As any close viewer of the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade has noticed, Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains are often snowcapped -- even if preceded on the horizon by Pasadena's palm trees. Los Angeles certainly hosts more dedicated skiers and snowboarders than any other megalopolis of its latitude. SoCal sliders hit the San Gabriels or San Bernadino Mountains when pressed for time and roadtrip to the Sierras whenever possible.
This venerable ski area in the San Gabriel Mountains calls itself "three resorts in one" because its three peaks each have their own base area and individual appeal (West: jibbers, East: experts, North: families). A single lift ticket gets you privileges at all three, which means a total of 290 acres of skiable terrain on peaks that rise as high as 8,200 feet and drop an impressive 1,600 vertical feet.
Mammoth is the soul center of Southern California skiing. The highest lift-served mountain on the West Coast, it gets more than 400 inches of snow per year as the Sierras trap countless storms moving in from the Pacific (the resort is just a few dozen miles north of the tallest peak in the Lower 48, Mt. Whitney). With a summit of 11,053 feet and a vertical drop of 3,100, Mammoth is substantially larger than even the Tahoe resorts.