Does it snow in California?

California, known for being both the Golden State and the top orange provider to the rest of the United States. Truly one of the most beautiful, incredible states of the whole country.

But, what is the weather of California like? Is it as nice as people make it seem? Is it as hot as you think it is? And most importantly, does it snow in the Golden State? Or that’s just a myth? Let’s find out.





Sierra Nevada

Lake Tahoe



38 inches


    ❄ Does it snow in California?

    ⛅ Climate of California

    Let’s be realistic, California (United States of America) has one of the nicest climates in the whole country. You could say they are extremely privilege, since people who live there get to experience an extremely nice weather almost all year long!

    However, as nice as California weather might be, the truth is, it is extremely different depending on many different factors. Because unlike what people might think, California isn’t all beaches and hot temperatures all year long in every region of the state.

    As a matter of fact, you could say it is quite the opposite. You see, in general you could describe the climate of California as hot desert, but that is a very long shot that discriminates the rest of the many sub climates this states has.

    Their climate varies so much it ranges from hot desert straight to polar climate, giving you the best of both worlds. However, this depends completely on the location and altitude of the zone.

    To give you an idea, California has a total of four climates:

    • Mediterranean climate, which you can experience pretty much all over California's coasts.
    • As you move away from the ocean, the climate changes to continental with a touch of semi-arid places.
    • Then you’ve got the subtropical weather.
    • Last, but not least, the polar one.

    Four completely different climates in one state.

    When does it snow in California?

    It is hard to imagine the hot, sunny California state with snow, but the truth is that yes, it does snow in the Golden State (not everything is sunny days and beach days, sometimes, there are also snow days!).

    You see, defining when does it snow in California is quite tricky, because despite what you may think not the whole state experience snow season, but rather just a few regions.

    Let’s start by explaining that there are some regions within California that experience each of the four seasons, meaning winter, spring, autumn and summer, and there are other parts where there’s only a really sunny, dry summer and an extremely rainy winter.

    Does it snow in California?

    However, the places that do experience these four seasons, are the ones that tend to have snow during their winter time, which of course is the time when it starts to snow!

    Now, as to when is it winter time, you’ll be surprised to find out winter in California starts in November and last all the way up to April, having a very long winter season.

    As to snow season, it usually happens between January up until the first days of Mach, reaching its lowest temperatures between January and February (other than that, you can expect more rain than snow).

    This answers the other pressing question about whether or not does it snow during Christmas time and, sadly, it doesn’t. If you’re looking for a winter wonderland, California probably isn’t the destination for you.

    Where does it snow in California?

    Like we previously said, yes, it does snow in California, but not everywhere in California. To be more specific, if you want to see snow, you need to head towards Sierra Nevada.

    This country is the one that experience the heavies snow falls in the whole state due to the incredibly huge mountains that are located there. But, even in Sierra Nevada, some places experience more snow than others.

    If you’re looking for heavy snowfalls then Lake Tahoe and Mammoth are the places to visit. Basically the towns and mountains down in southern California are the places that experience snow during winter season.

    How much does it snow in California?

    However, if you’re wondering how much does it snow in California, you’ll be surprised it does snow quite a lot. Actually, these places can experience an average of 38 inches of snow during the peak of winter season.

    Skiing in California

    California is seriously perfect because you can be chilling at the beach one day, and on a roadtrip to the snowy mountains the day after. So, if you’re looking for some snow, here are the top places to do some skiing California.

    Mammoth Mountain

    There are very few places in the United States as incredible as this one, specially during the winter time, when the mountains are covered in fresh white snow.

    Once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be able to slide down one of California’s most emblematic slopes and enjoy the movie-like views as you slide down!

    Heavenly Mountain - Lake Tahoe

    We must say, Lake Tahoe is breathtaking no matter during which season of the year you decide to visit, but visiting the Heavenly Mountain at the top during the winter is simply an unique experience.

    You can either ski or snowboard here, not to mention, you can enjoy a pretty day by the lake if you feel like staying near the ground!

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