Cool Your City Heels Up At Bear Mountain, Snow Summit
The mountains near Los Angeles can turn a hot time summer in the city into a cool adventure in the forest.
Within a two-hour drive of the Los Angeles Basin, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit shift gears from winter to summer above Big Bear Lake. Both resorts have opened their gates for a summer of thrills, chills and (hopefully) not many spills. The two mountains, located within spittin’ distance off the main drag in the town of Big Bear Lake, convert for hiking, mountain biking, golfing and plain-old drinkin’ in the view.
At Bear Mountain, the nine-hole at the base of the ski lifts spreads out into the meadows below. At 7,000 feet in elevation, the ball travels farther than down below so it will pay to club down a couple. The price is discounted, too: $25 on weekdays, $30 on weekends, for adults. A cart costs $7.
The Sky Chair at Snow Summit slows to a summer’s pace for 1,200-foot long scenic rides to the 8,200-foot high top. A round trip runs $12. Time is right and there’s BBQ and other lunch specials at the top. To work off the meal, take a short hike around the summit area. A one-mile long service road returns to the base area – and saves $4 for the chair ride down -- and a longer route traverses the ridge with vistas of the Santa Ana River Valley and San Georgino Mountain.
Of course, mountain bikers like it when they can get a ride to the top, where some 40 miles of U.S. Forest Service-approved trails spread out. For the adventurous, a short and steep climb gets to Grandview Point, the jumping-off point for a nine-mile loop back to the base.
After a day on the mountain, the Big Bear Discovery Center beckons with a series of tribute concerts. Located on the north side of Big Bear Lake, the National Forest center’s amphitheater hosts musical events all summer and into the fall.
Photo: Big Bear Mountain Resorts