Top 3 Freeriding Resorts in California

Charles Reid. Alpine Meadows, California. Photo: Chris Wellhausen

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Technically they’re two different areas, but you can ride both on one ticket and they sit adjacent to each other. Squaw’s freeride terrain is a famed home for riders like Jeremy Jones, while Alpine Meadows tends to sit in the shadow of Squallywood fame. Both get pummeled with snow and together contain arguably the best freeriding in Cali.

Standout Terrain: Alpine sidecountry, KT-22, High Camp

Average snowfall: 450 inches (both)

Don’t Miss: High Camp pool parties, Wildflour Cookies, The Cham après

Poll Overall Resort Rank: Squaw: 6 Alpine Meadows: 31

 

Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl’s location atop Donner Pass reaps in layers of snow from storms that rise up the foothills into the high Sierra. It’s also one of closest resorts to access from the Bay Area so it’s easy to get at the varied terrain from wind lips to cliffs in-bounds and some of the best sidecountry runs in Tahoe.

Standout Terrain: Lincoln cliffs, out of bounds access

Average snowfall: 500 inches

Don’t Miss: Cherry’s, Tacos Jalisco, Mike Basich, Donnor Party storms

Poll Overall Resort Rank: 30

 

Kirkwood

Kirkwood is the furthest from the Tahoe epicenter, but it receives the most annual snowfall in the greater Tahoe region making it worth the haul and keeps the on-snow traffic low. Wide-open steeps, sidecountry for days, gullied-out hit runs, glades, big-ass cliffs, and legit freeriding terrain makes this destination a must.

Standout Terrain: Sidecountry, sidehits everywhere, cliffs, freeride contests

Average snowfall: 600 inches

Don’t Miss: Road closing storms, Heart Chute, Off The Wall Bar

Poll Overall Resort Rank: 36

Check out the next page for our top 3 parks in California…