Please remember always to check the current weather and road conditions prior to traveling to Big Bear. Our weather can change within a few hours. Remember, during Winter Snow Storms, the entire city is behind with snow removal and driveway may not be plowed as the snow is coming down. You may find it difficult to get into driveway, credits will not given. It is mandatory during winter months all cars travel with snow chains if not 4 wheel drive.
The 18 through Running Springs is currently washed out due to December rains, two other routes do exist. Please research the best way to get to Big Bear during your travels.
Big Bear Weather Courtesy of BensWeather.com
Enjoy the pristine Big Bear weather year around! Big Bear, CA offers more than 320 days of blue bird, sunny days each year, especially during the summer when daytime temperatures reach the high 70s before dropping into the mid-40s in the evening. Milder temperatures continue into the fall with highs hovering across the 60s and lows dropping to the mid-30s. Big Bear also receives about 120 inches of snow annually, with most falling during the winter accompanied with highs in the mid-40s and lows in the mid-20s. Big Bear begins to warm up in the spring with temps reaching the low 70s and falling to the low 40s at night. Big Bear weather offers summers that are warm and mostly clear and winters that are very cold, dry, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 22°F to 81°F and is rarely below 14°F or above 88°F.
The first snowfall of winter for Big Bear can arrive as early as October or as late as December. Most often than not, the snow starts flying in November and the Big Bear ski resorts aim to open Thanksgiving weekend. The season’s last snowfall for the ski resort town usually happens in April, although some fresh snow can arrive in May or even June. Most days of snowfall in Big Bear Lake leave at least an inch of fresh snow. For eight days a year on average, the amount of new snow totals three inches or more. Snowstorms of over five inches a day normally occur four or five times a year. Typically one or two of these storms are major blizzards that dump ten inches or more. Snow events this severe can descend on the town anytime from November to April. Big Bear is normally free of snow every year from July to September.
Stay up do date on the latest Big Bear road conditions too!
If you need extra help
Below is a list of vendors that are for hire based upon availability at the time of your request:
Warren Henry 909-553-3857
Antonio Morales 909-273-9298
Faustino Fuentes 909-708-5717
Brian Gilligan 909-557-5430
Bryan Fenger 909-648-3721
Omar Cruz 909-414-7225
Martin Vasquez 707-330-9589
Steve Hill 909-633-1801
Cory Clark 928-208-9437
Sergio Selenas 951-532-2976
Please hire these vendors to help you at your discretion. These are not Destination Big Bear employees and Destination Big Bear will not cover any invoice or payments.
Big Bear Road Conditions & Directions
Cal Trans – Updated every 30 minutes for road closures and chain restrictions –
Bear Mountain has its own Road Conditions link
Directions to Big Bear
CHOOSE ROUTE & STARTING POINT
Hwy 18 – Lucerne Valley
The shortest and quickest way for visitors coming from Los Angeles, Orange County, and other points west is Hwy 330 / Hwy Hwy 18 is the quickest way to/from Barstow, Las Vegas, and other high desert locations. This route has the least amount of mountain driving.
Hwy 330 / Hwy 18 – Running Springs
The shortest and quickest way for visitors coming from Los Angeles, Orange County, and other points west is Hwy 330 / Hwy 18. Please note that this route can become very congested on the weekends during peak season.
Hwy 38 Redlands
The shortest and quickest way for visitors coming from Los Angeles, Orange County, and other points west is Hwy 330 / Hwy 18. Though the drive on this route takes a bit longer, it is typically less congested than Hwy 330 / Hwy 18.
Caltrans Chain Control Requirement Levels:
W: No Restrictions – Watch for snow on pavement.
R-1: Chains are required on all commercial vehicles (trucks or buses). All other vehicles (cars, pick-ups, vans, etc.) must have either snow tread tires or chains on the drive axle.
R-2: Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel drives with snow tread tires. Four-wheel drive vehicles must carry chains in the vehicle.
R-3: Chains required – ALL VEHICLES – no exceptions.
IT’S THE LAW: Carry tire chains at all times during winter travel in the mountains. SNOW PLAY ON OR NEAR ROADWAYS IS VERY DANGEROUS – DON’T DO IT! – DON’T RISK IT!
Caltrans officials urge you to check Big Bear road conditions often. To help keep you abreast of changing conditions, Caltrans operates the Caltrans Highway Information Network which motorists may telephone for up-to-the-minute information (800) 427-7623. The network is updated as Big Bear road conditions change.
Winter Travel Tips
- Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust system are in top condition.
- Check your antifreeze and be ready for colder temperatures. You may want to add special solvent to your windshield washer reservoir to prevent icing.
- Check your tires. Make sure they are the properly inflated and the tread is in good condition.
- Always carry chains when traveling in the winter mountains. Make sure they are the proper size for your tires and are in working order. You might also want to take along a flashlight and chain repair links. Chains must be installed on the drive wheels. Make sure you know if your vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.
- Other suggested items to carry in your car are an ice scraper or commercial deicer, a broom for brushing snow off your car, a shovel to free your car if it’s “snowed in”, sand or burlap for traction if your wheels should become mired in snow and an old towel to clean your hands.
- It is also a good idea to take along water, food, warm blankets and extra clothing. A lengthy delay will make you glad you have them.
- Put an extra car key in your pocket. A number of motorists have locked themselves out of their cars when putting on chains and at ski areas.
- Give yourself extra time. Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter, especially if you encounter stormy Big Bear road conditions or icy roads. Get an early start and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Keep your gas tank full. It may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad storm or you may be caught in a traffic delay.
- Keep windshield and windows clear. You may want to stop at a safe turnout to use a snow brush or scraper. Use the car defroster and a clean cloth to keep the windows free of fog.
- Slow down. A highway speed of 55 mile an hour may be safe in dry weather but an invitation for trouble on snow and ice. Snow and ice make stopping distances much longer, so keep your seat belt buckled and leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. Remember to avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
- Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter by weather conditions. Slow down and watch for other vehicles and for snow equipment. Even though snow removal vehicles have flashing lights, visibility may be so restricted during a storm that it is difficult to see the slow moving equipment.
- When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. Be alert to any possible exhaust or monoxide problems.
If you use the services of a chain installer, be sure to get a receipt and jot the installer’s badge number on it. Remember, chain installers are independent business people, not Caltrans employees. Having the badge number may help with any misunderstandings later. Chain installers are NOT allowed to sell or rent chains. When removing chains, drive beyond the signs reading “End Chain Control” to a pull-off area where you can safely remove them.