Where does it snow in California? Here are 10 amazing winter-wonderlands in the Golden State.

June 6, 2021

Have you been wondering “where does it snow in California?”

If you’ve been asking yourself where does it snow in California, luckily this article will give you some of the best spots for snow the golden state. If you’re heading to California, then you may be looking for sun, sand, and sea.

However, if you thrive in colder temperatures, you’re probably asking “where does it snow in California”? Although snowfall places in California aren’t perhaps as common as sunny areas, you can still find plenty of snow in California! 

Sometimes you just want some snow, and if you’re in California and you’re craving some wintery-cosiness, then you’re going to love all the places on this list. Where does it snow in California? The answer to your question is in this list!

So, if you’re looking for snowfall places in California that will allow you to make the most of the winter months, then read ahead. We’ve picked our favorite spots in The Golden State that will help you answer that burning question: “where does it snow in California”? 


Mount Shasta

If you’re looking for places where it snows in California, Mount Shasta is a great bet. If you’re thinking where does it snow in California, then Mount Shasta maybe already sprung to mind! If you’re all about volcanoes and snow, then Mount Shasta is a great place to visit.

This is one of the best snowfall places in California to visit, and it provides visitors with snow, a stunning lake for fishing and relaxing, as well as ample parking! Hey, you’ve got to consider the practicalities as well, folks.

If ice fishing and admiring the snow from afar isn’t quite good enough for you, then why not head up to Mount Shasta Ski Park for a spot of skiing or snowboarding? With incredible slopes on offer, it would be rude not to. A beautiful place to find snow in California!

Read more about California: Top 10 Christmas tree farms in California


Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you’re asking, “where does it snow in California?”, then the answer has got to be Lassen Volcanic National Park. You may be spotting a slight theme here – volcanic areas are incredible for seeing snow in California!

This national park isn’t too far from Nevada, so if you’re looking to see the sights of Reno during the winter months, then it’s well worth popping to Lassen Volcanic National Park for a few days to wind down and recharge. 

Offering visitors almost every winter sporting activity under the sun (think skiing, sledding, and snowboarding), it’s unsurprising that this remains one of the top snowfall places in California to visit for adrenaline junkies.

Just be aware that travel to this area can get tricky if there is excessive snowfall due to road closures, so be sure to come up with a plan B for getting here if that happens. Another great place to find snow in California.


Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is beautiful at any time of year, but this area remains one of the top answers to the question: “where does it snow in California?”. Located in Southern California, this gorgeous mountain spot tends to be booked out year-round, as it offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities to the surrounding communities.

Despite being in California, Big Bear Lake sees an abundance of snow each year and is the perfect place to visit for snow enthusiasts. 

Even if you’re not a big fan of winter sports, you’ll find that the glorious mountains provide more than enough reason to visit. Big Bear Lake provides snow cover from December to April each year, you’ll have ample opportunity to fit this place into your vacation plans. 

If you want a snowy vacation in California, this place almost always get snow in the winter months!


Lake Arrowhead

If you’re thinking where does it snow in California, Lake Arrowhead is a great location to visit. Lake Arrowhead is not far from L.A., so it’s a great place to put on your list if you’re planning to check out the Hollywood sign on your next winter trip.

If winter is all about Christmas festivities for you, then Lake Arrowhead is about to make your dreams come true. This place is a great location for snow in California. Offering plenty of awesome family activities revolving around Santa Claus and the holidays, it’s unsurprising that Lake Arrowhead remains one of the top family-friendly snowfall places in California.

We highly recommend heading here between November and January, as that’s when the Christmas action is in full force.

Read more California travel inspiration: 12 scenic small towns in California you should visit


Mammoth Lakes

Where does it snow in California? Mammoth Lakes could be a great location to visit (click here for the snow report). Not only is Mammoth Lakes one of the most beautiful spots in California to visit in general, but it happens to be among the best snowfall places in California!

This is definitely one of the best places to visit on our list if you’re traveling with the family, as there tend to be more activities held here aside from the typically seen skiing and snowboarding. This place has a very quaint vibe, and it really is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing ski-lodge-esque experience. 

Our top tip? Be sure to take a ride on the gondola here. It offers incredible views of the lakes and the surrounding area which you won’t be able to find anywhere else. This is a beautiful location that snows in California.


Yosemite National Park

Another great location for snow in California, it’s Yosemite National Park. Now, you’ll have probably heard of Yosemite National Park, but you may not have immediately thought of it when pondering where it snows in California.

Yosemite is one of the best snowfall places in California during the winter period, and if you’re looking to tack a winter getaway onto your trip to San Francisco, then this is a fantastic way to do so. Where does it snow in California? You’ll almost certainly find snow in California here during the winter months.

If you feel up to it, you can check out one of the many skiing, sledging, and skating opportunities at Yosemite National Park.

However, there’s nothing stopping you and your party from simply camping out and having a good ol’ fashioned gathering. Make of this winter wonderland what you wish, it’s a great place to find snow in California! 


Sequoia National Park

Where does it snow in California? Sequoia National Park is a great option! Sequoia National Park should be on your list of the top places to visit in California regardless of the time of year.

However, if you’re looking for snowfall places in California, then you certainly won’t be disappointed with this pick. Featuring enormous trees and endless stretches of forest, it’s a stunning place to visit for photographs, hikes, and general relaxation.

If you’re an avid skier, you’ll be pleased to know that this snowfall place in California also offers visitors various ski trails during the park’s winter season.

Expect to see an abundance of snow from December to February here, but be aware that the full season runs from December through May should you need to visit slightly later in the year. Whatever you choose to do at Sequoia National Park during the winter, just be sure to bring your sense of adventure! It’s a wonderful place to find snow in California.

Read more California travel inspiration: 20 incredible things to do in Southern California


Idyllwild 

Where does it snow in California? Try visiting Idyllwild! It is next on my list of where to find snow in California.

Known to visitors as “Mile-high Idyllwild” – this amazing snow California location is a popular southern California mountain resort which gets snow in the winter months and is perfect for winter getaways. It’s about one mile (1.6 km) in altitude – hence the nickname! This is an amazing place to find snow in California.


Mount Whitney

Where does it snow in California, you ask? Well, at Mount Whitney of course! You may have seen this snowfall place in California before if you’ve attempted to reach the summit during the summer. However, you’ll find that it looks quite different when winter rolls around.

Although it is certainly a more challenging climb during winter, it’s still totally possible. If you’re not a confident climber, then you may want to take the easier route to the top (or avoid the climb entirely!). More advanced trekkers should be fine with the more scenic trail. 

This isn’t necessarily the top snowfall place in California to visit if you’re looking to settle in for a few days, but it does offer a fantastic day out for the family which is sure to burn more than a few calories! Where does it snow in California? Probbaly here if you time your visit well! It’s also a great location for snowy hiking!


Los Padres National Forest

If you’re wondering where does it snow in California, then you’ll want to learn more about Los Padres National Forest. This beautiful forest is packed with incredible views and hiking opportunities, providing visitors plenty of snow along the way.

Located a stone’s throw from Santa Barbara, it’s a great place to head to on a day trip if you’re looking for snowfall places in California without going too far out of your way. Although you need to check for road closure notices in advance, it’s unlikely that it will get too far in the way of your plans. 

If you’re looking to stay overnight, you can head to one of the campsites nearby. You’ll want to wrap up warm when there’s snowfall, but it does offer the perfect winter wonderland for locals who don’t get to experience as much snow in California. 


Hopefully we’ve answered your question “Where does it snow in California?”

There are so many wonderful places in California to find snow! So head out and explore!

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