Witness a Winter Wonderland

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Chris Preovolos

Sometimes we locals crave a little chill factor to give us a glimpse of the seasons and usher us into the holiday spirit.

From snowboarding the slopes with friends to making snow angels with the kids and majestic gondola rides, DiscoverSD has your local Winter Wonderland escapes.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Mountain High: At 120 miles away, Mountain High is the closest major mountain resort to San Diego. Mountain High boasts three separate resorts with a total of 16 lifts featuring 2 high speed quads, 2 quad chairlifts, 2 triple chairlifts, 5 double chairlifts and 5 handle tows. More details.

Bear Mountain Resort: Bear Mountain is the Mecca for snowboarders and skiers in So Cal. You’ll find all levels at Bear Mountain, including 150 jumps and 57 jibs. To top it off, the Superpipe at Big Bear Mountain’s “The Park” was named number one in the nation in “Transworld Snowboarding” 2009 Resort Poll. More details.

Snow Summit: The sister resort to Bear Mountain, Snow Summit boasts one of the highest ratios of snowboarders to skiers in the world, with about 60% to 70% of visitors riding one plank instead of two. More details.

Mt. Waterman: Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Mount Waterman is So Cal’s oldest ski and snowboard lift. Located a short drive from Los Angeles, Mt. Waterman has a variety of wide open beginner and intermediate runs as well as some of the most challenging expert terrains available. More details.

Snow Valley: Located at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, the 130-mile drive is well worth the trip – Snow Valley has received 19 inches of new snow since the recent rainy ransack. With 4 lifts and 19 trails open and a packed powder surface, Snow Valley has something for every level of skier and boarder. More details.

Mt. Baldy: Dubbed as “Southern California’s Best Kept Secret,” Mt. Baldy offers all levels of skiing and boarding from the very beginner to the steepest vertical drop in Southern California. More details.

Winter Recreation

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway is constructed in rugged Chino Canyon on the north edge of Palm Springs. The tramway grants access to all sorts of snow-filled activities. More details.

Lake Arrowhead: Nestled in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest, the Lake Arrowhead resort paradise features numerous outdoor recreational activities and stunning year-round scenery and wildlife. Wintertime activities in Lake Arrowhead include a snowshoe tour hosted by the Ranger Station and Discovery Center and a variety of group-guided winter hikes. More details.

The Devil’s Punchbowl: If you love the great outdoors, why not opt for a snowy hike? The Devil's Punchbowl is a point where two earthquake faults collide, creating upwards jutting vertical walls as high as 300 feet. The three and half-hour hike takes you along the mostly shaded rim of the Punchbowl, to the dramatic Devil’s Chair which boasts a breathtaking overlook with 360 degree views of spectacular rock formations set alongside the majestic pine-covered Angeles National Forest. How to get there: head northbound on Highways I-5 and go east on CA-14 to the Pearblossom exit and CA-138 East. Continue east on CA-138 to the small town of Pearblossom.

Go the Extra Mile

Mammoth Mountain: While the drive may be a long one – six and half hours to be exact – your trip to this premium California ski resort will be well worth it. Some come for the 150 trails. Others come for the 3,100 feet of vertical. Lovers of the snow come here for the 400 inches of annual snowfall. Whatever the reason, people come to play big. More details.

Read more: DiscoverSD

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