Californians like to brag about how we can go from sunny beach to snowy mountain in the very same day. Boasting aside, it's the truth! When winter comes most of us here in the San Francisco Bay Area are just a few hours away from the nearest ski slope.
Here are some places to ski in California and tips for planning a ski or snowboard vacation.
Where to Go Skiing Near Northern California
The three closest ski regions to Northern California are the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains/Yosemite, South Lake Tahoe California, and North Lake Tahoe/Reno, Nevada.
As the crow flies, popular Southern California ski resort Mammoth Mountain is just as far from San Jose as North Lake Tahoe, but winter road closures mean you would have to go around the sierras, a trip that would tack on a few more hours. It's usually easiest to fly to Mammoth from Northern California.
In California, ski conditions and snow cover vary greatly from day to day, so be sure to check conditions before you leave.
Driving Distances to California Ski Resorts:
Here are the driving distances to the nearest California and Nevada ski resorts. The given distances were mapped from Downtown San Jose to the resort, mid-day on a week-day. Drive times vary, be sure to map it from your starting location.
- Dodge Ridge Ski Resort – Pinecrest, CA (3 hr 8 min, 161 miles)
- Boreal Mountain Resort – Soda Springs, CA (3 hr 26 min, 209 miles)
- Donner Ski Ranch – Norden, CA (3 hr 28 min, 210 miles)
- Bear Valley Mountain – Bear Valley, CA (3 hr 29 min, 180 miles)
- Sugar Bowl Resort – Norden, CA (3 hr 30 min, 211 miles)
- Kirkwood Mountain Resort – Kirkwood, CA (3 hr 30 min, 180 miles)
- Sierra-at-Tahoe – Twin Bridges, CA (3 hr 32 min, 209 miles)
- Northstar – Truckee, CA (3 hr 43 min, 226 miles)
- Squaw Valley – Olympic Valley, CA (3 hr 48 min, 228 miles)
- Heavenly Mountain Resort – South Lake Tahoe, CA (3 hr 51 min, 222 miles)
- China Peak Mountain Resort – Fresno, CA (3 hr 54 min, 201 miles)
- Homewood Mountain Resort – Homewood, CA (4 hr, 237 miles)
- Badger Pass Ski Area – Yosemite National Park, CA (4 hr 4 min, 201 miles)
- Diamond Peak Ski Resort – Incline Village, NV (4 hr 8 min, 240 miles)
- Mount Rose Ski Tahoe – Reno, NV (4 hr 8 min, 247 miles)
Options for Flying to Lake Tahoe:
San Jose (SJC) to Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO):
120 daily flights. It's a thirty to sixty minute drive to North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, CA resorts and one hour and 15-minute drive to South Lake Tahoe resorts.
San Jose (SJC) or San Francisco (SFO) to Sacramento International Airport (SMF):
145 nonstop flights. It's a two-hour drive to the South Lake Tahoe resorts.
Options for Flying to Mammoth Lakes:
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH): One daily nonstop flight on Delta. It's a ten-minute drive from the airport to the town of Mammoth Lakes.