When it rains during the winter in Los Angeles, there are a lot of snow play areas for kids and families in the nearby mountains.
One of our favorite places to go is Mount Baldy, about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. There’s a big field for snow play and many hills for sledding.
Watch our family trip video to Mt Baldy to get an idea of the area:
Why We Love Mount Baldy
Of all the snow play areas in the mountains, Mt Baldy is our favorite. It’s the perfect combination of drive distance and snow play area. From downtown Los Angeles, it’s about an hour. There’s a lot of space for people to spread out so you don’t feel too crowded.
How to get to Mount Baldy
Wherever you’re coming from, there’s only one way up to Mt Baldy. Head to the 210 Freeway towards the location. If you’re heading east, you’ll exit on Monte Vista. If you’re heading west, you’ll exit on Mountain Ave. Go north and you’ll connect to Mt Baldy Rd. Take that all the up the mountain to the end.
This marker will take you to the snow play area:
This address is the closest marker to the snow play area:
Mt Baldy Zen Center
7901 Mt Baldy Rd
Mt Baldy, CA 91759
As you head up Mt Baldy Rd, you’ll wind back and forth for some great views, and pass through the main town of Mt Baldy. As you get closer to the destination, you’ll see a lot of small snow play patches with cars parked on the side of the road – don’t get distracted by them! Drive a little further, it’s worth it.
Once you get to the destination, you’ll see the road split and parking available on the side and in the middle. The snow play area is huge on your right hand side. If you the end of the road at Mt Baldy Ski resort, you’ve gone too far.
Travel lessons from our Mt Baldy trip
You learn something new with every trip. Here are a few tips:
- Head up early. We’ve found that if you start at the base of the mountain before 9am, it should only take 30 minutes to go up. But if you start later in the morning around 10am or 11am, it could take well over an hour.
- Go within a week of rain in southern California for fresh snow, and ideally within a few days. If you wait any longer, most of it gets melted or icy.
Travel gear that was helpful on our Mt Baldy trip
Here are some recommended items we took on the trip that helped make it easier, or was used for taking our photos and videos. These are affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything through them, it’s no additional cost for you, but we get a small commission. If you do buy something (even if it’s not the exact product), we would really appreciate you using these links as it helps us continue creating resource content.
Slippery Racer Sled – You can’t go to the snow without a sled. You can easily buy one at any store selling snow gear, but here’s our recommendation for buying something online. This plastic sled is great for playing in the snow. It fits 2 people so a parent can ride with a child, or have 2 kids ride together.
GoPro Hero7 Black – We used this to film the whole video. This is an incredible little action camera that’s waterproof and has incredible stabilization, which is helpful for running around in the snow and sledding. It’s small, has an electronic touch screen, and records up to 4K, though we mostly just use it for HD. Find it on Amazon or eBay.