Big Bear & Orange County Weekend Getaways

Big Bear has been Orange County’s weekend getaway for decades.  It has yet to change.

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Big Bear Mountain Resort is apart of the Big Bear Lake resorts.  It’s in the mountains of San Bernardino, which is two hours east of Orange County, California.  The road to get to the mountain is narrow and it hugs the mountain’s side like a newborn with its mother.  It’s a two lane road and the toughest road compared to all the California mountain resorts.  

The top of Big Bear Mountain
The top of Big Bear Mountain

Big Bear Lake is the light at the end of the hard to see turns.  It’s a little charming town with a population of about 5,000.  The population own restaurants, rental shops or work for the mountain resorts.  It’s filled with cabins for rent during the winters and summers.  It tends to get pack with weekenders during the winter time.

Big Bear Mountain is one of two ski resorts in Big Bear.  The other is Snow Summit.  There’s a big difference between the two mountains in terms of trails and difficulty of the terrains.  Big Bear Mountain is designated as the “extreme” snowboarder mountain due to the difficulty of the trails.  Snow Summit is the more friendly and family oriented mountain.

Bear Mountain
The top of Big Bear

It comes down to preference.  Big Bear Mountain is filled with “bros” showing off and giving people the look back when they pass them.  I personally prefer Snow Summit due to its mellow terrain and the snowboarders/skiers tend to be a lot friendlier.  I started snowboarding in my early 30s; now, I’m well into my 30s, so I’m not trying to get on any jumps.  I want to be able to drive home after my day trip.

The lift tickets are about 70-80 USD.  They offer night sessions and half day passes.  The lift tickets are valid on Big Bear Mountain, which is a mile up the road.  It’s recommended to get a multiple day pass if you plan to stay the weekend.  It’s convenient to board Big Bear one day then Snow Summit the next day. Big Bear

In addition, the snow is man-made.  It’s not as soft like fresh powder in Keystone, Vail, or Mammoth Mountain.  However, it’s a good option for those who want to getaway for the weekend or those who are in Los Angeles for a week on vacation.   It’s the perfect day trip.  I highly recommend leaving before 2 PM to beat traffic.