WIN­TER SPORTS

A Snowy Won­der­land

Travel Guide to California - - CONTENTS -

SKI­ING CAL­I­FOR­NIA

Snow play isn’t usu­ally fore­most in peo­ple’s minds when they think of Cal­i­for­nia, but the state has some of the best ski­ing in the West. Mam­moth Moun­tain is a mag­net for skiers from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, and the area around Lake Ta­hoe of­fers more op­tions than any­where in North Amer­ica. A skier carves a turn in Cor­nice Bowl, one of Mam­moth Moun­tain’s top runs, above.

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has long been

known as a warm-weather win­ter va­ca­tion area, with sports and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties cen­tered in San Diego and Los An­ge­les and desert re­treats like Palm Springs. But the moun­tains of Lake Ta­hoe, Mam­moth Lakes and Yosemite and across the Sierra Ne­vada range beckon win­ter vis­i­tors who want to em­brace snow-based sports and recre­ation.

Sports

In win­ter, South­ern Cal­i­for­nia is still an oa­sis for out­door sports and ad­ven­ture, from golf to ten­nis, hik­ing and horse­back rid­ing, whether in the still-bak­ing desert around Palm Springs or the per­pet­u­ally pleas­ant va­ca­tion­land of San Diego or Los An­ge­les. But for those seek­ing win­ter sports, there may be no bet­ter place on earth than the moun­tains sur­round­ing Lake Ta­hoe. The area hosted the 1960 Win­ter Olympics at Squaw Val­ley and con­tin­ues to be home base for many U.S. Win­ter Olympians who bang moguls, rip the half-pipes and race on down­hill runs at more than a dozen area ski re­sorts. For the non-ex­treme, plenty of be­gin­ner trails, group lessons and smaller hills of­fer a safe in­tro­duc­tion to the sport.

Ta­hoe ski re­sorts in­clud­ing Squaw Val­ley, Northstar and Heav­enly also of­fer ice skat­ing rinks and in­ner tube runs for those look­ing for more mel­low ac­tiv­i­ties, best com­ple­mented with a fire pit and toasted

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