Perhaps the last thing that comes to mind when thinking about Southern California is: snow, mountains, and winter sports. Well my fellow travelers, to your surprise, there are quite a few places where you can indulge in all the snowy activities without having to drive more than 2 hours. After calling San Diego my home for so many years, I started feeling that I was missing something. This feeling only got stronger when the holidays came around. I do love the palm trees and the sunshine all year round, but… all I wanted for Christmas was snow!!! After doing a little research I found, to my surprise, there are a handful of spots in SoCal where you can build the snowman of your dreams without breaking a bank.
With my bags quickly packed, GPS charged, I was on my way to mountain Baldy. Located in San Bernardino County, Mt. Baldy is a part of San Gabriel Mountains, which is only 45 mi (72 km) from Los Angeles. There are more choices to choose from, including probably the most visited and popular, Big Bear Mountains. However, we had no intentions of spending lots of money or time in traffic (it gets really bad there during the peak season) so we chose San Gabriel.
We stayed in the small town Upland, located 15 miles away from the Ski Lift Resort. Waking up early does have its perks; for instance, less traffic and better parking.
Mt. Baldy has a nice Ski Lift which takes you right to the top. At the top you’ll experience the gorgeous views of the snowy hills, gigantic Pine Trees, and crystal clear frosty air. Welcome to the Winter Wonderland!
We also tried tubing; which was fun, but not extraordinary entertainment for my taste.
On the top of the mountain you can feel how time slows down. Overlooking this winter kingdom was a much desired and long awaited moment. There is nothing like snowflakes landing on your face while cozying up to a warm cup of hot coco. Winter, I have missed you so much! There is nothing like reliving a youthful memory, throwing snowballs and making snow angels. No Christmas is real without the snow!
If you live in a warm climate I highly recommend taking the time to enjoy the snow. It is a wonderful, fun, and energizing experience!
Sitting in a cozy cabin-like lodge on the top of the mountain, I was drinking hot coffee to warm up, while the snowflakes were slowly landing on the window. I caught myself thinking that it was the best coffee I’ve ever had because it had a winter taste. California is filled with surprises, and its snowy special white winters have to be my favorite.