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10 Places That Actually Snow in California & Are Great for Sledding

December 16, 2023 6 min read

California is known for warmth and sunshine, drawing visions of sun-kissed beaches, surfers catching waves, and endless summer vibes. It's the land of Hollywood glam and palm-lined boulevards. But what if we told you that this state — renowned for its sunny climate — can also have snow? 

Amidst the stretches of sandy beaches and balmy weather, there are spots where you can indeed find snowflakes and even ride sleds. Dive in as we enter these winter wonderlands, proving that California knows how to rock both sunglasses and snow boots.

1. Lake Tahoe

Nestled along the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe shines amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Known for its crystalline waters and panoramic mountain views, it's a winter paradise that invites thrill-seekers and families alike. 

As snow blankets the region, sledding becomes a pleasurable pastime. Adventure Point at Heavenly offers exciting tubing runs, while Hansen's Snow Tube and Saucer Hill promise a charming sled experience.

With varying slopes and panoramic views, sledding here is a picturesque adventure.

2. Mammoth Lakes

In the heart of the Eastern Sierras, Mammoth Lakes is a snowy haven come winter. The town transforms into a winter hub filled with sleds. Woolly's Tube Park is the star attraction, offering perfectly maintained lanes for tubing enthusiasts. 

For those wanting a more serene sledding experience, Shady Rest Park offers a slope surrounded by scenic beauty. It's the perfect blend of adventure and comfort with amenities like warming huts and eateries.

3. Big Bear Lake

Rising nearly 7,000 feet above Southern California, Big Bear Lake is a wintry escape amidst pine forests and clear blue skies. The region's elevation guarantees consistent snowfall, making it a sled enthusiast's dream. Grizzly Ridge Tube Park offers a dedicated sledding area ideal for families to slide together. 

Meanwhile, the Big Bear Snow Play provides ample sledding space with magic carpet lifts, ensuring the fun ensues without being interrupted by the uphill climb.

4. Mount Shasta

Towered by the imposing Mount Shasta volcano, this northern California region offers a unique blend of beautiful landscapes and sparkling snow. Mount Shasta's high altitude ensures generous snowfall, crafting perfect sled runs.

5. Yosemite National Park

Famous for its iconic granite cliffs and ancient sequoias, Yosemite National Park’s winter climate offers stunning vistas. Badger Pass Ski Area is the park’s go-to spot for snow fun. 

Apart from skiing, the slopes are perfect for sledding, especially for beginners and families. And, for those seeking a mix of sledding and picturesque surroundings, the meadows near Yosemite Valley guarantee an unforgettable snow play experience.

6. Idyllwild

In the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild is a hideaway that often skips the tourist radar. Come winter, its pine-covered hills have a thick layer of snow, offering perfect sledding opportunities. 

The local spots, such as Humber Park, offer a range of slopes from gentle descents for beginners to thrilling runs for the more adventurous.

7. Wrightwood

Just a short drive from Los Angeles, Wrightwood provides city-dwellers with a snowy escape. Located in the San Gabriel Mountains, this quaint town transforms into a winter playground when the snow falls.

Mountain High’s North Resort is top-rated among families, offering a dedicated area for sledding. The gentle slopes ensure a safe and fun experience for kids and adults alike.

8. Julian

When winter comes around, Julian’s rolling hills become perfect sledding grounds. Just a short trip from the main town, spots like Jess Martin Park provide ample space for sledding, building snowmen, and indulging in snowball fights. 

9. Palomar Mountain

Perched high in San Diego County, Palomar Mountain gets plenty of snow, with elevations rising over 6,000 feet. The State Park area offers numerous meadows and gentle inclines ideal for sledding. 

While Doane Valley is a particular favorite, you might find locals and visitors carving out their own sledding paths across the mountain's landscapes. The serene environment and panoramic views combine to offer an unparalleled sledding experience.

10. Mount Baldy

Just an hour from the heart of Los Angeles, Mount Baldy is a snowy escape that feels worlds apart from the city streets. It is the closest snow to the LA basin and one of the most diverse for winter activities. The Baldy Tube Park is a hotspot for sledding enthusiasts, boasting well-maintained slopes and tube rentals for endless fun.

If you're craving a more off-the-beaten-path experience, simply venture around to discover plenty of natural sled runs. Amidst the thick pines and crisp mountain air, sledding on Mount Baldy offers both thrill and tranquility.

Sledding in California: Tips for a Memorable Snow Day

Sledding is the perfect way to connect with friends and family, ensuring a memorable experience each time. As you plan your next snow adventure in California, consider some of our top tips to ensure you make the most of your time.

Gear Up Right

Before you hop onto your sled, ensure you’re dressed appropriately. Layers are your best friend. Start with thermal innerwear, pile on a fleece or sweater, and top it off with a waterproof jacket. Also, don’t forget your cozy gloves, a snug beanie, and waterproof boots.

Sled in Style

Traditional wooden sleds have their charm, so why not jazz things up? Our Barbie™ The Movie x FUNBOY Snowmobile Sled brings an extra layer of fun and Instagram-worthy pictures to your sledding adventure. For durability, the sled is designed with a grooved rubber base and offers a smooth, air-cushioned ride. Plus, it’s spacious enough for solo adventures or tandem rides.

Know Your Slope

Look for designated snow play or sledding hills for your snow day. Every hill has its own personality. Some are gentle and ideal for families, while others offer a more adventurous descent. Before setting off, scout the hill, check for any obstacles, and ensure the area at the bottom is spacious and safe.

Plan the Afterparty

Sledding is exhilarating — after all that adrenaline, you might need something to warm you up. Enter the Aprés Ski ShotSki® by FUNBOY, designed for on-the-go fun. Whether you’re up in the mountains or chilling in a cabin, you can enjoy a flexible shot-taking experience without worrying about spills or broken glasses. 

Safety First

Safety is important even in the thrill of speeding downhill. Avoid slopes near roads or water bodies. Always sit face-forward on your sled, and if you're venturing out with your little ones, be sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Consider wearing a helmet. 

Respect the Environment

Remember, keeping our planet clean amidst all the fun is important. Carry out any trash you bring in, and be conscious about where you set up. Let’s keep these snowy paradises pristine for years to come.

Stay Hydrated and Fueled

Believe it or not, you can get dehydrated in the cold. Make sure you keep a bottle of water handy and pack some energy-boosting snacks like trail mix or granola bars.

Make Friends

One of the joys of sledding is the community spirit it evokes. Strike up a conversation with fellow sledders, and share tips and routes as you tumble down together.

Armed with these tips, your California sledding adventure promises to be memorable. Whether you’re embracing your inner child on the slopes or toasting with friends post-sled, enjoy every snowy moment to the fullest.

The Bottom Line

While California's sun-soaked beaches and iconic landmarks are often at the forefront of travel itineraries, its lesser-known snowy havens hold a unique experience of their own. 

From Mount Shasta's northern peaks to Palomar Mountain's southern tips, the Golden State offers an exciting blend of sun and snow. There's no better way to experience this unique fusion than by riding a FUNBOY sled down its pristine slopes. 

So, next time you think of California, remember that amidst its golden glow lies a snowy escape waiting to be discovered. With your sled in hand, it's time to unveil a side of California that promises thrill and serenity. 

Check out our blog to learn more about the best ways to enjoy all your inflatable modes of transportation, ensuring you’re prepared for every season. 

Sources:

About Tahoe | Keep Tahoe Blue

Mount Palomar | Observatory, Telescope, Astronomy | Britannica

Sledding Safety | National Safety Council

The Importance of Winter Hydration | Mass General Hospital


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