Mount Baldy 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 Mount Baldy, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsSouthern California residents love to brag that they can visit the beach one day and hit the slopes the next. Mount Baldy, located in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains only 45 miles from downtown Los Angeles, allows Californians to do just that. Mount Baldy’s official name is Mount San Antonio, thought to be named in the 1790s for St. Anthony of Padua, but locals prefer the Mount Baldy moniker that describes a “massive, barren, round summit,” according to avid Mount Baldy hiker Dan Simpson. Mount Baldy spreads out over 800 acres; the skiable area has 250 to 500 acres. Southern California residents drive to Mount Baldy, but those who live elsewhere can fly to the LA/Ontario International airport, 16 miles from the resort.
The MountainMount Baldy is the highest summit in the San Gabriel Mountains at 10,064 feet and has the steepest vertical drop in Southern California at 2,100 feet. Winter season and snowfall vary widely at Mount Baldy and in Southern California in general. Visitors should check the Mount Baldy weather conditions to determine what is open and whether snow is being made. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy wide-open areas, tree runs, moguls, groomed runs, a natural wave and quarter pipes.
Trails And LiftsMount Baldy has 26 runs on three mountains. Mount Baldy is not ideal for beginners, but 20 percent of the runs are beginner-level. This resort is mostly for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Forty percent of the runs are intermediate, 20 percent are advanced, and another 20 percent are expert runs. The longest run is 2 1/2 miles. Mount Baldy also offers tubing and just playing in the snow, which can be quite a novelty for Southern California natives. The only way up is on one of the four double chairs.
In The NewsMount Baldy is a classic, old-style ski resort with a rich history. Skiers in the 1930s were attracted to all the snow they saw there. This led to Mount Baldy becoming the place where Southern California's ski industry began. What cemented the deal was when a group of World War II soldiers would combine their gas coupons to head to Mount Baldy for a day of skiing. Naturally, an industry popped up to accommodate the new skiers, and Mount Baldy Ski Tows opened in 1944.
CostAn all-day regular lift ticket for an adult is $59. It costs $69 on holidays and on peak weekends. Half-day tickets (morning or afternoon) cost $49. Young adults, children and seniors pay less. The resort also offers a Charter Membership program that is like a season pass, but guests pay $19.97 a month and have year-round access. Mount Baldy does not have an equipment rental shop, but rental equipment is available at area ski shops. Guests who purchase a Learn to Ski or Snowboard package get full rental equipment. Adults and children can take a group lesson that costs $30 or a private lesson that costs $80.
Apres-SkiFor a weekend getaway, guests can stay at the Mount Baldy Lodge in Mount Baldy village. The restaurant serves steaks, burgers and sandwiches. A few sports bars are also in the village. Located just a few miles from the Inland Empire, Mount Baldy does not have much of a nightlife. The Ontario-Riverside-San Bernardino area is home to 4 million people, where guests can find nearly any type of restaurant or nightclub they like.
WATCH: Mount Baldy
Mount Baldy is not known for its beginner runs, but watch as a beginning snowboarder proves that people can learn at the mountain.