It's no joke: Skiing near San Diego

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of April 24-May 1, 1996
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It's no joke: Skiing near San Diego
Question: I am considering relocating to the San Diego area and would like to have some information about the nearest skiing areas. I am aware of Mount Baldy, Ski Sunrise, and Mountain High Northwest of San Bernardino, but would like to know the details (season, trail specs, etc.). Thanks!

Rhonda P.
Cincinnati, OH
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: OK, so San Diego's only 15 miles from the Mexico border. But that doesn't mean you can't wax your boards and head out to the slopes with all the other bikini-clad Southern Californians who, like you, are hell-bent on skiing.

If you're willing to drive a couple of hours and aren't expecting Alta-like steeps or immense terrain à la Vail, then you'll probably adapt well to life as a skier in Southern California. Most resorts report a Thanksgiving-to-May season, although this year everyone shut down early due to the abominable lack of snow.

Mount Baldy (909-931-4458), about two hours northwest of San Diego, has 26 trails, four lifts, a whopping 2,100 feet of vertical, and charges $38 per day. Sadly, since Ski Sunrise has closed for the season, there was no one around this week to give me specifics. It's worth calling them, though, at 619-249-6150; you may have better luck. Mountain High, at 619-249-5479, was also temporarily unreachable. Another biggie (relatively speaking) worth considering: Snow Summit (909-866-5766), in the town of Big Bear Lake, is also about two hours from San Diego--with about 35 runs, 1,200 feet of vertical, and 12 lifts. A one-day ticket will set you back $42, and this resort's season generally runs from mid-November through mid-April. You may also want to check out Bear Mountain (909-585-2519) and Snow Valley (909-867-2751).

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