Big Bear weather calls for rain on Dec. 23 turning to snow from Dec. 24 through Dec. 31, totaling just over a foot of new snow. That’ll mean more lifts and slopes open at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain.
“We’re looking to add to the current foot of natural snow that’s built up since our opening on Dec. 3,” says resort spokesperson Justin Kanton. In addition, the resort has been able to make their own snow and Kanton says they’re almost 100 percent open.
Predicting conditions more than a week out in the Southern California mountains is too tricky so Kanton says skiers, snowboarders and tubers should do what the resort does and rely on the National Weather Service.
“Some resorts like Mammoth or those in Utah and Colorado have no problem predicting but our conditions can change last minute.”
The best snow typically falls late Dec. to mid-February but surprises happen. Kanton says that just a couple of years ago about 50 inches fell in April and early May.
For casual fun, the tube park is open, too.
Purchase Tickets Ahead for Best Pricing
He advises skiers to plan ahead and purchase early online. “We have a dynamic pricing system like the airlines. If you purchase ahead of time then you’ll save, but the price rises if you wait until the last minute.”
Kanton says the resorts are making it as convenient as possible for guests to get on the slopes.
“Our new kiosks let you walk up and print out the tickets once you arrive so you don’t have to wait in line.”
Just like the airlines.
Scanners also read barcodes to let season pass holders and others get from the parking lot to the lift efficiently.
Night Skiing and New Year’s Eve
Night skiing begins the night of Christmas and continues every night through Jan. 8. After that, night skiing takes place on the weekends.
Kanton mentioned the resorts will have their annual torch light parade on New Year's Eve.
“About 300 skiers and snowboarders will gather on the hill at Snow Summit about 7pm. Then we turn off the lights and they traverse down holding large, industrial torches. It’s quite a sight and a great way to ring in the New Year in an alpine setting.”
Admission the viewing area is free and open to all ages. A live DJ will pump the music.
Driving Safely and Wisely
What about road conditions? If you’re traveling into the local mountains, buy a set of chains.
“Before you come to the slopes, practice putting them on at home. That’s the best place to learn,” says Kanton. “The last thing you want to do is park along the highway struggling to get them on your tires for the first time.”
Big Bear got its name when a rancher from Riverside, Benjamin Davis Wilson, and a posse chased outlaws into the San Bernardino Mountains in 1845. The area was filled with grizzly bears and the name stuck.
Log on to Big Bear Mountain Resort.com for current temperatures and conditions.