Bear Mountain and Snow Summit are both part of Alterra-owned Big Bear Mountain Resort. The twin properties are located just two miles apart and offer a variety of diverse activities and events, to go along with skiing and snowboarding.
Both are under evaluation by the U.S. Forest Service on a plan to connect the two resorts. This would be done with a series of lifts that would make the two areas one cohesive mountain.
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In addition to three new lifts, the menu of additions includes ski trails, a beginner pod and connector, snowmaking lines and a pond, summer activities, a road, and a ski bridge. The summer activity additions will include mountain bike trails, a zip tour, and an alpine coaster. Adding to the excitement is the fact that neither resort has had a new lift in 25 years.
The interconnecting lifts would be “Lift C” and “Lift D” on the above graphic. Lift C on Bear Mountain would rise about 850 vertical feet and add significant new ski trails and terrain. On the Snow Summit side, Lift D would service approximately 525 vertical feet and include three connector trails. Both lifts would meet at a central low point where a skier bridge would complete the connection. A third planned “Lift A” would provide service to a new beginner pod near the Access Express on Bear Mountain.
Once completed the project would add approximately 300 acres to Big Bear’s special use permit area, about 60 of which would be developed trails with snowmaking. The project could be approved by May 2024. For now, there is an environmental assessment being completed by the San Bernadino National Forest and they are accepting public comments on the proposal.
This is exciting for skiers and snowboarders in Southern California. The additional infrastructure will help manage capacity and disburse skiers and riders on the mountain more efficiently. The increased acreage with more advanced terrain and the ability to quickly move from one resort to the other is also a big win. Many locals and Ikon pass holders are hoping this comes to fruition.