Big Bear Ski Vacation Guide

The mountains of California are every bit as beautiful and dramatic as the ocean, desert, and farmlands that make up the state. The Sierra Mountain Range effectively splits the state in half, and the mountains run through the entire state, from the Oregon border down into Mexico. What makes these Southern California mountains so amazing is the opportunity to cruise down in shorts and a t-shirt towards the end of the season, or be on the beach for breakfast and on the snowy slopes by mid-day during the winter months.

Ski Levels

Let's face it, California just about invented all things board—and snowboarding is no exception. Big Bear’s freestyle park is the number one park in the nation with over 150 jumps, more than 80 jibs, Southern California’s only superpipe, one standard halfpipe, and plenty of exclusive designs that are constantly being updated, improved and changed. The parks eagerly welcome freestyle skiers too!

SoCal contains the Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead area, including Bear Mountain, Snow Valley, and Snow Summit, and they are all just a couple hours outside of downtown L.A. One might expect the close proximity to all that sun and sea would limit the potential for great snow and conditions, but it’s just not the case. These mountains are every bit as serious as the sets of slopes found in Northern California. That isn't to say that there aren't beginner's slopes. Of course, beginner and intermediate slopes make up the majority of the terrain, but the avid black diamond skier will be just as happy.

The Ski Patrol is top notch. These professionals are dedicated to ensuring the safety and well being of the mountain's visitors. The instructors are likewise certified skiing and snowboarding professionals. The base lodge has equipment rentals as well as a full-service repair shop, and there are plenty of rentals and demos available at off-mountain locations as well. Californians (and their guests) really get into skiing, and the high standard of quality of the facilities, trails, and staff add to the natural beauty.

Après Ski

When it comes to nightlife, very little compares to Southern California, which may just be the entertainment capital of the world. It houses incomparable live music, exquisite theatre and there is always something to do. The area regularly hosts contests, competitions, as well as live music and other fun events during the ski season. There are several bars and lounges in the area to explore and with so many options, guests will be able to do something unique every night of their vacation.

Towards the end of the season, you may find yourself skiing in shorts and a t-shirt during the early afternoon, but you should still dress for the mountains and skiing. Warm, dry clothing in layers is strongly advised. Beyond that, most everything can readily be had thanks to the fabulous amenities offered here. The most important thing to bring on a Southern California ski or snowboarding vacation is enthusiasm and energy, because with so much to do, you’ll need it

Big Bear Snowboard Vacation Guide

Rider’s Guide

Spanning four peaks, the mountain provides everything from world-class terrain parks to a two mile, double black, bumpy run that accesses off-piste terrain challenging enough for the most advanced skier. The runs are rated 30 percent for beginner, 40 percent intermediate, and 30 percent advanced. Three canyons—Goldmine, Deer, and Bow—have been left untouched and provide the only lift-accessed backcountry skiing in all of SoCal. After a nice winter storm the glade runs and chutes offer a superb chance at some great backcountry shredding. However, throughout the season check out deals and discounts on lift ticket packages, lodging and more before heading up to Big Bear.

Parks and Pipes

The central terrain park is the best in the country and boasts more than 150 jumps with step-ups, step-downs, tables, hips, vaders, spines and rollers and nearly 60 jibs including rails and boxes. They also house California’s only Olympic-sized Superpipe with a staggering length of 580 feet, a width of 60 plus feet and 17-foot walls! In the base area, The Scene, features a revolving setup of jibs and features that premiere there before being moved to the central park and snowskate park. These areas cover a huge amount of acres and the park’s dedicated staff work tirelessly to maintain, improve, and grow the area year after year.

Out of Bounds

The area is one of the most striking places in California, with alpine vistas looking out over baking desert. There is virtually nothing that you can’t do within 60 miles, from ocean swimming to dune buggies to snowmobiling. It’s not a completely different story at Bear Mountain where you’re in the heart of northern California’s High Sierras with alpine activities for hundreds of miles around and yet, still at the doorstep of Hollywood, the desert, and the beach.

Hangout & Hookup

The area is the place where L.A. goes to party in the snow, bands regularly visit the area and play amazing live shows. There are several bars in the area that offer fantastic drink specials, delicious food and great times. The surrounding area is brimming with after hours activity, basically anything you can think of, the area will have it. Just a few hours from the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, every night of the week there are fun diversions and activities.