, while tubing hills offer thrilling fun for families. After a day on the ski runs, you can unwind in après-ski hot springs and lounges. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the best ski resorts in the Pacific States have got you covered.

    1

    South Lake Tahoe, CA

    A cobalt-blue lake against the snowy Sierra Nevada

    South Lake Tahoe has plenty of world-class ski resorts on Stateline’s California side and luxurious casinos on the Nevada side. The Heavenly Ski Resort spans 4,800 acres of skiable terrain, with excellent views of Lake Tahoe’s cobalt-blue water. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy around 97 runs, which are serviced by around 30 chairlifts.

    Families and novice skiers can practice their moves at terrain parks and a tubing hill. The Heavenly gondola can take you to several ski areas within South Lake Tahoe, including Tamarack Lodge and Adventure Peak. Sierra-at-Tahoe offers around 46 trails and family-friendly terrain parks across 2,000 acres.

    Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

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    2

    Wenatchee-Leavenworth, WA

    Head to Stevens Pass for 1,125 acres of skiable terrain

    Wenatchee-Leavenworth offers excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities, usually from late November through early March. The Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort lies on the Cascade Mountains’ eastern side, about 12 miles from Wenatchee. It occupies a 2,000-acre basin, with 36 designated runs and a 2,250-ft vertical drop.

    The Stevens Pass Ski Area has a base elevation of 4,061 ft, with 37 major runs across a 1,125-acre terrain. During peak season, you can enjoy night skiing along floodlit trails between 4 pm and 10 pm. Great for intermediate and expert skiers, the Leavenworth Golf Course offers 5 miles of groomed trails in moderately challenging terrain.

    Location: WA 98801, USA

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    3

    Yosemite East – Mammoth Lakes, CA

    Miles of scenic trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing

    Mammoth Lakes is a vibrant town backed by the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Wintertime draws skiers of all levels to the Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski areas, both of which offer some of the best trails in Yosemite.

    The 11,053-ft-high Mammoth Mountain offers around 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, with a 3,100-ft vertical drop. It has around 150 designated runs, the longest of which spans 3 miles. Visit the award-winning Unbound Terrain parks to see extreme snowboarders and skiers at practice. Located southeast of Yosemite National Park, June Mountain has 1,500-acres of terrain, featuring wide-open trails that are suitable for beginners. Best of all, children 12 years old and below get to ski for free.

    Location: Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, USA

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    4

    Squaw Valley, CA

    The host of the 1960 Winter Olympics

    Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960 and has since been one of the best places to go skiing in the West Coast. Combined with sister resort Alpine Meadows, this European-inspired village has more than 270 trails across 6,200 acres of skiable terrain.

    End the day with an après ski at High Camp, accessible via a 10-minute tram ride from The Village at Squaw Valley. Located 8,200 ft above sea level, it has a hot tub and pool overlooking the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley.

    Location: Olympic Valley, CA 96146, USA

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    photo by Eric Gunderson (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    San Bernardino, CA

    World-class ski resorts northeast of Los Angeles

    San Bernardino has excellent ski resorts that are within a 3-hour drive from Los Angeles. Located in the San Bernardino National Forest, the slopes in and around Snow Valley Mountain Resort are great for tobogganing, snowboarding, and skiing. Along with 29 ski runs across a 240-acre terrain, you can enjoy 1 mile of intermediate to advanced rails and boxes at the Edge terrain park.

    Consisting of Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, the Big Bear Mountain Resort has over 55 runs (mostly beginner and intermediate) across 438 acres, which are serviced by around 26 lifts. It also offers 5 terrain parks for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels to practise their moves.

    Location: CA 92305, USA

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    Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveler

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