Las Vegas is a hot, dry city that rarely sees snow. However, winter escapes aren’t far away. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy snow and all the fun it provides, here are some winter getaways just a short drive from Vegas.
About 45 minutes from Vegas, Mount Charleston is perfect for enjoying a day away from the city. The region gets almost 100 inches of snow annually, so there is plenty of opportunity to come up when the ground is covered in white.
At Mt. Charleston, you can snowshoe, build a snowman, sled or start a snowball fight. There’s also a chance of seeing winter wildlife while you’re here. When driving from Las Vegas, there are two U.S. Route 95 exits that will lead you to Mt. Charleston. The first exit, for Kyle Canyon, has a picnic area and campground usually open for day use when the weather is nice. The second exit, for Lee Canyon, has more places to pull over and play in the snow. It’s often worth driving a few extra minutes to go to Lee Canyon.
Brian Head Ski Resort
Brian Head Ski Resort is a little farther, about a three-hour drive, from Las Vegas. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway.
Brian Head, with a vertical drop of 1,320 feet, is smaller than many of the ski resorts in Utah, but this can be advantageous. Since it’s not as large, Brian Head usually doesn’t get the same crowds that bigger resorts see. Skiers and snowboarders can spend more time on the slopes and less time in line.
Moreover, Brian Head might not have a lot of vertical drop, but it gets plenty of powder. The mountain averages 368 inches of snow each year, providing for lots of great skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
Big Bear Mountain Resort
Big Bear Mountain Resort, less than four hours from Las Vegas, offers a different type of skiing experience. Big Bear has a vertical drop of 1,665 feet, making it slightly larger than Brian Head, but it only gets about 100 inches of snow annually. While the mountain has snowmaking equipment to ensure its slopes have plenty of snow, the number of true powder days here is far fewer than at Brian Head.
What Big Bear lacks in powder days, it more than makes up for in a lively apres-ski scene. It’s only a short drive from Los Angeles, so it draws larger crowds. It’s also easy to go into LA for a day from Big Bear, letting visitors mix skiing and snowboarding with other activities.
So tell us, where's your favorite place for snow fun?