China Peak Ski Area
- Employment: China Peak Job Listings
- Population: Shaver Lake 5,000
- Snow Report: (559) 233-3330, (559) 893-3311 (local area)
- Annual Snowfall: 200″
- Ski Season: November-April
- Fresno Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: (559) 233-0836
- Shaver Lake Chamber of Commerce: (559) 841-3350
- Average Cost of 2-bedroom Apartment: $550
- China Peak Lift Ticket Prices
- Local Newspapers: Fresno Bee, (559) 441-6111; Mountain Press, (559) 855-8100
Located high in the Sierras on the shores of Huntington Lake, China Peak (formerly, Sierra Summit) is a favorite wilderness playground for much of central California. The small community of Shaver Lake is the nearest town of any size and rests by the lake of the same name. Most skiers treat China Peak as a day-ski area, driving from Fresno, Bakersfield, or the Central Coast to ski and then leaving for home the same evening. The China Peak Inn does provide fifty rooms for overnight skiers and summer visitors, who also stay at the nearby Huntington Lake Condominiums or various spots in Shaver Lake.
China Peak is a great mid-sized ski resort and provides the best skiing in California south of Mammoth Mountain. It has a 1,700-foot vertical drop, gets plenty of snow and offers terrain suited to all abilities, with 65 percent of the runs rated intermediate. Five chairs (including two triples) serve the mountain with another potentially planned for next winter. Snowboarders are welcome.
China Peak is located near several alpine lakes that are very popular summertime destinations. Huntington Lake, at the base of the mountain, hosts two major sailing regattas, the Mile High and the High Sierra, each summer, as well as many smaller sailing events. The ski area is open for the summer from June 30 to Labor Day, when it hosts a variety of groups and conventions. Mountain bikers are welcome on the mountain, and China Peak may begin running a summer chairlift if construction plans don’t get in the way. Other popular activities in the area include camping, hiking, fishing in the numerous area lakes, and horseback riding.
The Inn at China Peak, at the base of the ski area, offers a bar and restaurant dining. Shaver Lake is the site of most evening activities. In Shaver Lake, try The Sawmill, a steakhouse and bar, and The Sierra House, which serves a wide variety of food and drinks.
The Shaver Lake Lodge is the place to go for dancing and late-night music.
You need a car to get around this area, since there is no public transportation to China Peak and no employee shuttle, though some employees carpool from Shaver Lake. Fresno’s airport is served by most major airlines, and is a sixty-seven mile drive on Highway 168 from China Peak.
China Peak provides twenty-five units of employee housing at the resort, but the majority of workers live in rentals at Shaver Lake, about twelve miles away.
China Peak is by far the largest employer in the area. In summer, China Peak runs an informal exchange with Wildwater Adventures, a water park in Fresno, enabling many China Peak employees to work at the park for the summer. The U.S. Forest Service is another big employer, as are Shaver Lake restaurants and bars.