Updated: January 31, 2023 | Has affiliate links

3 Beautiful Snow Play Areas for Children Near Frazier Park

Mount Pinos snow play areas thumbnailFrazier Park’s Mount Pinos is probably the closest place for unorganized and free snow play in the Los Angeles area. Whether you live in Northern Los Angeles County or Ventura County you can usually get to Mt Pinos in about two hours. There are a few beautiful unorganized snow play areas around the Frazier Park/Mount Pinos area. Read on to see my favorite snow play areas around Mt. Pinos.

Frazier Park snow play is part of my detailed article about best snow play spots in Southern California. Let’s explore together the best snow play area near Frazier Park.

1. Snow Play Areas at Chula Vista Campground Near Mount Pinos

Frazier Park, California - Small children enjoy sledding on the slopes near Chula Vista Campground
Frazier Park, California – Small children enjoy sledding on the slopes near Chula Vista Campground
See my photos from Mount Pinos

As you exit the I5 freeway at Frazier Mountain Park Road and drive past the village of Frazier Park, you will be driving through a beautiful valley flanked by mountain peaks.
Frazier Park Road goes through the village of Frazier Park and becomes Cuddy Valley Road as it continues through the beautiful Cuddy Valley. As the roads turn left and starts ascending, Cuddy Valley Road becomes Mt Pinos Road which takes you all the way up to Mount Pinos. That’s where the road ends.

If you are patient and drive past Frazier Park and Cuddy Valley, the road ends with a large parking lot and a natural sledding area right next to the parking lot near the Chula Vista Campground.
Once you reach the end of the road and park your car, use the trail to the right of the Forest Service building and walk a few hundred feet. There is a beautiful meadow with two long sledding slopes, perfect for kids and adults.

Mount Pinos, California - Map of snow play areas around Chula Vista Campground near Mount Pinos
Mount Pinos, California – Map of snow play areas around Chula Vista Campground near Mount Pinos
See my photos from Mount Pinos

If you drive all the way up to Mount Pinos on a sunny winter day, when the road is open, you will simply love it. We found the Mt Pinos snow play area is much better than large, commercial snow areas around Big Bear Lake or Mountain High.

2. Snow Play Areas on the Road from Cuddy Valley to Mount Pinos

Frazier Park, California - The road from Frazier Park to Mount Pinos is often covered in snow during the winter
Frazier Park, California – The road from Frazier Park to Mount Pinos is often covered in snow during the winter
See my photos from Mount Pinos

Frazier Park’s Cuddy Valley doesn’t get much snow during the winter and most of the winter the roads are clear. However, when you keep following Cuddy Valley Road and start climbing towards Mount Pinos, the road gets icy and snowy pretty soon. Often times, you need chains to keep driving.

When driving to Mount Pinos always carry chains with you and be ready to install them. While most of the times the weather is sunny, many times in the winter the weather is unpredictable, so be prepared with chains and several changes of clothes.

As you go up to Mt Pinos, you will start noticing cars stopped on the left and right side of the road where snow play is possible. However, the designated parking areas are at Mount Pinos Campground and Chula Vista Campground. Also,  you need an Adventure Pass to be displayed on your car. Last time we went, we bought an Adventure Pass at the gas station in Frazier Park.

Frazier Park, California - Snow play areas in Frazier Park right before driving up to Mount Pinos
Frazier Park, California – Snow play areas in Frazier Park right before driving up to Mount Pinos
See my photos from Mount Pinos

As with most unorganized snow play areas, you will see slopes made sled suitable by the many people stopping on the side of the road and sledding. Most snow is on the side of the mountain with most shade. There are two good sledding areas right before Mount Pinos Campground sign on the right hand side of the road. The second one is on the left side of the road right past the Mt. Pinos Campground sign. Parking at Mount Pinos Campground is your best bet for these snow play areas.

3. Snow Play Areas right outside Cuddy Valley, Frazier Park

Frazier Park, California - Frazier Park in Cuddy Valley with a bit of snow covering the ground in December.
Frazier Park/Cuddy Valley with a bit of snow covering the ground in December.
See my photos from Frazier Park

Cuddy Valley itself gets some snow in the winter time, but not very much since its elevation is only 4600 ft. You would have to visit right after a snow storm in order to enjoy some snow playing in Frazier Park’s Cuddy Valley without having to drive up to Mount Pinos.

However, Frazier Park and Cuddy Valley don’t have any snow play areas as most land is private. If you are planning to go to this area, check the road conditions and make sure the road to Mount Pinos is open before you go.  Stopping in Frazier Park for snow play will be disappointing and will get lots of local residents really upset. So, plan to through Frazier Park towards Mt Pinos as that is the best area for snow play.

Please beware that the Frazier Park village and Cuddy Valley areas do not have any official snow play areas and most land is private. If you decide to stop in Frazier Park for snow play, make sure you are parking in a public place…otherwise you would be trespassing on private property. Also, make sure you pick up your trash before you go back home.

If you make it to Frazier Park, the only public place suitable for snow play is the Frazier Mountain Park, across from the library. Find parking along Park Drive and make sure you don’t block any driveways. This is the closest place to the freeway, but most of the times it doesn’t get much snow.

Driving a little further through the community of Lake of the Woods and turning left on Lockwood Valley Road you can can also find suitable snow play area near the Mt Pinos Ranger District Office at Frazier Mountain Trailhead. This snow play area is also on public land and you should be able to find parking on the forest road.

As you leave Cuddy Valley and the road curves to the left going up to Mt Pinos, you can try snow play at the Mt Pinos Vehicle Meeting Point (also known locally as the Y), but make sure you stay on the North West side of the area so you remain on public land. You can also try St Nicholas Campground Area a little further up the road before the snow gate.

Snow play areas outside Cuddy Valley on the way to Mt Pinos

Continuing further from the Y, as you pass the snow gate, and drive up the road, you can find suitable Frazier Park snow play areas both on the left and on the right of Mt Pinos Road as I indicated above in my article.

Is Frazier Park open for snow play? Well, that’s the wrong question to ask as Frazier Park doesn’t have any official snow play areas. A more appropriate question would be: is Mount Pinos open for snow play? For an answer to this question please check the current snow conditions in the Frazier Park Area using the links towards the end of this article.

Remember that Frazier Park and Lake of the Woods are very small communities so please check the resources page at the end of the article before visiting Frazier Park/Mount Pinos area. Check especially the weather/snow report page which will tell you if the roads to Frazier Park and Mount Pinos are open or not. If the road are not open, you might want to postpone your trip so you can enjoy the snow properly.

Plan Your Trip to the Snow at Mount Pinos

  • Stay in Frazier Park. Pine Mountain Club is my favorite mountain retreat from the busy Los Angeles area, especially if you can stay a few nights. You can check out Pine Mountain Club snowfall by using the link below. Also, Frazier View Motel is a great budget choice right in Frazier Park. For a great place right on I5,  I recommend the Holiday Inn in Lebec, right off the freeway going into Frazier Park.
  • Make sure your kids have some good snow gloves and a water bottle to keep them going.
  • Check current snow and road conditions around the Frazier Park area. Locally maintained website with accurate information, updated daily. This website has links to Frazier Park snow cam that can show you current snow conditions.
  • Pay attention to the entry for Frazier Mountain Park Road (look for CHP traffic restrictions) and Mt Pinos Road (this is at the snow gate).   During the pandemic, in January 2021, local police cars blocked the entrance and only allowed local traffic through Frazier Mountain Park road invoking COVID concerns. Not sure what will happen during 2022-2023 winter season.
  • Here’s the Frazier Park Sheriff’s Substation phone number: (661) 245-3440. However, I am not sure what information you can gather from here.
  • Look for Mt Pinos Road on the Kern County Road status website.
  • Check the Los Padres National Forest website for latest alerts. You can also call them at 661-245-3731 to see what roads are open and where you can park.  The forest service has created a great resource for public snow place areas around the Frazier Park/Mount Pinos areas.
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