Big Bear is open, but getting here takes time, patience and determination. Only one road to Big Bear is open, Highway 18 from Lucerne Valley in the High Desert.
Highway 38 and Highway 18 from San Bernardino remain closed due to the massive amounts of snow that blanketed the mountains on Thanksgiving day.
Chain restrictions are in place on Highway 18 from the desert. R-2 restrictions are in place meaning all vehicles except those with four-wheel or all-wheel drive must have chains or traction devices. Four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles must have snow tires on all four wheels and all vehicles must carry chains.
It's unknown when the other routes to Big Bear will reopen. Caltrans has not given an updated time of reopening.
State Route 330 is closed as well 3 miles north of San Bernardino due to snow. Chains are required on all vehicles, no exceptions, from the upper passing lane to the junction of State Route 18.
On State Route 18, R-2 chain restrictions are in place from Upper Waterman Canyon to Heaps Peak Dump. Chains are required on all vehicles, no exceptions, from Heaps Peak Dump to Big Bear Dam.
Highway 38 is closed from Mill Creek Ranger Station to Hatchery Drive in Big Bear City due to snow. According to Caltrans, Big Bear residents will be allowed access with proper identification. Chains are required, no exceptions, for all vehicles, from Hatchery Drive to Big Bear Dam.
Big Bear Mountain Resort is open and reports 4 feet of new snow since the Thanksgiving storm began. Both resorts open today at 8:30 a.m. with machine groomed packed powder conditions. Bear Mountain and Snow Summit both have several trails open for all abilities of snowboarders and skiers, with more expected to open soon.
Snow Summit will be open daily for the remainder of the season. Bear Mountain is open weekends only, Friday through Sunday, until Dec. 20 when daily operations begin.
Big Bear City will light its tree and Santa and Mrs. Claus will join the fun at the Big Bear Fire Station in Big Bear City at the corner of Big Bear and Sawmill boulevards. Doors open at 5 p.m. and guests are asked to bring a plate of cookies to share. Coffee and cider are provided. Sing carols, play games and join the crowd outside to light the tree. Then move inside again for Santa's arrival. He will visit with each and every child to hear holiday wishes.
Before the tree lighting, Santa is expected to stop for breakfast at Barnstorm Restaurant at Big Bear Airport. He should arrive around 8 a.m., weather permitting. he will also be in the Village area of Big Bear Lake at his home away from home. He visits with kids from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Temperatures for the remainder of the weekend remain cold with daytime highs in the low 30s on Saturday and inching up to the low 40s by Sunday. Next week brings mild temperatures with the possibility of rain showers on Wednesday, Dec. 4, turning to snow by mid day. More snow is currently in the forecast for next weekend as well.