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Ski Southern California - Really!

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It may seem like a contradiction in terms -- skiing in a place that's known for beaches and sunshine? But at Southern California's ski resorts, you'll find deep powder, massive slopes, and the same gorgeous scenery you'll find on ski mountains anywhere. If you're looking for a wintertime escape that leaves you just miles from sunshine, warmth, great golfing, and gorgeous beaches, head to one of these fabulous ski areas for a day of snow-play.

Here are just a few of our favorite California ski destinations:

Bear Mountain and Bear Valley Mountain
The twin resorts known as Big Bear are famous in California for the great skiing they offer. Beyond the terrific slopes and well-groomed runs, you'll also find great special events at the Big Bear resorts. Look for giant slalom races, special ski classes and snowplay programs, and the kids club for kids aged 4 - 8. You'll love the stunning views!

Mammoth Mountain
This is one of California's most popular ski resorts. With well-groomed hardpack and areas for skiing and snowboarding, Mammoth offers 3,500 skiable acres, 3100 feet of vertical drop, and a starting elevation of around 8,000 feet. Most of the runs are for intermediate skiers, but you'll find beginning and advanced runs as well.

Mount Baldy
Deep, packed powder, short lift lines, and a great location all set Mount Baldy apart. The lift tickets are affordable and there are plenty of advanced runs. You'll drop from 8600 feet to 6500 feet as you zip down these powdery runs.

Mount Waterman
For short lift lines, great runs, and special toys like jumps and rails, head to this Southern California favorite. Mt. Waterman is sixty-percent advanced runs, so this is the perfect destination for skilled skiers.

Mountain High
Just an hour and a half from L.A., set in the charming town of Wrightwood, this is a family-oriented ski resort. This ski center prides itself on its low rates, special events like night skiing, and its volume of snow -- said to be 30 percent more than the Big Bear resorts get.

Rim Nordic
Set in the San Bernadino mountains, this is a Nordic, or cross-country, skiing center. With 12 miles of groomed trails and plenty of space for snowshoeing, you'll have a great time gliding down the Rim Nordic trails. The paths are wide enough for skate skiing and there are plenty of classes for first-timers. They also offer cross-country ski rentals and snowshoe rentals. During the summer, this is a great place to come for mountain biking.

Snow Summit
For beautifully groomed hardpack and terrific viwews, head to Snow Summit.

Snow Valley
For short lines, uncrowded runs, and friendly service, take a trip to Snow Valley. Be sure to check out the special lift rates on Wednesdays and other deals from Sports Chalet and Sports Authority. With plenty of beginner runs, this is a perfect family resort.
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