Big Bear Lake Part 1- Snow play along the way

My family loves Big Bear Lake. My in laws have a vacation home in Big Bear Lake and we visit a few times of year during the winter months. We love visiting and playing in the snow for hours. It is the perfect daytrip and there are so many fun places to visit , play and make special memories with the family. I’m going to do a little mini-series featuring fun adventure for the family in Big Bear. This first post is all about having fun in the snow and not paying a penny to do so.

One of the best things to do when heading to Big Bear is to pull over and find a good spot to partake in good old fashioned snow play. There are my great spots to pull over on the way to Big Bear.  We usually head to Big Bear along Hwy 38 or the “back way” as many locals call it. It is a pretty smooth ride and not windy. We usually  Orange Ave exit 10 fwy in Redlands when heading east. We make a left turn on Orange, go for a few blocks to Mentone Blvd and make a right.  Mentone Blvd is Hwy 38 and you will take that road all the way up to Big Bear.

One of the first great places to stop off along the way is  Whispering Pines  Nature Trial just past Angeles Oaks.  There is some parking and plenty of room for romping in the snow.  You can also park alonside the road. The second spot is between mile 26 and mile 27. It doesn’t really have a name but it is right past Whispering Pines and you can’t miss it. There is plenty of open space and not many trees. A perfect place to sled and for a good snowball fight.  The area surrounding the Greystone Amphiteater is also a great place for snow play. Just pull off the side of the road and be prepared for some fun.

Make sure to check for weather and road conditions.  You are  required to bring chains with you in the winter when traveling to Big Bear. We always bring ours  but have yet to use them since we have a four wheel drive vehicle with a snow setting. If there is weather or ice be prepared for a bit of a long ride up. We drove up Sunday morning and it only took us about two hours to get up. It just depends on the weather. For up to the minute weather reports  and  road conditions head here. Have fun!


  1. Jennifer says:

    Big Bear is a fantastic place to play for a day or to stay for a week. Please note that Highway 330 will be closed for an extended period due to landslides and portions of the road being washed away. The “back way” on Highway 28 is open (please check for current conditions) is a a beautiful drive. Stop by Angelus Oaks and/or Jenks Lake on the way up the hill.
    Enjoy the mountain!

  2. Joanne Kennedy says:

    I just read that Hwy 38 is going to be closed for the rest of the Winter as the mountain area under the Hwy washed away with this last storm. So for anyone wanting to go up, you need to go another way.

  3. MARCUS says:

    I took my family and friends for a wonderful day of snow play today. we spent the day off Jenks Lake Rd. E, just past the ampatheater area. We had 12 in our group, ages 18 months to 40 years old. We spent the day sledding on some pretty fun slopes right off the road. We even found public restrooms at a campground on this road. I have an all wheel drive vehicle and had no problems on this road, however, my friend’s 2 wheel drive truck required chains on this icy in some spots road. We ate dinner at the restaurant in Angelus Oaks on the way home. They have good food and a wood burning stove to warm up by.
    Thanks for the info day tripping mom!

Leave a Reply