Us Ski USA - California

Welcome to the Ski USA page, providing a regular round-up of the skiing conditions and current snow reports for the main ski resorts in the United States. Over recent years some of the best and consistent piste conditions have been reported at Aspen (Colorado), Alta (Utah), The Canyons (Utah), Winter Park (Colorado), Big Sky (Montana) and Jackson Hole (Wyoming). However, in any given week or season the best slope conditions may be found at a number of other North American resorts so keep an eye on the snow forecasts and reports if you are planning a last minute trip.

For off-piste powder, Alta, Aspen, Big Sky, The Canyons, Winter Park and Loveland have proven among the most consistent in the country over several seasons but check out the reports below for the latest news. For big snowfalls and accumulated snow depths the Californian resorts of Squaw Valley and Mammoth feature strongly in the records as do the dry powder resorts of Solitude, Alta and Snowbird. Timberline in Oregon also has an enviable snow record.

With more than 500 ski areas spread across some 38 US states, America is one of the world’s leading ski nations, clocking up around 50 million skiers on the slopes each winter.

US ski resorts are spread right across the country from East Coast to West. There are also resorts in Alaska and it’s sometimes possible to ski in Hawaii on the slopes of 4205m high Mauna Kea, although there are no ski lifts there.

You’ll find a great diversity of terrain when you ski USA from the comparatively low lying mountains of New England and the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia to the south, to smaller hills across the MidWestern prairies, to the Rocky Mountains and Sierras on the West. The Rockies stretch over a mile above sea level at resort height in some cases, resulting in almost half of the 20 highest ski lifts in the world being located in Colorado.

What’s common to this diverse selection of ski areas, which range from small private hills owned by schools and military bases to major international resorts like Aspen and Vail famed around the world, is a dedication to high service standards. When you’re skiing USA these include high quality on the slopes with well groomed, normally uncrowded slopes with uplift generally provided by chairlifts, gondolas or cable cars (known as trams in North America) rather than drag lifts. Indeed the chairlift, as well as the hot tub, are both American inventions credited to Sun Valley in Idaho.

Some ski areas in the USA date back the best part of a century. Most were established by pioneers, often on a shoestring budget with just a simple tow lift converted from a car, lorry or even motorbike engine. But decades of gradual growth have led many of these original small, simple set-ups to become major international resorts – Mammoth Mountain in California is a good example of this.

Others were set up by emigrants from the Alps, most famously Cranmore Mountain Resort in New Hampshire which was established with help from Austrian downhill ski technique pioneer Hannes Schneider from the Austrian Arlberg who arrived in the US having refused to join the Nazi propaganda machine when they took over Austria in the 1930s. During the Second World War he helped train the 10th Mountain Division of the U. S. Army, some veterans of which also became resort developers after the war.

Famous resorts like Vail, now the largest ski area in the US, were established later with strong European involvement. Other resorts like Aspen and Breckenridge were former 19th century mining settlements that found a new lease of life when ‘white gold’ was struck.

Along with growth on the mountains, the 1990s and first decade of the current century saw a boom in resort ‘real estate’ developments with hotels, condominiums, shops and restaurants created at the bases of ski slopes which in some cases had previously only had car parks. This period – which slowed dramatically from 2008 due to the global economic situation – led to an era of corporations taking over from individual families, and currently four or five large companies own and operate around 50 leading US resorts between them.

In Eastern North America snowmaking developed in the 1950s and rapidly became an essential requirement at most of the ski areas in the region, leading to it becoming known as “the snowmaking capital of the world.”

In the West of the country, which is best known for its destination resorts particularly in states like California, Utah and Colorado, a major selling point is abundant, deep powder snow which is the norm if not always guaranteed. One of the snowiest places on earth are Alaska and Washington State in the North West of the country where falls of up to 50 feet (16 metres) can be recorded in one winter, more than any other ski region on earth.

Criticisms of US skiing from some, when compared to Europe, is that ski areas are mostly smaller, lift tickets more expensive, spectacular scenery is rare and the resorts and slopes are too sanitised and bland at some of the most corporately run areas. The kind of family run, home-cooking small mountain hut is quite rare in the US where large cafeterias serving fast food are more common. However many of these ‘flaws’ for some are seen as assets by others, which when combined with the other points listed in this article combine to make the US ski experience the best on earth.

And despite the well groomed pistes, many resorts have built reputations for challenging off piste terrain, including Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Alyeska in Alaska and Squaw Valley in California.

The country’s positive attitude to children is also seen as an asset for families in most cases, with children praised for their efforts in nursery and ski school.

The US is also the home of snowboarding with Jake Burton inventing the sport in Vermont in the late 1970s. Stratton there has organised snowboarding contests longer than any other. However the country is also home to three resorts that still ban snowboarding: Alta and Deer Valley, both in Utah, and Mad River Glen in Vermont.
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USA - California: latest snow conditions round-up


USA Our featured ski resorts in the USA continued to improve on Thursday 8th December. Snow has been falling across many regions, with Colorado and Utah both receiving some fresh. Aspen (74cm) however was one expectation to this, where the sun did manage to weasel its way out at times during the day. For the best skiing at the moment, look to the likes of Jackson Hole (67/120cm), where 5cm has fallen in the build up to the start of the Ski Clubs Leaders service for the season. Elsewhere, Mammoth (71/63cm) in California is certainly worth a mention, where packed powder and excellent skiing can be found on the upper slopes of the resort. Snow is on the forecast for much of the country this weekend. Alta (84cm) may be one of the resort to benefit from this the most, with over 90cm expected before the weekend is out.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in USA - California. Fresh snow is forecast at 22resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 8 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Best piste conditions (8)

Ski resorts of USA - California, alphabetically

Bottom Mid Top
Resort Webcam Top
snow depth
top and bottom
Good piste
on-piste
Powder
off-piste
Fresh snow depth
last snow
Fresh snow depth
next 9 days
0–3 | 3–6 | 6–9
snow (cm)
Weather Next 5 days weather forecast.
Freezing level (m)
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue

(2083m — 2632m)

snow report today

71
46
Powder
9
77
53
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2358 m
2600m 2600m 1900m 2100m 2300m

(1981m — 2164m)

Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows webcam
54
partly cloudy
light rain
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2072 m
3150m 3300m 3250m 3400m 3350m

(2194m — 2438m)

snow report yesterday

80
117
partly cloudy
heavy rain
clear
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2316 m
2800m 2900m 2550m 2550m 2450m

(2177m — 2684m)

snow report 3 days ago

46
30
6
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2430 m
3600m 3900m 3750m 3850m 4000m

(2012m — 2593m)

snow report today

46
46
Packed Powder
9
94
65
light snow
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2302 m
2650m 2650m 2250m 2300m 2350m

(2179m — 2684m)

10
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2432 m
3600m 3850m 3750m 3850m 3950m

(2195m — 2378m)

snow report 2 days ago

64
10
Loose Granular
7
57
46
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2286 m
2600m 2550m 1850m 2000m 2250m

(2133m — 2652m)

snow report today

36
20
Variable Conditions
15
37
70
partly cloudy
heavy rain
clear
cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2392 m
2750m 2900m 2400m 2700m 2450m

(2143m — 2655m)

China Peak Mountain Resort webcam
2
65
99
partly cloudy
heavy rain
clear
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2399 m
2750m 2950m 2600m 2750m 2400m

(1859m — 2073m)

4
26
14
light rain
light snow
clear
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1966 m
2500m 2100m 1750m 1850m 1700m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report today

10
68
81
partly cloudy
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2256 m
2650m 2800m 2450m 2450m 2450m

(2143m — 2362m)

snow report 3 days ago

114
76
Variable Conditions
7
54
45
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2252 m
2600m 2550m 1850m 2000m 2250m

(1923m — 2015m)

4
37
46
light rain
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 1969 m
2650m 2600m 1950m 2150m 2350m

(2002m — 3068m)

snow report yesterday

51
51

Good

Varied
22 cm
11 days ago
13
33
54
light snow
moderate snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2535 m
2700m 2850m 2300m 2350m 2500m

(1899m — 2402m)

snow report yesterday

4
50
52
light rain
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 2150 m
2650m 2650m 2000m 2200m 2350m

(2300m — 3089m)

snow report yesterday

opens in 5 days
9
27
79
partly cloudy
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2694 m
2800m 3050m 2550m 2600m 2550m

(2377m — 2987m)

snow report today

58
51
Wet Packed
77
95
84
light snow
heavy snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2682 m
2650m 2650m 2050m 2150m 2400m

(2424m — 3369m)

snow report yesterday

163
71
Packed powder
Varied
36 cm
11 days ago
14
26
73
partly cloudy
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
moderate snow
Mid station 2896 m
2800m 3000m 2700m 2650m 2550m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report 2 days ago

30
25
Packed Powder
7
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2256 m
3550m 3800m 3700m 3800m 3900m

(1981m — 2621m)

snow report yesterday

on 1 Jan
13
clear
rain showers
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2301 m
3600m 3850m 3700m 3800m 3900m

(1676m — 2103m)

snow report yesterday

Mt Shasta webcam
16
29
light snow
snow showers
snow showers
cloudy
light snow
Mid station 1890 m
2100m 1650m 1100m 1350m 1200m

(1941m — 2624m)

snow report today

48
46
Packed Powder
7
44
52
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2282 m
2650m 2550m 1950m 2150m 2350m

(1768m — 2255m)

3
57
39
light rain
heavy rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy rain
Mid station 2012 m
2600m 2550m 1850m 2000m 2250m

(2023m — 2697m)

snow report today

61
41
Wet Snow
13
84
68
light snow
moderate snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2360 m
2650m 2650m 2000m 2150m 2400m

(2133m — 2498m)

snow report yesterday

76
46
Machine Groomed
11
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2316 m
3600m 3850m 3750m 3850m 3950m

(2041m — 2389m)

snow report yesterday

46
20
Machine Groomed
12
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2215 m
3600m 3800m 3700m 3850m 3900m

(2057m — 2255m)

snow report 3 days ago

5
60
43
light rain
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2156 m
2600m 2550m 1850m 2000m 2250m

(1874m — 2743m)

snow report yesterday

71
48

Good

Varied
15 cm
16 days ago
8
73
50
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2308 m
2600m 2550m 1900m 2050m 2300m

(1554m — 1707m)

24
8
light rain
rain showers
partly cloudy
light snow
heavy rain
Mid station 1630 m
2400m 2050m 1700m 1900m 1750m

(2098m — 2555m)

snow report yesterday

Sugar Bowl webcam
76
48
Packed Powder
7
70
45
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
heavy snow
Mid station 2326 m
2600m 2550m 1850m 2000m 2250m

(2042m — 2291m)

5
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2166 m
3550m 3800m 3700m 3800m 3900m

(2057m — 2240m)

snow report yesterday

5
43
43
light rain
light snow
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2148 m
2600m 2500m 1850m 2000m 2250m