California is one of the best states in the country to visit at any time of the year, and winter is certainly no exception. California is full of mountains and slopes for all tastes and levels, and you can experience a unique family vacation full of fellowship and physical activity.
Ultimately, you can find fantastic kid friendly snow resorts in California, as well as all-inclusive options that let you kick back and relax in the lap of luxury when you’re not zooming down a mountain.
If you and your family love hitting the slopes or enjoying the best that winter has to offer, these California ski resorts certainly fit the bill.
- The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa, South Lake Tahoe
- Heavenly Ski Resort, South Lake Tahoe
- Northstar California, Truckee
- Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes
- Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley
- Kirkwood Ski Resort, Kirkwood
- Sugar Bowl Resort, Norden
- Big Bear Mountain Resort, Big Bear Lake
- Badger Pass Ski Area, Yosemite National Park
- Mt. Shasta Ski Park, McCloud
- Mt. Baldy Resort, Mt. Baldy
- Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood
The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa, South Lake Tahoe
Address: 4104 Lakeshore Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, United States
The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa is one of the best ski resorts in California simply because of the amenities alone.
Being centrally located near the Heavenly Village, it offers you access to some of Lake Tahoe’s best skiing. Enjoy their world-class spa, exceptional dining, and live music and entertainment every night.
The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa specializes in “Alpine luxury,” which means a high level of attention to detail and fantastic hospitality.
The artfully decorated resort offers fireplaces in every room and designer showers. Many rooms even have a private balcony so that you can soak in all of the incredible scenery.
Relax with great food at Jimmy’s Restaurant, and sample their extensive wine list. The Landing Lake Tahoe Resort & Spa puts you right in the heart of all the action in a luxurious setting.
Heavenly Ski Resort, South Lake Tahoe
Address: 4080 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, United States
Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe is another fabulous option. There, the focus is on building friendships while enjoying the best that nature has to offer, making it one of the most unique and best snow resorts in California. The resort overlooks Lake Tahoe, so you’ll wake up to stunning mountain views every day.
Their helpful staff can prepare you for every aspect of your skiing adventure. Buy lift tickets and book your skiing lessons right at the resort.
They will answer any questions you might have and ensure that your trip is as seamless as possible. Additionally, this resort offers private shuttles that can take you to and from the slopes.
There are other perks, too, like exclusive access to specific slopes and discounts. Additionally, Heavenly Ski Resort is right near plenty of entertainment, craft breweries, and fantastic restaurants that you and your whole family will enjoy.
Northstar California, Truckee
Address: 5001 Northstar Dr, Truckee, CA 96161, United States
Website: Northstar California, Truckee
Northstar California in Truckee is one of the top California ski resorts in the area. Although people usually go there during the winter, you can certainly visit in the summer for a rousing game of golf with their Stay & Play package.
At Northstar California, you will be right in the middle of some great slopes, and their helpful hotel staff will direct you towards the best option for you and your family.
This resort tends to be more cost-effective than some of the other resorts on our list, making it great for budget travelers. They offer flexible booking and reservations and will go out of their way to accommodate you and your family’s needs.
The staff at Northstar California is also highly versed in mountain safety and can keep you updated on changing weather conditions or anything else you should consider.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Mammoth Lakes
Address: 10001 Minaret Road, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546
If you’re looking for excellent family snow resorts in California, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area near Mammoth Lakes fits the bill exceptionally well.
This resort has a wide variety of accommodations, including cabins, condos, rooms, and even local homes. They also offer regular deals and specials to fit your budget.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area has quintessential Californian charm, with a rustic but luxurious atmosphere. All of their accommodations come with modern amenities, and the larger ones can fit up to 14 people.
As with many of the ski resorts on our list, the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area staff can let you know which slopes are best for you and your family’s skill level. They are on hand to answer questions and give friendly advice about the mountains.
Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley
Address: 1960 Squaw Valley Rd, Olympic Valley, CA 96146, United States
Website: Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley
Palisades Tahoe is a slice of luxury in Olympic Valley.
Their well-appointed rooms have luxury amenities, and most of them have balconies so that you can soak in the beauty of your surroundings from the comfort of your room. These rooms also have fully-stocked kitchens, fireplaces, and free WiFi throughout.
Palisades Tahoe is a truly state-of-the-art resort with eight hot tubs, a 24-hour concierge and front desk service, and on-site laundry. There’s heated, underground parking on-site, a fitness room, and lockers where you can leave your belongings when you head out to the mountain.
Palisades Tahoe has a fantastic location. Their accommodations are right next to the slopes, making it ideal for families who want to make skiing the centerpiece of their California winter vacation.
Kirkwood Ski Resort, Kirkwood
Address: 1501 Kirkwood Meadows Dr, Kirkwood, CA 95646, United States
Website: Kirkwood Ski Resort, Kirkwood
Kirkwood Ski Resort has a variety of different terrain and slopes. This makes it ideal for family members with varying levels of skill. Experts can find slopes that challenge and excite them, and beginners won’t feel left out.
Since Kirkwood gets a lot of snow during the winter, you can expect the slopes to be powdery and easy to navigate, with very little ice.
Kirkwood Ski Resort is right on the mountain, within walking distance from the slopes. Their condos are rustic and cozy but have all the amenities you would expect from a luxury resort. They offer flexible booking and cancellations.
Kirkwood Ski Resort’s general store is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up your groceries or even get your Starbucks fix right away. If you don’t feel like cooking at home, the Kirkwood Inn has a fantastic menu of Californian favorites.
Sugar Bowl Resort, Norden
Address: 629 Sugar Bowl Rd, Norden, CA 95724, United States
Website: Sugar Bowl Resort, Norden
The Sugar Bowl Resort has classic European decor, so you might feel like you’re closer to Switzerland than California. This sophisticated resort is right on the mountain and sits in the middle of a quaint and charming village where you and your family will find everything you need for the vacation you’ve always dreamed of.
There’s on-site parking, plenty of dining options, access to the Sporthaus Fitness Center & Spa, and excellent hospitality and concierge service. Choose between rooms, family suites, and everything in between.
There’s also a heavy emphasis on learning about the mountain and skiing in general. The Basecamp at Village Hall is a hub of activity where you and your family can participate in workshops that teach you all about the Sierras. This element alone makes it one of the best family snow resorts in California.
Big Bear Mountain Resort, Big Bear Lake
Address: 880 Summit Blvd./PO Box 77, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Big Bear Mountain Resort is an ideal place to take young children interested in learning how to ski. If your child is five or older, they can take ski or snowboarding lessons at the Snow Summit Adventure Academy. Your children will learn from seasoned ski professionals and have a blast exploring some of the more accessible trails on Big Bear Mountain.
Big Bear Mountain Resort’s main objective is to get you out on the mountain as quickly and safely as possible. Their concierge service is excellent and can help you set up lessons, buy lift tickets, and purchase season passes.
Badger Pass Ski Area, Yosemite National Park
Address: 7082 Glacier Point Rd, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389, United States
Badger Pass Ski Area is located in Yosemite National Park and caters to families who want downhill and cross-country skiing. There are many safe, accessible, and fun nearby trails for trekking and skiing, as well as multiple runs for those who prefer the downhill variety. There’s even a family tubing area.
One of the most exciting aspects of Badger Pass Ski Area is that they offer unique excursions. Their guides can take you to Glacier Point and Glacier Point Backcountry or even go with you on overnight trips into the wilderness. If you’re looking for a complete and immersive winter vacation, you should seriously consider this option.
Mt. Shasta Ski Park, McCloud
Address: 4500 Ski Park Hwy, McCloud, CA 96057, United States
Website: Mt. Shasta Ski Park, McCloud
Mt. Shasta Ski Park in McCloud offers visitors various accommodation options, all with a phenomenal view of Mt. Shasta. There are hotel rooms or camping options if you prefer roughing it. The ski park has an on-site cafe, live music, fire pits, and everything that you need to get set up for your perfect day on the slopes.
If you have a larger family, you can always opt for a chalet. Their chalets have fully-stocked kitchens, dining rooms, decks, living rooms, and fireplaces. They come with WiFi too.
Additionally, staying at Mt. Shasta Ski Park has other benefits – you can get discounts on local restaurants and spas.
Mt. Baldy Resort, Mt. Baldy
Address: 8401 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759, United States
Website: Mt. Baldy Resort, Mt. Baldy
Mt. Baldy Resort is close to the Cucamonga Wilderness area and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
This family destination attracts skiers from all over the world, mainly because of the heavy snowfall and terrain variety. If you’re in the mood for a winter hike or expedition, Mt. Baldy Resort is a fantastic home base. Their helpful concierge staff can put together a plan for you.
Aside from the great skiing, their resort staff can take you on moonlight hikes, or you can try your hand at zip-lining. Mt. Baldy Resort is only about fifteen minutes away from the slopes, and there’s plenty of fine dining right nearby.
The Top of the Notch Restaurant is a local favorite where you can dine at 7,800 feet above sea level. Needless to say, the views are spectacular.
Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood
Address: 24510 CA-2, Wrightwood, CA 92397, United States
Website: Mountain High Resort, Wrightwood
The Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood is 90 minutes away from Los Angeles and is one of California’s mega-resorts with plenty of snowboarding, skiing, tubing, and sports. It’s a dizzying 8,200 feet above sea level, so guests enjoy incredible views and pristine scenery when they stay there.
At Mountain High Resort, you can choose between nine restaurants. No matter how picky the eaters in your family are, you’re bound to find something that pleases every palate at this resort. Similarly, if you’re looking for a ski vacation with the option to do other winter sports, Mountain High Resort is an excellent pick.
California has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the nation, and with resorts that fit every style and budget, you’re bound to find something that suits your family.
If you want to take your family on the winter vacation of a lifetime, think California – no matter which resort you choose, you’re bound to have an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
More about our TFVG Author
Karly is a The Family Vacation Guide guest travel contributor.