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Big Bear Lake

Travel Forums North America Big Bear Lake

1. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member, 23 posts) 19 Dec '09 16:04

Im planning my trip around California in JAN. Its almost done with the exception of Big Bear. A friend of mine told me that I can't miss visitng Big Bear Lake. There's skiing and hiking. It sounds amazing...Ive never skied and seen snow.

However, Im very skeptical about going there alone by car. Im a woman solo travel and have to idea on how to act on snowstorms or snowslide if there is. Its necessary to put some "chains" on the tires. I would like the help of a more experienced traveller that could tell me how dangerous it is to go there by car and if indeed the risk exist. Do I have to check weather forecasts? OK...But I have to book the hotel in advance....Check the weather forecast one day before going there? Thansk so much...

2. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member, 414 posts) 20 Dec '09 03:52

Going skiing alone is not advisable, find a ski center that rents equipment and gives lessons and stay with the crowd on groomed trails.If weather is bad you stay in the hotel and you dont drive till the snowplows have cleared the roads,if chains are needed your inexperience with winter weather would have me advise you not to go there.
Always dress for worst case scenario like car breaks down and you have to wait hours for help,at temperatures in the minus 10 to 20 below zero you had better hope you are wearing good winter clothing and have a small emergency supply of food and a big candle and some way to light it.Keep cell phone charged as if you do get stuck it maybe your only means of calling for help.
Call some of these hotels in the area and see if there are some organised winter hiking programs to join..
http://www.hotelscombined.com/City/Big_Bear_Lake.htm

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Dec-2009, at 03:56 by jambo101 ]

3. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member, 23 posts) 20 Dec '09 18:25

Quoting jambo101

Going skiing alone is not advisable, find a ski center that rents equipment and gives lessons and stay with the crowd on groomed trails.If weather is bad you stay in the hotel and you dont drive till the snowplows have cleared the roads,if chains are needed your inexperience with winter weather would have me advise you not to go there.
Always dress for worst case scenario like car breaks down and you have to wait hours for help,at temperatures in the minus 10 to 20 below zero you had better hope you are wearing good winter clothing and have a small emergency supply of food and a big candle and some way to light it.Keep cell phone charged as if you do get stuck it maybe your only means of calling for help.
Call some of these hotels in the area and see if there are some organised winter hiking programs to join..
http://www.hotelscombined.com/City/Big_Bear_Lake.htm

Wow! Thanks so much for warning me....I will think twice now before going to places with no experience. Thas a pity cause Big Bear seems to be soooo nice and beautiful...Well i that case I will look forward to only taking pictures with all the clothes for a record. In some other place of course... :)

4. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member, 414 posts) 21 Dec '09 02:13

Didnt mean to scare you off its just that if you arent prepared winter conditions can kill you. just go with an organized group if you want to hike in the back country in winter

.http://www.bigbearlake.net/hiking/

http://www.bigbearlake.net/photos/winter/

Winter hiking would be on snowshoes
http://www.bigbeardiscoverycenter.com/tours.html

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Dec-2009, at 02:22 by jambo101 ]

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1839 posts) 2 Jan '10 22:31

Cecibastos,

Big Bear Lake is in southern California--and yes, the snow can get heavy, but you will be fine as long as you stay on the well-known skier slopes and travel when the weather is clear.

Southern California is kind of unique in January. It is one of the only places I know where one can go skiing in the morning, then drive for about 3 hours and go surfing in the afternoon. (They actually used to have a competition where people did exactly this every January--and were ranked on their abilities in the two sports combined.)

The drive up to Big Bear Lake is actually the bigger problem. The last 30 miles (50 kilometers) is up a fairly narrow road--and therefore is not recommended for beginner drivers--especially if the roads have ice on them. If you have driven mountain roads before--then there is no problem. The view is fantastic both on the road up and at the lake (both at Lake Arrowhead and at Big Bear Lake).

If you decide not to go to Big Bear Lake, let me suggest that you go to Palm Springs and then take the tram to the top instead. It is about an hour's drive from Big Bear Lake--and you go from the desert floor to the top of a 10,000 foot mountain by riding the tram. There is a place to eat and mountain trails with snow up at the top. Just don't get lost on the trails at the top and you'll be fine. The view from there is also spectacular--and you won't have to worry about the drive there at all (or getting stuck in the snow.)

Enjoy

[ Edit: spelling error ]

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1934 posts) 2 Jan '10 23:23

If you're coming to N. California, I'd suggest a bus trip to Lake Tahoe. The biggest town, South Lake Tahoe in Nevada has winter sports and casinos with professional shows (a mini Las Vegas with snow).

Considerably easier to get to than Big Bear

7. Posted by Cecibastos (Budding Member, 23 posts) 12 Jan '10 18:57

Quoting Daawgon

If you're coming to N. California, I'd suggest a bus trip to Lake Tahoe. The biggest town, South Lake Tahoe in Nevada has winter sports and casinos with professional shows (a mini Las Vegas with snow).

Considerably easier to get to than Big Bear

Thank you all for your colaboration! Im already in LA and its a pity I didnt have a chance to Visit Lake tahoe. Maybe leave it for next time. Im enjoying the trip so much and the city has lots to offer ! :)