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, particularly around Colorado and Vermont, are now closed for the winter season. However, great skiing can still be found in the USA, where the season continues for the likes of Timberline (457cm) who received further fresh snow over the weekend. Elsewhere, conditions are looking good in Utah at Snowbird (315cm) at the moment, where slopes are holding well and 7/11 lifts were still spinning on Monday. Any resorts in Colorado that are still open can be hopeful of fresh snow this week. Loveland (155cm) in particular is forecasting around 100cm this week.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in USA - California. Fresh snow is forecast at 17resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 3 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Best piste conditions (3)

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)
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

(2083m — 2632m)

snow report yesterday

554
338
Corn Snow
3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2358 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2550m 2150m

(1981m — 2164m)

Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows webcam
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2072 m
3250m 3150m 3850m 3900m 3000m

(2194m — 2438m)

snow report 22 days ago

1
light snow
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2316 m
2600m 2950m 3350m 3200m 2650m

(2177m — 2684m)

snow report 21 days ago

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2430 m
4050m 3600m 4050m 4200m 3150m

(2012m — 2593m)

snow report today

4
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 2302 m
2300m 2750m 3200m 2850m 2300m

(2179m — 2684m)

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2432 m
4000m 3550m 4050m 4200m 3200m

(2195m — 2378m)

snow report 4 days ago

457
457
Spring Conditions
4
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2286 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2500m 2050m

(2133m — 2652m)

snow report today

356
178
Machine Groomed
light rain
partly cloudy
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
Mid station 2392 m
2750m 2850m 3500m 3300m 2400m

(2143m — 2655m)

light rain
partly cloudy
rain showers
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2399 m
2850m 2950m 3400m 3350m 2600m

(1859m — 2073m)

light rain
partly cloudy
light rain
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1966 m
2150m 2350m 2950m 2200m 1750m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report 7 days ago

3
light snow
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2256 m
2400m 2900m 3300m 3000m 2450m

(2143m — 2362m)

snow report 5 days ago

3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2252 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2500m 2050m

(1923m — 2015m)

2
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 1969 m
2200m 2450m 3150m 2600m 2100m

(2002m — 3068m)

snow report today

Heavenly webcam
333
333

Good

Varied
8 cm
5 days ago
1
light snow
clear
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2535 m
2400m 2600m 3250m 2750m 2150m

(1899m — 2402m)

snow report 8 days ago

3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 2150 m
2200m 2500m 3150m 2650m 2150m

(2300m — 3089m)

snow report 14 days ago

1
rain showers
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2694 m
2800m 2950m 3550m 3250m 2400m

(2377m — 2987m)

snow report 7 days ago

5
light snow
partly cloudy
light snow
clear
clear
Mid station 2682 m
2250m 2650m 3150m 2800m 2250m

(2424m — 3369m)

snow report today

Mammoth Mountain webcam
838
483

Excellent

Varied
33 cm
6 days ago
1
light snow
partly cloudy
rain showers
clear
clear
Mid station 2896 m
2900m 3050m 3600m 3300m 2500m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report 29 days ago

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2256 m
3950m 3750m 4100m 4200m 3250m

(1981m — 2621m)

snow report 15 days ago

on 1 Jan
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2301 m
3950m 3800m 4150m 4250m 3400m

(1676m — 2103m)

snow report 8 days ago

5
light snow
rain showers
light rain
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 1890 m
1850m 2350m 2750m 1850m 1600m

(1941m — 2624m)

snow report today

Northstar at Tahoe webcam
2
light snow
clear
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2282 m
2200m 2400m 3150m 2550m 2050m

(1768m — 2255m)

4
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2012 m
2150m 2500m 3150m 2500m 2050m

(2023m — 2697m)

snow report today

3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
clear
clear
Mid station 2360 m
2250m 2600m 3150m 2700m 2250m

(2133m — 2498m)

snow report 15 days ago

Snow Summit webcam
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
partly cloudy
Mid station 2316 m
3950m 3500m 4050m 4200m 3200m

(2041m — 2389m)

snow report 15 days ago

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2215 m
3900m 3500m 4000m 4150m 3250m

(2057m — 2255m)

snow report 8 days ago

4
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2156 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2500m 2050m

(1874m — 2743m)

snow report today

609
234

Excellent

Varied
13 cm
5 days ago
3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2308 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2550m 2100m

(1554m — 1707m)

light rain
partly cloudy
light rain
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 1630 m
2050m 2500m 3050m 2300m 1800m

(2098m — 2555m)

snow report yesterday

551
287
Machine Groomed
3
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2326 m
2150m 2450m 3150m 2500m 2050m

(2042m — 2291m)

partly cloudy
partly cloudy
clear
partly cloudy
clear
Mid station 2166 m
3950m 3750m 4100m 4200m 3250m

(2057m — 2240m)

snow report 8 days ago

Tahoe Donner webcam
2
light snow
partly cloudy
light rain
rain showers
clear
Mid station 2148 m
2150m 2400m 3150m 2500m 2050m