Back-to-back winter storms this year have blanketed California’s mountain ranges with snow, making this a banner winter for skiers and snowboarders.
The storms have covered Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood with more than 8 feet of fresh snow this winter, while Big Bear Mountain Resort has received more than 10 feet. This season has provided the best conditions for snow sports in roughly a decade, said John McColly, vice president of sales and marketing at Mountain High, who added that it “feels like a real winter this year.”(A February to remembrrr in L.A.: It never even reached 70 degrees, LA Times, Feb. 28, 2019.)
Per the customer service folks at Hot Creek Aviation:
Rental car is the most dependable and fast way, you'll want to call well ahead Enterprise (760)924-1094 or Hertz (760) 934-7004. They will deliver the car straight to the ramp for your arrival. If you have issues getting a rental car you can let us know on the Unicom when you are 10 min out (122.8) and we are happy to get a cab coming for you. It costs around $35 each way. If you are leaving after 6pm, you can park the rental car out front and leave the keys under the visor. There is field access and you will get the code when you arrive, there is no call out :)
And they’re not kidding; trying to book a car at either Hertz or Enterprise for Sunday, on Thursday, everything was sold out already. (On a Friday, booking for the next Saturday, I was able to get an SUV reserved, but the price went up slightly from the morning when I first checked, to the afternoon when I actually made the reservation.)
A small SUV was about $55/day, with the “all in” price being about $65, so, not significantly cheaper than a cab, but likely a lot more convenient!
Big Bear (L35)
My most likely destination for a day trip. Per the operations folks at Mountain Transit:
It is possible to catch a bus to Snow Summit the bus stop is located at Blue Water Dr. across from the Circle K on the Blvd. The route 11 bus picks up there on the :40 of the hour Starting at 5:40 am until 6:40 pm. You would take this bus to the transfer point Sandlewood stop behind the Vons and transfer to the route 1 bus at :03 after the hour that will take you to the corner of Big Bear Blvd and Summit Blvd. There is also a Dial A Ride service this is a shared ride service that must be booked in advance and is $5.00 per person. If you would like this service the phone number is 909-878-5200 and I would advise booking a day or two in advance the more time the better.Route 11. Route 1. Google Maps says it’s a 3 minute, 0.1 mile, walk from the airport to the bus stop, and a half-mile, 12 minute walk from the bus stop to the Snow Summit ski area. There are lockers at the base of the mountain and an area where ski boots and outerwear can be donned. Not the most glamorous or convenient way to arrive, but for a quick day trip, not that bad.
I’ll update this later with other destinations. I’m going to be using the IKON pass, so Big Bear, Mammoth, and maybe Squaw Valley, are likely to be my primary destinations.