We all know that “summer” and “California” are inexorably linked, but it’s not just beaches and surf at ski and snowboard resorts up in the mountains.
Many resorts crank up their lifts for summer traffic, complete with a plethora of activities on and around the mountain. Hiking and mountain biking remain favorites.
Here’s a sampling at resorts that reopen lifts for the warm weather:
Snow Summit. SoCal’s only summer chair lift cranks up for weekends Memorial Day and then daily operations June 17 for a 15-minute ride to 8,200-foot summit. From there, it’s scenic views of Big Bear Lake, a place for BBQ and a beer, tons of hiking and the downhill bike park that includes step-ups, berms and bridges to challenge all.
Mammoth Mountain. Beginning in early June, the main gondola gets visitors to 11,058 feet above sea level for view of Mammoth Lakes and surrounding Eastern Sierra alpine peaks. Free interpretive center on summit deconstructs what you are looking at, and eatery satisfies high-altitude hungers.
Squaw Valley. Aerial tram is set to open in late May to deliver sightseers, hiker and disc golfers to 8,200-foot summit above Lake Tahoe. There’s a restaurant and sunbathing deck ready for some serious relaxing.
Kirkwood. The Lake Tahoe resort will spin two chairlifts on weekends throughout the summer, beginning July 1. Lower Snowkirk lift serves modest biking and hiking trails, while Caples Crest lift gets outdoor-lovers to alpine terrain and more difficult trails.
Heavenly Valley. Heavenly Mountain Gondola keeps running all year, so seekers of mountain air and stunning Lake Tahoe views can hop aboard right out of town. Then they can take Tamarack chair to summit for hiking and biking.
Northstar. Bike and hiking trails open Memorial Day, and so do several lifts to get people up the hill. Vista Express quad serves most extensive and varied terrain on the hill.
Photos: Top - Mountain bike parks, like this at Snow Summit, are attractions at many California ski resorts (Snow Summit/Facebook); Below - Getting into the high country is a treat at Squaw Valley (Squaw Valley/Facebook)