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The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
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California Winter Getaways

Winter is the perfect time to explore California’s magical snow-capped mountains. Whether you prefer to hit the slopes for a day of skiing and snowboarding or watching from indoors with a warm beverage, these destinations are some of the Golden State’s perfect winter getaways. 

New Base-to-Base Gondola at Palisades Tahoe

On Dec. 17, Palisades Tahoe will celebrate the historic opening of the Base to Base Gondola that will connect the two valleys of the resort, making Palisades Tahoe one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Base to Base Gondola will offer newfound convenience and accessibility to the resort’s 6,000 acres and a full spectrum of lifts, terrain, dining venues and more. The 2022-2023 season will also introduce an expanded Funitel Plaza for easier lift access from The Village, an upgraded, high-speed Red Dog Lift and new base terminal, and the renovation of the Alpine Lodge. Conditions permitting, the resort is scheduled to open on Nov. 22, 2022.

Mount Shasta Ski Park in Siskiyou County

Don’t miss the opportunity to go skiing or snowboarding at the fifth-highest peak in California at Mt. Shasta Ski Park. The park features over 400 acres of skiable terrain on 32 trails, night skiing, two terrain parks, snow tubing and backcountry skiing. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are just two of the unique experiences that can navigate guests through some of Siskiyou’s backcountry areas. Head to Mt. Shasta Nordic Center to explore its expanded 7.5-mile network of packed trails. Non-skiers can head to the largest outdoor ice rink on the West Coast that comes with breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Shasta, the Eddys and Black Butte.

Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe Debuts New Winter Experiences

Nestled mid-mountain at Northstar California Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is a contemporary mountain retreat featuring slope-side ski-in and ski-out access. This year, new winter offerings include a “Flaskology” experience with the property’s mixologist, plus a “Hot Herbology” offer where guests can create their own hot toddy-style beverages with fresh herbs and spices to create wholesome winter warmers. Additionally, a slope-side ice bar and champagne & caviar service have been added to enhance the après experience. Families can also take part in the new S’more & Hot Coco Extravaganza in the property’s Caffe Blue. At the fire pit, the new cabin pop-up bar will feature s’more kits and in-house-made snacks. 

Historic Granlibakken Tahoe

For nearly 100 years, winter sports enthusiasts have raced down the hill at Granlibakken Tahoe. The 74-acre privately-owned resort is maintained by the Parson family who has a passion for protecting the natural surroundings and preserving structures and equipment. The resort’s updates include a 1958 Tucker Sno-Cat that was restored by the Granlibakken team and is expected to be fully operational by December 2022 – just in time to deliver Santa to the property's ski area. The resort is also preparing for its winter events, such as night sledding, skiing and snowboarding, rentals and lessons. Granlibakken is again partnering with Palisades Tahoe to offer discounted tickets to guests at nearby Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley.

Winter Activities in Tuolumne County

Known as the closest destination to San Francisco to experience snow, Dodge Ridge Mountain Resort will celebrate its 72nd season this year. Specializing in youth lessons, the resort is where 2022 U.S. Olympian skier Keely Cashman learned how to ski and often returns to pay homage to her skiing roots. For added adventure, head to Leland Meadows High Sierra Snowplay for its snow tubing. Located at the closure point of the Sonora Pass, visitors to Leland will get the ultimate snow venture with 12 acres of accessible snow play. Yosemite National Park puts on a stunning display of snow-covered granite peaks and a beloved snow adventure in the park is snowshoeing through the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Open Terrain in Sierra County

Sierra County offers miles of trails for snowmobiling and tracks for X-country and backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. Located at the base of the Sierra Buttes, Sierra Pines Resort is one of the few full-service properties open during ski season with festive experiences for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in. Starting this November to March 2023 the resort will host a variety of winter dinners (including Thanksgiving) and a weekly music series that’s perfect after a long day on the slopes. 

More Winter Fun

‘80s Pier Summit Ski Lodge Pop-Up

Get nostalgic this holiday season at the Pier Summit Ski Lodge, an ‘80s-themed pop-up bar at the Kimpton Shorebreak Resort in Huntington Beach. Open Oct. 27 to mid-January 2023, Pier Summit Ski Lodge welcomes snow bunnies and shredders Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5-10 p.m. Transport to the past with neon hues, kitschy ‘80s trademarks, a life-size yeti and outfitted staff in retro ski garb. Experience authentic winter chalet dining complete with European fare. Choose from cocktails such as the Don’t Eat Yellow Snow and Hot Toddy Time Machine. Open to the public, guests can expect unique activations and programming indicative of the decade like monthly-themed Jazzercise classes and live music.