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Snowboarding & Skiing in SoCal
There are quite a few options down in the Southern California area when going out for some snow fun. When it comes to snowboarding and skiing on the other hand, there actually aren’t too many choices. Those who live in the area know that they are limited to Snow Valley, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain, Mountain High, or for a drive, Mammoth, Utah, Arizona, etc.
Well, for the people who go up to Big Bear for most of their trips, this is especially for you. If you didn’t know, there are actually three parks on the mountain. As you’re coming up the mountain, you first see Snow Valley, which is the smallest of the three. This is the most family and child oriented.
The next one is Snow Summit, about 20-30 minutes past Snow Valley. It’s important to note for those that don’t know, is Bear Mountain is only a few blocks from Snow Summit. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit are quite similar, except for a few small differences. The first thing to notice is that Bear Mountain has more obstacles, jumps, boxes, and railings on their slopes. In fact, they have 2 that are almost always open (during season, of course) that are dedicated to freestyle. One other noticeable difference is the drink/bar locations. There are more at Bear Mountain, assumingly because it is setup more towards adults. Not that there isn’t a bunny slope for the kids/beginners, but since they have more options for advanced skiing and snowboarding, they most likely have more customers that are of age to drink alcohol.
I am a pretty avid snowboarder and skier. Now, that doesn’t mean that I am a pro by any means. In fact, I like to stay away from the jumps and boxes most of the time. Since Bear Mountain is more directed towards that style of adventurer, I tend to like Snow Summit a bit more. One thing to note, though is that Snow Summit had more people there. I think most people just think that it is easier to get to, and it is similar to Bear Mountain so why drive the extra few blocks? Well, I recommend checking them each out for yourself and choosing the one you like best from there.
One other note, if you are Handicapped and use Handicap parking, your best bet is to get there early in the morning, no matter which place you go to. There aren’t many spots for Handicap parking, so they are limited. If you do get a Handicap parking spot though, they are really close at Snow Summit, and pretty close at Bear Mountain so you’ll be set either way. If you don’t have Handicap parking as an option, there is parking at both places up front that fill up in the morning usually, but if you didn’t wake up early enough for those, you will end up parking further away (guided by signs and workers), and then take a shuttle up to the slopes. It’s a breeze no matter which way you end up doing it.
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