Winter Recreation

SoCal’s Winter Wonderland

As the colorful autumn leaves fall to the ground, Big Bear turns into an enchanted winter wonderland. Along with stunning views of an ice-rimmed alpine lake surrounded by vast forests of snow-capped trees, you'll find two award-winning ski resorts and all the winter adventure you crave!

From mid-December through early March, daytime highs are in the upper 40’s F and at night it drops down into the 20’s or lower, so you’ll want to bundle up and dress in layers. Big Bear averages over 300 days of sunshine annually, so look forward to clear blue skies with snow frosted landscapes most winter days!

Skiers carve down snowy slopes

Winter in Big Bear lets you experience all sorts of snow-filled fun! As soon as the snow flies (or blows) avid skiers and snowboarders from Southern California head to Bear Mountain and Snow Summit ski resorts for good times on fresh groomed powder.

Big Bear Mountain Resort offer ski and snowboard lessons at their Adventure Academy as well as gear rentals for a day of fun on the slopes. Lift tickets can be reserved online or purchased at their ticket windows. The base areas at both ski resorts are a hub of activity with restaurants, outdoor fire pits and gathering spaces.

A man snowshoes in the woods

Strap on some snowshoes to enjoy the forest trails that are now hushed with the quiet of winter. If you want a scenic winter hike, the North Shore trails have panoramic views of the lake and ski slopes. For a challenging spin through the snow covered backroads, you can rent a fat tire bike at one of the local shops.

A mom and child slide down a tubing hill

Snow tubing is another huge favorite during winter in Big Bear. Take the ultra-easy magic carpet ride to the top of the hill and save all of your energy for big belly laughs as you race down the wintery slopes on brightly-colored inner tubes. When the sun goes down, the tubing hill lights up with a cascade of color to give it a whole different feel.

Action Tours Zipline in Big Bear Lake

Wintertime tours are a great way to experience the snowy landscape in Big Bear. The guides are super fun and informative and the views are amazing. Try a helicopter tour to get spectacular views of the winter scenery across Big Bear Valley or fly high above the forest floor on a zipline tour. Up to five guests can hop in a Jeep and 4x4 into the snowy backwoods with a Jeep tour or take a two-hour cruise on a Segway to see the Village, lake and forest all decked out for the season.

Snowy view of Village Dr in The Village
PC: Jose Morales

In winter, thousands of twinkling lights make The Village look like a gingerbread town come to life! The Village is Big Bear Lake's hub for shopping, dining and nighttime entertainment. Coffeehouses and restaurants give you a place to warm up and grab a bite before your night of entertainment at The Cave, The Bowling Barn, Mountain Room Escapes, the movies, and more! Not to mention karaoke and live music nights at many local bars.

A family arrives to their cabin in the snow

Play hard and sleep tight! There’s nothing like a winter vacation in Big Bear where you can spend the day shredding the slopes or building snowmen in the forest and going back to your cabin at night to sit beside the fire with a warm drink and watch as icicles form outside the frosted window panes. Snuggle up with the kids to read a favorite story, or make a pot of hot chocolate for the whole crew and bring on the board games.

Insider Tips:

  • Check road conditions for Hwy. 18, Hwy 330 and Hwy 38 before you get on the road.
  • Carry tire chains in your vehicle from November - March. It’s the law.
  • Always pull off the road completely if you need to put chains on your vehicle.
  • Carry a shovel and kitty litter to get out of sticky situations with icy snowbanks.
  • Keep water, snacks and extra blankets in the car in case you get stuck in traffic.
  • Drink plenty of water while you’re here. You get dehydrated faster at this altitude.
  • Use plenty of sunscreen. With 300+ days of sunshine and being 6700 ft. closer to the sun, you’ll need to reapply your sunscreen often.
  • Keep a change of clothes in the car for the kiddos so you can get them warm and dry as soon as your snow play is done.
  • Make reservations for restaurants well ahead of time, especially if you have children. Winter is our busiest season and no one likes to be on a waiting list if it can be avoided.
  • Make lodging reservations early to get the best rates on lift & lodging packages.
  • Buy your lift tickets online at least 72-hours in advance to get special discounts.