Does It Snow In Los Angeles?

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Have you been asking, “Does it snow in Los Angeles”? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

Does it snow in Los Angeles?

The answer is sort of.

Elevations in the city limits of Los Angeles range from 0 – 1,200 feet and due to its coastal and Southern location, temperatures rarely reach snowfall levels.

An accumulation of snow does not really occur in this area, but nearby in Malibu, there was a dusting of snow back in 2007.

Other nearby towns such as Altadena also see small amounts of snow every handful of years.

In 2019, several areas around Los Angeles experienced a light snow dusting including Malibu, West Hollywood, Northridge, Westlake Village, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Pasadena, and Eagle Rock.

More recently, in February 2023, the Greater Los Angeles area experienced snowfall amongst most of the mountain ranges in the area.

view of Los Angeles from the ocean looking toward the mountains

Has it ever snowed in Los Angeles?

Yes! Just since 2000, it has snowed 4 times in Los Angeles.

It’s a very light dusting that melts away almost instantly, so you won’t ever see an accumulation of snow in the city limits.

According to the almanac, there are a couple of snowfall records in Los Angeles.

In a 24 hour period, the most snowfall ever in Los Angeles was 2.0 inches and this occurred back on January 15, 1932.

Additionally, in 1 month, the most snowfall ever in Los Angeles was 2.0 inches and this was also from that same snowfall in January 1932.

Some trace snowfall occurrences happened in 1882, 1913, 1918, 1919, 1922, 1935, 1939, 1942, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1962, 1987, 1989, 2007, and 2023 according to the National Weather Service.

Additionally, a few years have had a measurable amount of snow including the snowfall of 1932 I mentioned above, and 0.3 inches in 1949, 0.2 inches in 1950, and 0.3 inches in 1954.

However, in the nearby mountain regions, you can see plenty of snow in the Winter.

In February 2023, there was a rare snowfall occurrence in lower elevations than we normally see.

Here are some photos of that most recent snowfall.

Snowfall on the mountains outside of LA past the I-5 and I-10 Interchange split
Photo taken February 26, 2023 driving North on the 5 at the interchange split between the 5 and the 10, just past Downtown LA
snowfall in the mountains just outside of Downtown LA
Photo Taken on February 26, 2023 of the snowfall on the mountains just outside of Downtown LA on the 5, just past the 5 and the 10 interchange
snow in the mountains of Burbank, California
Photo Taken on February 26, 2023 – light snow on the mountains of Burbank, California
snow in the mountains of Sun Valley, California
Photo Taken on February 26, 2023 – snowfall on the mountains in Sun Valley, California

Why doesn’t Los Angeles get snow?

Generally the temperatures stay above 48 degrees, so it doesn’t get cold enough for it to snow.

The climate in Los Angeles is most similar to the Mediterranean, so there is not usually too much variety in the weather.

This kind of climate doesn’t see extremes in weather like the Midwest or Canada tends to experience.

does it snow in los angeles? this photo looks at los angeles with a view of snowy mountains in the background

Where can I see snow in Los Angeles?

The nearby mountain towns get plenty of snow in the Winter months as early as October and as late as April.

Sometimes the snow is so plentiful it lasts well into Summer!

Because of this, there are so many ski resorts in the nearby mountain towns to really get the Winter feel you won’t get in the city.

Think places like Mount Baldy, Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear Lake, and more.

✅ Mount Baldy

Mount Baldy has a tubing park where you can take the Sugar Pine chairlift roundtrip for a 1 1/2 hour tubing session.

Mount Baldy is about 50 miles outside of Los Angeles and is about an hour and 45 minutes drive or longer depending on the area you’re driving from.

✅ Mount Wilson

The Mount Wilson Observatory is a free place to visit and hike.

It’s about 30 miles outside of Los Angeles, making it about an hour drive.

It has an elevation above 5,500 feet, so it will occasionally get some snow.

✅ Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead is a mountain town just a little further out than Mount Baldy.

It’s about 80 miles from Los Angeles and takes closer to 2 1/2 hours to drive there.

This is a great area if you’re going for the whole weekend or at least overnight.

? Click Here To Book Your Stay In Lake Arrowhead Today!

✅ Frazier Park

Frazier Park is up past Santa Clarita, about 75 miles away.

It’s about an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles.

Being another mountain town, Frazier Park experiences its fair share of snow.

It’s also a great place to see the sky at night away from all the city lights.

✅ Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is even further out, but still not too far.

It’s about 95 miles from Los Angeles and takes almost 3 hours to drive there.

We have a great Winter weekend itinerary for Big Bear Lake if you’re going for 2-3 days.

✅ Wrightwood

Wrightwood is another mountain town about 85 miles outside of Los Angeles and it’s about a 2 hour drive from the city.

It’s elevation around 6,000 feet allows for plentiful snowfall.

This town is actually so small it’s considered the “town without a traffic light”.

There’s plenty of skiing and hiking in this area.

Be sure to visit the Devil’s Punchbowl, a park full of colorful rocks.

? Click Here To Book Your Grand Pine Cabins Stay In Wrightwood Today!

Snow Resorts Near Los Angeles

If you’re in the area and want to experience snow in the Winter months, you’re in luck!

There are plenty of resorts where you can go skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more.

➡️ Mountain High Ski Resort

Mountain High East Ski Resort, located in the San Gabriel Mountains, has 5 ski lifts that will take you to slopes for a variety of skill levels.

The elevation here is mostly between 6,500 – 8,000 feet, which is why they get plentiful snow and Los Angeles does not.

➡️ Snow Summit Ski Resort

Snow Summit Ski Resort is roughly 100 miles outside of LA, in the San Bernardino Mountains.

There are 11 ski lifts that will take you to slopes for a variety of skill levels.

The elevation here is mostly between 7,000-8,000 feet, which is why they get plentiful snow and Los Angeles does not.

➡️ Snow Valley Mountain Ski Resort

Snow Valley Mountain Ski Resort is in the San Bernardino National Forest.

They have 13 ski lifts that take you to slopes for a variety of skill levels.

The elevation is mostly between 7,000 – 7,500 feet, which is why there is plentiful snow fall that Los Angeles does not get.

view of snowy mountains behind Los Angeles

Other Winter Activities In Los Angeles

Even though you probably won’t experience any real snow in Los Angeles, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Winter activities without leaving the city.

☑️ Outdoor Ice Skating

The LA Kings Holiday Ice outdoor ice skating rink opens each Winter holiday season right in LA.

Not only is there ice skating, but there is also a light show!

☑️ Night of Lights OC / Winter Fest

This drive-thru event is at the Orange County Fairgrounds and is as immersive as it gets.

There’s snow, food, drinks, photo ops, and of course, Santa!

Winter Fest OC

 ☑️ LA Zoo Lights: Animals Aglow

Another great evening event for the holidays is checking out the Christmas lights at the LA Zoo.

There’s even a handful of animals that will still be out at night.

LA Zoo Lights - Winter Wonderland Series

Conclusion: Does it snow in Los Angeles?

So as you now know, the answer is not really.

You may see some flurries, but it’s probably not going to stick.

And if it does stick it’s not going to be for very long.

Luckily, just an hour or two outside of the city are plenty of snow and ski resorts to get your Winter sports in.