Dodge Ridge, California

Dodge Ridge is actually the closest ski resort to the Bay Area, only 144 miles from our house. It caters to families, locals, and people that don’t want to make the drive to Tahoe.

Stats and Rating

Vertical Drop 1600′
Size 852 Acres
Annual Snowfall 400 Claimed / 385 Actual: Rank 21
Lifts 12
Trails 67
Review Date 2003
Number of visits 1
Our Rating ★★
Dodge Ridge Trail Map 2013-2014

Dodge Ridge Trail Map 2013-2014

Review

The last time we skied Dodge Ridge was in 2003. It was a powder day, and conditions were great. Unfortunately that is somewhat rare. For example, last year was a poor snow year and the resort only opened for a couple of weeks in March. When open, the terrain is actually pretty great with some nice cruisers and decent advanced terrain. Most of the action is on the 2 lifts that go to the summit, which provide long consistent runs. There is a confusing jumble of old double chairs on the bottom right of the resort that seem to be a holdover from decades of slow expansion, but which don’t make much sense now. There are no high-speed detachable lifts or snowmaking.

The good

  • Location is everything here. Being closer to the Bay area and a relatively easy drive has kept Dodge Ridge in business.
  • The terrain is good with consistent longer runs from the summit.

The bad

  • Ignore the average snowfall number reported above, because lack of snow and no snowmaking really hurt Dodge Ridge in about half the ski seasons. The elevation is extraordinarily low, peaking at only 8,200 feet. In the Sierra the good snow often doesn’t start until 8,000 feet. This results in very low year-year consistency due to rain.  On a good day it’s a great choice for a quick day-trip, but as mentioned earlier that is rare.
  • They obviously cannot invest in new lodges or lifts to compete directly with the Tahoe resorts.

Would we go back?

Similar to Bear Valley, I can’t see us going back anytime soon. It’s really not a bad place, but the lack of snow and snow making is an obvious killer.

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