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 California has seen somewhat of a resurgence over the last couple of weeks, with heavy snow dramatically improving the fortunes of many resorts. Another 5cm of new snow on Wednesday has ensured that slopes remain in good condition ahead of the weekend. The sun is expected to shine over the coming days and into the early part of the weekend. Sunday will mark a change, however, with rain showers forecast throughout the day. Excellent skiing is currently available across Utah, after 25cm of new snow fell over the course of the week. Slopes are thus in excellent condition ahead of the busy weekend period. Cloud is expected to hang around the region over much of the weekend, with the possibility of some light snowfall during this period. On east coast, limited skiing is currently available, with the majority of our featured resorts suspending weekday lift operations. No new snow has fallen over the course of the week and many slopes are beginning to suffer, with spring conditions starting to take their toll. Sun will shine during the early part of the weekend, before rain showers move in over the course of Sunday.

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Summary of forecast snowfall and ski conditions for resorts in USA - California. Fresh snow is forecast at 4resorts. Powder is reported at 0 resorts and 2 are reporting good piste conditions.

All resorts

Best piste conditions (2)

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

279
152
Spring Conditions 5 cm
today
13
1
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2358 m
2400m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2700m

(1981m — 2164m)

Alta Sierra at Shirley Meadows webcam
2
2
rain showers
rain showers
partially cloudy
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2072 m
2750m 3100m 3250m 3500m 3000m

(2194m — 2438m)

snow report 25 days ago

15
1
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
heavy rain
Mid station 2316 m
2950m 3100m 3100m 3300m 2850m

(2177m — 2684m)

snow report 19 days ago

1
13
light snow
rain showers
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2430 m
2600m 3200m 3500m 3850m 3700m

(2012m — 2593m)

snow report 19 days ago

16
2
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2302 m
2700m 3050m 3100m 3250m 2700m

(2179m — 2684m)

1
21
light snow
rain showers
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2432 m
2650m 3250m 3550m 3900m 3650m

(2195m — 2378m)

snow report 13 days ago

12
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2286 m
2450m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2650m

(2133m — 2652m)

snow report 16 days ago

1
15
12
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
partially cloudy
light rain
Mid station 2392 m
2600m 2800m 3150m 3500m 2800m

(2143m — 2655m)

China Peak Mountain Resort webcam
17
16
rain showers
rain showers
clear
clear
light snow
Mid station 2399 m
2800m 3050m 3150m 3450m 2900m

(1859m — 2073m)

rain showers
clear
rain showers
light rain
light rain
Mid station 1966 m
2550m 2750m 3100m 3150m 2700m

(2012m — 2499m)

snow report 26 days ago

16
2
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2256 m
3050m 3100m 3100m 3250m 2750m

(2143m — 2362m)

snow report 14 days ago

7
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2252 m
2450m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2650m

(1923m — 2015m)

1
1
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1969 m
2400m 2900m 3150m 3300m 2700m

(2002m — 3068m)

snow report yesterday

12
2
snow showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2535 m
2300m 2800m 3150m 3300m 2750m

(1899m — 2402m)

snow report 20 days ago

6
partially cloudy
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2150 m
2400m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2700m

(2300m — 3089m)

snow report 19 days ago

3
21
20
light snow
rain showers
rain showers
partially cloudy
light snow
Mid station 2694 m
2350m 2800m 3200m 3450m 2900m

(2377m — 2987m)

snow report 13 days ago

24
8
snow showers
rain showers
light rain
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2682 m
2450m 2950m 3150m 3350m 2750m

(2424m — 3369m)

snow report yesterday

457
170

Good
Best up high
5 cm
2 days ago
4
20
23
light snow
snow showers
rain showers
clear
light snow
Mid station 2896 m
2400m 2850m 3200m 3500m 2900m

(2012m — 2499m)

11
rain showers
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2256 m
2600m 3150m 3350m 3700m 3400m

(1981m — 2621m)

29
light rain
clear
clear
clear
clear
Mid station 2301 m
2600m 3200m 3450m 3700m 3400m

(1676m — 2103m)

snow report 20 days ago

Mt Shasta webcam
6
clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
light rain
Mid station 1890 m
2500m 2900m 3050m 2900m 2450m

(1941m — 2624m)

snow report 13 days ago

5
1
snow showers
rain showers
rain showers
light rain
moderate rain
Mid station 2282 m
2350m 2850m 3200m 3300m 2750m

(1768m — 2255m)

2
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2012 m
2550m 3000m 3100m 3250m 2650m

(2023m — 2697m)

snow report 13 days ago

14
2
partially cloudy
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2360 m
2550m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2700m

(2133m — 2498m)

snow report 19 days ago

12
moderate rain
clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2316 m
2600m 3250m 3550m 3900m 3650m

(2041m — 2389m)

snow report 31 days ago

10
light rain
clear
clear
clear
partially cloudy
Mid station 2215 m
2600m 3250m 3550m 3900m 3550m

(2057m — 2255m)

snow report 20 days ago

4
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2156 m
2500m 3000m 3150m 3250m 2650m

(1874m — 2743m)

snow report yesterday

338
79

Good

Varied
46 cm
7 days ago
12
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2308 m
2400m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2650m

(1554m — 1707m)

clear
clear
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 1630 m
2600m 2900m 2950m 3000m 2550m

(2098m — 2555m)

snow report 6 days ago

Sugar Bowl webcam
12
clear
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
light snow
Mid station 2326 m
2450m 2950m 3150m 3250m 2650m

(2042m — 2291m)

1
9
rain showers
clear
partially cloudy
clear
clear
Mid station 2166 m
2600m 3100m 3350m 3700m 3400m

(2057m — 2240m)

snow report 20 days ago

4
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
rain showers
moderate rain
Mid station 2148 m
2400m 2900m 3150m 3250m 2700m