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Nalin
Cypress

Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Southern California

Winter one day trip recommendations for first timers

My parents haven't seen snow, and they are here in So Cal for the first time in a Winter season. I'd like to take them on a day trip to the mountains, and would really appreciate any recommendations that you can think of.

Tips and recommendations on places to eat, visit, routes are very useful.


8 Answers

top answer by
Herb from Los Angeles

Big Bear Lake is great for a one day trip to the snow.

Bear Mountain Resort is great for snowboarding. There is also Snow Summit. Both places have ski and snowboard rentals available. You can drive around the whole lake but shops and places to eat will be on CA-18 side of the lake.

I always take the I-210 E to the CA-330 N  to teh CA-18, it should take about 2 hours from the Los Angeles area.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear Lake (city)
  2. Bear Mountain Resort (hotel)
  3. Snow Summit (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

It all comes down to how much time you have an how far you want to drive. The closest to LA to see snow would be Mt Baldy. It's close. But snow is super dependent on weather. If we get a big storm you can have your parents in the snow in an hour and half drive. 

Mountain High is also close and an option. 

Next closest would be Big Bear Lake area. This will take 2.5 hours depending on where you're coming from. But again there isn't snow all winter in the town typically. You should wait a good storm to come through to give them a good snow experience. 

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is a big commitment to just see some snow. However if you wanted to make the drive up there to stay for a weekend and tour around some sights it's a beautiful part of California. Stop and take some photos of Mt Whitney (tallest mountain in the US). I'd recommend the drive out to June Lake and take the scenic June Lake Loop which takes you past a few pretty mountain lakes. Also worth seeing is Mono Lake and stop for a bite to eat at the best gas station food you'll eat at the Whoa Nellie Deli. It's so solid you can't believe you're at a gas station.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mt Baldy (city)
  2. Mountain High (attraction)
  3. Big Bear Lake (city)
  4. Mt Whitney (attraction)
  5. June Lake (city)
  6. June Lake Loop (attraction)
  7. Mono Lake (attraction)
  8. Whoa Nellie Deli (attraction)
  9. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (hotel)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Valerie from Los Angeles

I would head up to Mammoth Lakes! I haven't been up this season yet but I've heard it has been beautiful with a decent amount of snow. 

For places to eat, check out Mammoth Tavern - MammothThe Mogul Restaurant or Petra's Bistro & Wine Bar-pricey, but nice places. 

Last time I went up to Mammoth, I stopped at the Mammoth hot springs in Hot Creek Ranch or Wild Willy's Hot Spring, about a 15-20 min drive east of Mammoth Lakes. So worth it. You get a stunning view of the mountain while you relax in nature's hot tub. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mammoth Lakes (city)
  2. Mammoth Tavern - Mammoth (restaurant)
  3. The Mogul Restaurant (restaurant)
  4. Petra's Bistro & Wine Bar (restaurant)
  5. Hot Creek Ranch (attraction)
  6. Wild Willy's Hot Spring (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

Big Bear Lake is probably your easiest and best bet at 2.5 hours away if you only want to make a day trip of it. The mountain resort posts the snow resort and have live cameras of the mountain, so you can double check and see if there is plenty of snow before making the trek. You'll more than likely have to head to the mountain resort for a full snow experience.

As far as food goes, Grizzly Manor Cafe is a local favorite. Basic and reasonably priced mom-and-pop dining. Big Bear Mountain Brewery could be a nice end to the day.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear Lake (city)
  2. Grizzly Manor Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Big Bear Mountain Brewery (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Megan from Menlo Park, California

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear City (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Rachel from Hong Kong

Big Bear City is like 2-3 hours away from downtown los angeles, should be good for one day back and forth first timers :) 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear City (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Jacob from Lake Forest, California

Check out Big Bear Lake! The lake is beautiful in the winter and the there are tons of small shops and restaurants one of the best being Sweet Basil Bistro. Sledding and Snow Summit close by too!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear Lake (city)
  2. Sweet Basil Bistro (restaurant)
  3. Snow Summit (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Ilona from Warsaw, Poland

You should rent a cottage in Big Bear Lake. It's a great place to visit in winter time. There are some nice slopes there too.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Big Bear Lake (city)
1 thanks




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