Bear Lake in Winter
Story and photographs by Greg Aragon
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.
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.
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 Bears 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 Bears 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 Bears 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.
Action Snowshoe Tours is a great way to see the
(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 its downright fun."
A trek into the forest via snowshoes is undoubtedly
one of the best ways to enjoy the true bliss of Big Bear Lakes
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 weve 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 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.
Fall Season in Big Bear Lake; Hitting
the Slopes at Big Bear Lake; Big
Bear Summer Family Vacation; Braving
Mammoth Mountain; Highway