does it snow in big bear

Does it snow in Big Bear? Big Bear is a fantastic place to go on vacation because it has beautiful mountains and impressive pine trees.

The city also has entertaining parties and there are lots of fun things to do outside nearby.

The cozy atmosphere of this place will immediately put you in the mood for the holidays. But, many people want to know, “When does it snow in Big Bear?”

Does it snow in Big Bear in November? Or should you plan your trip in December?

Yes, it snows in Big Bear and sometimes starts as early as November, but you are more likely to find snow in December and January. 

Let’s find out in detail now!

Where Does It Snow in Big Bear?

does it snow in big bear

It snows a lot in Big Bear during the winter, usually from December to March.

The San Bernardino Mountains in the area are famous for their beautiful snowy peaks and clean white landscapes.

The ski resorts, like Big Bear Mountain Resort and Snow Summit, are great places to go skiing, snowboarding, and other fun winter stuff.

Here’s a bit about the weather in Big Bear:

SeasonTemperature RangeSnowfall
Winter40F to 20FAround 120 inches
Spring70F to 40FMinimal
Fact: Big Bear, CA is at an elevation of 6,752 feet and has a population of roughly 5,279 within its 16.64 square kilometers. 

How Much Does It Snow in Big Bear?

amount of snow in big bear

The snow in Big Bear can be tricky to predict, but it usually happens between December and April.

The first snow usually falls between October and December, which means it is time to start skiing.

It keeps snowing until April, and sometimes you might even see some snow in May or June.

Most of the time, the snowfalls leave at least an inch of snow on the ground. But, there is no snow usually during the summer months from July to September.

Fact: Make sure to look at the weather predictions and road conditions before your trip so you can have a safe and fun winter vacation in Big Bear, California. 

Snow in November

big bear snow in november

In November, it starts to get colder in Big Bear Lake as winter approaches.

This month, they get their first snowfall of the season. It is going to snow for about 1.2 days and they will have around 4.53 inches of snow.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
November60.8°F to 43.7°F (16°C to 6.5°C)4.53 inches (115 mm)1.2 days

Snow in December

Does it snow in Big Bear in December? It does. In December, the temperature drops and the city gets a lot of snow. It is usually around 6.54″ over about 2.9 days.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
December52.5°F to 37.2°F6.54″2.9 days

Snow in January

big bear snow in january

January is still cold, just like December. It keeps snowing, and the area gets about 2.28″ of snow over the course of 2.2 snowy days.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
JanQuite like Dec2.28″2.2 days

Snow in February

In February, winter is usually coming to an end and the weather starts getting warmer. It snows for around 3.9 days, and the area usually gets about 4.84 inches of snow.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
Feb55°F to 39.2°F4.84″3.9 days

Snow in March

big bear snow in march

Spring begins in March, and the weather is usually not too hot or cold. It keeps snowing, with an average of about 5.59 inches of snow over 3.1 days.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
Mar60.6°F to 42.3°F5.59″3.1 days

Snow in April

April is the spring season and has nice weather. Snowfall usually lasts for around 1.8 days and during that time, it typically piles up to about 6.42 inches.

MonthTemperature RangeSnowfall (inches)Snowfall Days
April66.6°F to 45.9°F6.42″1.8 days

Variation in Numbers

snow variation in numbers

In December, you might see different amounts of snow.

Every few years, the area gets a big snowstorm with more than 18.1 inches of snow. But sometimes, you might only get about four inches of snow.

Big Bear usually gets a lot of snow in January, but sometimes the amount can change.

You might get more than 21 inches of snow in really snowy years, making everything look like a magical winter scene. But in years with very little snow, you might only get a few inches, which means the winter will not look as snowy.

In February, things can be different in different ways. Sometimes, there could be more than 22 inches of snow, which is great for people who love winter sports. 

Historical Snow Data in Winter

past snow data in winter

You will see snow in Big Bear and nearby resorts in winter.

Here is a bit about the 30-year snow average in the area:


Fact: The ups and downs in the weather show that Big Bear’s winter can be unpredictable, so be flexible when planning winter vacations here. 

Is Big Bear a Good Place for Winter Vacations?

big bear a good place for winter vacations

Big Bear is a great place to go for winter vacations for a few really good reasons.

First, it has a beautiful winter scene with lots of snow, making it a great place for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

The place has great ski resorts with different slopes for people of all skiing abilities.

Also, the beautiful Big Bear Lake is a great place to go ice skating and fishing in a peaceful snowy setting.

Besides all the fun stuff you can do outside, Big Bear has a really nice and cozy atmosphere.

They have places to stay like lodges and cabins that make you feel like you are in the mountains. 

Can You Ski in Big Bear?

ski in big bear

Absolutely! You can totally have a blast skiing in Big Bear!

The area has really great places to go skiing and snowboarding, like Snow Summit and Bear Mountain ski resorts.

These nearby mountains have over 400 acres of land that people of all skill levels can use, whether they are just starting out or experienced.

There are 26 lifts at this place, which means you can go on more than 55 different runs.

Some of the runs are nice and smooth, while others are more exciting with jumps and obstacles.

It is a great place for people who like skiing or snowboarding and want to have a fun winter adventure in Southern California. 

Best Ski Resorts in Big Bear

When in Big Bear mostly for skiing fun, you need to find the right place to stay. And that is when you can consider going with the following options. 

#1. Holiday Inn Resort, the Lodge at Big Bear

the holiday inn resort

The Holiday Inn Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, is a great place to stay for your ski vacation.

It is mainly because it is really close to the Big Bear Mountain ski resort, where you can have a ton of fun playing in the snow.

The resort has its own restaurant and bar, and it is really close to fun stuff like the Alpine Slide, which you can get to in just 5 minutes by car.

For those interested, the Big Bear Solar Observatory is close, only 5 miles away.

The Bear Mountain Ski Resort is also close to the Holiday Inn Resort, only a 7-minute drive away. This place is awesome for people who love skiing and snowboarding.

Bear Mountain is a part of the Big Bear Mountain Resort.

They have over 200 cool things for freestyle skiing, like rails and pipes, and they even have the only Superpipe in Southern California.

They even have special parks for skiers who are new to doing tricks. Also, there are some really long runs like Exhibition and Geronimo.

#2. Vintage Lakeside Inn

the vintage lakeside inn

The Vintage Lakeside Inn is a really good place to stay if you are going on a ski vacation.

The hotel is really close to Big Bear Lake and only 4 miles away from Big Bear City Airport.

Also, you can easily walk to the Village in just 5 minutes. There, you will find a variety of local shops.

If you are going to events at the Big Bear Lake Convention Center, it is only 3 miles from here.

It is super close to Snow Summit Ski Resort, which means you can have a ton of fun there.

This resort is great for families and has good winter skiing and snowboarding options.

It is located pretty high up at 7,000 feet, has 14 lifts to get you around, and gets about 100 inches of snow every year.

You get to experience a really steep downhill of 1,200 feet, and enjoy other fun things like a tube park, climbing wall, and nighttime skiing.  

Fact: It is a good idea to go to Snow Summit on a day when there are not many people, like a Tuesday or Wednesday.

#3. Motel 6-Big Bear Lake, CA

motel 6-big bear lake

Motel 6-Big Bear Lake is a really good place to stay if you want to go skiing.

It is conveniently located across the street from the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. This is where they hold fun events like Octoberfest.

Big Bear Lake is really close, only about 1 mile away. And if you like skiing, the Snow Summit Ski Area is also nearby, less than 3 miles from the motel.

So it is a great place to stay if you want to hit the slopes.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort is a little further away, around 22 minutes (11.3 miles) if you take CA-18.

It has 28 different ski trails and 12 lifts to take you up the mountain, but compared to other ski areas, it is not as big with only about 240 acres for skiing.

Just so you know, Snow Valley might not have as much snow at the beginning of the season because it is at a lower elevation than Bear Mountain.

They can only create artificial snow on half of their trails.

Fact: If there has not been much natural snowfall in Snow Valley Resort, only a few out of the 28 trails might be available for skiing.

How Cold Does It Get in Big Bear?

the coldness it gets in big bear

Big Bear Lake goes through four different seasons throughout the year. Summers are nice and sunny, with warm temperatures and not much rain.

Winters, on the other hand, are cold and snowy, with some cloudy days here and there. February is the chilliest month, with an average temperature of 34.7F.  

Because Big Bear Lake is really high up, it gets more snow than a lot of other places in California.   

Things to Explore in Big Bear During Winter

When in Big Bear during winter, you really do not have to limit yourself to skiing. You can try many other activities as well.

For instance: 

Visit the Big Bear Snow Play

the big bear snow play

Big Bear Snow Play is a great place for families to have a fun day together.

You can have fun:

  • Sliding down the snowy hills during winter
  • Racing around the speedway track in the summer
  • Trying out the ropes course with easy-to-follow instructions
  • When the weather gets really cold, they can create their own snow. 

Go for Big Bear Alpine Slide

big bear alpine slide

Have a blast racing down the Alpine Slide at super-fast speeds! In Southern California, they have a special bobsled adventure that you can enjoy all year round.

It begins with a nice chair lift ride to the top of a hill with great views.

 From there, the riders hold the reins and steer through twists and turns on a 1/4-mile track, giving them an exciting rush of adrenaline. 

Witness Christmas Holiday Events

witnessing christmas holiday events

You can also have a great time during the holiday season in Big Bear with lots of fun events and things to do.

Make sure you do not skip the amazing “Christmas in the Village” event. You will get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and really get into the holiday mood.

If you want a really cool experience, go to Snow Summit and meet Santa Claus in person.

To make sure your holiday plans go well, you should go to the Visitors Bureau’s website.

They have info about which businesses are open on Christmas Day in Big Bear. This way, you can have a great holiday experience. 

Go Fishing in Big Bear

fish in big bear

Fishing in Big Bear during winter is cool and allows you to catch some special fish.

Unlike some frozen lakes, Big Bear Lake usually does not freeze over in the winter, so you can fish from the shore.

To increase your chances of catching fish, try going on days when the water is warmer than 40 degrees.

Winter fishing can be a fun and peaceful activity during the colder months, but you need to get ready for the cold weather before you go.  

Fact: You can enjoy numerous water sports at the Big Bear Lake, including Jet skiing, kayaking and more.

What is the Best Time to Plan Your Visit to Big Bear?

The best time to visit Big Bear depends heavily on what you truly want to do on your vacations.

For instance:

ActivityIdeal Time to Visit
Snowboarding or skiingMid-December to Late March/Early April
WatersportsJune to October
Outdoor AdventuresSpring and Fall
the best time to plan your visit to big bear


Does it snow in Big Bear? Yes, it certainly does. Winter is an excellent time for people who love snow. It snows a lot from December to April, and you can start skiing around Thanksgiving.

If you love winter sports, you will have a great time at ski resorts like Big Bear Mountain Resort and Snow Summit.

They have both real and fake snow for you to enjoy. And to make it a comfy trip, consider staying at hotels close to ski resorts, like Holiday Inn Resort and Vintage Lakeside Inn.

So, get up and pack for Big Bear to have fun experiencing its special appeal and seasonal treats all year long.