With plenty of groomed runs and terrain parks at Big Bear Lake’s two alpine resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, it’s easy to see why skiers and boarders head here when the snow flies. But this appealing alpine destination in the San Bernardino Mountains, the easy escape for Southern California snow lovers, also has plenty of off-slope ways to get out and play. “It’s really magical here when the snow falls, and there’s plenty to do beyond the ski mountains, inside and out,” says Dan McKernan of the Big Bear Visitors Bureau.
His top five picks of things to do at Big Bear Lake during the winter months? Take an adrenaline-pumping ride on a series of zip lines high above the San Bernardino snow trails, or check out the Soaring Eagle, an amusement-style two-at-a-time ride that starts at the base of the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and will make you feel like you are soaring over Big Bear Lake (open year-round). If you prefer to get your speed thrills earthbound, race innertubes down a hill or take a bobsled-style sled down an alpine slide.
Bird watching for wintering bald eagles is great this time of year; you can help out a local conservation effort by spending an afternoon jotting down your sightings, or simply visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo to see a few of the magnificent birds closer up than you can in the wild.
Hikers can become engrossed in nature while snowshoe trekking along the miles and miles of trails devoted to that contemplative activity. However you choose to spend your day, end it with a delicious meal of mountain-hearty food in Big Bear Lake Village. Read on for help in planning a winter trip to this Southern California mountain town.