Where does it snow in California? Where does it snow in California?

Where Does it Snow in California? 6 Amazing Places to Visit

The first things which pop up in my mind when thinking about California are the white sandy beaches, warm breezes all day, and year-round sunshine, but that is the myth this article is going to prove wrong.

Did you know that California also encounters extreme winters? And if it does, then where does it snow in California?

California, however, is fairly varied, especially during the winter months encompassing everything from frost slopes and pines to rocky coastlines covered in salt bundles and, well, perhaps also a few palm trees tossed in, it makes for the perfect winter wonderland.

On the screen, in dramas and films, California has been portrayed as a state with perpetual summertime festivities with all-year-round sunlight for its residents. But be assured, finding places in the scope where it snow in California is not tough, there is a long list of the same.

Photo by faungg’s photos on Flickr

The large majority of the state does, in fact, encounter kind of cold weather, albeit it is considerably milder in California compared to anywhere else in the nation, except the southern region of the state where the deserts are splayed out.

California is fortunate to enjoy a temperate continental climate. The cold weather delivers snowfall to the Sierra Nevada Range and rainfall to the lowest altitudes in California.

Tourists can benefit from the ideal cold temperature in calm and peaceful Palm Springs or the warm climates of LA. The ski resorts dotted all over the state are more popular winter vacation spots. There are plenty of recreational activities to have you occupied throughout the winter.

California has the ideal location, just ready to be discovered, for any trip, you are seeking, doesn’t matter if it is a beach holiday or a skier’s dream for experiencing cross-country skiing. Although California’s climate is something to adore, the state’s significant temperature variation is what will hold you around.

Did you ever stay somewhere that allowed you to rise up, have a snowman battle in the mornings, and be at the beachfront tanning by noon?

Cali, is it for you, then? Even if you require a vehicle to travel to certain places, it is still quite spectacular. When you are seeking where it snows in California, keep in mind that access and transportation here won’t be easy.

All the spectacular landscapes in the places listed where it snows in California should be among its most attractive features. The whole state resembles a million-dollar painting come alive.

The places where it snows in California have it all which might leave guests sighing in full admiration, from the coast to historical sites.

While a large portion of the nation struggles with heavy snowfall, the majority of people in this state are fortunate to celebrate the holidays outside. So, where does it snow in California, let’s delve in!

What is the Snow Season in California?

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Photo by Derek Sutton on Unsplash

Before finding out where it snow in California, let’s find out the snow season in California first.

The coolest months in Cali are from December to February, in that order. December is a beautiful time of year in California. Fewer people are on the beachfront, and the weather is pleasant with a mild wind.

Partaking in thrilling pursuits like trekking, bicycling, and campsite expeditions is ideal in December, while also spreading the Christmas cheer. There is holiday enthusiasm everywhere since various activities are taking place all throughout the area.

Visitors can also participate in a variety of cuisine, entertainment, and art in the area.

Whichever region of Cali you are going to will determine the temperature there. For instance, compared to coastal regions, desert areas are substantially hotter. Even though there are eight hours of sunlight each day, there will occasionally be brief sprinkles of steady rain.

In particular, in the evenings, the weather lowers to 8.3 ° C., whereas throughout the day it hovers at about 19.4 ° C. Now that you know temperature habits and snow season, read on to find the top picks of where it snows in California.

Where does it Snow in California?

1. Lake Tahoe

Ranking first on the list of where it snows in California is Lake Tahoe. An alpine lagoon called Lake Tahoe is situated on the Nevada and California boundary.

A popular tourist destination, Lake Tahoe is encircled by a number of holiday destinations.

The Tahoe region is considered to be among the best areas to savor the cold winters whenever the blizzards strike.

In addition to having a wide choice of holiday destinations, Lake Tahoe also offers a decent selection of villages, casinos, fantastic restaurants, campgrounds, and then even a couple of hot springs for when you desire to loosen up and become warm.

And of course, not to forget that enormous, stunning lake in blue. The last time it snowed on south Lake Tahoe was in April, yet it can simply fall as soon as October ends. But the region experiences more severe winter weather from December to March.

After seeing snowfall for roughly six weeks, Lake Tahoe receives a typical 4843.78 millimeters of snowfall annually.

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Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash

The story of Tahoe begins with two towns. And nothing could be more accurate than the above. It truly resembles two distinct locations. Each component is special. Each of them is better suited for a particular weather and pace.

Is one preferable compared to the other? That could be discretionary. However, the majority of people discuss the northern against the southern when referring to Lake Tahoe. Yes, there is also the west and east coast. But this is not often how people refer to them. The most frequent choices are Southern or Northern Lake Tahoe. The maximum of the action takes place there.

The lakeside itself is among the primary reasons you must visit Tahoe. It is breathtaking. Both during the day and at nighttime, it reflects light. For those scorching afternoons in July and August, the lakes are a beautiful respite since they remain cool even during the height of summertime.

The lake is not only used for bathing, though. People don’t just travel to Lake Tahoe to go swimming in the water. Just looking at it is another aspect.

You appreciate and become aware of the lake’s tempting influence when you see it for yourself. You will learn things that many other travelers discovered as well. You discover that the lake instantly makes you wistful. You have an instant want to come back and keep going back season after season. Add it to your bucket list now!

Lake Tahoe
Photo by Jonathan Cook-Fisher on Flickr

2. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite and its neighboring cities are especially lovely to discover in the wintertime and the most beautiful responses to where it snow in California. You can enjoy calm in this winter-haven and excitement without standing in those never-ending lines because there are fewer tourists during the winter.

Yosemite in the wintertime is a truly unique spectacle. In addition to being far less congested than in the summertime, the lower bright sun changes the entire landscape’s appearance.

Yosemite is an entirely new place in the winter. If you have only ever been to Yosemite during the summer, get ready to be amazed since the snow season is every bit as breathtaking (if not more so).

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Photo by Andrew McQuaid on Unsplash

But don’t be frightened to go in the wintertime, when classifying it as a place where it snow in California, it can be seen in an entirely new light. The weather forecast will be given to you beforehand, and also most cold days in the Valleys are bright and around 40 °F.

Although lane closures and ice-unplowed roads should indeed be expected, they are precautionary rather than regular events. Exceptions include the Glacier Pt route and the Tioga Pass, both of which are permanently shut down throughout the wintertime.

Consider booking a private tour from San Francisco if you do not have a vehicle or just have a single day to explore the area. As you are transported to the majority of the key sights in one trip, you can enjoy the sights and unwind.

If you do decide to visit here, keep in mind to look out for 12 Yosemite animals that dwell in Yosemite National Park.

Another option is to take a tour guide to the site departing from LA. These excursions are a great alternative if you are worried about transit, want to visit Yosemite on an ongoing California vacation, or prefer not to deal with the trouble of organizing.

A two-night Saturday and Sunday getaway is ideal in the cold months. You will then have a daytime on your last day, a whole day, and an evening on the day you come. You will get a feel for the park throughout the wintertime, get a sense of the layout, and have the opportunity to visit a few of the hikes.

Yosemite National Park in winter
Photo by John Manard on Flickr

3. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Ranking third on the list of where it snows in California, Lassen Volcanic offers excellent wintertime enjoyment and a seasonal environment that the park’s species and vegetation have adjusted successfully.

In the hot seasons of California, streams, lakes, and groundwater are gently replenished by the freshwater that has slowly dissolved from ice, snowfall, and underground streams in Lassen.

Heights and basins on volcanoes and lakes of pure azure, you will surely get some insta-worthy pictures here. A little-known nature reserve in California’s northeastern region is Lassen Volcano, which is host to an ancient terrain filled with a steam-hot zone and volcano.

There are several options for over-snow enjoyment during the cold spring and winter months. There is only 1 mile of access routes from the month of November to May.

In this National Park, the Kings Canyon Waterfall Route is arguably the most well-traveled trekking route. It is hardly unexpected that Kings Creek Cascades draws tourists given that it is the sole significant fall in the region.

The majority of the route is simple, but the final section that descends to the cascade seems to be a little challenging. The rising section, which consists of 0.2 kilometers of steps that rise at a significant incline, is considerably more challenging. Definitely worth seeing in the wintertime, remember to wear appropriate shoes though.

Ski racing, cross-country skiers, wilderness snowshoeing, and other winter sports are available from November to April, however, keep in mind that you must bring your gear both inside and outside.

Lassen National Park
Photo by LassenNPS on Flickr

4. Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake receives at minimum an inch of heavy snow on most mornings when it snows. typically, there is 3 cm or above of snowfall on 8 days annually. Three to four times yearly, there are typically snowstorms with more than 5 inches of snowfall per day.

Following a day spent on the hills, the excitement shouldn’t end! Choose the ideal accommodation, regardless of whether it is modest and quaint or expansive and opulent.

Seeking a billiards table, jacuzzi on the sundeck, and complimentary ski and snowboard rentals? With more than three hundred holiday homes available, you may find the ideal residence for your wintertime activities.

Try out a fast-paced zip to get your heart pumping! As you glide through the woods, you will get to glimpse Big Bear’s snow-covered woodland. If you are a risk taker, excursions are available every day.

Big Bear offers the finest skiing in Southern California. Internet purchases will be accessible for purchasing lift passes, seasonal tickets, and bookings for lessons and rentals.

Put on your finest snow boots and enjoy the quiet and beautiful scenery of the Canyon. Join a professional-led trip or go it alone. All seasons are suitable for hiking on routes in Wilderness Areas. To minimize overcrowding, experts advise guests to schedule their treks for the weekdays.

Grab your woolen clothes and get ready to experience all the snowy winter activities! There are a number of cabins available for rental in the area that seems to be near all the famous attractions.

In the Big Bear holiday home, you can stroll to the mountains to engage in snow sports like snowboarding and skiing. After that, return to your cabins to relax in the jacuzzi or campfire while spending special moments with your loved ones.

Big Bear Lake
Photo by Jeff P on Flickr

5. Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Lakes offers a variety of leisure pursuits that don’t include just skiing or snowboarding. Traditional winter activities like ice skating and skiing are no longer the only ones available.

Energetic vacationers and fitness aficionados will find the snow-capped pines and fresh air to be welcoming. There are a variety of snow sports available in Mammoth Lakes, including both family-friendly events and action-packed excursions.

Snowboarding is a terrific physical exercise for workout aficionados, so you don’t have to change your schedule when going on a holiday break. It is the altitude in mountainous destinations or the brisk air, but skiing upside on the slope and crossing paths will probably cause your pulse to race.

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Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Simply due to a blanket of snow on the terrain does not mean that avid bicyclists must stop doing their preferred activity.

The top snowshoeing spot in California is about half an hour towards the northern region of Mammoth Lakes. For seasoned ice hikers, Lee Vining Canyon’s freezing cascades are perfect. Would you really like to master how to skate but are unfamiliar with it? Enlist the help of a local hiking expert for a beginner sport climbing lesson.

Visit one of the numerous infamous hot springs around the lake. There is practically nothing more pleasant than immersing your achy muscles in warm water, as we have all experienced them. In order to access these springs, a little off-roading to find these springs will be necessary.

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Photo by Brandon Morales on Unsplash

Considering every one of these sites is accessible only by a gravel road, you must trek or use snow boots to access them during the colder months and carry snow gear if it has freshly fallen because the ground is less certain to be pressed out.

They are all reachable from a single common wayside parking spot around a mile away through a largely level track that, during the summertime, can be driven on as a gravel road. But don’t think that will make individuals decide not to go! Go at dawn if you desire any possibility of having these to yourselves.

The hillsides are no longer just exclusively for skiers. The whole group will enjoy the manicured paths, which are accessible via lift. You can also glide almost any place there is empty land and a good slope if you bring your personal tubes. On city grounds, search for hills without stones or branches, climb up on the peak, and then tumble down.

Skiing and snowboarding have a long tradition of serving as the main wintertime form of transportation in isolated areas, but nowadays it is largely regarded as a recreational activity and is among the snow sports with the quickest growth rates. It is advised to go on group tours to ensure your safety.

There are many parks that have mild slides and a tranquil, woodland location, is the place to go if you are traveling with very small kids and are seeking a low-key place to go sliding. Although there is no designated sliding spot, the people are welcome to slide and enjoy the snowfall in the wooded areas of the picturesque circuit.

Mammoth Mountain
Photo by Don Graham on Flickr

6. Kirkwood

Admit it or not, the low-key smaller towns have a certain beauty about them. Ranking last but not least on the roster of where it snow in California is Kirkwood. You will be infatuated with Kirkwood very fast, even if you are coming for a mini vacation or are thinking about sticking around for a while.

You might not want to return due to the numerous exciting activities and intriguing sights to see here.

There are plenty of activities here. Visit the downtown to look for galleries, shops, theatres, or a tasty lunch. Your itinerary should depend upon what catches your attention. In addition to simply exploring the area, you can find the best ski resorts.

Why mull about where to go to find snow in California and what to do? As you discover this new area, let the options flood over you. Take to the streets on walking in order to get explore the neighborhood better. Discover the ideal souvenir at a little boutique, or rediscover your complete style at your favorite new museum.

Are you hearing thoughts from the breeze in your head? Take a rental automobile out of the town and into the vast blue horizon. Discover the tiny bordering cities and villages and learn about their histories.

Go to a local fair, and as the candy floss warms on your lips, let the recollections of your youth sweep over you. The pace and flurry of today’s world might whisk you off as you immerse yourselves in the ordered turmoil of a bustling metropolis, or you can enjoy homemade jam at a rest stop along a deserted highway. Your options are so many, just like the experiences that lie in the future.

Photo by Tahoe South on Flickr

Booking Flights Yet?

Are you in search of California winter holiday inspiration? The state of California is a tourism haven. It is a sanctuary with a variety of topographies and weather that vary about every hundred kilometers you travel. The splendor of wintertime in California is unique: You are drawn to the brisk air, the crunching snow beneath your boots, and the brilliant blue heavens overhead.

With no regard to the season, besides knowing where it snows in California, there is consistently something fascinating to do in Cali, from highway vacations and calm beach retreats to snowboarding and riding in the hills.

The Sunshine State is also fantastic to explore in the wintertime since there are fewer tourists and rates are less, but it may be extremely difficult without the sunlight.


Where does it snow in California? If you intend to go on the excursion via your own car, be prepared for snowy roads and prepare your vehicle for the cold. The weather along northern California will be varied; it may snow lightly, or it may be bright and sunny on the shore, or it may be misty in the morning among the dense forests.

This article has provided you an insight into the best and most picturesque places where it snow in California. Have fun exploring!


1. Where in California gets the most snow?
Mammoth Lakes area breaks snowfall record.
The weather station in Lee Vining California near Mammoth Lakes has recorded 210 inches of snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.
2. What is the coldest city in California?
Using existing weather data, Bodie is officially the coldest spot in California, but colder temperatures do occur on the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada and White mountains.
3. Is California colder than India?
New Delhi is in or near the tropical very dry forest biome whereas Los Angeles, California is in or near the subtropical thorn woodland biome. The annual mean temperature is 7.9 °C (14.2°F) warmer. Average monthly temperatures vary by 11.5 °C (20.7°F) in New Delhi.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2023 by anudeep0808