Title: One day trip to Boreal Mountain California from San Francisco Bay Area
Preparation: 1. Clothes for ski. The full ski gear includes jackets, pants, gloves and goggles. * Regular warm jacket is okay and you should be dressed in layers in case you get too hot while skiing. * Gloves should waterproof and have good grip. * Ski pants is absolutely necessary as you will fall down and be wet all day if your pants is not waterproof. * Goggles are highly recommended as the brightness of the snow makes it difficult to see. It is possible to rent and buy jackets and pants at the ski resort but they will definitely be more expensive. If planned early, you can order ski clothes from Walmart, Target or Amazon or go to sports store such as Columbia, Dick's or REI to buy. 2. Buying ticket online. Tickets usually include: lift ticket, equipment rental (ski or snowboard equipment) and lessons. For first timers, I recommend to purchase group lesson ticket (https://shop.rideboreal.com/lessons ) which usually includes rental and 2 hours lesson but you might need to pay extra for the lift ticket after the lesson. Make sure to check detailed ticket description in the website carefully to know what is included and what is not. I overheard one couple talking to the ski staff and was told that they cannot exchange or return the tickets not purchased on site. Tip: Since we bought the tickets online, we did not have to pay the $20 parking fee. 3. Getting to the ski lodge early. We started driving from East bay at 5:00 am and arried at 8:30 am. The ski resort opens at 9 am but there were already some people before us. It took about 1.5 hour to line up for tickets and equipments. It would take you more time if you arrived later since the line was longer. 4. Prepare some snacks and lunch if you want to save some $$. We packed some sandwiches and brought water bottle and had a quick lunch at noon. There are food for sale at the site but can be expensive (e.g. $4 for a coke, $15 for a sandwich).
General opinion: The trip is generally very good though our driver was tired after skiing all day and driving for 6 hours. We found online and offline from friends that this Ski resort is poorly organized. We recommend to read some review online and be prepared or choose another nearby ski resort to go if desired. The wireless access there were poor. One of us lost a document there but now it is hard to get hold of them to inquire about their lost-and-found. Advanced skier might find the lanes too short. I was a beginner and I was okay with it.
Attractions and activities: Ski resort: https://www.rideboreal.com/
Dining: We brought some sandwiches and fruits. There was a sign saying no cooler but did not say outside food. Even that is the case, it is always possible to park a little closer to the ski entrace and eat lunch in the car if you want to save money. Otherwise, the 2nd floor of the ski lodge has a cafeteria with very limited selections. The price is a little high, e.g. $15 for a sandwich.
Commute: We left home at 5 am and got to Boreal ski resort at 8:30 am. We exited Boreal ski resort at 5 pm and got home before 8:30 pm.
Lodge: Did not stay in a hotel. Went in the morning and come back in the evening.