Located in the San Bernardino Mountains, just two hours from Los Angeles, Bear Mountain has been serving the snow hungry inhabitants of Southern California for years. Bear is where youll find Southern Californias only halfpipes, the Red Bull Plaza, The Scene, and also the largest learning area in SoCal. Its common to see your favorite pro lapping the park on any given day, and come spring time there is no better place to catch a tan. Warm temps make the resort resemble the beach, with snowboarders often dressed in tank tops and bikinis, soaking up the bright California sun.
Where to Ride
Three main peaks define Bear, but for snowboarders, it’s the fact that these three peaks are home to more parks per acre than any resort in the world. The Goldmine Mountain peak provides lift access to 12 of those terrain parks, and its possible to ride park features throughout your entire run, seamlessly bouncing from one park to another. Who knows, you might get lucky and to bump into the Sunday in the Park film crew and, if you play your cards right, end up in the next episode.
When you’ve had your fill of the park, the Silver Mountain Peak hosts ample tree riding, while still allowing access to three terrain parks further down the hill. When the snow gets deep at Bear, you won’t want to pass on those glades. Those parks aren’t going anywhere, but fresh powder won’t last forever.
When the snow is good and you’re hungry for pow, Bear’s Peak Chair should be your first destination. Even though Bear is known for its parks, the steeps are nothing to scoff at. Duck into the woods off of Geronimo, and play in the powder stashes before shooting back onto the trail under the lift get there early to make those above you on the chair jealous as you throw one party wave after the next. Don’t forget to check out other off-piste offerings in Goldmine Canyon, Deer Canyon, and Bowl Canyon. These zones hold snow longer than anywhere on the mountain and will leave you with a powder-filled grin that will have everyone in the park wondering what they missed.
Where to Eat
Start your day off at Grizzly Manor Cafe for a heaping hearty American breakfast–the smell of waffles and pancakes can be detected as you walk up to the building. With 19 breakfast specials it’s no wonder that the Grizzly recently won the Chowdown Countdown award from the Travel Channel. For lunch, take your taste buds on a trip to the other side of the planet at the Himalayan Restaurant, where they serve classic, well-spiced Indian dishes such as tandoori lamb plus vegetarian options in a relaxing environment. Grab dinner lakeside in the nearly 100-year-old building that’s now home to The Pines Lakefront. The kitchen serves upscale standards, as well as an assortment of game including venison, wild boar and elk. Homemade soups and salads are all served with artisan breads and homemade butter.
Where to Stay
No accommodations are offered on resort property, but the Boulder Creek Resort provides everything from chalets near the slopes to luxurious condos, to simple rooms for two with great views and lake access. Destination Big Bear also provides quality cabin rentals for anyone, whether you are looking for luxury cabins, large events, or a romantic getaway. Last but certainly not least, Shore Acres Lodge offers lakefront property with twelve fully equipped, mountain-style cabins fully equipped with BBQ’s, sun decks, and wood burning fireplaces.
What You’ll Pay
Bear is included for any owner of an Ikon Pass, but if you aren’t a passholder, you can score day tickets for as little as $55. Discounts are available when purchasing multi-day tickets, half day tickets, lesson packages, rental packages, birthdays, groups, or with an active military ID. As with many California resorts, kids 4 and under, along with seniors 80 and older, ride for free.