Snow in San Diego

snow in San Diego
Snow in San Diego is as likely as snow in the Bahamas! But fear not, with as little as one or two hours drive inland, you will find snow. Not quite snow in San Diego, but definitely snow near San Diego.
  • snow in Laguna Mountain
  • snow in Cuyamacas
  • snow in Julian
  • snow in Palomar Mountain

How do you Know when there is Snow? snow in San Diego

  1. If it is January or February, then there might be snow inland and at higher elevations.
  2. If it is raining in San Diego, then it might be snowing in the mountains.
  3. Be smart: check weather conditions on the internet through Yahoo weather or Weather Underground to find snow before you load up your car.
  4. Be sure: call to inquire before you drive up. Here's some phone numbers that may be helpful:

    Mount Laguna Lodge:
    Lake Cuyamaca:
    Julian Chamber of Commerce:
    Palomar Mountain State Park:    
    619-473-8533 or 619-445-2342
    760-765-0515 or 877-581-9904

What to Bring

snow in San Diego
If you decide to spend the day in the snow, you should prepare yourself:

Clothing: bring warm clothes such as a winter jacket, mitts, gloves, hats, and boots.

Sunscreen: believe it or not, you can get a sunburn when you are in the snow. The reflection of the sun off the white snow gives you more light than by the sun alone.

Tools: if you have, bring along equipment that may help you play in the snow: cross country skiis, snow shoes, shovels, and/or sleds.

Food and water: it is prudent to pack drinks, snacks, or a lunch. There is almost always a general store or restaurant nearby, but it is best to have some food and water with you in case the vendors are closed. In addition, sometimes the traffic or road condition is so bad that you can be stuck in traffic for many hours.

Extra clothes: after a day of fun in the snow, you and your kids will surely be wet. Be prepared by bringing extra clothes to change into before embarking upon the drive back home.

Snow tires or chains: if there is snow on the road, you would be better off getting chains for your car tires - either chains or snow tires. You're not going to find these at the mountain tops - get them before you head for the snow covered mountains.


When you are itching to see snow in San Diego, it is likely that thousands of people feel the same way. Here are some tips for a successful day. snow in San Diego
  • go early so that you can avoid the crowds. Once, Sunrise Highway which leads to Mount Laguna was backed-up for 4 hours because everyone wanted to find snow. Police had to restrict access and divert traffic to ease the congestion.

  • Avoid going in late December when everyone is in the mood for a White Christmas. It is far better to go in February when everyone is looking for a Red Valentine. If it is cold enough, you can even get snow in March, so be patient and wait for the moment.

  • Consider staying overnight by renting a cabin, lodge, or a motel room. This will allow you to enjoy one more day of snow and it alleviates the problem of driving after an exhausting day of snow play.

  • If possible, go on a weekday instead of a weekend.

-> photos of snow in San Diego: Mount Laguna
-> want to go ice skating instead?
-> find another attraction in San Diego
-> browse Site Mao