Activities & Adventure 5 MINS READ

The 5 Best Places To Go Skiing Near San Francisco, California

The 5 Best Places To Go Skiing Near San Francisco, California

Activities & Adventure 5 MINS READ
Three people on a ski lift in a snowy ski resort.

You don’t need to travel far from San Francisco to enjoy some of the best skiing in the country. Near the Bay Area, you’ll find a range of stellar resorts known for their world-class terrains — suitable for all experience levels — and top-notch amenities.

Whether you’re seeking to indulge in adrenaline-filled winter sports like skiing or snowboarding or enjoy gentler activities such as ice skating, you’re sure to find the perfect resort to do so near San Francisco.

Ready to hit the slopes? Then read on to discover the 6 best ski resorts near San Francisco.

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Places To Go Skiing Near San Francisco, California

Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, Pinecrest

Three people on a ski lift in a snowy ski resort.

Located north of Yosemite National Park, Dodge Ridge Ski Resort is the closest ski resort to the San Francisco Bay Area (mileage-wise). The resort boasts about 800 acres of ski areas, that of which 20 percent is designated for beginners, while 40 percent is for intermediate skiers—the remaining 40 percent is challenging terrain for experienced skiers.

The winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 2,011 and 2,499 m, and aside from enjoying beginner to expert skiing/snowboarding, visitors can also take lessons from pros, or simply relax in one of the lodges available.

Address: 1 Dodge Ridge Rd, Pinecrest

Distance From San Francisco: 3h2

Recommended Read: The Top 8 Health Benefits Of Skiing

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Norden

Two people happily skiing.

Nestled in the North Lake Tahoe area, atop Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is loved by local skiers and snowboarders love it thanks to its accessible size, smaller crowds, and more affordable prices compared to other massive resorts.

One of the oldest ski resorts in California, Sugar Bowl offers diverse terrain and has more than 1,500 acres to ski. The resort also features 4 massive peaks and 103 trails, and it’s one of the few places you can go cross-country skiing near San Francisco.

Want to get your heart racing? Then ski the resort’s longest trail, which is 3 miles long and runs from Crowley’s off of Mt. Lincoln.

Address: 629 Sugar Bowl Rd, Norden

Distance From San Francisco: 2h50

Recommended Read: How to Plan the Ultimate Ski Trip

Bear Valley Resort, Bear Valley

Young woman happily skiing.

The Bear Valley Resort is a family-friendly escape located in the scenic Central Sierra Mountains. It boasts a mid-sized ski mountain that averages over 30 feet (9 meters) of snow annually and features 67 runs, 1900 vertical feet, 10 lifts, and a beginner carpet lift. About a quarter of the slopes are suitable for beginner skiers and snowboarders.

Perfect to be visited all year round, the resort also treats guests to a variety of fun-filled activities during the summer, including hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and rock climbing

Travelers can opt to stay at the cozy Bear Valley Lodge down in the village or up at the resort in one of their seasonal Glamping Tents!

Address: 2280 State Rte 207, Bear Valley

Distance From San Francisco: From San Francisco, you might be able to get to Bear Valley in 2 hours 45 minutes

Recommended Read: 9 Affordable US Ski Towns For Shredding On A Budget

Heavenly Ski Resort, South Lake Tahoe

A young man skiing.

Located on the California–Nevada border in South Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, the Heavenly Ski Resort is every skier’s paradise. The resort boasts 4000-plus acres of skiable terrain, over 75 ski slopes, and 1,900 ft of vertical drop. Over 60 percent of Heavenly’s 97 runs are designated for intermediate skiers, and the Skyline and Ridge Run blue runs are known for their fabulous views across Lake Tahoe.

Want to take a break from all the skiing? Then be sure to ride the resort’s gravity-powered alpine coaster, that’ll take you through majestic forests and rock formations. Heavenly Ski also boasts a mountain gondola offering panoramic views of Lake Tahoe, and a children’s zip line that swirls the little ones 15 feet off the ground.

Address: 3860 Saddle Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Distance From San Francisco: 3h20

Recommended Read: Ski Resorts Colorado: Best Resorts to Ski in Colorado

Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley

People in a charlift in a ski resort.

Located just west of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Palisades Tahoe has 6,000 skiable acres across two mountains—including over 65% beginner and intermediate terrain. Formerly known as Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the resort is often regarded as Lake Tahoe’s winter hub for skiing and snowboarding due to its world-class terrain, and Olympic heritage as host of the 1960 Winter Games.

The resort has a progressive terrain for every ability and a vast 3,600 skiable acres, and it’s perfect for not only skiing but also other snow sports such as snowboarding and disco tubing.

Visitors can also ride the famous Aerial Tram, which will take them 550 feet above an idyllic landscape of creeks, waterfalls, forests, granite rock, and 360 views of Lake Tahoe.

Address: 3860 Saddle Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Distance From San Francisco: 3h20

FAQ

Is it possible to go skiing in San Francisco?

While is not possible to ski in the city of San Francisco, there are several places where you can go skiing around the Bay Area.

What are the best places to go skiing near San Francisco?

The best places to go skiing near San Francisco are:

  • Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, Pinecrest;
  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Norden;
  • Bear Valley Resort, Bear Valley;
  • Heavenly Ski Resort, South Lake Tahoe;
  • Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley.

Is Bear Valley or Dodge Ridge better?

Both resorts are worth visiting. The Dodge Ridge Ski Resort is the closest ski resort to the Bay Area, making it an excellent option for a San Francisco day trip. Bear Valley boasts a world-class terrain suitable for beginner skiers and snowboarders, making it a great place for those who want to brush up on their skiing skills.

Where is the ski capital of the world?

Courchevel, in France, is the world’s ski capital.

What are the best ski resorts in California?

The best ski resorts in California are:

  • Palisades Tahoe, Olympic Valley;
  • Heavenly Ski Resort, South Lake Tahoe;
  • Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Eastern Sierra;
  • Kirkwood Ski Resort, Kirkwood;
  • Sugar Bowl Resort, Norden.

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