Mount Waterman California (US)

Los Angeles Area Ski Resort Review, Information and Guide

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Mount Waterman Summary:

Base: 7,000 ft
Summit: 8,030 ft
Vertical: 1,030 ft
Ski area: 150 acres
trails: 27
Lifts: 3
Terrain parks: none


Beginner: 20%
Intermediate: 20%
Advanced: 60%

Trail Map:

Mount Waterman Description:

I started as a skeptic as I have skied many of the un-challenging Los Angeles area ski resorts but fell in love with this little gem just north of Los Angeles California. It is the closest ski area to Los Angeles and provides a variety of terrain from plenty of steep tree runs to easy beginner runs. This ski area which appears small with only three lifts, has a vast skiable area. There are your classic ski runs cut out of the forest but it is the forest itself which offers the best runs for the advanced skier. The naturally wide tree spacing is the blessing that this ski area has received.

I would classify Mount Waterman as a ski area rather than as a resort as it does not have the signature ski village at the base nor does it have accommodations. The closest town and lodging is located in La Canada. This is also true for ski rentals. The Sport Chalet in La Canada can outfit you with boots skis and poles.

Mount Waterman base

Mount Waterman has had a long history with the city of Los Angeles opening under the ownership of Lynn Newcomb Sr. in 1939 with a rope tow and progressing to its first chair lift in 1942, the second resort in the state of California to have one. In 1981, Mount Waterman erected chair 3 in the "Bighorn" area and was the last major addition to the ski area. In 1954, the Kratka Ridge ski area opened up next door. While the old chair lift remains, the Kratka Ridge ski area does not and is not an operational ski area.

Southern California drought has afflicted Mount Waterman as it does not have snow making facilities nor a water source for snow making. It was closed for five years until it reopened in the winter ski season of 2015-2016, an El Nino ski season.

Mount Waterman Terrain:

This mountain is the opposite of most. The beginner runs and the lodge are at the top. The advanced runs are at the base, thus you will see timid beginners taking the chair lift down to bypass the advanced lower section of the mountain. Mount Waterman currently does not make snow but receives much more natural snow than its Los Angeles ski area counterparts.


While Mount Waterman does not have your classic steep treacherous chutes, it does possess plenty of steep terrain to make you pay attention.

Top of Double Black run at Mt. Waterman

Ski run at Mt. Waterman


There is no grooming of the advanced runs. Moguls will appear and disappear as conditions and skiers dictate.

mogul run at Mt Waterman


The most notable feature about the Mount Waterman terrain is the vast area of tree runs.

Skiing trees

Beginners and Intermediates:

This mountain has plenty of terrain for the beginners and intermediates. Beginners should stay at the top of the mountain.

Don't be shy about taking the chair lift down from the top to avoid the steeper terrain which leads to the bottom (most beginners do it).

Beginner terrain at Mt. Waterman
Terrain Parks:

There are no specific "terrain parks", enjoy the whole mountain as your terrain park.

Waterman Apres Ski: Newcombs
Newcombs at Mount Waterman

Nightlife centers around Newcombs Ranch (mostly for "Apres Ski"). The restaurant has amazingly good food for what appears to be a biker bar at the side of the road filled with ski patrol and locals from Mount Waterman.

Apres ski in Newcombs

Village & Shopping:

There is no base village at Waterman. The lodge is at the summit and supplies some basic essentials. The finest shopping in the area is on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills which is only a little over an hour away.

Directions to Mount Waterman:

Most of the skiers at Mount Waterman drove from 40 minutes to one and 1/2 hours from the Southern California population centers of Los Angels.

  • From Los Angeles:
    • Interstate 210 East (Pasadena Freeway)
    • Exit Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada Flintridge and Head EAST on Angeles Crest Highway (Uphill)
    • Continue on Angeles Crest Highway
      Past Angeles Forest Highway (Palmdale turn off)
      Past Mt Wilson turn off
      Past Upper Big Tujunga turn off
      Past Newcomb’s Ranch on the Left side (the 27 mile mark)
    • Mount Waterman is on the right hand side of the road with most of the parking on the left hand side of the road.
  • From Palmdale
    • Take Sierra Hwy or CA-14 SOUTH (Antelope Valley Freeway)
    • At Soledad Pass, take Angeles Forest Highway SOUTH for approximately 16 miles
    • Turn Left on Upper Big Tujunga for approximately 9 miles
    • Turn Left on Angeles Crest Highway

Road conditions:

Map of Mount Waterman Area CA:

Google Map

Mount Waterman (mountain base):
California United States
Latitude: 34.349525
Longitude: -117.928711

Mount Waterman Lodging and Accommodations:

Stay in the Los Angeles foothill towns of La Canada or Pasadena.


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