China Peak Mountain Resort in California is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to China Peak Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsChina Peak Mountain Resort, in central California, lies about 65 miles northeast of Fresno on the south shore of Huntington Lake. Previously called Sierra Summit, it sits in the Sierra National Forest approximately 40 miles south of Yosemite National Park with easy access off Highway 168. As the only Central Sierra resort on the west slope, it offers the terrain, acreage and elevations comparable to big Tahoe resort skiing but with fewer crowds, less waiting and a family-friendly atmosphere.
The MountainChina Peak opens on weekends during late-November and continues into April. China Peak has one mountain, which is a little more than 8,700 feet and features a 1,679-foot vertical drop and a 2 1/4-mile run. With an average snowfall of 150 inches, China Peak also makes its own snow to provide optimal skiing and boarding experiences. The surfaces are machine groomed, packed powder and hard packed and the base depths range from 12 to 18 inches. Offering a mix of short and long trails, as well as improved terrain parks, China Peak challenges every skill level.
Trails And LiftsChina Peak offers daytime skiing only and has 45 trails that cater to every level, from novice to expert. Most of China Peak's trails are designed for intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders, but there are five easy trails and a generous sized beginner area. Its longest and most popular trail, the Academy Run, gently curves more than two miles down the mountain for a fabulous view of the entire peak. Plenty of lifts get skiers around the mountain, including three moving carpets in the beginner area, as well as three double chairs and four triple chairs. The three terrain parks, Burton Progression Park, Tollhouse and Canyonlands, range from advanced freestyle terrain to family fun.
In The NewsShowcasing its incredible skiing and boarding talent, the China Peak All-Stars put on demonstrations during the weekends and holidays all season long. The Central California Ski & Snowboard Series features spectacular competitions in slope style, giant slalom and skier/boarder cross. For those who love racing, the China Peak Race Team, a member of Far West Skiing/USSA, hosts a series of events. The team is always looking for new talent to enrich the child/family experience and love of snow sports. The China Peak Bombers is a family-friendly club open during the season for skiers and boarders who want to have a blast exploring the mountain, park and racecourses.
CostAll day lift tickets at China Peak range in price from free for children younger than 5 to $65 for adults, but a variety of coupons and discounts are available, including the Stay and Ski Free Special that is perfect for a family weekend getaway. To rent equipment, a basic package of skies and poles/snowboard plus boots runs about $38, with consecutive day rentals at half price and helmets for $5. Rossignol Telemark skis and Scarpa boots are also available for rent. China Peak offers a wide variety of ski and snowboard lesson packages, including group lessons starting at $35 per lesson and private lessons starting at $85 per hour.
Apres-SkiAfter a long day of hitting the slopes, China Peak knows what it takes to relax, with 10 restaurants at the resort that satisfy every hungry appetite. They offer everything from pizza to fine dining. Cocktails are always available at the Buckhorn Bar and Grill and Jack's Bar. The Inn at China Peak, for lodging, is just steps away from the slopes. Also, China Peak is one of the only mountain resorts in the nation to allow on-site RV parking. For the ultimate experience, join the exclusive Peak Club, which offers preferred passes, generous discounts and special events all season long.
WATCH: China Peak Mountain Resort
Check out terrain park jumping at its finest in this video at China Peak Mountain Resort.