Though Los Angeles has turned into a place where parkas and space-heaters are necessary, this cold snap feels like a consolation prize for those of us exiled from a true winter season. If your craving for snow is getting out of hand, hop in the car and head to these nearest white wonderlands. Don’t forget to pack a coat, and my mother always says, and a warm blanket in case you break down on a mountain pass.
San Bernardino County’s Mt. Baldy got whalloped with snow Tuesday night. Though bad for drivers trapped on the mountain passes, it’s great for winter-seekers, and at only an hour from central L.A. (without traffic, of course).
Mt. Pinos Nordic Ski Area
In the Los Padres National Forest, off of that treacherous climb on the 5 freeway known as the Grapevine, Mt. Pinos Nordic Ski Area lives up to its name. A favorite destination for backcountry and cross-country skiers, the area offers something for everyone, with downtown Frazier Park and nearby Pine Mountain Village; both cozy spots for shopping, sipping, and dining.
With seven inches of recent snowfall and only two hours from downtown Los Angeles, Bear Mountain is perhaps the most scenic winter destination nearby. Grab a cabin on airbnb for an overnight stay, or just head up for the day for skiing or traipsing around its quaint village.
As its name suggests, this mountain village is truly idyllic. For winter-lovers, Idyllwild, nestled in the San Jacinto mountains, was recently dusted with numerous inches of snow. Two hours from L.A., head up for the renown art scene, shopping, lodging, dining, and mountain setting; Idyllwild doesn’t have any ski slopes, but there is plenty of hiking and rock climbing.