Looking for snow in So-Cal? Just head North to Big Bear

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Photo from Jason Sherwin via Flikr

Photo from Jason Sherwin via Flikr

San Diegans seem to be divided on the issue of the recent weather. Our latest Tweets are showing that some love the rain and some hate it. Good news for the snow bunnies: rain means snow in the mountains. And there will be a lot of it.

If we do manage to survive the flooding and possible tornadoes, there is light at the end of this gray week. Weather reports are stating that the rain should clear up and allow for some sunshine and weekend fun.

Growing up in the desert, snow has always been a thing of wonder for me; if it is for you too, you already know that all this rain means plenty of snow in Southern California’s mountains.

Bear Mountain resort in Big Bear Lake is reporting that they already have two feet of snow and even more in the forecast which means fresh tracks all weekend long. That is one of the numerous benefits of living in Southern California; in a matter of hours you can go from the surf to the snow!

Big Bear Lake has two major ski resorts:  Snow Summit is a favorite among skiers and families for its atmosphere, and Bear Mountain is geared more towards snowboarders and younger people offering music events and plenty of entertainment.

Cold War Kids were scheduled to give a free performance this Friday at Bear Mountain but the show has been postponed, check for details as well right here for updates.  If you can’t make it this weekend, they will be hosting Hip Hop station Power 106 and R&B singer Iyaz next weekend.

Both resorts offer skiing and snowboarding lessons as well as equipment rental facilities. You may purchase your lift tickets on the website or when you arrive. From personal experience I would recommend purchasing tickets online and making reservations for lessons and hotel lodging a few days in advance if you are planning to stay over night.

The resorts do limit ticket sales in order to reduce congestion on the slopes. With large crowds expected this weekend, you don’t want to drive all the way up there to turn around disappointed.

The last time I visited it was a very busy weekend, so by the time I arrived the resort was full.  As a result my friends and I were forced to look for alternative spots to try snowboarding for the first time and I can tell you that is not something you want to experience. We ended up on someone’s private property and our car nearly got stuck in the snow. We also chose to stay over night at the last minute and had to drive up and down the town trying to find a vacancy at a hotel. Sharing one room and one bed with four people was not a pleasant experience either.

It is likely that this weekend will be very busy so expect a lot of influx on the mountain and try to leave as early as possible to avoid sitting in traffic.

To get to Big Bear Lake, you will need chains for your vehicle and will need to allow for a three hour trip. Detailed driving directions are posted on any of the resorts’ websites. To get to Big Bear from San Diego, take Interstate 15 North, then the 215 North, followed by I-10 East, to the 210 West, and finally Hwy 330 East which will take you up the mountain.

If you are not into snow sports and would rather stay close to home to enjoy some snow, Julian is only a short drive away, as well as Mount Laguna. Then again with these storms, you may already be seeing snow in your back yard.

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