Bear Mountain

Making each ride even more exciting

  • Details: With nearly 200 developed acres on four mountain peaks — from 8,000 to 8,805 feet — Bear Mountain offers snow experience at the highest elevation of any Southern California resort. There are 24 runs and six-plus terrain parks for all abilities from first-timers to advanced. Twelve mountain lifts, including two high-speed quad chairs, whisk skiers and boarders up the hill. Looking for a change of scenery in the afternoon? There is free shuttle service between Bear and its sister resort, Snow Summit.
  • New for 2012-13: Snowboarders will be amped for the revamped Red Bull Plaza, which will include a parking structure, billboard wall ride, Dumpsters, close-out rails and a multi-use object deemed the City Center — all joining the jibs from last winter. In the Freestyle Camp, learn how to ride a flat box, air a halfpipe wall and even master the 540 with tips from professional coaches. And for young snow enthusiasts ages 3-6, Riglet Park is a playground-like setting where they can learn how to ride scaled-down park features via Burton’s Learn-to-Ride program and also how to be safe on the slopes.
  • Best lift deal: Contests for free lift tickets on the resort’s Facebook page.
  • Snowmaking: Available on all of the trails.
  • After dark: No nighttime skiing/snowboarding.
  • Hidden gem: Red Bull Plaza, located in Powder Bowl. “It’s the answer to last year’s urban oasis, only bigger and better, with innovative features that will challenge the best of them,” said Kaitlin Higgins, resort spokeswoman.
  • Spotted last season: Bear’s team riders — including Chris Bradshaw, J.P. Walker and Joe Sexton — are often lapping the park.
  • Address, phone, website: 43101 Goldmine Drive, Big Bear Lake, CA; 909-866-5766, www.bearmountain.com
  • Social connections: Twitter, Facebook
  • Where to stay: The Robinhood Resort (909-866-4643, http://robinhoodresorts.com), about 2.5 miles from Bear Mountain, is in Big Bear Lake Village and across the street from the lake. It offers wood- and gas-burning fireplaces, private in-room spas, a two-story restaurant, and a banquet center. The Big Bear Lake Resort Association (800-424-4232, www.bigbear.com) has a wealth of other lodging options.
  • Eats at the resort: The Silver Mountain Eatery has a variety of menu selections, ranging from Asian and Mexican fare to pizzas and salads.
  • Après-snow hotspot: For strong drinks, good music and a busy dance floor, it’s tough to beat AV Nightclub (909-866-7377, http://avbarandnightclub.com) in the Big Bear Lake Village. “This is the premier nightlife spot, and home to many of the resort’s after-parties,” said Rio Tanbara, resort spokesman.

— Jerry Rice

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