A roundup of updates and improvements for California and Nevada ski resorts

By Jess Weaver

After last season’s record snow and strong visitation, Ski California’s member resorts in California and Nevada are gearing up for an exciting year of significant investments featuring major renovations, new lifts, the return of signature and industry events, and much more.

Last winter, Ski California resorts experienced their second snowiest season on record, with one resort offering a historic 275-day season. Cumulatively, Ski California resorts also recorded over eight million visits during the 2022-23 season, making California the second most visited state in the country for skiing and riding.

“Skiing and snowboarding remained incredibly popular activities last winter, and the tremendous snow conditions only added to the experience,” said Michael Reitzell, Ski California president. “This season, resorts in California and Nevada have continued to invest in the mountain experience and are gearing up for another phenomenal year.”

Highlights of what’s new, and projected opening dates (weather and conditions permitting) at some of the resorts in California and Nevada for the 2023-24 season include:

Bear Valley

Recently purchased by the California Mountain Resorts Company, Bear Valley is now part of the Cali Pass (see China Peak description). Guests will find a new bar at the south end of the day lodge, and two new winch cats will offer consistent grooming of Grizzly Bowl and Snow Valley.

photo of snow covered mountain at Bear Valley

Bear Valley Mountain Resort

Big Bear Mountain Resort

Big Bear Mountain Resort, comprising Big Bear Mountain, Snow Summit, and now Snow Valley, is set to impress this season. Snow Valley has joined the resort family with upgrades that include new snowmaking equipment and improved facilities. Meanwhile, Bear Mountain’s sun deck has been revitalized with a $7 million renovation, offering an expanded seating area and fire pits, and Laybacks Bar has transformed into a full-service indoor and outdoor establishment. Snow Summit has revamped its food service warehouse and restrooms and introduced new grooming equipment.

Boreal / Woodward Tahoe

With GoTime Tickets at Boreal, you pick the time you want to start and you can save money by choosing a later start time in the day. Play Forever Fridays happen once a month with $25 lift tickets for all, with $5 of each ticket sale going back to a local nonprofit.

China Peak

A new quad chair out of the base area to mid-mountain increases China Peak’s out-of-base lift capacity by 30%, and new food service will be offered at the Mainstream Station. China Peak is also now offering the Cali Pass, a new multi-resort season pass with unlimited access to Mountain High, Bear Valley, Dodge Ridge and China Peak, plus free membership in the Powder Alliance, which includes 17 resorts mostly throughout the west.

Skier at China Peak with the sun in the background.

China Peak

Diamond Peak

Diners in the Base Lodge Provisions food court will notice the newly remodeled space, redesigned for function and aesthetics up front, and efficient food storage and prep areas in the back. The resort also upgraded to an efficient new PistenBully 600 W winch cat that offers higher power and torque output with reduced exhaust emissions and low fuel consumption.

Photo courtesy of Diamond Peak.

Dodge Ridge

Dodge Ridge is now part of the Cali Pass (see China Peak description). The resort will introduce the new Cali Pass App and Dodge Ridge Base Map with map tracking. New RFID gates give guests the ability to go straight to the lift, and a new rental system and reservations make for a more efficient check-in. Restraint bars have been added to chair 8, the lesson area has an additional conveyor lift, and a remodel of The Waystation has been completed.

dodge ridge

Dodge Ridge


Use the new My Epic app to skip the ticket window and go straight to the lifts. Mobile tickets and passes will be scanned hands-free, straight from your pocket using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Heavenly’s new Brews and Views après experience will take place monthly at the Lakeview Lodge featuring unbeatable views of Lake Tahoe, food, drinks, music and beer tastings.


Now operated by Discovery Land Company, the resort continues to offer a family-friendly mountain with limited crowds and stunning views of Lake Tahoe. With the start of the new season, Homewood will introduce refreshed culinary offerings at its dining venues, and enhanced on-mountain snow experiences.

June Mountain

Known for its tree skiing, June Mountain now has two distinct Adventure Zones for kids and youthful adults: The Enchanted Forest and the Haunted Forest. This winter, the new Slims Cantina will feature traditional Mexican fare and expansive outdoor seating with remarkable 360° views.

June Mountain, Photo by Peter Morning


After its triumphant return this last season, Kirkwood’s springtime Slush Cup! tradition returns. Other community favorite events returning include Banked Slalom and Vertical Drop. Use the new My Epic app to skip the ticket window and go straight to the lifts. Mobile tickets and passes will be scanned hands-free, straight from your pocket using Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

Lee Canyon

This winter marks Lee Canyon’s 60th season. A $7 million capital improvement project includes a new quad chairlift called Ponderosa, an additional 450-stall parking area, and a 500-foot Sunkid conveyor lift.

Mammoth Mountain

The Canyon Express (Chair 16) high-speed detachable quad chairlift has been replaced with a new state-of-the-art Doppelmayr D-Line Series 6-Pack detachable high-speed chairlift. At Woolly’s Tube Park, Phase 2 of the master plan buildout is underway with improvements including the start of construction of the new full-service Day Lodge, a new Wiegand Alpine Coaster, and the addition of summer tubing lanes for Summer 2024. Ongoing improvements to Mammoth’s extensive snowmaking system include a $5.5 million investment to expand, automate and maximize efficiency.

mammoth mountain

Mammoth Mountain

Mountain High

More than $1 Million in capital improvements including increased snowmaking at the East Resort, two new Prinoth Bison X Stage 5 snowcats, new rental equipment for the Rossignol Experience Center, and a refreshed Foggy Goggle base area bar.

Mt. Baldy

This season, resort guests will find all new K2 rental equipment, and a new terrain park route. To enhance the resort’s grooming and provide for earlier post-storm openings, the resort has also invested in new PistenBully ParkPro and PistenBully Canyon snowcats.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

With massive investments in recent years with new lifts, trail improvements and snowmaking, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is focused on refreshing other elements of the guest experience. For the 2023-24 winter season, guests will enjoy a new deck at the top of the new Lakeview Express lift, new furniture and a servery remodel in the Lodgepole Cafe, a heated ramp from the parking lot to the ticket windows at main lodge, and new technology to improve the experience on the resort’s website. Mt. Rose has also purchased two new PistenBully snow grooming machines and two new snowmaking towers.

Mt. Shasta Ski Park

Rental and retail shop remodels have been completed, in addition to several other updates throughout the Park. The resort has also joined the Powder Alliance for the 2023-24 season.

Northstar California

Experience Vous, the new café-bar in the Village at Northstar, featuring service from first chair to last call. Use the new My Epic app to skip the ticket window and go straight to the lifts. Mobile tickets and passes will be scanned hands-free, straight from your pocket using Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

Palisades Tahoe

Palisades Tahoe will again host one of four U.S. stops of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Major investments include a multi-million dollar makeover of the Gold Coast mid-mountain lodge and the creation of new dining options, a new Funitel haul rope, five new PistenBully snowcats and new winch picks to offer superior grooming, and the acquisition of two new properties dedicated to housing resort employees.


Still recovering from the Caldor Fire, this season a new maintenance shop will house Sierra’s Mountain Operations department, day care services will return, Sierra-at-Tahoe Road has been repaved, and parking lot improvements have been completed. The resort will also offer a new special rate 2023-24 season pass for First Responders.

Sky Tavern

Located on the Mt. Rose Highway, 20 minutes from Reno, Sky Tavern is home to the oldest non-profit ski and snowboard training facility in America. The area’s first phase of snowmaking has been completed with a $2 million investment. Sky Tavern will also offer a Level 500 coach race program from Alpine Director Mike Savage.

Sugar Bowl

Since its inception in December 1939, Sugar Bowl Resort has been known for its “classic cool” style. This season, Sugar Bowl is celebrating its 85th anniversary, welcoming new talent to its leadership team, and investing in the on-mountain experience with new grooming and snow removal equipment, as well as a new ski racing speed venue and returning signature events. Also look for sweetened offering at the Sugar Rush tubing and snow play park.

Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort

Specializing in the learn-to-ski market, Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort has expanded its affordable youth and adult programs and is offering steep mid-week deals this season.

Ed Note: Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park and Donner Ski Ranch near Truckee are not part of Ski California, but are definitely worth a visit. Both of these ski resorts are known for their budget-friendly and family-friendly appeal.


ASC XC Training CenteR

New this season, experience night skiing with new energy-efficient LED lighting on a 1.5km loop within the 25km trail system. Night competitions are now also part of the race calendar.

Bear Valley Adventure Co.

There will be access to a new trailhead and parking at Tamarack this season, and an earlier planned opening of the Tamarack trails will also include access to dog-friendly trails.

Bear Valley Winter Pass Prize

Photo courtesy of Bear Valley Adventure Company


This historic ski & sled hill is split between a beginner and intermediate ski hill and a 300-foot-long sled hill.

Snowshoer Granlibakken Tahoe

Evening snowshoeing at Granlibakken Tahoe.

Kingvale Resort

This season’s additions include lift-serviced tubing, an expanded snowplay area and a variety of new terrain park features.

KIRKWOOD Cross Country

Ski, snowshoe or fat bike through the Kirkwood Meadow and explore High Trail and the Caples Creek network while taking in the views.

Northstar Cross Country

Explore 35 kilometers of scenic trails with stunning views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding valley. Access is included with your Epic Pass.

Rim Nordic

This winter, Rim Nordic guests will enjoy a remodeled chalet, and have access to new XC ski and snowshoe rental equipment. The area also purchased a used tractor for snow removal.

Royal Gorge

The resort has added a new Prinoth Husky X snowcat dedicated to grooming the cross-country trails. Other upgrades include a new rental fleet, signage, building repairs as well as new food and beverage offerings.

Soda Springs

Play Forever Fridays happen once a month with $25 lift tickets for all, with $5 of each ticket sale going back to a local nonprofit.

Tahoe Donner XC

A new XC Masters Training Group will take place Friday mornings, and the resort plans to be the first to fire up its dedicated snowmaking system to get the season underway and offer high quality early-season trail conditions. Also offering mid-week day pass deals for those who pre-purchase online.

Tahoe Donner

Photo courtesy of Tahoe Donner XC

Tahoe Cross Country

Tahoe XC Ski Area and Ski Education Association offer year-round outdoor programs for all ages on 50km of groomed trails. Youth (under 19) and Adults (70+) ski FREE.

Tamarack Cross Country

New this season, Tamarack Cross Country will offer a season-long drop-in clinic series with a weekly targeted focus. Choose just the lessons you want or check them all out for consistent improvement all winter in both skate and classic.

Photo of Skiers at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center

Skiers at Tamarack Cross Country Ski Center. Photo courtesy of Mammoth Mountain

Learn more about Ski California and its member resorts at skicalifornia.org, and view the award-winning Ski California Mountain Safety Guide at safety.skicalifornia.org.


Main image: Diamond Peak snowflake-lodge

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