Alta Sierra Ski Resort and Terrain Park will open Saturday, one of its earliest openings in years, in large part because of a Thanksgiving storm that dumped several feet of snow.
"It's fantastic," said part-owner Garro Ellis. "We've only opened earlier than this once in the past 10 years."
Five feet of snow has fallen so far this season and the slopes have a groomed base of 3 feet, Ellis said.
Road conditions for the drive up are clear, Ellis said, but carrying chains is always recommended when driving in high elevations.
The ski and snowboard park, the only one in Kern County, is located in the Greenhorn Mountains. The summit is 7,091 feet and the base elevation is 6,491 feet, and it features two chairlifts and a tubing park.
The ticket office will open at 8 a.m. and lifts will operate from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. A warming hut and snack bar are also in operation.
Some behind-the-scenes improvements happening this year are bathroom renovations, a new grooming machine and improved chairlift efficiency, Ellis said.
A full-day lift ticket is $65 for adults and $55 for children ages 4 to 12. Tubing costs $30 per person for a two-hour session.