Photo: Jen Ha / @HelloHoku
Just as Lake Tahoe is a vacation magnet for NorCal residents, so Big Bear Lake
, two hours from LA, is a major draw for South State residents. Sister ski areas Big Bear Mountain Resort
and Snow Summit
are family-friendly magnets for skiers and riders, but there are many snowy options for DogTrekkers, as well.
Hiking trails in the area are open even while covered with snow, so in good winter boots (and maybe some booties for your dog) you should be fine! Visit the Big Bear Lake Visitor Center
to pick up a map and get some dog-friendly pointers, then stop by a local ski shop, 7/11 store or other retailer to purchase up a U.S. Forest Service Adventure Pass
($5 daily or $30 for the season). Similar to the Sno-Park permit offered farther north, it provides plowed parking access at trail heads, parks and elsewhere within the San Bernardino National Forest.
Put paws to pillow at a dog-friendly lodging property
like Holiday Inn Resort at Big Bear
, Big Bear Frontier
cabins, a pet-friendly vacation rental from Gold Rush Resort Rentals
or Cabins 4 Less
. Then, stock up on supplies and maybe grab a bite to eat (among dozens of restaurants with dog-friendly seating are Nottinghams
, Peppercorn Grille
, Teddy Bear
, Jasper’s Smokehouse
, Thelma’s Family Restaurant
, Saucy Mama’s
, Big Bear Mountain Brewery
and Alpine Country Coffee Shop
) in the town of Big Bear. Then, lace up your hiking boots, leash up the pup and you’re ready to hit the winter trails.
You’ll find several scenic and dog-friendly beaches along Highway 38, all of which can be accessed from the Alpine Pedal Path
, a mostly paved, 3.2-mile multi-use trail with great lake views.