Weekend getaway: Take off for the peaks

Local snow makes flaking out of work cool, and the right kind of après-ski makes a trip to the mountains chill. With so many resorts within striking distance of San Diego, it’s always a great weekend to escape corporate life, grab the gear and hit the slopes for a different kind of “board” meeting.

Snow Summit

With an elevation of 8,200 feet, Snow Summit offers 31 trails and nearly 250 acres of ride-able terrain. No storms? No problem. A state-of-the-art snowmaking system using water from Big Bear Lake adds to the snowpack.

880 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake, 844.462.2327,
Where to stay

Those into Swiss won’t want to miss a night at Switzerland Haus Bed & Breakfast. Grab one of the quaint, two-people-max rooms and wake up to breakfast prepared by the innkeeper.

41829 Switzerland Dr., Big Bear Lake, 909.866.3729,

Where to eat/drink

After the last run, have a drink on the mountain’s 13,000-square-foot deck or head into town for pizza and drinks at Saucy Mama’s.

618B Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake, 909.878.0165

Bear Mountain

After fueling up at Big Bear Roasting Company (41080 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, 909.866.0859., head to the main lodge before hitting miles of mixed terrain, half-pipes and the Red Bull Plaza - the mountain’s urban terrain park. Bear Mountain is also home to the largest beginner ski area in the region.

43101 Goldmine Dr., Big Bear Lake, 909.866.5766,

Where to stay

After a day on the mountain, rest weary legs at Big Bear Manor Spa Cabins. For the low price of $70, each cabin comes complete with a hot tub.
40393 Big Bear Blvd., Big Bear Lake, 909.866.6800,

Where to eat/drink

Après-ski, give Captains Anchorage a try for a delicious steak or prime rib. But don’t overdo the spirits - the elevation makes dehydration a bear, and this place is said to be home to a friendly ghost named George.
42148 Moonridge Way, Big Bear Lake, 909.866.3997,

Mountain High

Mountain High has come a long way in recent years. Tucked into the San Gabriel Mountains a little more than two hours from San Diego, the resort features three distinct areas (East, West and North resorts) for one ticket price, each offering a different kind of terrain. If a full day of skiing or shredding isn’t enough, night skiing (open seven nights a week during peak season) should be. For a totally tubular experience, ride down any of 10 lanes at North Pole Tubing Park, located at the base of the North Resort.

24510 CA-2, Wrightwood, 888.754.7878,

Where to stay

There are many lodging options on the mountain, including the quaint and affordable Canyon Creek Inn.

6059 Pine St., Wrightwood, 760.249.4800,

Where to eat/drink

After working up an appetite bouncing down the Olympic Bowl mogul run, check out The Bullwheel Bar & Grill, located above the West Resort base area. Specialties include spicy fish tacos and hot toddies.

24510 CA-2, Wrightwood


The gold standard in California for decades, Mammoth Mountain is a monster, offering 3,500 acres of skiable terrain covered by an average annual snowfall of 33 feet. Mammoth soars to an elevation of 11,053 feet, making it the highest summit in California. The small resort town has grown immensely over the years, attracting nearly 2.8 million visitors annually.

10001 Minaret Rd., Mammoth Lakes, 800.626.6684,

Where to stay

When staying in town, good, affordable lodging can be found at the trusty Mammoth Creek Inn (663 Old Mammoth Rd., Mammoth Lakes, 760.934.6162. If splurging is in order, check out (or into) the Westin Monache Resort Mammoth (50 Hillside Dr., Mammoth Lakes, 760.934.0400., featuring an outdoor heated pool and two adjacent hot tubs. The place is pet-friendly, so Fido is welcome, too.

Where to eat/drink

No trip to Mammoth is complete without a visit to The Stove (644 Old Mammoth Rd., Mammoth Lakes, 760.934.2821, The Cinnamon Swirl French Toast is a slice of heaven. For craft beer, don’t miss Mammoth Brewing Company (18 Lake Mary Rd., Mammoth Lakes. 760.934.7141,

Lake Tahoe

In addition to straddling the California-Nevada border, the picturesque and breathtaking Lake Tahoe offers 10 resorts including the famed Olympic mountain Squaw Valley, North Star, Kirkwood and Heavenly Mountain. After risking life and limb on the slopes, take a gamble in a casino on the Nevada side of the border before going back to Cali. While each resort has its own website, sums it all up pretty well.

Where to stay

If staying in South Lake Tahoe (on the Nevada side), gamble the night away at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe (18 State Route 50, Stateline, Nevada, 775.588.6611, The nearby Grand Residences by Marriott Lake Tahoe (1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe, 530.542.8400, may be worth the splurge, as the Heavenly gondola is practically on its doorstep. On the north end of the lake, visit to rent a rustic cabin in the woods with easy access to multiple mountains.

Where to eat/drink

Before jumping on a lift in South Lake Tahoe, warm things up at Keys Café, a cool little coffee shack (2279 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, 530.542.3800, For a snazzy meal after a day on the slopes, check out Edgewood Restaurant at the Edgewood Tahoe resort, offering fine dining and commanding views of the lake. Cocktails get crafty at the adjacent Brooks Bar & Deck (100 Lake Parkway, Stateline, Nevada, 775.588.6183, In North Lake Tahoe, stop by Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. (475 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, 530.581.4677, for a year-round brew or a limited release, such as the Smoke Maibock, a pale lager aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.


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