Spring, summer, fall, or winter - no matter the season, there are always opportunities for adventure vacations in California. The state's stunning natural beauty, and diverse landscapes are the perfect setting for any outdoor adventure, whether you're planning fun in the sun, surf, mountains, or snow. The hard part about planning California adventure vacations is deciding where to go!

adventure vacations in california

An Urban Escape

Just a hop, skip and a jump from Los Angeles, nestled in the San Bernadino mountains, is the outdoor mecca of Big Bear Lake. No matter which season you go, you can always find adventure here! Hit the slopes on one of the two ski resorts, providing great access with 20 chairlifts, 75 trails, and seven snowboard parks. Rentals and lessons are available, making it a good choice for snowsport enthusiasts of all skill levels. There are also nordic trails, sledding spots, and an alpine slide to round out the snowy day fun.

Depending on the season, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, and aquatic fun on the lake. The town of Big Bear has lodging, dining and shopping for all budgets, providing after-adventure entertainment for the whole family. When it comes to the perfect place to spend California adventure vacations, it's hard to beat Big Bear Lake!

Big Adventures in Mammoth

Head north into the Sierra Nevada mountains to Mammoth Lake, home of the west coast's finest skiing and snowboarding. The mountain mecca gets record amounts of snowfall each season and is sunny 300 days per year, all in a beautiful setting. Learn to ski or snowboard, and hone your skills on the resort's ample and varied terrain. The 3500-acre resort offers 150 ski and snowboard trails, and miles of nordic terrain to entertain the whole family for days on end.

Mammoth is a great place for summer adventures, too, with lift-access hiking and mountain bike trails. Since the sun is nearly always shining in Mammoth, the conditions for outdoor recreation are good nearly all year round. Pack up the family, and explore the mountains, lakes, and rivers in the region, and consider adding a trip to Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks on to your adventure.

adventure vacations in california

Fun For Every Season

Lake Tahoe is home to some amazing outdoor adventures, everything from skiing and snowboarding, to boating and mountain biking. Towns and resorts dotting the shores of the Sierra's largest freshwater lake provide opportunities for recreation to suit any energy level. Winter brings ample snowfall, and beautiful scenery, making Lake Tahoe a great place to plan fun in the snow.

There are several resorts in the lake region with plenty of groomed terrain for skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. Accessing the backcountry is easy in Lake Tahoe, with miles of trails for snowshoeing and telemark skiing, or snowmobiling if you prefer a little help getting up the mountain.

Summer is beautiful in Tahoe, with the lake taking center stage. Miles of shoreline and a number of beaches provide opportunities to boat, fish, waterski, or just lounge with a good book. Trails circumnavigate the lake, making it easy to mountain bike or hike; early summer is a good time to go to check out the landscape in bloom with wildflowers of all kinds.

No matter where you choose to go, California adventure vacations are easy to plan and fun for the whole family. The Sierra Nevada mountains alone provide a lifetime supply of outdoor recreation, beautiful landscapes, and great little resort towns that are well worth a visit. Plan an adventure of a lifetime, and see what California has to offer!

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