Southern California may lack abundant ski resorts and other popular winter destinations. But it’s not that hopeless. You can find the real winter wonderland with fresh snow even on the outskirts of sunny Los Angeles.
Last updated: November 25, 2021
Where to Find Snow and Winter Wonderland near Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of several places on Earth that doesn’t have the snow or typical winters except for a few rare occasions once or twice in 100 years. Sunny all year round, the City of Angels, however, doesn’t impose unbearable challenges for true snow and winter enthusiasts.
Surrounded by a few mountain ranges, this southern California’s city is just a few hours away from the snow and the real winter wonderland. From dreamy “snow globe” villages to popular snowboard and ski resorts, here are some of the best places to find the snow near Los Angeles and never miss the winter again.
HERE ARE THE 7 BEST PLACES TO FIND SNOW AND WINTER WONDERLAND NEAR LOS ANGELES
1. Big Bear Lake
Big Bear Lake is rightfully one of the most visited destinations when it comes to finding the snow near Los Angeles. Nestled in the midst of the San Bernardino National Forest, this mountain resort is your sure place to indulge in some winter activities. Whether you long for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or cross-country skiing, Big Bear accommodates all of your needs.
Moreover, with the snow lingering in the area from December through April, you can have as many snowy days near Los Angeles as you only wish. And just a two-hour drive from one place to another makes the winter visit to Big Bear even more appealing.
2. Frazier Park
Frazier Park is by far one of the closest places to find the snow near Los Angeles. It doesn’t take more than an hour and a half to trade the dazzling sun of the city for snowy Frazier Mountain, a place where the winter wonderland is guaranteed.
Here, a thin snowy blanket spreads out for miles on end, way before you reach the mountain. The area surely tempts you to get out of your car and enjoy the freezing weather and a round of snowball fight. Yet by doing this, you run the risk of trespassing somebody’s property since most of the land is private. Furthermore, the place doesn’t really have many snow play areas anyway.
So just shake off the temptation and head straight to the mountain where the winter activities and snow prevail. I’m afraid you might even forget that you are still in southern California, a short drive away from Los Angeles.
3. Lake Arrowhead
If you are searching for more than just the snow near Los Angeles, then Lake Arrowhead is your place to be. Hidden deep in the stunning San Bernardino National Forest, this small community is all you dream of for a perfect winter getaway.
Plenty of snow – check. Skiing and sledding – you bet. Once the snow starts to bore you, change your shoes or skis for a pair of ice skates or take a break from the active winter activities in the snowy Lake Arrowhead Village.
4. Mount San Jacinto State Park
If looking for places with the snow near Los Angeles excites you beyond any measures, then finding a winter wonderland in a desert will completely blow your mind. Ok, not exactly the desert itself, but a ride from the wasteland to Mountain Station at Mount San Jacinto State Park via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Here, at the elevation of 8,500 feet above sea level, the snow is not a rare phenomenon. On the contrary, average annual snowfall reaches up to 10 feet, allowing ample opportunities for sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
5. Mount Baldy
Mount Baldy is another popular destination to play in the snow near Los Angeles. With annual snowfall of 11 feet, this doesn’t puzzle you at all. Quite the opposite, the abundance of the snow and a close proximity to Los Angeles make Mount Baldy an idyllic place for such winter sports as snowboarding, skiing, and snow tubing.
About two-hour drive from Los Angeles, Wrightwood with impressive 5 feet snowfall per year entices all winter enthusiasts from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Better known for its Mountain High resort, this little town offers some of the best opportunities for skiing and snow tubing. If neither of these sports appeals to you, you can simply play in the snow and enjoy the magical winter wonderland.
7. Sequoia National Park
For those who don’t mind to drive a little bit farther away from Los Angeles in search of the snow, Sequoia National Park is the best place to go. Although the park is spectacular any time of the year, the winter fills it with its special magic and charm.
From the ground to the tops of gigantic trees, everything is cover with the snow, creating an unforgettable winter experience. Together with the snow, skiing and snowshoeing find their ways to Sequoia National Park. Designated snow play areas satisfy your needs to skip the super active winter activities and instead enjoy snowball fights with your friends and family members.
READ MORE: 2 Days in Sequoia National Park Itinerary