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 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.
There is no grooming of the advanced runs. Moguls will appear and disappear as conditions and skiers dictate.
The most notable feature about the Mount Waterman terrain is the vast area of tree runs.
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).
There are no specific "terrain parks", enjoy the whole mountain as your terrain park.
Waterman Apres Ski: Newcombs
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.
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.
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