- Overall Rating 2
- Family Friendly 3
- All-Mtn. Terrain 4
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 2
Pros: Powder days, Weather
Cons: Bathrooms, Facilities, Lift Access,Curvy highway
Recommended For: Family Friendly
Date Visited: Apr 1, 2009
I used to be a season pass holder at Sierra Summit for the past 7 years. 2008/2009 was my last season I'm sorry to say. I always defended Sierra Summit when people questioned its location (68 miles from Fresno) and reminded people that Sierra Summit is still located in the Sierras, not the San Gabriel or San Bernadino Mts. Therefore, it gets plentiful snowfall that lasts into May during some years. There are also some good steep runs, The Face, Waterfall, China Bowl, and of course the Peak which drops down into Firebowl. I have had the best powder days of my life at Sierra Summit, and I must admit some pretty good sunny days.
The terrain at Sierra Summit has your average steep and beginner runs, however, lift access is still in need of improvement. They have added two chairs in the past few years, however, the runs to the far left of the ski area still require a long hike out. These runs have the best powder stashes and longest vertical, but difficult to hike out of, especially for a boader. In addition, the chairlifts are a joke. They are basically chairs that Bear Mountain and Snow Summit got rid of and sent them up north to their sister resort. While Bear Mountain and Snow Summit have the quads, Sierra has slow double and triple chairs that are over 20 years old.
Now for the reason I left Sierra Summit. The facilities, including the bathrooms at Sierra Summit are nasty. The day lodge needs some serious updating. Rustic is one thing, but it is basically an outdated cafeteria that can not accomodate a large crowd on the weekends. The new lodge (Mainstream) is a big orange tent that is definitely out of place in the Sierras. And as I mentioned, the bathrooms are disgusting. I don't know when they clean them.
The skiing may be good at Sierra Summit, however, the facilities are what drove me away. This resort has a lot of potential, however, it looks like all the money that Summit Corp. makes is going to the Big Bear Lake resorts. I understand what is happening, and it isn't right. Since Sierra Summit is the only large ski area that caters to the Southern Central Valley and Central Coast region, skiers have little choice as to where to ski. The next closest resort in the Sierra is 80+ miles North. So if you want to ski and don't want to drive another 1 1/2 hours to another resort, Sierra is your only option. There is no nearby competition, so why drop money into it, people will come anyway. Lucky for me, I am equal distance to Dodge Ridge, so now I have a new ski area to call home.