During the winter season in Big Bear Lake, while the blanket of white makes your trip to the mountains a magical journey, you should remember that there are also certain risks. Big Bear Lake, the city and not the reservoir, is located at about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles. Las Vegas is also about three hours away from there, so you can go from snow to desert in no time.
During the winter weekends, the place would be teeming with tourists who are looking for a quick getaway to break their daily routines. You can see Big Bear cabins, Airbnb offers, and hotels fully booked during these times. Naturally, you need to book early, not only to make sure that you get accommodation but also to get the best rates.
Big Bear Lake city is nestled in the San Bernardino National Forest. As you would expect, there are plenty of things to do here. When you come in the dead of winter, you can ski and snowboard to your heart’s delight. The city earns around 350 million USD from an average of about seven million tourists a year, which is impressive, considering its population of only about 5,000.
However, if you are making a drive there, make sure to be doubly vigilant. For one, never travel in the dark, especially if you are not familiar with the road. You are only courting danger when you do so.
Here are other safety tips when you go to Big Bear Lake for your winter vacation:
- Never go off the beaten path. Big Bear Lake has established trails. You should stick to these trails because they are present for the safety of the travelers.
- Plan your trips. Pay careful attention to what you wear. During the winter season, the temperature in Big Bear Lake can drop to about -4°F. Also, make sure that your Big Bear cabins are sufficiently heated. You do not want to spend your winter shivering.
- Take a shovel. You never know if you have to shovel snow from the road.
- Pack your first-aid kit. Even the best-laid plans go awry. It is why you should always carry a first-aid kit with you in case of an emergency.
- Do not forget the wheel-chains. The mountainside pass can be slippery. Whether going uphill or downhill, you need traction for your wheels. Pullover to the side of the road before putting your wheel chains.
- CalTrans QuickMap is an app that provides you information about the real-time conditions of the road. Download the app so you can plan ahead. There is also another app that gives you traffic updates for Big Bear Lake.
- Charge all your phones. Some areas are dead spots. Take note of areas where the signal is proper, so you can go back if needed.
- Stick to the North Shore when you go hiking because it is more accessible during the winter season.
- Carry water during your travel. Being stranded without water is not a very pleasant experience.
- Stay calm. Panic is your greatest enemy if you get stuck in a bind. You cannot think of solutions if you are anxious.
Driving to the mountains can be an unnerving experience, especially if it is your first time. It takes a lot of planning and research, but you can accomplish it. If you know somebody who has been to Big Bear Lake during winter, you can also ask him or her for practical tips.