1. Mammoth Mountain
The prize mountain of Southern California, Mammoth Mountain is a 5 ½-hour drive from Los Angeles, offering 3,500 skiable acres of varied terrain, with multiple terrain parks and two or three half pipes in the peak season. Ski lifts are some of the most efficient (read: fast) in all of California, and the whole mountain -- including the peak, 11,0000ft up -- is epic when there’s a good amount of snowfall during the season. There are many lodging and dining options in and outside Mammoth Village, but you’ll want to stay close: There’s great après-ski and dining right in the Village, making Mammoth LA’s best ski-vacation destination, by far.