A quieter alternative to the Lake Tahoe resorts, Dodge Ridge provides an affordable, family-friendly, no-frills ski outing.
Located inside the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County, the Dodge Ridge Ski Area is the closest ski area to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The area has a vertical drop of 1,600 feet and three terrain parks spread across the 862-acre ski resort, with an on-mountain rental shop for ski and snowboard rentals. The Dodge Ridge Ski Area offers private and group lessons for skiers and snowboarders of all ages, as well as season-long programs and all-mountain race team training.
There is slope-side dining at the Local’s Cafe, at the bottom of Chair 7, and dining options at the day lodge at the resort base. Though there is no lodging at the ski area, there are accommodation options in the area.
The Dodge Ridge Ski Area generally opens in mid-November and closes in mid-April. The resort experiences prime snowfall from late January to mid-March, though visiting towards the end of the season allows you to enjoy California’s famed bluebird days, with more sun and an outdoor apr è s-ski scene. Because of its proximity to the Bay Area, the Dodge Ridge Ski Area is a popular weekend and holiday getaway spot, so visit during the week if you wish to avoid the crowds.
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While accommodation in the area is limited, there are a variety of options about 4 miles from the ski are. The Pinecrest Lake Resort has motel rooms, two- and three-bedroom cabins, and two- and three-bedroom townhouses with fireplaces, as well as an on-site restaurant. A 25-minute drive from the Dodge Ridge Ski Area is the McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast , which features a wine and cheese happy hour, and a full cooked breakfast each morning, all in a cozy mountain setting. Another option is the Lazy Z Resort which has 13 cabins and cottages, some with bunk beds, about a half-hour drive from the ski area.
The closest airport to Dodge Ridge Ski Area is Oakland International Airport, 145 miles away. Sacramento International Airport is almost the exact same distance from the ski area, as is Reno-Tahoe International Airport – 148 miles away. You can also fly into San Francisco International Airport, about a three-hour drive away. Shuttles and rental car services are available from all of these airports.
By car, Dodge Ridge Ski Area is 149 miles from San Jose and around 160 miles from San Francisco. The ski area is about 4 miles from the town of Pinecrest, which is where you’ll find the closest accommodation to Dodge Ridge Ski Area.