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 Many resorts across the USA saw snow this week, abate quite small quantities. New England resorts, including Mount Snow (76cm) and Attish Bear Peak (31/61cm) seeing noteworthy amounts. However many of these resorts are still recovering from last week's rain, meaning new snow is replacing that which was lost rather than building a more substantial base.

In California, Squaw Valley (46/97cm) was predicted 30cm on Thursday 18th, though other resorts were less fortunate, a smaller 10cm was forecast over Heavenly (46/81cm) and nothing was on the cards for Mammoth (102/213cm). Big Sky and Jackson Hole are also expecting some snow over the coming days, though less than these resorts are often reputed to see. Alyeska (279cm) at least has seen plenty of fresh snow as would be expected in Alaska, with 20cm coming down on Wednesday. The coming weekend looks to bring moderate temperatures to Utah and Colorado over the weekend, with a very welcome 26cm predicted to fall on Purgatory on Saturday.

Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in USA - California. Fresh snow is forecast at 20resorts. Powder is reported at 7 resorts and 15 are reporting good piste conditions.

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Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for USA - California

All resorts

Best powder (7)Best piste conditions (15)

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)
Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed

(2083m — 2632m)

snow report today

99
46
Powder
1
56
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2358 m
1250m 1500m 1850m 2300m 2150m

(1981m — 2164m)

Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows webcam
1
16
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2072 m
1150m 1650m 2300m 2850m 2850m

(2194m — 2438m)

snow report yesterday

2
43
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2316 m
1450m 1650m 2150m 2600m 2350m

(2177m — 2684m)

snow report today

102
71
Machine Groomed
1
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2430 m
1550m 2000m 2550m 3000m 3250m

(2012m — 2593m)

snow report today

33
33
Powder 15 cm
today
2
58
2
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2302 m
1450m 1650m 2000m 2450m 2100m

(2179m — 2684m)

1
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2432 m
1600m 2000m 2550m 3050m 3250m

(2195m — 2378m)

snow report yesterday

51
51
Variable Conditions
1
57
2
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2286 m
1200m 1450m 1800m 2200m 2150m

(2133m — 2652m)

snow report today

Powder 20 cm
today
6
34
1
light snow
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2392 m
1200m 1700m 2300m 2550m 2300m

(2143m — 2655m)

1
43
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2399 m
1350m 1650m 2250m 2600m 2350m

(1859m — 2073m)

1
12
clear
light snow
light snow
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1966 m
1250m 1500m 1600m 2000m 2050m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report today

Powder 28 cm
today
2
51
2
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
partly cloudy
Mid station 2256 m
1550m 1700m 2050m 2500m 2200m

(2143m — 2362m)

snow report yesterday

1
56
1
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2252 m
1200m 1500m 1850m 2250m 2150m

(1923m — 2015m)

1
38
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
Mid station 1969 m
1250m 1550m 1950m 2350m 2200m

(2002m — 3068m)

snow report yesterday

Heavenly webcam
81
46
Fair
Varied
3 cm
10 days ago
1
30
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2535 m
1350m 1700m 2100m 2450m 2300m

(1899m — 2402m)

snow report yesterday

33
33
Powder 48 cm
yesterday
1
46
1
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 2150 m
1250m 1550m 1950m 2350m 2200m

(2300m — 3089m)

snow report today

66
20
Powder
4
31
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2694 m
1400m 1800m 2350m 2550m 2350m

(2377m — 2987m)

snow report yesterday

79
79
Powder
3
55
1
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 2682 m
1350m 1600m 2000m 2400m 2150m

(2424m — 3369m)

snow report yesterday

Mammoth Mountain webcam
213
102

Excellent

Fresh
45 cm
10 days ago
2
30
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2896 m
1400m 1800m 2350m 2600m 2350m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report today

30
15
Powder
2
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2256 m
1550m 2100m 2600m 3050m 3150m

(1981m — 2621m)

snow report yesterday

on 1 Jan
2
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2301 m
1650m 2150m 2700m 3100m 3150m

(1676m — 2103m)

snow report today

Mt Shasta webcam
Powder
4
31
4
clear
light snow
snow showers
light snow
light snow
Mid station 1890 m
1150m 1150m 1400m 1650m 1850m

(1941m — 2624m)

snow report today

Northstar at Tahoe webcam
122
46
Powder 41 cm
today
37
clear
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2282 m
1250m 1550m 1950m 2350m 2200m

(1768m — 2255m)

1
55
2
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 2012 m
1250m 1450m 1800m 2200m 2100m

(2023m — 2697m)

snow report today

150
53
Powder 74 cm
today
2
56
1
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 2360 m
1300m 1600m 2000m 2400m 2200m

(2133m — 2498m)

snow report today

Snow Summit webcam
102
71
Machine Groomed
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2316 m
1550m 2000m 2550m 3050m 3250m

(2041m — 2389m)

snow report today

46
15
Machine Groomed
1
clear
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2215 m
1550m 2000m 2600m 3050m 3200m

(2057m — 2255m)

snow report yesterday

30
30
Variable Conditions
1
57
2
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2156 m
1250m 1450m 1800m 2200m 2150m

(1874m — 2743m)

snow report yesterday

94
46

Good
Best up high
3 cm
4 days ago
1
57
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2308 m
1250m 1500m 1850m 2300m 2150m

(1554m — 1707m)

3
29
clear
light snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
Mid station 1630 m
1200m 1350m 1650m 2000m 2000m

(2098m — 2555m)

snow report today

107
33
Powder
1
58
1
snow showers
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2326 m
1200m 1500m 1850m 2250m 2150m

(2042m — 2291m)

2
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2166 m
1550m 2100m 2600m 3000m 3150m

(2057m — 2240m)

snow report today

Tahoe Donner webcam
15
15
Powder 25 cm
today
1
48
1
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
Mid station 2148 m
1200m 1500m 1850m 2250m 2150m