Online Apps for Skiing
Resorts want to help you navigate, purchase and manage your upcoming snow vacation smoothly. Read on to discover what’s happening this season with popular resort websites, social media platforms and apps so you are on top of the best bargains and conveniences.
Most sites allow lift ticket purchase and rental reservations so you can avoid lines. But here’s a tip: bring your hard copy receipts and print all paperwork. Keep a record on your phone to show resort officials just in case they lose your reservation or if their computers go down. We know it happens! For Heavenly, contact Kevin "Coop" Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2600 Alpine Meadows Road
1960 Squaw Valley Road
New this year is the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows app to track your family members on the slopes. Considered the first app of its kind used for the ski industry in Northern California, the free app is downloadable for both iPhone and Android. Parents and kids with the app at either Alpine Meadows or Squaw can see who is on the slope and view a blip of them coming down a trail in real time. It can track your own progress in terms of miles skied and speed. There are weather and snow reports; a resort map checks on nearest restaurants and restrooms.
Benefits of buying lift tickets via the app include same day purchase. (When you purchase online via the web, lift tickets have to be purchased at least a day in advance.) Further, the ski passes you buy on the app can be used any day. Those bought online are date specific.
On Facebook, the site will inspire skiers with images and short entertaining ski videos. Instagram and Snapchat offer more stories with photos.
844-462-2327 or 800-MAMMOTH
880 Summit Blvd.
Big Bear Lake
Bear Mountain’s web page will direct you in trip planning with driving directions and up-to-the-minute temperatures. The site allows purchase of individual lift tickets, season passes and gift cards for use in the pro shop, rental shop, dining halls or anywhere on the property. The Cali4nia Pass allows users to ski at Mammoth, June, Bear and Snow Summit.
For $199, the new Bear Private Photography program offers one hour to ski or ride with a pro photographer who serves as guide and provides professional shots of you and your group. Like other resorts, the web page offers deals and discounts. Of note is the “Kids 4 and Under” program where the tykes are free with a paying adult. It continues to offer Free Birthday skiing when you bring identification. With Live Chat, you can ask the operator any question.
Boreal Mountain Resort
19749 Boreal Ridge Rd.
YouTube videos promote the night skiing and boarding program, entertaining even if you don’t ski. A promotional video features the Take 3, Ride Free program, in which guests pre-pay for three lessons in one season and receive a season pass on the fourth visit. Go online to learn about the $15 Fridays, $25 Feel Good Fridays and the 3-Pack set of tickets that give you three ski/ride days for $119. Book tickets, rentals and lessons online as well. The site also lets you book spots for Playland Tubing.
1210 Ski Way
Incline Village, NV
Diamond Peak turns 50 during the 2016-17 season, and families can stay tuned online for events that will celebrate the half-century mark. The resort is collecting stories about Diamond Park, old photos and movies. A fashion show with ski outfits from the past 50 years is in the works. On the website, you can purchase season passes and get the lowdown on season passholder appreciation events. Passholders can rent a seasonal locker online. Fans can also purchase a season pass for “Uphill Use” designed for those who want to snowshoe up the mountain. Kids 6 and under ski free when with a paying adult.
The site can also be used to access local lodging in Incline Village and North Tahoe. There is also a virtual tour of the property, including the ski school, rental area and terrain.
1 Dodge Ridge Road
On the website, you can find details on lift ticket prices and season passes. Kids 5 and under and folks 82 and up continue to ski/ride for free. This year, you can buy a combined season ski pass, parking pass and locker pass. A season pass can be reloaded with money so you can use it for food and equipment, lessons and lift tickets. Currently, you can purchase season passes, parking and gift cards online, but not one-day passes.
Granlibakken Ski Area
725 Granlibakken Road
Quiet and intimate. Small, but not too small. On the website, learn about this lodge that offers beginning downhill skiing, a bit of snowshoeing, and some cross country skiing. Get info on group gatherings, be it family reunions, weddings or other special events. Find out about the on-site lodging options that run from one to eight-bedroom condos to an entire lodge. Get updates on the snowboard hill, lessons and rentals, and event calendars. You cannot purchase lift tickets or book rentals online, but you can secure lodging. The Facebook page provides updates, promotional codes and room rate discounts.
3860 Saddle Road
South Lake Tahoe
The website pretty much lets you plan your whole trip. It offers discount passes up to 25 percent off when you purchase at least three days ahead of time. A one-day pass paid for online saves you $10. When you arrive, you can go to the separate EpicPass ticket window and skip the long lines.
You can also order your ski rentals with an express line to pick them up. You can book childcare services for infants as young as six weeks old. The site features lodging and vacation packages as well. .
5145 West Lake Road
From the website, purchase a variety of lift tickets, including the 3-Pack at more than 10 percent off. Use your cell phone to redeem your pass. The resort offers a $59 adult Ski and Snowboard First Timer package. This features a group lesson Sunday through Friday on a non-holiday, gear and beginner lift ticket. Must purchase online at least two days prior
Learn about the mountain terrain and the new Snowcat Adventures that will bring groups of ten skiers into backcountry. Feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram deliver updates with tantalizing photos to come out to the mountain.
3819 Hwy 158
June Lake, CA
This resort offers free skiing for kids 12 and under, every day with no blackout dates. Go online to disocer this uncrowded area with more than 80 percent beginner terrain.
1501 Kirkwood Meadows Drive
The EPIC daily ticket purchased a minimum of 3 days prior gives you the convenience of skipping long lines at the resort. You can also book rental gear for 20 percent off. Search and book local lodging, find about vacation deals and learn about the kids’ programs. View videos of the terrain. You can also follow Kirkwood on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.
10001 Minaret Road
Use live chat to answer questions about kids’ facilities. Online lift ticket purchases and online lift ticket reloads. Explore the mountain map, look up dining and lodging options. Your same-day ticket is also good at nearby June Mountain. Use the website to book scenic gondola rides at $20 per adult and $10 per child. Book lessons, rental gear and locker rentals. Armchair travelers can visit #Mammothstories to read and view guest memories on Instagram.
Mount Rose Ski Resort
22222 Mt. Rose Highway
The website is a bargain hunter’s dream if you want to pick up a shuttle from an affiliated Reno hotel for just $20 round trip, or if you are 11 and up and want to learn to ski or snowboard. The First Timer Package costs $134 online, saving you $10 off ticket window rates. Use the website to purchase season passes, book and pay for lessons and to secure rental gear to avoid long lines.
As the mountain is comprised of 20 percent beginner and 30 percent intermediate runs, you will do well to look up specs and maps on the chutes and terrain. Facebook postings include videos of new snow, winter colors and promotions.
5001 Northstar Drive
A webcam and weather report is similar to what other websites offer, but this one provides in-depth information on the mountain with grooming reports, lift status and an interactive trail map. You can also upload videos and photos to show the world where you’ve been at Northstar where 60 percent of the trails are intermediate and 13 percent beginner.
The property offers lodging, a shopping village, a snowboard and ski school and a myriad of dining options. Buy lift passes and season tickets online. The Tahoe Value Pass at $479 per adult is applicable to sister resorts Heavenly and Kirkwood.
Northstar encourages your tweets about your day and tags on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Yelp. The Northstar blog is worth checking out for its gear guide, direct flight info and snow reports.
1111 Sierra-at-Tahoe Road
The mobile app for Android and Apple provides users with up-to-the-minute info on weather, trail conditions and more. The ‘friends tracker’ feature locates your friends and family members who are on the mountain. It does not follow them after they get off the hill, however. They must also be carrying their cell phones and have downloaded the app. On the platform, you can upload pictures and videos. The mountain map comes with stock videos that are activated when you click on a particular run, so you know what to expect on each hill.
You can track your personal distance, top speed, the number of runs and the calories you burn while skiing or snowboarding. You can make purchases, but for now, the app takes you automatically to the website to purchase single-day lift tickets, season passes, parking and rental gear.
629 Sugar Bowl Road
The debut of a new and reinvigorated website means streamlined navigation. You can buy one-day discount passes and regularly-priced season passes. You must buy at least two or three days in advance which is required on all purchases. With online rental, you can skip the regular rental lines. An improved mobile webpage features the resort phone number, hours and directions at the thumb bar for easy access.
Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area
11509 Northwoods Blvd.
A new website provides three color-coded alerts. Green highlights events and promotions. Yellow signifies timely events, such as pool closure at the recreation center or a winter storm warning. Red is reserved for urgent matters, such as a road closure or fire. Interactive maps show which trails have been recently groomed.
The website delivers details on winter activities including downhill skiing, cross country and snow play. You can make dining reservations and purchase season passes for skiing and cross country online, but not single lift tickets. Rentals cannot be reserved at this time.
Those who become Facebook or Twitter followers get exclusive bargains. Families get notices about family movie nights and Kid’s Club childcare.
A new mobile app offers live web cam views and current weather and conditions. A locator shows your location on slopes. The resort will uses the app to send out push notifications for alerts and emergencies.
Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area
Formerly known as Badger Pass, the renamed Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area is nested under www.travelyosemite.com. You can book a season pass online and get info on downhill skiing, ski school, ice skating, tubing, moonlight show shoe walks and cross country skiing. The site gives the latest lodging specials. Live webcams reveal daily weather patterns on the valley floor and on the slopes. An events calendar keeps you clued in on festivals, weekend live music and special dinners.
Kathy Chin Leong writes frequently about travel for Bay Area Parent.