Living in the Las Vegas area, it’s a bit of tough luck if you want to go skiing or snowboarding during the winter. After all, the city isn’t exactly known for its mountains or snowfall. That’s not to say going on a ski trip is an impossible task, though. In fact, there are a few ski options within driving distance to the area. If you fancy yourself an afternoon on the slopes, these are your best, and nearest, options.
Only 50 or so miles away, Lee Canyon is your closest bet for getting some ski time in near Las Vegas. Based on Mt. Charleson, Lee Canyon has just about everything you’d expect from a resort, including multiple trails and a day lodge. Along with trails ranging from a bunny hill (fittingly called Rabbit Peak) to black-diamond trails like Slot Alley and Snake, Lee Canyon has a few double-black-diamond trails for experienced riders. In fact, the most adventurous trails aren’t even accessible by chairlift – you’ll have to hike to get there. If you fancy staying overnight, the Resort on Mt. Charleston is just a few minutes’ drive away.
Brian Head Resort
Unfortunately, Lee Canyon is just about your only option for local Vegas skiing, but if you’re willing to spend a few hours on the road, your next best bet is Brian Head Resort in Brian Head, Utah. The resort, which is spread over two mountains, called Giant Steps and Navajo, boasts a whopping 71 runs and eight chair lifts. Those who’ve been to the resort praise it for the small crowds, so you’ll surely have all the space you need. One word of caution: Brian Head’s base altitude is the highest in Utah and higher than most other ski resorts, so take it easy when you visit lest you get altitude sickness.
Mountain High Resort
Nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains, Mountain High Resort might not flaunt an altitude as high as Brian Head Resorts, but for Southern California, it certainly isn’t too bad. Split between three areas–East, West, and North–Mountain High has a multitude of runs as well as a tubing park. During peak season, Mountain High is open every day of the week, and for all the night skiers out there, the resort stays open until 10 p.m. The resort can be popular with Californians who (understandably) aren’t very experienced in snow sports, so if you’re an experienced skier, watch out for all the first-timers you’ll be sharing the slopes with!
Alta Sierra Ski Resort
A short drive from Mountain High Resort, Alta Sierra Ski Resort in Wofford Heights, California, is still quite a ways from the Las Vegas area. But, judging by the opinions of those who’ve skied its slopes, the pilgrimage is worth it. While Alta Sierra can’t compare to Mountain High when it comes to sheer number of trails, visitors have appreciated the modest pricing for rentals and day passes. A majority of the resort’s trails are groomed and vary in difficulty, and interestingly, the mountain includes two ungroomed, black-diamond runs for advanced riders.