Bear Mountain in California is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Bear Mountain, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsIdeal for snowboarders, Bear Mountain is part of the San Bernardino Mountain range. With Snow Summit, Bear Mountain's sister ski intensive resort down the street, "The People's Park" boasts 17 miles of rideable tracks. Snow lovers can fly into is Los Angeles International airport then drive approximately two hours to get to Bear Mountain.
The MountainCapable of making its own snow, the Bear Mountain staff ensures that its resort has powdery snow, characteristic of West Coast mountains. The peak season starts in mid-January and ends in early March. Bear Mountain prides itself on its highest mountain (Bear Peak) -- 8,805 feet high with a vertical drop of 1,665 feet. Geronimo, the mountain's longest run, stretches 1.5 miles -- perfect for long-run ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
Trails And LiftsNo snow enthusiast can resist Bear Mountain's 34 trails. Geared to intermediate and advanced skiers, the slopes are filled with jumps to perfect anyone's signature tricks, including jib skiing. A laid-black place to improve snowboarding techniques is the recently opened Red Bull Plaza. The 12 lifts that take skiers up to the summit include high-speed quad chairs, regular quad chairs, triple chairs, double chairs and moving carpet lifts. Although regular trails are great for both snowboarders and skiers, the park has designed special snowboarder areas like the half-pipe, the superpipe and the beginner pipe.
In The NewsTwo-time Olympic snowboarding champion and California native Shaun White spent his formative years on Bear Mountain with his family. After six years of professional competitions, White still returns to Bear Mountain to ride without the strain of sponsorship and gold-medal contention. Fiercely proud of White's achievements, Bear Mountain employees wonder who the next snowboarder wunderkind will be to ride on their mountain. For now, their picks are Maddie and Cameron Mastro, two confident young snowboarders who are making a splash on the Bear Mountain scene.
CostBirthday boys and girls ride the slopes for free on Bear Mountain with the presentation of a valid identification. Otherwise, the lift tickets for adults cost $56 during the off-season and $69 during the peak season. Forgetting or not owning ski equipment is easily resolved: The resort offers ski and snowboard rentals. For boots and skis or snowboards, the complete package is $30. Brand names available include Burton, Rossignol, Salomon and K2. Also, ski novices shouldn't be frightened of coming to mountain. Certified instructors provide beginner and intermediate lessons. Costing between $89 and $99, the "BIG" Deal value package includes a beginner lift ticket, four hours of lessons, an intermediate skiing lesson the next visit and an all-mountain lift ticket.
Apres-SkiStaying the night at Bear Mountain is no problem, since many lodges and cabins surround the resort. To help with reserving the perfect lodgings, the staff encourages the use of the Big Bear Lake Resort Association. Because of its close distance to downtown Big Bear Lake, the ski resort is walking distance to many restaurants and bars, including Gold Pan Restaurant, Nottinghams Restaurant and Big Bear Mountain Brewery.
WATCH: Bear Mountain
Snowboarders show off their stuff at Big Bear's recently opened Red Bull Plaza.