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Big Bear Lake in Winter
Beautiful Big Bear Lake in Winter
Story and photographs by Greg Aragon

ig Bear, California is beautiful all year round and late winter is no exception. The weather is mild, the mountainsides and driveways are still lined with snow, the slopes are filled with skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and tubers, the streets and shops are not too crowded, and the lake is full of colorful ducks ice skating on the frozen surface. In other words, it is a perfect time to visit.

Welcome sign in downtown Big Bear Lake village
Big Bear is beautiful in late winter

I began a recent getaway to the mountain paradise at the Honey Bear Lodge, where I checked into a comfortable one-bedroom room, with a full kitchen, two beds, a sleeper sofa, two cable TV's and a classic wood burning stove in the living room to keep us warm.

writer in front of the Honey Bear Lodge
The Honey Bear Lodge offers cozy accommodations in an alpine setting

Besides cozy accommodations, the Honey Bear Lodge is also centrally located in town. It is only about a mile drive to the Snow Summit ski Resort, and a short walk from "The Village," Big Bear’s charming downtown community of shops, restaurants, art galleries and pubs. So after acquainting ourselves with the room and the thin, 7,000-ft air, we decided to explore some of the miles of nearby trails on foot, or snowshoe.

To fully enjoy the activity, while not having to worry about getting lost, we decided to join a tour with Action Snowshoe Tours. The company, which offers daily snowshoe tours in Big Bear’s wooded back country, has experienced an upswing in reservations due to the amount of snowfall Big Bear has received so far.

Action Snowshoe Tours are suitable for both beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The tours offer guests an opportunity to experience Big Bear’s scenic winter landscapes, learn about winter ecology and nature. Action Snowshoe Tours supplies all equipment, which includes snowshoes and trekking poles. Guests are treated to hot cocoa after each tour.

guests on tour with Action Snowshoe Tours, Big Bear Lake
Action Snowshoe Tours is a great way to see the backcountry
(photo courtesy of Action Snowshoe Tours)

"This is an opportunity to get into the outdoors and experience a deeper connection with nature," says Belinda Bain, owner of Action Tours Big Bear. "Snowshoeing is a great avenue for fitness too, but best of all it’s downright fun."

A trek into the forest via snowshoes is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy the true bliss of Big Bear Lake’s picturesque winter scenery. The rapid growing winter sport is easy to learn, widely accessible, and a casual workout.

An expert tour guide leads tours and teaches the tour group about winter ecology, animal tracking, and flora/fauna identification. A passenger van transports guests to the designated trail where guests will experience nature first hand. "The trails we’ve selected for the tours are pristine and absolutely breathtaking," says Bain. For more information on snowshoe tours, call 909-866-0390 or visit:

After snowshoeing we drove to Vons Market and picked up a bottle of wine, some rib eye steak and garlic bread, and enjoyed a home-cooked meal by the wood-burning fireplace back at the Honey Bear Lodge. As the temperature dropped into the 30s we added more wood to the stove and fell asleep to the crackling fire.

ducks at Big Bear Lake in winter
Ducks and people enjoy the calm beauty of the Big Bear Lake in winter

In the morning, we walked about 10 minutes to the lake, where we found a gorgeous scene of snow-capped mountain peaks towering over the semi-frozen water. We also found flocks of colorful mallard ducks slipping and sliding across the frozen lake surface.

For more information of visiting Big Bear Lake, visit: or call 800 4 – BIG-BEAR.

Related Articles:
Fabulous Fall Season in Big Bear Lake; Hitting the Slopes at Big Bear Lake; Big Bear Summer Family Vacation; Braving Mammoth Mountain; Highway 49 Revisited

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Let Greg know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Going to Universal Studios Hollywood to see the Harry Potter "land" is on my bucket list!!

-- Nancy, Hawaii

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Feedback for A Spring Escape to Maui And Hotel Wailea

I leave here April 21 for Maui and can hardly wait. It'll be my 15th trip, more or less and I love it, and your pictures.

-- Ellie – Port Ludlow, WA

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Hi Greg,

It's not a forest of banyan trees in Lahaina by the harbor. It's one huge tree, about 140 years old. It's an important landmark of Lahaina, and one of our favorite views.We always stay at the Pioneer Inn, overlooking the harbor and the banyan tree. Every evening thousands of mynah birds fly into the tree, chattering and fluttering until they settle down for the night. Otherwise, great article.

-- Virginia – Northridge, CA

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Feedback for Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

Very nice story, Greg.

-- Maris Somerville – Los Angeles, CA

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