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Best resort near San Francisco?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I may need to combine some work with play.

I've never skied in California. Which of the resorts that are within reasonable range of San Francisco would you recommend?

I ski anything up to black runs confidently, enjoy bumps, but not trees or air :)

thanks....
post #2 of 11
All ski areas are 3+ hours from the City and will be up US50 or I-80.  Along I-80 choose from Sugar Bowl, Donner Ridge, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Homewood.  Its a bit farther to North Star, Mt. Rose, Incline.  Any of those ski areas would meet your needs, but  Sugar Bowl, Squaw and Alpine could have you reconsidering the definition of a black run based on what you are familiar with in Ontario.  All have great intermediate terrain to get you going.

Along Hwy 50 is Sierra at Tahoe (closest) and Heavenly.   Farther south along hwy 88 is Kirkwood.  Each is different and worth a visit.  I actually think you'd enjoy Sierra quite a bit as an easy  to reach area with lots to offer your skiing level.. 

If you don't have a pass yet, take a look at Snowbomb.com for some discounts that are available, and try a variety of resorts for your first year here.  Welcome.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Cirquerider. That helps.

I should have qualified. I ski up to black runs at mountain resorts (Alta/Snowbird, Deer Valley, Park City, Whistler, Revelstoke, Kimberley, Snowmass, Aspen, Aspen Highlands); I ski up to double blacks in Ontario. I wonder if those are molehill resorts? :)

(And I don't tend to ski bumps in Ontario unless it's just snowed. Ice bumps aren't my idea of a particularly good time.)

Which of the ski areas that you describe are more... well... mountain-y?
post #4 of 11
 All 3 of those resorts are great, but Alpine and Squaw are king, and you haven't lived until you've skied KT-22. 
post #5 of 11
If you are considering staying a week (or at least a long weekend) what many people do who are new to the area is stay in Truckee, which straddles Interstate 80 and has a great "old town" with multiple good lodging and restaurant choices.  From Truckee its less than a ten mile drive on good roads to Squaw, Alpine and NorthStar which will provide you with all the variety you could ask for.  Once you've sampled a bit you can go back to the one you like and really get to know the place.  
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much.

I found this link re: KT-22: http://unofficialandes.com/ski/blog/kt-22-vs-ts-marte/
:)

SquawBrat, that was exactly the info I was looking for -- thanks. I'll try and see what the drive is from SF, and what accommodation at Truckee's like.

(BTW, other folks have suggested I go to Utah from SFO, but the drive's a bit too far, and I don't want to pay for 2 plane tix.)
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much.

I found this link re: KT-22: http://unofficialandes.com/ski/blog/kt-22-vs-ts-marte/
:)

SquawBrat, that was exactly the info I was looking for -- thanks. I'll try and see what the drive is from SF, and what accommodation at Truckee's like.

(BTW, other folks have suggested I go to Utah from SFO, but the drive's a bit too far, and I don't want to pay for 2 plane tix.)
post #8 of 11
Might consider a cheap flight to Reno from SF or Oakland.  They had some $25 flights recently.
post #9 of 11
Sugar Bowl is great. Up high, North facing slopes, great runs. I also love Squaw Valley. A bunch of my buddies love Alpine Meadows but I have not been there since I was a kid.
post #10 of 11
 Amen dogsonic, Sugar Bowl is the best for a quick day trip, 2 1/2 hours from the bay and if you do it with 2 cars you can drop one off at donner lake and ski down some of the baddest and easily accessible backcountry in tahoe on the last run of the day. Just hit it yesterday and am still on cloud 9 from all those fresh tracks
post #11 of 11
Tahoe for sure. Your second possible choice would be Mammoth. Tahoe would be alot easier to access though
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