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 Monday 20th February was broadly speaking a powder day in America. Very heavy snowfalls today across many of our featured American resorts, Squaw Valley (271/520cm) is expecting just under one metre today, Mammoth Mountain (477/889cm) forecast to receive another 75cm dump today also. Jackson Hole (231/342cm) is starting today with another 35cm of fresh after just over half a metre in the past few days. Elsewhere a number of resorts are reporting no less then 20cm in the past 24 hours. It's yet another sensational report for the American ski fields. In the forecast this week. Snow, lots of it and pretty well everywhere. It is going to be another stormy snowy week. Once again America is one of the best places on earth the ski and board.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in USA - California. Fresh snow is forecast at 31resorts. Powder is reported at 5 resorts and 12 are reporting good piste conditions.

Recent Eyeball Snow Reports for USA - California

All resorts

Best powder (5)Best piste conditions (12)

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

584
378
Powder
12
10
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2358 m
650m 950m 1000m 1000m 1300m

(1981m — 2164m)

Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows webcam
clear
clear
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2072 m
1250m 1300m 1550m 1300m 1650m

(2194m — 2438m)

snow report today

3
5
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2316 m
1000m 1150m 1300m 1200m 1450m

(2177m — 2684m)

snow report today

107
91
Machine Groomed
1
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2430 m
1900m 2200m 2000m 2150m 2050m

(2012m — 2593m)

snow report today

429
429
Powder 8 cm
today
9
8
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2302 m
800m 900m 1150m 950m 1350m

(2179m — 2684m)

2
clear
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2432 m
1950m 2150m 1900m 1950m 2000m

(2195m — 2378m)

snow report today

658
658
Powder 10 cm
today
15
10
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2286 m
500m 950m 900m 850m 1200m

(2133m — 2652m)

snow report today

457
305
Powder
2
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2392 m
1100m 1100m 1250m 1100m 1600m

(2143m — 2655m)

2
clear
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2399 m
1100m 1150m 1300m 1200m 1550m

(1859m — 2073m)

9
3
light snow
snow showers
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 1966 m
800m 1000m 1000m 900m 1250m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report today

335
211
Packed Powder
7
6
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2256 m
1000m 1150m 1250m 1000m 1450m

(2143m — 2362m)

snow report today

14
10
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2252 m
600m 950m 900m 850m 1200m

(1923m — 2015m)

8
7
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 1969 m
700m 1000m 1050m 1000m 1350m

(2002m — 3068m)

snow report today

Heavenly webcam
332
332
Powder
Powder
5 cm
today
4
3
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2535 m
1000m 1100m 1350m 1250m 1600m

(1899m — 2402m)

snow report today

516
244
Variable Conditions
10
8
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2150 m
750m 1000m 1100m 1050m 1400m

(2300m — 3089m)

snow report today

351
173
Machine Groomed 3 cm
today
4
4
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2694 m
1050m 1150m 1400m 1200m 1500m

(2377m — 2987m)

snow report today

488
361
Powder
11
8
light snow
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2682 m
700m 850m 1150m 1000m 1400m

(2424m — 3369m)

snow report today

Mammoth Mountain webcam
889
508
Packed powder
Powder
30 cm
yesterday
1
2
partly cloudy
snow showers
snow showers
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2896 m
1150m 1150m 1400m 1200m 1550m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report today

61
30
Hard Pack
2
clear
partly cloudy
snow showers
cloudy
clear
Mid station 2256 m
2000m 2050m 1850m 1850m 2050m

(1981m — 2621m)

snow report today

on 1 Jan
2
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
snow showers
clear
Mid station 2301 m
2100m 2000m 1800m 1650m 1950m

(1676m — 2103m)

snow report today

Mt Shasta webcam
305
305
Machine Groomed
26
4
light snow
snow showers
moderate snow
snow showers
partly cloudy
Mid station 1890 m
650m 850m 750m 750m 1100m

(1941m — 2624m)

snow report today

Northstar at Tahoe webcam
541
297
Packed Powder 8 cm
today
8
6
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2282 m
700m 1000m 1000m 950m 1300m

(1768m — 2255m)

15
11
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2012 m
600m 950m 900m 850m 1200m

(2023m — 2697m)

snow report today

480
318
Powder
11
8
partly cloudy
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2360 m
750m 900m 1150m 1050m 1400m

(2133m — 2498m)

snow report today

Snow Summit webcam
107
91
Machine Groomed
1
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
cloudy
clear
Mid station 2316 m
1900m 2100m 1900m 1900m 1950m

(2041m — 2389m)

snow report today

122
91
Machine Groomed
1
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2215 m
1900m 2000m 1800m 1700m 1900m

(2057m — 2255m)

snow report today

15
11
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2156 m
500m 950m 900m 850m 1200m

(1874m — 2743m)

snow report today

571
307
Powder
Powder
12 cm
today
12
10
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2308 m
650m 950m 1000m 950m 1300m

(1554m — 1707m)

12
2
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
partly cloudy
Mid station 1630 m
850m 1050m 1100m 950m 1400m

(2098m — 2555m)

snow report today

612
368
Packed Powder
14
10
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2326 m
600m 950m 900m 900m 1200m

(2042m — 2291m)

1
clear
partly cloudy
snow showers
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2166 m
2000m 2100m 1900m 1900m 2050m

(2057m — 2240m)

snow report today

Tahoe Donner webcam
432
381
Machine Groomed 3 cm
today
10
8
snow showers
light snow
snow showers
light snow
clear
Mid station 2148 m
600m 950m 900m 850m 1200m