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A must do in Southern California: Big Bear and Snow Summit

March 11, 2011

Me with 2 International Students at Big Bear

This past Saturday my coworker Marcia and I took 46 students international students to Big Bear Ski Resort in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountain Range. We organized this event through The USC Office of International Services where we work as an International Program Assistants.  Big Bear is a famous destination in California and now I understand why (who wouldn’t love a stunning mountain town nestled deep in the forest?).  Located just 2 hours outside of LA, Big Bear and Snow Summit are a haven for skiers and snowboarders. While the resorts are a few miles apart, there is a complimentary bus that runs regularly back and forth throughout the day and lift tickets are good at both places. Both mountains offer beginner to expert trails, plenty of terrain park for adventurous riders and excellent conditions.

I hate to admit this, but at first I wasn’t that excited about my first trip skiing on the west coast. I started skiing at the young age of 7 in Northern New Jersey- I loved it. Skiing was a significant part of childhood; all throughout elementary, middle and high school I was part of ski clubs and even tried out snowboarding for a few years.  But one memory I couldn’t shake was the freezing cold nights I spent shivering on chairlifts. As I grew older and went off to college, my winter breaks became a time to relax with friends and family by the fire instead of bundle up to brave the mountain. The past 3 years I have been in California and I’ve always opted to hit the beach instead of hit the slopes. Before I knew it, I realized it had years since I’ve been on skies.

Big Bear Lake (photo credit

On this trip I learned skiing in California is a whole different experience.  The sun was shining and the weather was so perfect people were in t-shirts. It was incredible.

Big Bear and Snow Summit offer much more than just winter sports. If you plan to spend the weekend there are antique shops, spas, restaurants and snow tubing. There are also inclusive vacation packages.  And if you think there’s plenty to do in winter,  just wait till summer. Big Bear lake is gorgeous for hikers and mountain bikers or for a weekend in the wilderness.

I never thought I would be saying this, but I actually can’t wait to get back to the mountains. I’m looking forward to skiing again and visiting Big Bear in the summer for a relaxing getaway.  Next time, I’m renting a cabin and make it a weekend trip!

By Jenna Markowick

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 11, 2011 4:46 pm

    Always good times up there.

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