SNOW SUMMIT MOUNTAIN RESORT–Southern California’s most complete mountain resort! The ski area founded by Tommi Tyndall in 1952 remains the Southland’s best 60-plus years later with interconnected lift system and runs that lets families get around the mountain easily with little waiting in lift lines, highlighted by two high-speed quad chairs out of the base area. More people have learned to ski or snowboard here with large beginner area and new Adventure Academy for kids. Four runs from the top of the mountain serve up great terrain and views of beautiful Big Bear Lake with 31 runs plus many variations spread out oveer 240 acres. From family fun park on Chair 9 to legendary intermediate runs on Chairs 7 and 10 to challenging steeps on the Chair 6 bowl runs there’s something for everyone. Freestyle fun too on the famous Westridge Park, Zzyzx and more plus night skiing sessions, tubing park and climbing wall. Summer sees mountain bike park for two wheelers plus hiking and more.
880 Summit Blvd. Big Bear Lake, CA (844) GO2-BEAR www.snowsummit.com
Freestyle to Cruising, Snow Summit Has it All
New 3,000 sq. ft. building house the Adventure Academy one-stop shop learning center for kids, climbing wall and paved courtyard with stage and fire pits are but a few of the amenities that greet guests as they arrive at Snow Summit. A full-service base area with heated brick pavers has been made even nicer!
Foremost is the Adventure Academy which is going to make life for parents taking kids to ski or snowboard school infinitely easier. No longer will parents have to potentially wait in three separate lines for tickets, rtentals and sports school registration to get their youngsters onto the slopes; now they’ll be able to drop kids at the facility and go grab a coffee or hit the slopes themselves.
In turn the learning area on the slopes is being moved right next to the building, including the beginner Magic Carpet. Youngsters will literally step right out double doors to the snow!
“There will be no hike up the hill,” noted the resort’s Justin Kanton. “We’ll take care of the entire process so families can spend less time in lines and more time enjoying the slopes.”
The wood-burning Big Horn Smokehouse right below the chairlifts is another highlight, now accented by paved courtyard the resort refers to as The Meadow. New stage flanked by built-in fire pit plus two portable ones, tables, heat lamps, charging stations and inflatable 30 foot movie screen make the area an amazing spot to take a break or relax at the end of the day.
“We’ll have live entertainment out there through the season,” Kanton said, adding there may even be name-bands added to the lineup. “The idea is to create an atmosphere where people want to hang out even after the lifts have stopped.” The 30-foot climbing wall put in over summer will stay open during winter, weather permitting, another off-snow entertainment option along with Grizzly Ridge Tubing Park.
All of which continues to reaffirm Snow Summit’s position as the Southland’s nicest, most complete family winter resort. Interconnected lift and run system that get guests moving around the mountain quickly, two mountaintop restaurants including popular Hog on the Rocks, cosmic inner tubing and indoor-outdoor bar the Slopeside Speakeasy serving New York-style pizza by the slice are but a few more highlights.
The resort is famous for immaculately groomed snow that’s perfect corduroy, a pleasure to rip or carve first thing in the morning. Some $12 million in recent years has created one of the most sophisticated snowmaking systems anywhere, fueled by an unlimited water supply courtesy of Big Bear Lake, meaning Snow Summit consistently offers the region’s best conditions, often way better than other local resorts which rely on very limited amounts of well water.
Accessing all the snow is the Southland’s most complete and best-designed lift system, which starts with not one but two high-speed quads that get skiers and snowboarders out of the base area in a hurry and service the entire mountain. Guests never have to return to the base area if they don’t want to, running laps on famous blue square Chair 10 runs, for instance, like Perfect Pitches, Sugarpine and Sideshow.
Other great runs include trails named for resort founder Tommi Tyndall and wife Jo Alexander. Chair 10 has the added benefit of having short lift lines, even on holidays.
The bowl runs serviced by Chair 6 are famous for black diamond challenge and music to ski or shred by. The Wall is the signature way down but Olympic is as steep as any groomed run in Southern California, Off Chute is an upper intermediate blast and Dicky’s pays homage to the late Dick Kun, who oversaw the resort’s risee to prominence before passing the torch to Mammoth All funnel into a bowl where music is blasted.
Top-to-bottomers like famous Miracle Mile with its Steilhang and Hogback variations keep sliders happy along with Log Chute, a great mix of cruising and steeper terrain. Chair 7 has great cruising on blue square intermediates Seven Down and Timber Ridge, one of the resort’s best runs.
On the west side Snow Summit’s freestyle terrain can be found as the resort continues to return to its terrain park roots. Westridge is practically hallowed ground for snowboarders after hosting the inaugural 1997 Winter X Games and the 1-1/3 mile run, the resort’s longest, sports jumps large and small, boxes and rails. More freestyle found on Chair 3’s Ego Trip and Zzyzx.
And few resorts have anything like Chair 9, where low intermediate runs including Skyline Creek and Cruiser allow learners to get their legs under them without dodging missiles from above. Plus there are itty bitty hitties for those just starting to dabble in freestyle. Check the unique “Smart Signs” that show which lifts have the shortest (usually nonexistent) waits in line. Even on peak holidays and weekends there’s never a line at Chairs 5, 6 or 10.
When it’s time for a break, head to the top of the mountain where the Skyline Tap House (formerly the View Haus) serves upscale cuisine and panoramic views of 11,502 ft. Mt. San Gorgonio and its surrounding wilderness. Levy Foods, supplier at Staples Center and NFL stadiums, brings a “culinary revolution” to food service operations with expanded menu.
Visit the new SoCal Marketplace below the top deck Slopeside Speakeasy for completely remodeled food service that serves rice bowls, authentic street tacos, even custom salad station.
And end the day historic Hawks 51 is filled with nostalgia from 60 years of winter memories, a great place to catch a cold beer or hot toddy. Photos are just the beginning; there’s old ski equipment including rope tows and chairlifts, Ski Patrol gear and much more, making the longtime hangout a virtual Ski Museum.