Hi, I just bought a pair of Lightning Ascent Snowshoes (I’m new to this sport–I usually X country ski). Other than Rim Nordic, where are good spots to snowshoe in Southern California? Thanks.
Surprisingly, there are lots of great snowshoeing spots in sunny southern California 🙂
The San Bernardino Mountains are great for snowshoeing, and I’m glad you’ve already discovered Rim Nordic near Running Springs from your cross country skiing. Other snowshoeing areas I like are:
- San Jacinto State Park. You can take the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the snow at San Jacinto State Park & Wilderness Area. From there you can go exploring, and there is an easy 1.5 mile Desert View Trail loop which is nice. If you want a full day, and you’re up for some hills, then you can head to the San Jacinto peak! The televator heel lift in your Lightning Ascent snowshoes will come in handy. I was up there New Years Day and it was super clear and I could see all the way to the Salton Sea, the entire Coachella Valley, San Gorgonio Mountain, Mt. Baldy, Catalina Island and more! It was a fun snowshoeing trip for sure!
- San Gorgonio Wilderness. If you head up Highway 38, you can go snowshoeing in a very popular spot – the San Gorgonio Wilderness. You may have already discovered this when cross country skiing because every time I’m there snowshoeing I run into a few XC skiers. For an easy trip, you can park off of Jenks Lake Road, and there is a trailhead that is the start of the South Fork Trail that is a popular route to the peak of San Gorgonio. You can follow the trail up to Poopout Hill (or farther if you’re not pooped out!). A snowshoe trip to the peak and back would need to be done as a snow camping trip – I don’t know anyone who has been able to snowshoe to that peak in a day.
- Mount Baldy. This is a nicely forested spot, and you can get there by heading toward the Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts. Just below the ski area parking lot, you can snowshoe to San Antonio Falls, and if you’re up for it you can head up to the Mt. Baldy Lodge!
- Angeles National Forest. There are plenty of fire roads that are great snowshoeing spots. Also if you want some easy terrain, then head out to the Chilao Flats for a relaxed snowshoe outing.
Have fun and let me know if you find some other Southern CA snowshoeing spots!
Do you have a question for the Hiking Lady?
Great question. This year the snow has melted pretty fast… friends were just up at Mt. Baldy and even towards the very top there is hardly enough snow to require snowshoes. The other usual places to go would be near Wrightwood, Mt. San Jacinto (Palm Springs aerial tram way) and Mt. San Gorgonio (near Big Bear). The snow that is left is all up in the Sierra Nevadas. I’m hoping for more snow in So CA next year! 🙂
Hi Hiking Lady,
do you know of any good cross country skiing/snowshoeing that is available in southern cal this time of year – today is 3/22/13. Thanks. Debbie
My fav spot in Southern CA is San Jacinto! As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.
I took the palm springs tramway last weekend to san jacinto and loved it. lots of snow up there!
I live in San Diego and I always thought I had to go to the Sierras or even Tahoe to snowshoe. Duh! Can’t believe I didn’t think of the LA mountains. Thanks for the good article
Hi Sandee! Oh I love snowshoeing there! My guess is that with the rain this week plus the anticipate rain tonight you’ll have snow on the fireroad. You can give the ranger station a call..they should know. 626-914-3790. Have a great time!!
Hello Hiking Lady,
I am planning onn snow shoeing this Sunday from Manker Flats at Mt. Baldy. Is there a way to find out if the fireroad still has snow on it?