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Big Bear Offers Variety of Options to View Amgen Tour of California Race

May 07, 2012 | by Dan McKernan

Big Bear Lake offers unique vantage points for spectators to watch the Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 6 finish from a boat on the lake. The seven-mile long lake provides a variety of viewing options to watch the world’s best cyclists race toward the finish line from Big Bear Dam to Stanfield Cutoff. Race fans can either launch a boat at one of Big Bear’s public launch ramps, or boat rentals are amply served by five marinas that offer a fleet of pontoon boats, fishing boats and kayaks.

Some of the best viewing spots from a boat are 1/4 mile from Big Bear Dam on the north shore. Here boaters can watch the peloton enter Big Bear Lake with the option to follow the cyclists for two and a half miles along the north shore. Some other key viewing spots for boaters are just east of the City of Fawnskin, about 4.3 miles from the dam. Boaters who choose to get closer to the finish line can view the race on the north shore approximately one mile west of Stanfield Cutoff. The area offers a wide open clearing overlooking Alpine Pedal Path. Another hot spot for boaters is on the east end of the lake at Stanfield Cutoff, the roadway that connects the north shore with the south shore.

“With a boat you can watch cyclists enter at Big Bear Dam, or catch the final sprint to the finish line at Stanfield Cutoff,” said Holloways Marina Owner Loren Hafen. “A boat gives you some unique opportunities to see the action of the race, compared to those watching from the side of the road.”

For spectators who opt to watch the race from the roadside have some great spots to choose from, too. Summit Blvd is the final stretch to the finish line at Snow Summit Mountain Resort, which is expected to be the most sought after viewing location. It is highly recommended spectators arrive before 10 a.m. to stake out a spot near the finish line area along Summit Blvd. The closest parking lot to the finish line is at Garstin Drive and Fox Farm Road, and is based on a first-come, first serve basis. Other nearby parking options that offer free parking is at Moonridge Avenue and in Big Bear Village.

For spectators who want to be at or near the finish line, but don’t want to hassle with crowds may elect to rent a condominium on Summit Blvd. or near Snow Summit Mountain Resort. Condos provide private balconies and decks that overlook the crowd with clear views of the finish line. These private rentals are great for hosting race-day gatherings and after parties with friends. For a list of available rentals at or near the finish line log onto or call 1-800-424-4232 to make reservations.

Stanfield Cutoff is a point where cyclists are expected to punch it into high gear and give it their all. There are places to park vehicles along the roadside and view the race. Also, The Carol Morrison East Public Boat Launch Ramp, which is 1/8 mile east from Stanfield Cutoff, has a large public parking area available. The next portion of the final stretch, from Big Bear Blvd. to Sandalwood Drive, has wide open spaces with sidewalks and lots of parking options.

Hwy. 38 on the north shore has a wide array of places to watch the race, too. Some areas near the dam that provide parking include North Shore Landing and The Duane Boyer West Public Boat Launch Ramp. The City of Fawnskin has ample parking and plenty of room to view the race, including some restaurants and bars that are directly on the course. There are also some lodging options in this area including North Shore Cabins, The Inn at Fawnskin, Windy Point Inn and private home rentals from Big Bear Vacations. Side roads on Hwy. 38 that have places to park and offer great viewing areas include North Shore Lane, Polique Canyon Road and Holcomb Valley Road. Spectators may park on these roads as long as all four tires are off the roadway. Also, there are U.S. Forest Service parking areas along Hwy. 38 including Grout Bay Park, Cougar Crest Trailhead, Juniper Point and The Woodland Trail. U.S. Forest Service parking areas do require vehicles to display a National Forest Adventure Pass, which can be purchased at Big Bear Discovery Center for $5.

For race day information, traffic advisories and lodging availability for the Amgen Tour of California Stage 6 finish in Big Bear Lake visit or call 800-424-4232.

About the Amgen Tour of California The largest cycling event in America, the 2012 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course from May 13-20, 2012. In a 2011 poll conducted by, the Amgen Tour of California was voted the fourth best race in the world, and the No. 1 race in America.

May 07, 2012

News tag(s) { Amgen Tour of California The Big Bear Climb Cycling Event Cycling in Big Bear }

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