UPDATE: 3:30 p.m., Nov. 29 — Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley is open to downbound traffic only. No upbound traffic is being allowed into Big Bear, including mountain residents.
Officials are urging all residents and visitors to avoid travel if necessary due to snow conditions. the Thanksgiving storm has led to unstafe conditions on the roads as plows continue to clear roads.
The Big Bear Lake tree lighting ceremony has been canceled for Friday, Nov. 29, due to snow. The Big Bear City tree lighting will take place on Saturday, Nov. 30, at the fire station in Big Bear City.
UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. Nov. 29 — Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley is open, but chains are required. R-2 restrictions are in place, meaning all vehciles must have chains or traction devices except those with four-wheel or all-wheel drive All motorists must carry chains.
Highway 18 on the front side and Highway 38 are closed to all traffic, no exceptions. This includes residents. Incorrect information was provided earlier that states residents were allowed with ID.
Travel is not advised. Snow plows are doing their best to clear roads and remove snow on mountain highways and within Big Bear. Those who don't need to travel are advised to stay home to allow plows to work.
The snow began early on Thanksgiving day and didn't stop. And more is in the forecast.
Those who made it up the mountain prior to the storm are here to stay. Those who were waiting until today won't be able to make it unless they are a mountain resident with ID. Highways 18, 38 and 330 are closed to all non-mountain residents.
Chains are required on all vehicles, no exceptions for those residents who may be heading home to the mountains. It's unknown when or if the mountain roads will reopen to visitors.
Big Bear's Community Emergency Response Team, better known as CERT, set up an emergency shelter on Thanksgiving at Community Church for stranded motorists.
Heavy snow and numerous crashes and stranded vehicles prompted the closure. At one time, there were reportedly 50 vehicles stranded on Highway 18 to Lucerne Valley near the switchbacks.
More than 2 feet of snow blanketed Big Bear for the Thanksgiving storm. The forecast is calling for more snow as this system makes its way out of the area. The highs for Friday, Nov. 29, will only get to the low 20s during the day, dropping to single digits overnight.
Saturday and Sunday are expected to warm up allowing Big Bear to dig out. Temperatures should be in the 30s on Saturday and hit 40 on Sunday. A winter storm warning remains in effect through Friday at 10 p.m.
Snow Summit opened on Thanksgiving day, and Bear Mountain is scheduled to open today, Nov. 29. The resorts report 30 inches of new snow. Lifts are scheduled to roll at 9 a.m. at both resorts. Snow Summit will be open daily fro the remainder of the season. Bear Mountain will be open weekends only, Friday-Sunday, until Dec. 20 when daily operations begin.
Season passes are on sale for Big Bear Mountain Resort. Prices go up Dec. 22.
Big Bear SnowPlay and Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain are open today for tubing. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Glow tubing is scheduled to begin Nov. 29 at Big Bear SnowPlay, weather permitting.
The annual tree lighting ceremonies are scheduled to take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30, in Big Bear. Santa's Grand Entrance in Big Bear Lake is set for 5 p.m. in the Village area at Christmas Corner. The Village L of Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive will be closed to motorized traffic beginning in late afternoon to make way for guests and Santa's arrival.
On Saturday, Santa will have breakfast at Barnstorn Restaurant at Big Bear Airport then will be in his Village house to visit with youngsters. Later that evening he and Mrs. Claus will be ringing in the season in Big Bear City at the Big Bear Fire Station at Sawmill Boulevard. Bring a plate of cookies to share and enjoy a fun-filled evening singing carols, lighting the tree and visiting with Santa.
Stay connected to road and weather conditions in Big Bear with the Big Bear Now app. It's available for free download for Apple and Android operating systems.