Mountain Getaways in California: Top Retreats

mountain getaways in california

Escape to the serene beauty of the high country with my picks for the best mountain getaways in California, from secluded cabins to scenic resorts. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing vacation or outdoor adventures, California’s mountain destinations offer an array of options to suit your preferences. From the majestic peaks of Mammoth Mountain to the charming June Lake, there’s a retreat waiting for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • California’s mountains provide a perfect escape for vacation in stunning natural surroundings.
  • Discover wallet-friendly alternatives to popular destinations like Mammoth Mountain.
  • Enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking to water sports, in beautiful settings.
  • Experience luxury and relaxation at wellness retreats and mountain resorts.
  • Plan your next mountain getaway and immerse yourself in California’s breathtaking landscapes.

June Lake: A Wallet-Friendly Alternative to Mammoth

Nestled below towering granite peaks, June Lake offers a wallet-friendly alternative to neighboring Mammoth. The quaint mountain town, comprised of a general store, restaurants, and lodging, is located along the scenic June Lake Loop.

Hiking enthusiasts will be delighted with the abundant opportunities that June Lake has to offer. One of the must-do trails is the Parker Lake Trail, which leads to a stunning alpine lake surrounded by breathtaking views.

To add to the uniqueness of June Lake, visitors can also paddle on Mono Lake, famously known for its striking limestone formations.

June Lake

Explore the Scenic June Lake Loop

  • Admire the picturesque views while driving along the June Lake Loop
  • Stop by the general store to stock up on supplies for your outdoor adventures
  • Indulge in delicious meals at the local restaurants
  • Find comfortable lodging options for your stay

Mammoth Mountain: Year-Round Outdoor Adventures

Mammoth Mountain is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures amidst the stunning landscapes of the California mountains. This iconic destination offers a wide range of activities, ensuring visitors have a memorable experience throughout the year.

During the winter season, Mammoth Mountain boasts world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities. With over 3,500 acres of skiable terrain, skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can carve their way down the slopes while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The mountain’s modern lift system ensures easy access to the slopes, maximizing your time on the mountain.

outdoor activities in california mountains

As the snow melts and summer rolls around, Mammoth Mountain transforms into a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The mountain biking trails are particularly popular, offering thrilling rides for both beginners and experts. Whether you prefer downhill, cross-country, or scenic rides, Mammoth Mountain Bike Park has something for everyone. Guided tours are available for first-time bikers, providing a safe and exhilarating introduction to the park’s extensive trail network.

In addition to mountain biking, hikers will find themselves in awe of the numerous trails that weave through the majestic forests and alpine meadows of Mammoth Mountain. From leisurely strolls to challenging summit hikes, there is a trail suited for every level of fitness and experience. Explore the breathtaking beauty of the region and be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

For those seeking a tranquil escape, fishing is a popular activity in the lakes and streams surrounding Mammoth Mountain. Cast your line and try your luck at catching trout, which thrive in the crystal-clear waters of the area. Enjoy the peacefulness of nature as you immerse yourself in the serene beauty of your surroundings.

No visit to Mammoth Mountain is complete without experiencing a scenic gondola ride. Soar to new heights as the gondola takes you up to the summit, providing unparalleled views of the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. Capture the awe-inspiring vistas and create lasting memories of your time at Mammoth Mountain.

With its abundance of outdoor activities, Mammoth Mountain truly is a year-round destination for adventure and exploration. Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a breathtaking getaway, Mammoth Mountain has it all.

Bass Lake: A Gateway to Yosemite National Park

Located just 17 miles from the southern gate of Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake is more than just a gateway—it’s a destination in itself. This stunning lake in California’s mountains offers a wide range of activities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

On Bass Lake, visitors can indulge in a variety of water sports, such as water skiing, kayaking, and boating. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves or peacefully explore the lake’s serene beauty, there’s something for everyone.

bass lake

The Pines Resort provides comfortable accommodations for those looking to stay close to the lake. From cozy cabins to lakeside suites, you can find the perfect lodging option to suit your needs. After a day of adventure, unwind with a delicious meal at Ducey’s on the Lake, where you can savor dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

One of the greatest advantages of staying at Bass Lake is its proximity to Yosemite National Park. This allows visitors to easily explore the park’s breathtaking natural landscapes, including iconic landmarks like Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Whether you prefer camping, hiking, or simply immersing yourself in nature’s tranquility, Yosemite provides an unforgettable experience.

If you’re seeking adventure and relaxation, Bass Lake is the perfect place to create lasting memories and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of California’s mountains.

Northstar, Truckee: Family-Friendly Fun in the Mountains

If you’re looking for a family-friendly mountain getaway in California, look no further than Northstar in Truckee. This picturesque destination offers a laid-back atmosphere and a wide range of activities that will keep everyone entertained.

The European-style Village at Northstar sets the stage for a relaxing and enjoyable retreat. With its charming architecture and scenic surroundings, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak in the beauty of the mountains.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of activities available in Northstar. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced adventurer, there’s something for everyone. Explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the mountains, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

If you prefer a more leisurely activity, try your hand at a game of mini-golf or enjoy a friendly competition of bungee jumping. For those who love roller-skating, Northstar offers a fun and safe environment to show off your skills.

The Kid’s Adventure Club at Northstar is a highlight for families with younger children. Designed for kids aged 4-12, the club offers nature hikes, games, and a variety of engaging activities to keep them entertained while you take some time for yourself.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or simply want to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings, Northstar in Truckee is the perfect destination for a family-friendly getaway. Plan your weekend retreat in California’s scenic mountains and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Big Bear Lake: Adventure and Relaxation in the San Bernardino National Forest

Located in the heart of the picturesque San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is a dream destination for adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-pumping experience or a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature, this Southern California mountain getaway has it all.

Big Bear Lake offers a wide range of outdoor activities that cater to every thrill-seeker. Dive into the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim or try your hand at fishing and reel in a trophy-sized trout. With its pristine shoreline and towering mountains, the lake provides a picturesque backdrop for kayaking and other water sports.

If you’re looking to elevate your adventure, head to the local bobsled track and feel the adrenaline rush as you race down the twisting, icy slopes. For an exhilarating aerial experience, zip-line through the lush forest canopy and take in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

big bear lake

When it’s time to unwind and rest your weary muscles, the Holiday Inn Resort at Big Bear Lake offers comfortable accommodations with convenient access to all the fun. Whether you prefer a cozy cabin or a spacious suite, you’ll find the perfect retreat to recharge and relax.

With its stunning natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure, Big Bear Lake is the Southern California mountain getaway you’ve been searching for. Plan your next vacation and indulge in the excitement and tranquility of this remarkable destination.

Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley: A Mountain Playground with Stunning Views

When it comes to picturesque mountain resorts in California, Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley is a true gem. Nestled amidst the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains, Squaw Valley offers breathtaking views of the iconic Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure enthusiast, or just looking for a tranquil escape, Squaw Valley has something to offer for everyone.

The highlight of your visit to Squaw Valley should be a ride on the aerial tramway to High Camp. As you ascend to this scenic summit, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe. At High Camp, you’ll find a range of exciting outdoor activities to make the most of your visit.

  • Slack Line Park: Test your balance and agility on a series of suspended slack lines, a thrilling activity for both beginners and experienced slacklining enthusiasts.
  • Croquet: Engage in a friendly game of croquet with friends and family, surrounded by the stunning mountain landscape.
  • Ladder Toss: Challenge your aim and accuracy with a game of ladder toss, a fun and competitive outdoor game.
  • Disc Golf: Try your hand at disc golf, a unique sport that combines elements of golf and frisbee throwing, as you navigate through a scenic course.
  • Swimming: Take a refreshing dip in the pool at High Camp and enjoy the stunning views while basking in the mountain sunshine.

exploring the sierra nevada mountains

After a day filled with outdoor adventures, The Palisades Tahoe Lodge offers a comfortable and affordable place to relax and unwind. With its cozy accommodations and convenient location, you’ll be perfectly situated to explore all that Squaw Valley has to offer.

From the stunning vistas to the thrilling activities, Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley is a mountain playground that will capture your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories of your California mountain escape.

The Ranch Malibu: A Luxury Wellness Retreat in the Santa Monica Mountains

The Ranch Malibu is not just an ordinary wellness retreat; it is an all-inclusive luxury escape focusing on fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness. Located in the picturesque Santa Monica Mountains, guests can immerse themselves in nature with hikes, fitness classes, and farm-to-table meals.

the ranch malibu

Indulge in Luxury and Wellness

At The Ranch Malibu, luxury and wellness go hand in hand. The retreat offers a range of luxurious accommodations, from cozy private suites to spacious villas. Each room is thoughtfully designed to provide comfort and relaxation, allowing guests to unwind after a day of activities.

  • Enjoy state-of-the-art fitness facilities, including a gym, swimming pool, and outdoor yoga deck.
  • Partake in personalized fitness classes led by expert trainers who will guide you through a variety of exercise routines.
  • Experience tranquility with meditation and mindfulness sessions that help calm the mind and reduce stress.

Nourish Your Body with Healthy Cuisine

At The Ranch Malibu, food is not just fuel; it is a key component of the retreat’s wellness philosophy. Guests are treated to nutritious, gourmet meals created by world-class chefs using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The focus is on nourishing the body with whole foods and vibrant flavors.

  1. Enjoy farm-to-table meals made with seasonal produce, ensuring optimal freshness and flavor.
  2. Savor delicious and satisfying dishes carefully crafted to provide balanced nutrition and promote wellness.
  3. Discover new culinary experiences with cooking classes and demonstrations led by expert chefs.

Connect with Nature and Recharge

The picturesque setting of The Ranch Malibu in the Santa Monica Mountains offers an ideal backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation. Take advantage of the serene natural surroundings to reconnect with yourself and find inner peace.

  • Embark on guided hikes through scenic trails, breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in breathtaking views.
  • Experience the healing power of nature with forest bathing sessions, where you can immerse yourself in the calming energy of the forest.
  • Explore the local flora and fauna with guided nature walks and learn about the diverse ecosystem of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Whether you’re looking to kickstart a fitness journey, recharge your mind and body, or simply indulge in a luxurious wellness retreat, The Ranch Malibu provides the perfect setting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embrace the beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa: Wine Country Retreat in Carmel Valley

Located in the picturesque Carmel Valley, Bernardus Lodge & Spa offers a charming and intimate retreat for those seeking a wine country getaway. Surrounded by majestic mountains and sprawling vineyards, this hidden gem provides a serene and idyllic atmosphere for relaxation and rejuvenation.

At Bernardus Lodge & Spa, guests can indulge in a variety of activities tailored to their preferences. Take a dip in the heated lap-length pool, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty. Challenge a friend to a friendly tennis match on one of the resort’s courts, surrounded by lush greenery. For the ultimate pampering experience, treat yourself to a massage or spa treatment at the world-class spa.

As you explore the grounds of Bernardus Lodge & Spa, you’ll be captivated by the charm and elegance that permeates every aspect of the resort. The luxurious rooms and suites feature exquisite furnishings and modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. The on-site restaurant offers a gastronomic journey, showcasing fresh, farm-to-table cuisine paired with the finest local wines.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a weekend getaway with friends, or a solo retreat, Bernardus Lodge & Spa is a must-visit destination for those seeking a mountain hideaway in California. Immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Carmel Valley while enjoying the finest accommodations and amenities that this wine country retreat has to offer.

bernardus lodge & spa

Resort at Pelican Hill: Luxurious Coastal Sanctuary in Newport Beach

The Resort at Pelican Hill is a hidden gem nestled in the enchanting coastal city of Newport Beach. With its luxurious amenities and breathtaking views, it offers the perfect escape for those seeking relaxation in the picturesque setting of Southern California. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or planning a longer vacation, this resort promises a truly unforgettable experience.

Experience ultimate tranquility as you marvel at the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from the comfort of your private villa or suite. Each accommodation is elegantly designed with a blend of Mediterranean-inspired architecture and modern comforts, ensuring a serene and luxurious stay.

Indulge your senses at the rejuvenating spa, where skilled therapists offer a wide range of treatments to help you unwind and rejuvenate. From soothing massages to revitalizing facials, the spa provides the perfect sanctuary for relaxation and renewal.

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a world-class experience at the resort’s championship golf course. Designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio, the Ocean North and Ocean South courses offer breathtaking ocean views and a challenging yet rewarding game for players of all skill levels.

For those seeking to soak up the California sun, the resort features a stunning pool area where you can lounge in a cabana or take a refreshing dip overlooking the ocean. The poolside service ensures you have everything you need for a day of relaxation and indulgence.

During your stay, take advantage of the resort’s convenient location to explore the charming coastal towns of Southern California. Newport Beach offers a variety of activities, from strolling along the picturesque Balboa Peninsula to exploring the vibrant local art scene.

Indulge in exquisite dining experiences at the resort’s award-winning restaurants, where talented chefs create culinary masterpieces using the finest local ingredients. From fresh seafood to gourmet Mediterranean cuisine, each meal is a celebration of flavors that will leave a lasting impression.

For those seeking a secluded and intimate retreat, the resort offers private residences with luxurious amenities and personalized services. These exclusive accommodations provide the perfect setting for a romantic getaway or a gathering with loved ones.

Escape to the resort at Pelican Hill and discover a luxurious coastal sanctuary where relaxation and rejuvenation are seamlessly integrated into every aspect of your stay. Experience the unparalleled beauty of Newport Beach and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this Southern California mountain town.

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa: Sun-Soaked Retreat in Southern California

The Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for a sun-soaked retreat in Southern California. Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Coachella Valley, this resort offers luxurious accommodations and a wide range of activities to make your weekend getaway unforgettable.

Begin your day with a refreshing hike in the nearby California mountains, where you can explore scenic trails and immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. Whether you’re a novice hiker or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, there are trails suitable for every skill level. As you traverse the trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

For thrill-seekers, the resort also offers skiing opportunities in the nearby California mountains. Feel the rush as you glide down the slopes, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and stunning vistas. Whether you’re an expert skier or just starting out, there are slopes and trails to suit every level of experience.

After a day of outdoor adventure, indulge in the resort’s spa services, where you can relax and rejuvenate. Unwind with a soothing massage or pamper yourself with a facial treatment. The spa’s serene atmosphere and expert therapists will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

When it comes to dining options, the resort’s tantalizing cuisine will satisfy even the most discerning palate. From gourmet restaurants to casual eateries, you’ll find a diverse array of culinary delights to suit every taste. Indulge in farm-to-table dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, and savor the flavors of Southern California.

With its luxurious accommodations, breathtaking natural surroundings, and a plethora of activities, the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is the ideal weekend retreat in California. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, relaxation, or simply a sun-soaked getaway, this resort has it all. Experience the beauty of Southern California and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.


California is a dream destination for mountain getaways. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, thrilling adventures, or pure relaxation, the mountain resorts in California have it all. From the charming town of June Lake to the adrenaline-pumping slopes of Mammoth Mountain, there is something for every kind of traveler.

For outdoor enthusiasts, California’s mountain resorts offer a wide range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and skiing. Immerse yourself in nature and explore the stunning landscapes that surround you.

If relaxation is what you seek, indulge in the luxury wellness retreats nestled in the heart of the mountains. From the Ranch Malibu’s focus on fitness and mindfulness to Bernardus Lodge & Spa’s serene setting in Carmel Valley, these resorts provide the ultimate escape for rejuvenation.

So whether you’re craving adventure or seeking tranquility, plan your next getaway to one of California’s mountain resorts. Experience the natural beauty, unwind in the peaceful surroundings, and create memories that will last a lifetime. California mountain escapes are waiting for you.


What are some popular mountain getaways in California?

Some popular mountain getaways in California include June Lake, Mammoth Mountain, Bass Lake, Northstar in Truckee, Big Bear Lake, Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, The Ranch Malibu, Bernardus Lodge & Spa, Resort at Pelican Hill, and Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in California’s mountains?

California’s mountains offer a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, boating, skiing, snowboarding, zip-lining, golfing, and more.

Are there any family-friendly mountain destinations in California?

Yes, Northstar in Truckee is a great destination for families with activities like hiking, mini-golf, bungee jumping, roller-skating, and the Kid’s Adventure Club offering nature hikes and games for children.

Can I find luxury wellness retreats in California’s mountains?

Yes, The Ranch Malibu in Santa Monica Mountains offers an all-inclusive luxury wellness retreat focusing on fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness. Bernardus Lodge & Spa in Carmel Valley also provides a charming and intimate retreat surrounded by mountains and vineyards.

Which mountain destinations are located near national parks?

Bass Lake is located just 17 miles from the southern gate of Yosemite National Park, allowing for easy exploration of the park’s natural beauty.

What amenities can I expect at mountain resorts in California?

Mountain resorts in California offer a range of amenities, including comfortable accommodations, dining options, pools, spas, fitness facilities, and access to outdoor activities.

Are there any budget-friendly mountain getaways in California?

June Lake offers a wallet-friendly alternative to neighboring Mammoth Mountain with a quaint mountain town and various hiking opportunities, while Big Bear Lake provides a variety of outdoor activities at an affordable cost.