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West Coast Advice Needed

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LAXkeeper View Drop Down
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  Quote LAXkeeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: West Coast Advice Needed
    Posted: Dec/06/2013 at 5:48pm
I'm going out to the LA area in a couple of weeks, and I am wondering which resort I should hit. I am thinking that Big Bear Mtn is the way to go, what do you all think?

More importantly, can anyone tell me if an SUV would be needed to get there, and if chains are required to be used/in the car in CA? I have never been to California, much less Big Bear, and need to know what kind of rental car to get. Advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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bootleg View Drop Down
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  Quote bootleg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/06/2013 at 6:09pm
Bear Mountain is like the magic mountain for park rats and you have snow summit right next door which is quite larger than Bear with bigger trails but in my opinion seems more family oriented..here's a few things to know before going up into Big bear , first try to know what the condition will be like will it be snowing , raining , holiday weekend or not because 330 highway onto US 18 is a single lane with lots of hair pin turns and the climbing elevation is 8k+ I think, if it snows while you're going up anywhere between 330 to Running Springs chain's will be strictly enforced even if you have a 4x4/awd vehicle..CHP will make you put it on. from the 330 to 18 into big Bear it's less distance with more road hazards ...THEN there's the 38 driving the back road to big bear which is longer ,safer , and normally free of traffic delays. I would get a decent SUV with chains if you're willing to shell out more bucks. if it snows too heavy up there CHP might just shut down the road and send everyone back down if this happens to you there's always snow valley, mt high, and mt baldy... hope this helps.
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LAXkeeper View Drop Down
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  Quote LAXkeeper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/07/2013 at 5:51am
that is very helpful. Thanks a lot, bootleg!
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Angry Midget Yo View Drop Down
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  Quote Angry Midget Yo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/07/2013 at 3:47pm
If you have an AWD car, the CHP would usually ask to see if you have a pair in your car but won't ask you to put it on or at least that what usually happens whenever there's a chain check when I go.  I actually prefer Snow Valley than Big Bear/Snow Summit because it's closer and with the Snowjam card you get 50% off lift tickets plus less crowds.  My least favorite place is Mt High, too many punks starting fights and super crowded.
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  Quote shwazy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/07/2013 at 5:01pm
Anyway you would consider Mammoth...to put it in terms of a an amusement park Mammoth is a giant roller coaster and the local LA mountains are ferris wheels.  Last time I went to Big Bear I vouched to never go back and it took me almost the same time to get home as it would from Mammoth because there was so much traffic.  THat probably is not normal but if you have the means Mammoth is worth the trip.
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davidhn2 View Drop Down
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  Quote davidhn2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/07/2013 at 5:46pm
Big bear and Snow summit if youre willing to make the drive (not that bad, maybe 2-3 hours depending where in LA). Mountain high if youre feeling lazy, but i would choose big bear over mt high if i had the choice
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  Quote hana24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/08/2013 at 10:11pm
Mammoth is a 6 hour drive and it's an awesome mountain, but lift ticket prices can be pretty pricey.  However, depending on the road conditions and if it's a holiday, the drive to and from the local mountains can be very long.  4+ hours if it snows and not many people are prepared for the snow i.e. tons of people spun out on the roads or people stopping in the middle of the road to put chains on.

If there is snow on the road, CHP will be enforcing chain control.  Check http://www.dot.ca.gov/ for up to the date road conditions.  Just put in the highway numbers and it'll let you know if chain control is being enforced.  

Big Bear - it's a huge park.  The drive is a pain, check Bear Mountain's website since it'll list the 3 different ways to get to the resort.  The roads definitely are mountain roads.    
Snow Summit - groomer riding.  This resort is right next to Bear Mountain.
Snow Valley - they have a good park and groomer riding, however it's a smaller resort compared to Big Bear and Snow Summit.  However, the lift ticket prices are cheap
Mt High - it's a huge park.  I ride there all the time and yeah it's ghetto, but once you figure out the flow, it's good.  I actually feel a lot safer riding here than Bear Mountain.  Also the drive to Mt High is really easy since you're not going to have hairpin turns plus it's an hour closer.  
Baldy - only go if they have  base and it dumps.  I've heard it's like a mini mammoth.
Mammoth - 6hrs away, but the drive is totally worth it.  I love this mountain.  Minimal driving in the snow, probably only within 10 miles of Mammoth Lakes you'll have to deal with snow on the road.  Lift ticket prices are pretty expensive.  

Get a car with AWD/4wd if you can afford it, but you won't need it most of the time.  I get to the mountains in my civic and I just put chains on and I'm able to get to the resort fine.  If it does dump while you're here...get to the resorts early!  Leave at like 5am so you're not stuck behind all these people trying to figure out how to put chains on for the first time on their car.  The traffic can be pretty aggravating.  
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spenser View Drop Down
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  Quote spenser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec/08/2013 at 11:36pm
this is all so complicated and makes me sad.
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