The Ski Mountain
Located in southern California, Bear Mountain is all about catering to its Los Angeles audience. The mountain itself is relatively small by California standards with a 1,665 foot vertical drop and 750 permit acres. But, Bear Mountain skis big with it four peaks and an additional more than 500 acres of undeveloped terrain accessible from the lifts. With a good split of terrain for beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers, Bear Mountain offers something for everyone, but truly expert skiers might find the terrain less than challenging. Park skiers and snowboarders are at home at Bear Mountain with much of the mountain dedicated to satisfying their desires.
The Mountain Experience
With its proximity to Los Angeles, the mountain experience is heavily influenced by the surf and skate culture prevalent in southern California. On snow, this transforms itself into a park rider’s paradise. Expect to see a ton of park skiers and riders at Bear. Conversely, Bear also functions as an excellent place to introduce one to the sport. Rental equipment-rocking folks come to have fun and learn on this SoCal “frozen beach”.
Bear Mountain Ski Terrain
• Beginner: The Inspiration Beginner’s Area is where southern California’s newest skiers get their first feel for snow sliding. Those new to the sport appreciate the extremely gradual, very wide and long learning area. Imagine a giant snow-covered football field tilted slightly downward and bathed in California’s famed sunshine.
Current Snow Conditions
• Intermediate: Forty percent of the terrain at Bear is designated as intermediate. However, there are very few intermediate runs not dedicated to the mountain’s extensive terrain parks. Ripcord and Silver Connection are good options for those not looking for terrain features, but desire a good cruiser.
• Advanced: Geronimo, The Wedge, and Showtime are the hardest runs on the hill, due primarily to their steepness. While these are the steepest trails at Bear, most average and above-average skiers will not have a difficult time mastering these runs.
• Backcountry: Bear also has more than 500 acres of undeveloped, but skiable terrain in the form of canyons and steeps. If the mountain sees enough natural snow, be sure to head off piste for real tree skiing. Ski these areas with caution and someone who knows the area.
• Terrain Park: There are many choices, but the most happening spots are The Scene and Red Bull Plaza. The mountain’s park crew consistently changes the rails and features while managing to imitate XGames and urban styles. Features include staircases with handrails, train boxcars, giant vertical walls and the list goes on. Bear Mountain shines with the amount of attention and effort they put into their terrain parks.
Before planning when to head up, first take a peek at Bear Mountain’s Event Calendar. Bear’s park contests, such as the War of the Rails (February) or the ever-popular Volcom PB Rail Jam (January) give you an opportunity to see some of the state’s best talent. Keep in mind this is southern California so temperatures are consistently warm, and the forecast will be sunny. Dress appropriately and bring sunscreen.
On the mountain, what the locals will proclaim as the “world famous” Beach Bar is the place to end the day and is by far the favored bar in the town of Big Bear Lake. The large patio offers a perfect spot to relax and soak in some rays after a long day on the mountain. Off the mountain, head into Big Bear Lake village for many choices.
Big Bear Lake. As Southern California’s version of Lake Tahoe, though not as grand in size, this village is encased by pine forest, two ski areas and sits on a scenic lake.
While you won’t find any on-mountain lodging at the base of Bear Mountain, there are many options in the town of Big Bear Lake. Bear View Chalets are comfortable and affordable resort-styled condos while Lagonita Lodge provides an amazing view and location right on the edge of the lake. Use the “Explore Big Bear’s Best Lodging Deals” box above and right to find Big Bear’s lodging choices that best fit you.SKI TERRAINSNOW CONDITIONSTERRAIN PARK
Skiing With Kids
Bear Mountain offers a full-service ski school for all ages and abilities. They also have specialized programs designed solely for snowboarders. The Riglet Park Program is a terrain progression program designed for introducing toddlers to snowboarding.
Lift ticket rates are the same as for Snow Summit, allowing you to get into both mountains with one ticket! See LIFT TICKET PRICES HERE.
A California Season Pass is now available, offering admittance to Mammoth, June, Bear, and Snow Summit Mountains!