Taylor Luckenbach
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Tips for your best day on the mountain

By Taylor Luckenbach

Winter is here and we’re eager to hit the slopes! It’s time to dig out the gear, wax the skis or board, and make plans to carve some turns.

For this winter season, ASJ reached out to our favorite California and Nevada resorts to find out what makes each winter destination unique. From Mammoth and Big Bear in SoCal to Tahoe and Shasta up north, we discovered the best views, iconic runs, and “don’t miss” experiences from each resort.

For those looking to explore a new winter destination or simply planning the perfect snow day at a favorite resort, here are some tips that will help guide your adventure and make it a “picture perfect” day.

Be sure to tag the resort and #adventuresportsjournal in your social posts!

badger pass

Badger Pass Ski Area

Yosemite National Park

Best View The views from the top of the Eagle Lift are spectacular.

Iconic Run Eagle.

Don’t Miss Enjoying a drink or meal on the sun deck of the Day Lodge.


#badgerpass #travelyosemite #skiyosemite

Bear Mountain

Big Bear Lake

Best View Top of Chair 9 has breathtaking views of Big Bear Valley and surrounding San Bernardino Mountains.

Iconic Run Experience SoCal’s highest lift-served peak (8,805’), then enjoy the 1.5-mile run back to the base area.

Don’t Miss The Red Bull Plaza terrain park or the  newly renovated sun deck expanded from 13,000 square feet to 26,000 square feet.


#bearmountain #bearbuilt

Bear Valley

Bear Valley Resort

Bear Valley

Best View Expansive views of the Mokelumne River Canyon Wilderness from the top of Monte Wolfe and National ski runs.

Iconic Run Grizzly Bowl main gate; 1100 vertical feet of adventurous ungroomed alpine terrain awaits!

Don’t Miss Making laps on the frontside bowl via the high speed six pack chair — the “Mokelumne Express.”




Boreal Mountain Resort

Soda Springs

Best View Open nightly until 9pm, capture an incredible summit sunset from the top of Boreal’s Accelerator chair lift.

Iconic Run Take a long lap on the Sunset Boulevard ridgeline.

Don’t Miss The only night skiing and riding in Tahoe; the Woodward Tahoe Bunker, a 33,000 square foot action sports facility.


#BorealMagic #WoodwardTahoe


China Peak

China Peak


Best View This resort overlooks Huntington Lake so the top of Chairs 1, 5 and 2 all offer spectacular lake views.

Iconic Run Exhibition run, right under the new Quad, is groomed wall to wall and is a real ripper.

Don’t Miss The place to see and be seen, Buckhorn deck, bottom of the new Quad, view of the lake, live music on weekends. Have Tristan make you the best Bloody Mary in skiing.


#OwnWinter #SkiChinaPeak #GoodTimes

Diamond Peak

Chrystal Ridge at Diamond Peak.Photo by Chris Bartkowski

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Incline Village

Best View Crystal Ridge and Snowflake Lodge offer epic lake views.

Iconic Run Crystal Ridge made the “100 Best Ski Runs in the World” list by CNN Travel.

Don’t Miss Snowflake Lodge for lunch or a drink. Snowflake even offers an early happy hour that starts at 2pm.



Dodge RIdge

Dodge Ridge Ski Resort


Best View Looking east toward Sonora Pass from Shots trail.

Iconic Run The wide open expert terrain of Granite Bowl allows one’s imagination to go off in endless directions, creating some of the most remarkable lines on the mountain.

Don’t Miss The best rates. Dodge Ridge has the lowest day pass prices among comparably sized Sierra resorts.




Donner Ski Ranch


Best View Sweeping views of Donner Lake at  the top of Chair 1.

Iconic Run One of the oldest resorts in the west best known for The Face run.

Don’t Miss The homemade pie  at the Old 40 Bar and Grill — it is made fresh daily.




South Lake Tahoe / Stateline NV

Best View Enjoy the views on California Trail on your way down to Tamarack Lodge.

Iconic Run Ridge Run is a longer run with  amazing lake views and Mott’s Canyon is an expert run with Tahoe’s highest angle chutes.

Don’t Miss Après Ski at Tamarack Lodge with daily happy hours from 3 – 5pm and the Send-It Band will be playing throughout the season!


#SkiHeavenly #TahoeTrifecta



Best View Take a cruise down the 2-mile beginner run, Rainbow Ridge, and experience the best panoramic lake views in Lake Tahoe.

Iconic Run Rainbow Ridge is their signature run, but some other favorites include Bechtle’s Bonanza and Quail Face.

Don’t Miss The view at mid-mountain Big Blue View Bar can’t be beat. Enjoy the latest and greatest menu. There will be live DJs outside every Saturday afternoon this winter.




June Mountain

June Lake

Best View There isn’t a poor view on this mountain – June is known as having some of the best views on earth. However, the view from the Chalet is an absolute stunner. It’s a view not to be missed.

Iconic Run Carson’s requires a bit of work to get to but once on top of the run it’s easy to see why it’s worth it. 1,200 feet of steep fall line awaits and if that’s not enough, one of the most scenic backdrops on earth (see “Best View” above) looms in your peripheral.

Don’t Miss Family vibes. As one of the most kid friendly resorts in North America don’t leave the little ones at home!



2012/2013 Kirkwood Landscape Timelapses



Best View Go to Wagon Wheel Ridge for sunrise and sunset! Looking back from High Whiskey run get a view of the Cirque, Thimble Peak, and Wagon Wheel Bowl.

Iconic Run The Wall.

Don’t Miss Expedition:Kirkwood offers backcountry specialty clinics, private guides and avalanche awareness offerings within resort boundaries. Grab a drink at the Wall Bar, and watch your crew shred down the mountain.


#KirkwoodDeep #TahoeTrifecta

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Lakes

Best View From the top of the mountain at 11,053 feet, neighboring mountains Ritter, Banner and the Minaret range look close enough to touch.

Iconic Run Cornice Bowl, a black diamond run peeling off of the top of the mountain.

Don’t Miss The Melthouse is one of the newer on-hill dining spots with tasty food and beautiful scenery.



Mount RoseMt. Rose

Reno, NV

Best View Blue View off Upper Ramsey’s, overlooking Lake Tahoe!

Iconic Run The Chutes — 1000+ vertical feet of north-facing slopes with pitches from 40-55 degrees!

Don’t Miss The great local beer selection at Timbers Bar and Sky Bar.


#skirose #8260


Mt. Shasta Ski Park

Mount Shasta / McCloud

Best View From the Lodge right at the Base looking at Mt Shasta.

Iconic Run Highland “Groomer’s Choice.”

Don’t Miss The Back-Country Program, tours, open terrain, overnight stays, and panoramic views!


#mtshastaskipark #EmbraceYourInnerMountain


Northstar California


Best View Head to East Ridge on The Backside of Northstar for sweeping blue views from up high of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America.

Iconic Run Ax Handle is a great wide-open run, which is fun to hit first thing in the morning to experience freshly-groomed corduroy.

Don’t Miss Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub Northstar, which opens its doors this winter,  will bring unconventional pub fare to the heart of the Village, located right next to the Big Springs Express Gondola.


#NorthstarCalifornia #TahoeTrifecta



Captured on 03,29, 2019 by Brian Walker / Brian Walker Photography


Twin Bridges

Best View At the top of 360 Smokehouse BBQ, featuring snowy Huckleberry Canyon and views of Lake Tahoe.

Iconic Run Not a specific run, but Sierra is renowned for its world-class and steep tree skiing.

Don’t Miss Keep it fresh and tasty with the new poke bar at Solstice Eatery.


#SierraatTahoe #WherePlayReignsFree

Snow Summit

Big Bear Lake

Best View Mt. San Gorgonio from Chair 1.

Iconic Run Westridge run is a mix of downhill  and  park terrain.

Don’t Miss SoCal’s only groomed night sessions, Grizzly Ridge Tube Park, or 55th annual NYE Torchlight Parade.



Squaw Valley

Photot Tom Zikas

Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows

Best View The top of the Lakeview Chair at Alpine Meadows has the best Big Blue view of Lake Tahoe at either mountain.

Iconic Run KT-22 is where to find Squaw Valley’s most iconic terrain: Chute 75, Moseley’s and Nose to Fingers, to name a few.

Don’t Miss The brand new Treeline Cirque Chairlift at Alpine Meadows, and the new Tram Car Bar at Squaw Valley — kick back with a cocktail in a refurbished ‘70s era tram cabin!



Sugar Bowl Resort


Best View Lake View run has great views overlooking beautiful Donner Lake.

Iconic Run The Palisades.

Don’t Miss The Mac ‘N Cheese Bar in the newly remodeled Mid Mountain Lodge.


#sugarbowl #looknofurther