February 2021 Big Bear Today Magazine

marcusdietz

You'll love Big Bear bald eagles! See them up close with the nest cam. Alpine Zoo is open again and we'll tell you where to do winter in Big Bear after all the January snow. Avocado Bombs are a direct hit at Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and so too is the new skating rink on synthetic ice at the Bowling Barn. Recreation guide too!

Volume 32, No. 8 February 2021

www.bigbeartodaymag.com

Bald Eagle

Lovin’!

• Give Birds a Helping Hand...er, Wing

• Craft Beer, Artisan Food and the ‘Bomb’

• Zoo That Just Opened Gets to Re-open

• All Signs Point to Staying Off Lake Ice


Page 2—February 2021

From the Publisher

All signs point

to staying off

Big Bear Lake ice

Stay off lake ice. There’s signs all

around Big Bear Lake with the message,

dozens and dozens of them in

all shapes and sizes, from Boulder Bay to

Baker Pond and everywhere in between,

stapled to telephone poles and mounted

onto posts.

Some signs are 4x8 feet, practically

billboards. Others are electronic. The message

is the same on all of them, threatening

a hefty $500 fine for those who violate

San Bernardino County Code 52.0502.

“We put signs up anywhere we see tracks

to the lake,” said Ricky Seward, Big Bear

Municipal Water District lake operations

supervisor, whose job it is to put up the

signs. “They’re on the gazebo at Baker

Pond, telephone poles, everywhere.”

Yet every winter there are those who

can’t resist the urge to venture out onto frozen

Big Bear Lake, intrigued by ice that

often has cracked, thawed and refrozen repeatedly

thanks to the warm days and cold

nights that make Big Bear such a popular

winter destination.

You see people in Boulder Bay especially,

but at other spots around the lake

too, gingerly stepping out onto the ice just

to see if...what? If it will hold their weight?

What if it doesn’t?

A more somber consequence than just

a ticket that costs money awaits those who

insist on walking on lake ice: doing so can

cost much more, like your life. Which very

nearly happened to one family last year,

after they walked right past and defied one

of the many signs by stepping out onto ice

near Stanfield Cutoff.

The lake bottom slopes away rather

quickly at the east end of the lake, the result

of major dredging work several years

ago, so the water gets deep right away. The

man and his wife plus daughter had only

gotten 20 feet from the shore or so when

the ice gave way and all three plunged into

lake water that was only 34 degrees at the

surface, a couple degrees less underwater,

several days after the incident.

“There must have been some cracking

or some noise,” Seward said. “We estimate

they were in six feet of water.”

At those temperatures the body

doesn’t last long as hypothermia sets in,

losing the ability to function in only a

couple minutes with death in as few as 15.

“We’ve all jumped into a cold pool and

sucked our breath in,” said Mike

Stephenson, BBMWD general manager.

“We can all relate to that experience. In

bitter cold temperatures shock sets in.

“We estimate that they were only in

the water for a minute or so before someone

on the shoreline reported it.”

Stephenson added. “They were lucky the

Sheriff (Citizen Patrol) was around the corner.

They were in the water about seven

minutes and probably would have been unconscious

in ten.”

As it happened help was on scene in

moments and from the shoreline was able

to toss a rescue rope out to the family. It

took several attempts and about three precious

minutes for all three to be pulled to

shoreline. Lucky Citizen Patrol was nearby,

lucky they were only a rope’s throw from

the shoreline when they plunged in, lucky

there was only three of them and not the

dozens that have been reported out on the

ice at one time. Otherwise they’d have

gone home from Big Bear in body bags.

“In another couple minutes they

wouldn’t have been able to grab the rope,”

Seward added. “Your grip gets so weak.

The deputy told them to wrap the rope

around their arms. The family was treated

on scene for hypothermia and also abrasions—ice

cuts you too.”

To be clear most people heed the signs,

but social media has been alive past couple

years with photos of the relativity few who

don’t. And really the number of those doing

such a head-scratching dumb act seems

to be going down. A decade ago we’d see

two or three hundred out on the ice on a

busy day, now it’s down to dozens.

“I feel like we’re getting the word

out,” Stephenson said. “You can’t enter the

Valley without driving by a 4 x 8 sign. A

lot of these people are knowingly breaking

the law. I’ll pull up and they run off

the ice. It’s no different than if they were

parking in a No Parking zone.” Except, of

course, you’re not likely to die in a No

Parking zone.

Yes, the family was issued a citation

with a court appearance but five hundred

bucks seems like a slap in the wrist, no

worse than a speeding ticket. “And that’s

if the judge doesn’t reduce it as they often

do,” Stephenson said.

Ice hasn’t been much of a problem this

season till the late January storms arrived,

slated to be followed by cold temperatures.

At press time there was ice off Stanfield

Cutoff where there’s a new pedestrian path

to enjoy, and at other locations around the

lake too. Stay off it. The ticket, or worse,

isn’t worth it.

Have a good one.

Marcus

ON THE COVER: Bald eagles are beautiful birds and there’s both a transient and permanent

population in Big Bear. See them up close online or in the skies! Photo credit SCMF

Volume 32, Number 8 February 2021

4

6

8

11

16

Publisher

Marcus G. Dietz

Associate Publisher

Sandra L. Dietz

Publishing Consultant

Bret Colson

Technical Consultant

Charles Dietz

Photography/Distribution

Steve Dietz

John Daskam

Mark Gauger

In This Issue...

Big Bear Today

Nature’s Harsh Side Unfolds on Eagle Cam

Those watching the live bald eagle cam last month were

thrilled to see resident mama Jackie lay three eggs. They also

got to watch ravens attack two of the eggs and the third

crack on delivery. Big Bear bald eagles are breathtaking to see

in person and we’ll point you in the right direction. Or just use

stream and we have the internet address right here.

Zoo That Just Opened Gets to Reopen

Big Bear Alpine Zoo had only been at its long-anticipated new

location a month or so when it was forced to close for several

weeks by government order. That order has been lifted and if

you haven’t seen the new zoo yet a visit is a must. Up close

experiences, amenities like kids playground, and state-of-theart

enclosures are just a few of the reasons to go.

Craft Beer, Artisan Food, Avocado Bombs!

Craft beer flows from the taps and the kitchen serves artisan

pub grub, but it’s avocado that’s the bomb at Big Bear Lake

Brewing Company. Stuffed with seafood and packed with zip,

avocado bombs are the hot ticket, get yourself one.

Care for Big Bear, Nativescapes Tackle Trash

Please pack out your trash after a day of play in the

mountains. That message is pretty straightforward and most

heed it, but the relative minority that doesn’t leaves behind a

hideous mess of broken snow toys and garbage. A new

program seeks to deal with the problem and you can help.

Skating Away on Barn’s New Outdoor Rink

The ice is synthetic but the experience is very real on the new

outdoor skating rink at the Bowling Barn. Lace up a pair of real

skates or even bring your own and get ready to slide in style

with Big Bear’s newest winter activity. The rink just opened

but it’s already been a hit as we found out on a recent visit.

37 challenges to conquer on the ropes

course at Big Bear Snow Play. Page 9

DEPARTMENTS

2

3

13

14

From the Publisher

Potpourri

Area Map/

Calendar of Events

The Almanac

Big Bear's most complete

listings for recreation,

dining, and more.

Big Bear Today is a monthly magazine covering recreation,

dining, nightlife, and events in Big Bear. Reproduction of any

material, without the express written consent of the Publisher,

is prohibited. Advertising/editorial, call Big Bear Today at (909)

585-5533. Mailing address: PO Box 3180, Big Bear City, CA,

92314. E-Mail: bigbeartoday@verizon.net. Member, Visit Big

Bear and Big Bear Chamber of Commerce. Internet Address:

bigbeartodaymag.com

Production: Offset printing by G.W. Reed Printing, Inc.

Color prepress by 2-Bit Studio.

Manuscripts and Art: Contributions are welcome. Big

Bear Today is not responsible nor liable for unsolicited

manuscripts or art. Materials received will not be returned.

© Copyright 2021 Big Bear Today


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 3


Page 4—February 2021

Online viewers have been watching

the miracle of nature unfold on

their computer screens. They’ve

been seeing its harsh side too.

Last month resident bald eagle mama

Jackie laid three eggs, one more than she

has each of the past three years. Internet

viewers from around the world watched

online at FriendsofBigBearValley.org/

eagles with a front row seat. Yet joy turned

to sorrow as two of the eggs were consumed

by ravens and the third cracked

during a difficult delivery for Jackie.

So instead of celebrating impending

eagle chicks in Big Bear this month, perhaps

hatching around Valentine’s Day, instead

eagle aficionados are left wondering

what went wrong. Last year’s two eggs

never hatched so even though Jackie and

mate Shadow have been trying, no new

eagles have been born in Big Bear Valley

since 2019. And it doesn’t look like any

are coming in 2021 though there’s always

a chance Jackie could still lay another

clutch in the next month or two.

Unlike past years when one of the

eagles was always around the nest to protect

against predators, last month Shadow

went AWOL for a couple days and Jackie

didn’t stick around as much either, straying

from the nest for hours at a time, leaving

the eggs vulnerable to scavengers. It

just seemed neither bird was into the

parenting thing this year, with increased

human activity—despite closure signs—

around the nest floated as one reason why.

The nest cam has brought to light

nature’s hard side in a way people don’t

often get to see. Visit the site and you’re

likely to see the eagles arrive with fish from

the lake, spend special time with each other,

and even lay eggs. Last year the eagles

were diligent with incubating their two

eggs, to no avail.

There are several possible reasons the

eggs never hatched, including cold temperatures—snow

several days before they

were due to hatch may have played a role.

Perhaps they were just infertile eggs or the

Big Bear Today

Bald eagle cam shows miracle, tragedy of nature

Viewers had a birds-eye view last month as mama

eagle Jackie laid three eggs, only to lose them all

embryos died during incubation. It’s possible

the chicks were just unable to break

out of their shells and were trapped inside.

Jackie along with mate Shadow continued

to sit on the eggs even days after

they should have hatched. Eventually the

eggs were finally eaten by ravens, long after

they were viable, unlike this year.

"Sometimes Mother Nature can be

harsh and disappoint us with our human

hopes," the Forest Service said on its

Facebook page, a message that it repeated

in January. "Getting a glimpse into the daily

lives of this beautiful bald eagle pair has

been a real treat. Bald eagles have a very

strong fidelity to their nest sites."

Only one eagle survived from each

pair of eggs the previous two years as well,

winter storms taking their toll. The mortality

rate for bald eagle eggs and eaglets

is 50% though in recent years Big Bear’s

has exceeded it.

That the Valley hosts transitory birds

migrating from colder northern climates including

Montana, Canada and even Alaska

is no surprise; Big Bear is along the Pacific

Migratory Flyway and affords reliable

fishing. The lake rarely freezes entirely

and if it does it traps intellectuallychallenged

coots into frozen water which

then become easy pickings.

Now it seems a population of Big

Bear-born birds is trying to be established,

estimated at around a half-dozen eagles or

so. “We all think Shadow was born in that

nest,” said Trisha Dale Green, local eagle

photographer and moderator of a popular

Facebook page.

According to Friends of Big Bear Valley,

the eagle nest has been in active use

since fall 2013. The eagle cam was installed

two years later and captured its first

eagle nesting season in 2017.

“Big Bear eagles are the most beautiful

birds,” Trisha said. “Stormy (another

offspring of Jackie) is a beautiful bird. The

more you watch him the more you realize

he’s really special. Same with Shadow.”

The area around the bald eagle nest is

Jackie and Shadow housekeeping the nest as seen on the live bald eagle cam

closed by Forest order. Still some ignore

the well-posted closure, potentially spooking

the birds. “Bald eagles are known to

abandon nests, eggs and young when feeling

threatened by human activities,” said

Marc Stamer, district ranger for the

Mountaintop Ranger District.

“We are very excited to see bald eagles

continuing to successfully reside and raise

young in this part of the forest,” Stamer

aid. “But that success is shared by the public

who continue to adhere to an area closure

around the nest.” The area closure included

lower Gray’s Peak Trail and Grout

Bay picnic area among others.

Bald eagle tours have been a thing of

the past for some time and celebrations that

took their place aren’t happening thanks

to the virus. So people who want to spot

bald eagles in the wild are on their own,

doable if you’re willing to work at it. Scan

deadtop trees around the lake with a good

view of the water and you’ll often spot

birds, especially on aptly-named Eagle

Point along the south shore. There’s a wellknown

perch tree in the area that often

harbors bald eagles.

“Start at Grout Bay and use binoculars

to see a nest from the gangway at Captain

John’s,” said Trisha. “In a boat go toward

the dam and look near Gilner Point.

Or drive to the west ramp and trees above

Stanfield Cutoff.”

The wrong way to see them is by using

a drone. Last year one of the remote

vehicles was spotted buzzing above the

eagle nest. Obviously not a good idea since

bald eagles (and golden eagles also) are

protected by Federal legislation against harassment

that includes not only drone operations

but also trespassing that can include

snow play.

Instead watch the eagles at

FriendsofBigBearValley.org/eagles and

follow Big Bear Lake Bald Eagles group

on Facebook. Chirp Nature Center in the

Village has the stream on as well.

Call Forest Service (909) 382-2790

Transient juvenile bald eagle

from Arizona


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 5

Feeding in winter helps birds survive

he number is staggering: three billion

birds lost in North America

Tsince 1970, according to an eyepopping

report in the journal Science.

That represents a decrease of some

30% of the bird populations in the United

States and Canada, in just five decades.

Researchers point to changing ecosystems,

habitat loss, toxic pesticides and urbanization

as possible causes. Regardless, we

should all want to give birds a helping

hand—er, wing.

Especially in winter, now that January

storms have left white stuff on the

ground. Plus recent wildfires, both locally

from the El Dorado Fire plus many others

around the western states, have decimated

bird habitat even more.

It’s a misconception that all birds fly

south for the winter. For some, like the bald

eagles, this is south! Other species do seek

warmer southern climates but others, like

the dark eyed Junco, stick around in Big

Bear.

During winter they can often be seen

circling birdfeeders, particularly after

snowstorms. Juncos enjoy mostly seeds

and can often be spotted hopping along the

ground in search of food.

They’re just one example of the many

species who can use a helping wing to get

through winter. Indeed studies have shown

that feeding birds during the cold months

greatly increases their chances of survival.

Putting birdfeeders out gives our winged

friends additional sustenance especially

when the ground is covered with snow.

And if you already have one out, consider

a second or third feeder—the more that are

out, the more birds you’ll feed.

“People are worried about what the

decline in bird populations means,” said

Randall Putz of Chirp Nature Center in the

Village. “Birds are the canary in the coal

mine so to speak—as birds go, we go.

People are recognizing that we need to pay

attention and support birds.”

Birding takes flight for enthusiasts of

all levels at Chirp Nature Center, just east

of the Christmas Tree Lot next to construction

lot. There’s feeders, houses, baths, binoculars,

books, seed, scarves and birds-eye

cam views of nests around the country.

“Feeding and providing housing for

birds is the least we can do,” Putz said.

“Estimates are that almost half of all households

feed birds.”

Birds need extra fuel in winter for

long-lasting energy to create body warmth.

Suet is a great choice since it’s made with

animal fat, ideal for when insects and other

food sources are scarce. Nyjer seed, peanut

butter, peanuts, safflower seeds and

cracked corn are all good selections. California

scrub jays, prominent in Big Bear,

are candidates for such a menu but observe

what birds visit your feeder and put seed

out accordingly.

To protect feed from the elements,

tube and all-weather feeders are popular,

enclosed to keep seed dry. Shelter is important

as well and Chirp has a variety of

Dark eyed Junco, one of Big Bear’s wintering species

birdhouses available. Some mount on windows

to allow for up close viewing from

inside the house. Others have a cage built

around them to let only song birds in and

keep pigeons and squirrels out. Still others

are bear-proof.

Water is also important, even in winter.

“Bird bathes are just as important as

feeders since they need the water in our

dry climate,” Putz said. “It’s true that

they’ll eat snow for water but that lowers

their body temperature so they have to expend

energy to warm again. Look for

heated baths that won’t ice over.”

Join Chirp’s seed club to save up to

20% on all food purchases. Buy seed by

the bucket with lid that safely stores it and

when it’s empty just return to get a full

bucket, thus eliminating the plastic bag.

Gift items are also available at Chirp,

from custom design T-shirts and stickers

to puzzles, games and art. Plates, mugs,

door knockers, toys, calls and more are

found, all dedicated to birds.

The store makes bird watching easy

by streaming 30 live nest cams on four

screens. The images continuously rotate

and feature a variety of locations including

Big Bear’s own bald eagle nest.

Chirp is open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Chirp Nature Center is at 40850 Village

Dr. (888) 412-4477.


Page 6—February 2021

Zoo that just opened gets to reopen

The switch is back to on at Big Bear

Alpine Zoo, which had only been

open about a month at its new location

before closing per state orders in

December.

Now that those orders have been lifted

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is open again daily

10 a.m.-4 p.m. First order of business

though when the green light was finally

given to open in late January was snow removal

and a lot of it!

The courtyard-style entrance with

paved brick and gas fireplace welcomes

guests as they arrive. Along with. expanded

gift shop and interior displays, operating

at limited capacity but filled with takehome

treasures. Even exterior landscaping

lining the street along Clubview, heralding

the new zoo’s arrival.

"Still haunted by our Ghost George"

After two decades of starts and stops,

location changes and seemingly endless

delays, Big Bear Alpine Zoo has proven

worth the wait. Nearly 100 animals were

moved from the old location across from

Bear Mountain to a state-of-the-art facility

in lower Moonridge.

The zoo’s program birds which are

brought out for educational presentations

were moved in late January. Including great

horned owl Cowboy, made famous on the

Big Bear float in the Rose Parade two years

ago. Other raptors like Hootie, Rem,

Yuhaviat, and Alice Cooper are all settling

nicely into their new homes.

There’s a lot to like at the new zoo, as

animals enjoy more room and guests are

closer than ever for viewing. A pathway

circles the 5.6 developed acre facility that’s

more than double

the previous size.

A n i m a l

enclosures are

typically on the

inside of the loop,

with black bears

the first residents

guests encounter

after arriving,

Talk about

close-up viewing!

The bears like to

doze in the sun

next to the

enclosure’s glass

wall, putting them

Fine Dining in a Rustic Stone & Log Retreatt

Fine Steaks • Seafood • Prime Rib • Lobster

Welcome Back!

Enjoy Great Food

in a Historic Setting

Outdoor Dining

Under our Pine Trees!

just millimeters away from viewers awed

by inches-long claws and massive feet.

“The bears love the glass panel,” said

Bill Hoffman, Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s new

curator who took over about the same time

as the move. “They’ll sleep right up against

it. You cannot get closer to a bear than this.”

The bears even have their own private

rock-lined seasonal swimming pool,

drained for winter but the bruins has a blast

with before it closed. Even three-legged

Hucklebeary, missing his right front limb,

got in on the fun after the entry slope was

modified to accommodate him. Other black

bears Zuni and Holly also got to splash.

At the other end of the park, the wellpublicized

grizzly bears enjoy their own

pools and even seasonal stream. Now

they’re practically polar bears after last

month’s snow! Mama Tutu and offspring

Ayla and Harley, who arrived in Big Bear

two decades ago after raiding one

campground too many in Yellowstone,

were the first animals moved.

Now their larger enclosure sees them

lounging in a mulch-filled dig pit that they

love to roll around in, along with culverts

and posts. Big Bear Alpine Zoo is still one

of only two parks in California where the

state’s symbol, the grizzly, can be seen.

Moving one-eyed Himalayan snow

leopard sisters Asha and Shanti was

another challenge. Before the move exams

under sedation showed both cats have

suffered significant deterioration in their

remaining eyes so while they had

memorized every inch of their old home,

no one knew how they’d fare in a new one.

Big Bear Today

Grizzly bears are at home in snow at the new zoo, now open again

For a few days after they were

relocated the snow leopards barely stuck

their heads outside. Fears were that they

wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the

special 15-foot structure build just for

them. After a couple weeks they were

spotted on top of it and have since been

exploring their surroundings.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo’s five resident

gray wolves also have room to roam with

double enclosure that allows them to trot

back and forth Before the move the wolves

had formed distinct packs but the move to

a new home has meant they can all be kept

together again.

“Moving to a new zoo is a unique

opportunity to put together animals you

couldn’t before,” Hoffman said.

Two mountain lions who have lived

at the zoo since they were kittens are now

becoming senior citizens with a touch of

arthritis. So their new home features ramps

they can climb and a sleeping area in back.

Raccoons, bobcats, fallow and mule

deer, bald and golden eagles and many

more have adapted to their new digs.

Snowy owl exhibit is another favorite.

Reptile room and nocturnal animal

buildings are still to open.

For popular animal presentations by

staff there’s a new stage and benches.

Brand new picnic area and kid’s

playground with equipment donated by the

Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo are

other amenities, even a climbing wall.

To continue its behind-the-scenes

work—vast majority of animals that arrive

Continued on page 10

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Endanged Himalayan snow leopards Asha and Shanti enjoy the snow too


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 7

Social distance in forest on snowshoes

The path we’re following is welltracked,

but on either side of us and extending

deep into the forest there’s virgin

powder—lots of it. After the holiday storm,

it’s deep, burying tree branches and obscuring

shrubs.

The surface layer of the powder has a

microscopic crust to it after exposure to

sun and warmer temperatures. My ski poles

pop through that crust effortlessly, releasing

entombed fluffy pow-pow like air escapes

from a balloon.

We’re not skiing this beautiful powder—untracked

at the resorts ends hours

(minutes?) after the dump ends. Rather,

we’re getting our fix of freshies on snowshoes,

arguably the fastest-growing way to

play in the forest during winter. It’s the only

way to find untracked snow days, even

weeks, after snowstorms, and a great way

to enjoy winter play if you’re worried

about the virus and concerned about resort

crowds. Out in Big Bear backcountry,

you’re guaranteed to social distance.

Snowshoeing is also about the cheapest

way to get out and play during winter.

There’s no lift ticket to buy, and Atlas

snowshoes cost just $20 to rent for the day

at Goldsmith’s Boardhouse. Other than

Resort Uniform Days

Snow Summit and Bear Mountain

continue to show gratitude to all military,

emergency and medical personnel

by offering discount lift tickets during

popular Uniform Day promotions.

Police, fire, EMT and active military

need only flash their badges or

proper ID at Snow Summit or Bear

Mountain windows to purchase an allday

lift ticket for $50 plus 2% TBID

charge during remaining Uniform Days

on February 3-4 and March 3-4.

Remember these are two-mountain

passes for the discounted price of one

and there’s a free shuttle running between

the resorts every half hour.

that, you probably have the rest of the

equipment already, like Sorels or good hiking

boots for footwear, ski poles, jeans or

snow pants, and day pack with water bottle.

Besides being cheap, snowshoes take

folks into Big Bear backcountry that can’t

be viewed by car or even from a resort

chairlift. Summer hiking trails make great

snowshoe destinations when snow is abundant.

Bring a picnic—maybe a little wine,

sandwiches, whatever fits in your pack—

and see a side of Big Bear that you didn’t

know existed.

The new Maple Hill Trails Complex

immediately north of the high school for

instance is open to snowshoers, about 200

acres of low level trails with only modest

elevation gain. Sawmill Pebble Plain is another

winner just a mile or so to the west

in Big Bear City. There’s acre upon acre

of pristine white stuff after the recent

storms to enjoy.

Heck, almost any hiking trail on the

South Shore works if there’s been recent

snow, as long as the slopes are north-facing,

be it Pine Knot with solid elevation

gain where snow players hang out, areas

along Hatchery Rd. off Hwy. 38, many

more.

Finding white stuff when snow hasn’t

fallen for awhile is more of a challenge.

Bow and Deer Canyons near Bear Mountain,

for instance, can harbor goods long

after the storm rolls through. The Millcreek

area near Cabin 89 trail off Hwy. 2N10 is

another popular spot, where the trek is usually

well-packed but you’re unlikely to see

another soul.

It’s not unusual to spot wildlife off the

beaten path either. Coyotes, birds including

hawks, occasional deer, even bobcats

are often viewed, along with endless expanses

of powder-filled bowls and distant

views of Big Bear Lake.

For years Big Bear Discovery Center

has led guided snowshoes but with current

conditions those outings are on hold. Ac-

The recent snow means best conditions

in years for snowshoeing

tion Snowshoe Tours lead guided

snowshoe treks on its wooded property

high above Onyx Summit.

Three-hour outings start with an offroad

adventure to the snow and are

customized for each group so guests

can go easy, hard or any combination.

Head out among the Jeffrey and

Ponderosa pine trees with

snowcapped peaks all around. Snowshoes

and poles are provided plus

training with experienced guide. Tours are

for ages 10 and up and priced at $99 per

person with military and veteran discounts

available. Call (909) 866-0390.

Goldsmiths Boardhouse (42071 Big

Bear Blvd) has snowshoe rentals and information

on current trail conditions. Call

(909) 866-2728.

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Weekends Slightly Higher

Subject to change without notice.

(800) 255-4378

local (909) 866-2166

41121 Big Bear Blvd. • Big Bear Lake, CA

www.BlackForestLodge.com


Page 8—February 2021

Craft beer, artisan food the `bomb’

At a place renowned for brewing its

own craft beers and serving halfpound

burgers and artisan food,

the signature item is the bomb. Avocado

bomb, that is.

Big Bear Lake Brewing Company’s

famed avocado bomb appetizer is so tasty,

it practically trades as currency. Donations

of unwrapped toys or also diapers were

worth free avocado bombs during the

restaurant’s recent holiday drive. When the

brewery reopened after the initial shutdown

avocado bombs were the big seller,

flying out at record pace.

People yelp about avocado bombs and

rave in reviews, noting how unique they

are. Turning an avocado into an amazing

appetizer is a BBLBC original and since

being introduced a few years ago word has

quickly spread far and wide.

The avocado is halved and honey ale

battered to perfection, Then stuffed with

spicy ahi, crab shrimp cake and drizzled

with chipotle sauce, finally topped with

wonton crisps with a zip of their own and

a side of ponzon. Combined the result is

an explosion of flavors, spicy zip soothed

by cool avocado. The two halves make a

worthy appetizer for two to share though

social media is riddled with posts of those

who wanted the bomb all to themselves.

The 15 barrel JV Northwest steam

jacketed brewing system has been busy

trying to keep up with demand for its distinctive

ales, IPAs, hefeweizen and porter.

Everything is done on premises, as

grain is milled and then sent to huge vats

where it is boiled, cooled and turned into

beer during a process that takes anywhere

from 14 to 30 days depending on the brew.

This is such a craft operation, beers are

even canned individually on site.

Bearly Legal honey blonde is as much

a brewery signature item as the avocado

bomb. A clean, crisp ale it’s so smooth it

drinks like a lager, partly at least due to

the addition of orange blossom honey.

Sidewinder red ale is another longtime favorite,

bold and flavorful. For something

heavier there’s medium-bodied Whisper

Pine IPA. High Altitude Hefeweizen is another

favorite.

Batch #200 of the popular Ode to

Winslow chocolate porter was set to be

ready for the taps as this month arrives.

Full of body and flavor and without any

bite, the brew is made with two row pale

malt, crystal and chocolate malts. It has just

the faintest hint of chocolate joining the

medium body favorite. Beers are available

by the glass or take home 16 oz. four-pack

cans and growlers.

Not into craft beer? The brewery has

a nice selection of domestics and mass-produced

product on tap as well. BBLBC offers

a nice selection of specialty cocktails,

from pomegranate and strawberry lavender

martinis to the Moscow mule and an

array of margaritas. The full bar features

an excellent selection of spirits from

around the world plus nice wine offerings.

Avocado bomb is reflective of other

Full Hot & Cold Deli

Groceries • Firewood & Propane • Spirits • Lotto

Try Our Famous

Rotisserie Chicken

& Kabobs!

Award

Winners:

1st

Liquor

2nd

Groceries

(above) Where the magic

happens at Big Bear Lake

Brewing Co., as craft beers

are brewed and even canned

on premises

food offerings at BBLBC,

which sports a mostly American

pub-style menu, done with

an artisan flair. Burgers are a

notch above, a full half-pound

of the brewery’s signature

blend beef and are craft efforts

themselves. Like the

Widowmaker, aptly-named

topped with fried egg, bacon,

Tilamock cheddar and Sriracha aioli for

good measure, truly something to die for.

Aside from burgers there’s a variety

of sandwiches like seared ahi tuna, sesame

seed encrusted with miso glaze and wasabi

cream. The spicy chicken is delicious, fried

bird topped with coleslaw, pickles and

chipotle jalapeno mayo. Tongue-tickler to

be sure and very tasty!

Another unique item is the country

fried chicken and biscuit sandwich, served

open faced and smothered with country

gravy and a driz of maple syrup. The BLTA

is a winner along with the reuben and new

kielbasa sandwich with sauerkraut.

Big Bear Today

At the brewery fries aren’t just topped

with chili but with carne asada, complete

with fixings like pico de gallo. A variety

of flatbreads including specialties like

roasted jalapeno and pineapple are other

highlights along with pastas, half a dozen

signature salads and more. Including entrees,

ranging from herb encrusted Atlantic

salmon to rib eye steak.

Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. is at

40827 Stone Rd. Call (909) 878-0283.

Click Us Up!

bigbeartodaymag.com

We cut the highest

Quality Meats

Daily

2017

Chamber of

Commerce

Excellence

in Business!

Fully-Cooked Delicious Heat & Serve Meals Like Tri-Tip,

Smoked Pork Loin, Enchiladas & More! • Fresh Produce Too!

(909) 585-2641 • Open 7 Days

Community Market

100 E. Big Bear Blvd. (at Greenway) • Big Bear City

1 mile east of The Convention Center

Underneath all those wonton crisps and chipotle sauce is the famed avocado bomb


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 9

Long runs, glow tubing at BBSP

he new snack bar is closed but at

least the huge wraparound deck can

finally be used. It’s a start as Big TBear Snow Play is one step closer to showing

off the base lodge renovation it undertook

in 2019 but hasn’t been able to open.

The lodge more than doubled in size—

a project that literally required the roof to

be raised!—and is now two stories featuring

a 6,700 sq. ft. observation deck serving

up amazing views of snow play action.

Radiant heat helps melt snow and ice from

the deck which wraps around the entire

building with seating. Very useful during

late January’s heavy snow storms. Indoors

the new snack bar will offer 3,000 sq. ft. of

seating with goodies like burgers and pizza

added to the family priced menu when the

facility can finally open.

All of which enhances an already

worldclass snow play experience. At one

time the old Rebel Ridge ski area, Big Bear

Snow Play sports by far the longest inner

tubing runs in the region. With January’s

big dumps snow conditions at the longtime

family favorite tubing area are prime.

With several ski area-quality fan snow

guns lining the slopes, Big Bear Snow Play

ensures winter by making snow at every

opportunity. Nightly grooming means tu-

Glow Tubing night sessions are in a whole new light

bers enjoy perfect surface conditions each

morning with corduroy snow. Snow depths

are already 20 feet or more in spots! Daily

tubing sessions are from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Getting to the top of all the snow

would be a real chore if not for two Magic

Carpet uphill lifts. Just step on and step

off! No uphill climb to tucker parents and

kids out so they save energy for downhill

fun and get all the runs they can handle.

For a special treat try after dark Glow

Tubing sessions at Big Bear Snow Play, 5-

9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holiday periods

including Valentine’s night on Feb.

14. The slopes already looked like a Christmas

tree for night tubing when 11 RGB

strobes that change sequences from color

to color and 1,500 LED lights were installed

and then even more lighting was

put in two years. The slopes are a kaleidoscope

of colors with all the shades of the

rainbow reflecting off snow.

Enhancing the experience even more

are colored inner tubes instead of traditional

black tires. Red, white and blue camo

tubes—the area went to colorful inner

tubes instead of the traditional black tirelook

several years ago—really light up after

dark, especially when the black light

comes around. Even the Magic Carpet lift,

enclosed

for guest

comfort, is

lit up.

All inner

tubing

sessions at

Big Bear

Snow Play

are $35

which includes

tube

rental and

Magic Carpet

lift

ticket.

Badge

Enough Pause. Fast Forward to fun with Big Bear Today!

Time to Push Play!

Packed with all the ways to get out and just have FUN,

from the lake to the trails.

Keep your distance, and your sanity, with Big Bear Today!

And when you can't

PICK US UP,

then CLICK US UP

for online adventure!

The Mountain’s Monthly Lifestyle Magazine

www.BigBearTodayMag.com

Great selfies and videos at Big Bear Snow Play where there’s tons of white stuff!

Days honor military, fire, police, EMT and

emergency personnel with 2-for-1 lift tickets

Mondays through Thursdays,

nonholiday.

The 6,400 sq. ft. Big Bear Ropes

Course adjacent to the lodge is open yearround,

weather permitting with 37 challenging

elements including suspension

bridges, ropes, spinning log, curved bars

and more. The state-of-the-art ropes

course, only one in Big Bear, is two stories

high with an engaging mix of obstacles

and challenges that bring out your inner

Ninja warrior.

Unlike Ninjas, guests are wearing

five-point, full-body safety harnesses that

are tethered into the structure, so there’s

zero chance of falling as they navigate obstacles

like spinning log or a variety of rope

Year-Round

Christmas Room!

Our rooms are

filled with gifts

and treasures

from nearly

20 artists!

Come Up the Historic Staircase of the 1920's Navajo Hotel

• Bear-ly Used

Books

• Jerky

• Pottery

• Aprons

• Sports

Memorabilia

• Everything

Bears & More

challenges. The advanced safety system

is unique. A slider “puck” attached to the

safety harness that can only be inserted or

removed by a certified operator is locked

into a continuous belay track system that

follows participants through every station.

There’s curved bars that adventurers

must wind their way around and swinging

steps. Along with a variety of suspension

bridges, some with wide-open gaps and

others dangling ropes to grasp onto. Even

an 80-foot descent on the Sky Rail zipline

with automatic braking.

Twenty-minute sessions are $12 and

guests. All users must be at least 42” tall

and under 48” must be accompanied by an

adult. Maximum weight 300 lbs.

Big Bear Snow Play/ Ropes Course is

at 42825 Big Bear Blvd. (909) 585-0075.

Open 7 Days

a week

Big Bear's from 9:30 a.m.

Shopping Experience

There is not “Anything” we do not have!

Village Faire

40794 Village Dr.

(909) 866-8220

Above the Leather Depot in Big Bear Village


Page 10—February 2021

Winter hiking a Breeze with Vasque boot

Snowshoeing, winter hikes, even just

running errands in winter demand the right

seasonal footwear.

While summer hiking shoes and boots

can work during winter they’re hardly

ideal, especially when it’s really cold out.

Sure water-resistant summer footwear will

keep your feet dry when it’s deep, but will

those boots keep you warm?

Vasque’s new Breeze WT GTX will.

These new winter specific hiking boots

sport 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation

to make sure tootsies stay toasty. As you’d

expect there’s GORE-TEX extended comfort

waterproof membrane to make sure

feet stay not just warm but dry.

Plus Vasque’s exclusive Vibram Contact

Grip outsole with Megagrip compound.

and Nubuck leather upper with Ripstop

mesh for breathability makes them

comfortable. All designed to take adventures

deep into the depths of winter, either

snowy hikes or snowshoe treks.

And yet the most premium winter boot

from Vasque, a longtime heavyweight in

the adventure footwear industry known for

innovative purpose-built boots, packs all

this into a mere 2 lbs. 14 oz. for men’s 10,

less for women’s sizes. Surprisingly light

for boots in this category, showing winter

exploration doesn’t have to mean packing

a lot of extra weight on your feet.

All-Terrain compound midsole with

EVA cushioning pods make the Breeze surprisingly

comfortable for such a stout boot.

As do dual density EVA footbeds, surprising

quality for stock out-of-the-box. The

TPU shank provides stability in rugged

conditions while Megagrip technology offers

good traction even on rocky or loose

dirt or while bouldering.

Snow was what was on my mind when

I took a pair of Breezes out after last

month’s volumous storms left feet of white

stuff around Big Bear.

The aggressive tread is impressive,

like four-wheel drive traction for your feet.

Each step is confident with good traction,

Free forest access for vets, Gold Star families

Veterans get more than just a day of

appreciation from the Forest Service for

their service and sacrifice.

Beginning Veteran’s Day 2020 and

continuing indefinitely, men and women

who have served their country enjoy free

access to their national forests and grasslands.

Gold Star Families who have endured

the ultimate sacrifice also receive

fee-free, unlimited access to public land

and waters.

Trailheads, picnic grounds, visitor

centers and most other day-use recreation

sites are free including local Adventure

Pass locations. The Forest Service manages

18 National Forests in the Pacific

Southwest Region, encompasseing over

20 million acres across California. National

forests supply 50 percent of the water

in California and form the watershed

of most major aqueducts and more than

2,400 reservoirs throughout the state.

To access the benefit, veterans need

just present any of several government issued

documents verifying veteran status.

Gold Star families can download and print

a voucher to show a ranger or place on

the vehicle dashboard at unstaffed sites.

“This country is deeply indebted to

the dedicated men and women who have

served in the military, and to the families

of those who made the ultimate sacrifice

in defense of our nation,” said Forest Service

Chief Vicki Christiansen. “We are

pleased to offer this free access opportunity

as a way to honor them and to encourage

them to explore our Nation’s big

backyard.”

For more information, visit the Forest

Service at www.fs.usda.gov/R5.

even on slicker surfaces including ice that

I found. Stable thanks to the rigid shank,

the boot exudes confidence.

And warmth! Treks in 20° temperatures

and snow couldn’t chill my toes,

something I can’t say about my ski boots.

Toes were toasty and fluff stayed out of

my boots even when I stepped into aboveankle

deep. And the Breeze is comfortable

enough that I left the boots on for hours

after adventure was done for break-in.

A nitpick would be that the laces could

be a tad longer for those of us who like to

double-tie at multi-lace points. Some have

complained that the Breeze runs narrow,

not a problem for me. Otherwise these

Vasque beauties have vast potential for

whatever winter you care to throw at it.

Vasque has other winter hiking footwear

besides the Breeze, which comes in

men’s and women’s designs and priced at

$199. The Coldspark Ultradry for instance

is another high-performance design that’s

waterproof with aggressive traction, priced

at $139.

In addition there’s gender-specific

Ultradry models from Vasque, the Suburban

II for men and Laplander for women.

Big Bear Today

Stout and sturdy but also super comfortable:

the new Breeze WT GTX is

perfect for snowshoes and winter hikes

but also just wearing around town

Each is priced at $159 and waterproof, insulated

and meant to move in winter.

—by Marcus Dietz

Zoo open again...

Continued from page 6

are returned to the wild during rescue and

rehabilitation efforts—the new zoo has

expanded medical and rehab facilities plus

food preparation room. In all the property

sits on about 10 acres with the eastern end

left as empty space for flood mitigation.

Guests find a new parking lot on the

property’s east side next to Rathbun Creek

as well. There’s a path and bridge leading

to the new welcome center.

The zoo’s price tag, once expected to

be around $8 million, soared to over $18

million after several years of delays. Plans

were drawn by renowned firm PGAV

Designers, same company that created the

famous Georgia Aquarium.

The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m.-4

p.m. Admission is $15, $10 ages 3-10/60

and over, under three free.

The zoo is at 747 Clubview Dr. at

Moonridge Rd. Call (909) 584-1299.

18


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 11

Nativescapes, Care for BB tackle trash

Please take your broken pieces of

snow toys home after a day of winter play

in the mountains. A new initiative is tackling

the unsightly mess left behind by those

who don’t.

Care For Big Bear is a new program

that aims to keep the Valley litter-free. Last

month the group partnered with local landscape

designer and arborist Nativescapes

for trash removal sweeps aimed at removing

the countless pieces of broken sleds and

other bits of plastic discarded in the forest

each winter.

Marty Murie of Nativescapes and his

crews are performing daily trash sweeps

Give the forest a helping hand by getting

your hands dirty as part of a longrunning

native plant restoration volunteer

program returning next month.

Greenthumbs volunteer days return

March 20 as helpers plant and seed native

trees, shrubs and wildflowers across

many new sites while maintaining existing

projects. Volunteers learn to identify,

collect and propagate native plants in the

Forest Service’s newly renovated nursery

facilities. These efforts improve habitat

for wildlife, plants, Monarch butterfly

and other pollinators.

Big Bear Ranger Station itself has

two greenhouses, a lathe house, and seed

storage shed, and volunteers use these facilities

to grow and outplant thousands

in the City of Big Bear Lake and around

Municipal Water District and Forest Service

recreation areas through April 1. The

initial outing on January 8 was around the

dam and Castle Rock to Stanfield Cutoff.

Funding for the campaign is provided

by Visit Big Bear, the local destination

marketing nonprofit, that is taking an active

role in addressing tourism’s impact

posed by visitor traffic to the Valley. For

more information on Care For Big Bear,

visit CareForBigBear.com and be sure to

follow the initiative on Facebook and

Instagram.

The City has been focused on cleanup

Dirty hands give forest a helping hand

of native plants from seed they collect, to

give the forest a hand in its regenerative

efforts. Hundreds of acres of habitat have

been enhanced in the process for wildlife,

federally listed plants and animals,

and other degraded lands in the program

since its inception in 1998.

Covid-compliant workdays last from

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring a mask plus lunch,

water, sun protection and sturdy shoes.

Gloves, tools, restrooms and hand sanitizer

will be provided.

Subsequent 2021 Greenthumbs days

are set for April 17, May 15, June 12, July

10 and 24, August 21, September 25 (National

Public Lands Day) and October 23.

Call (909) 382-2809 to pre-register or

email megan.clement@usda.gov.

Just another day at the office in the forest for trash removal teams

as well, placing many dumpsters in high

visitation areas. Dumpsters can be found

at popular recreation areas like Pine Knot,

Cougar Crest and Woodland Trails plus at

the Civic Center, City parking lots, East

Boat Launch and Stanfield Cutoff. The Forest

Service has put dumpsters out as well,

adding trash receptacles at popular play

areas along Hwy. 38 and other locations

on the mountain roads.

Between the pandemic and now with

the recent snowstorms there’s been plenty

of guests to clean up after. More than 80

portable toilets have been placed in the City

and along the north shore including boulevard

businesses.

The City has deployed staff to address

trash concerns. In addition, Sheriff staff has

been doubled on weekends for parking and

trespassing violations in high visitation

areas like the eagle area across from

Stanfield Marsh.

Trash left behind on the highways attracts

wildlife leading to increased road

kills. Animals scatter the trash and can ingest

harmful foods and items. And plastic

sleds don’t decompose for ions so they

trash the forest long after your visit. So

please, don’t leave broken sleds and trash

behind!

909.878.4FUN

at North Shore Landing

& Holloway’s Marina

• Waverunners • Jet Skis

• Sea Doos! • Kayaks, SUP

• Wakeboard/Water Ski Rides

• Poontoon Boats

and Fishing Boats!

Pirate Ship Lake Tours Aboard ‘Time Bandit’

Narrated lake tours aboard

1/3 replica of a Spanish galleon

seen in the movie ‘Time Bandits’

• Pirate Booty for the Kids

• Cocktails for Adults • Sunset Tours

www.HollowaysMarina.com or www.BigBearBoating.com

COZY CHALETS WITH FIREPLACES & GREAT VIEWS...

LOCATED AT SNOW SUMMIT'S BASE AREA...

JUST STEPS TO THE SKI LIFTS!

Also Available

Lakeside RV Park

with

Full Hookups!

Remodeled Bathrooms and Store

www.800BigBear.com


Page 12—February 2021

Sled, snow, coaster at Alpine Slide

Choose from two unique

rides,longtime favorite Alpine

Slide and new Mineshaft Coaster,

neither found elsewhere in California, both

letting riders control their own speed.

Really it’s three interactive rides

counting family inner tubing on Alpine

Slide’s snow play hill; how you slide, when

you slide, with whom you slide all

determine how fast tubers go. Toss in the

Putt `N Around go-kart track and there’s

four attractions at Alpine Slide that allow

families to go as fast or slow as they want.

Mineshaft Coaster at Alpine Slide, a

mile-long stainless steel track on which

riders negotiate turns and drops aboard

karts they control, opened last summer, first

ride of its kind in the state. Two up tracks

on a motorized bullwheel pulley system

provide the uphill lift, including a long one

out of a cool new start house at the bottom.

The real fun is on two downhill tracks,

Soaring

Eagle

as carts hit speeds up to 27 mph across

three 200-foot bridges, into two 100-foot

tunnels, through S-turns, over a few

whoop-di-doos, and around three 360°

corkscrew turns. The whole ride is elevated

above the ground, at times two dozen feet

up and at a minimum four feet, really

giving riders a sense of speed as

surroundings blur by.

It’s a roughly nine minute ride—faster

drivers can get closer to seven minutes—

that elicits amusement park-style screams

from many riders, only this is no park ride

where there’s no guest interaction. On

Mineshaft Coaster guests go faster or

slower by applying brake. Rider in back

controls the cart’s braking mechanism and

is required to keep at least 80 feet from the

sled in front.

Mineshaft Coaster features “Smart

Cart” technology with a computer

controlled, fail-safe magnetic braking

system that gently applies brakes if a cart

approaches too close to another. Plus each

ride is equipped with speed governor and

centrifugal brake to control top speed.

Each cart has specially designed,

lockable seat belts and shoulder restraints

to assure rider comfort at all times. Plus

carts have energy absorbing front and rear

buffers. Mineshaft Coaster is open daily

year-round and tickets are $20 per person,

children $10.

Alpine Slide bobsleds, only track west

of Utah, offer more self-controlled fun in

an experience that gives rides a small taste

You’re in control on the new Mineshaft Coaster at Alpine Slide

of Olympic bobsledding. Lean into banked

turns with the sled almost perpendicular

to the ground and whip out into a tuck

through straightaways to and experience

some of the same gravitational forces

found In Olympic sled events.

Apply brake to go as slow as you want

or let the sled’s teflon runners and ballbearing

wheels roll freely down the two

side-by-side quarter-mile cement tracks.

Banked turns, long straightaways and more

await riders and every time down is

different. Bobsled rides cost $7 each, $30

for five-ride book.

Alpine Slide’s Snow Play Area is

going off after the January storms. There

was tons of snow before the weather

arrived, thank’s to the area’s ski resort

quality Lenko snowguns lining the slopes,

and now it’s piled two stories high. It’s

daunting to see all the white stuff piled up!

There will be inner tubing at Alpine Slide

through Easter at least.

The enclosed 210-foot long Magic

Carpet uphill lift has been busy, taking

guests and their tubes to the top of all the

snow—just step on and step off. Nightly

grooming like at the ski resorts ensures

smooth tubing on perfect corduroy snow.

Night Tubing under the stars was

introduced at Alpine Slide years ago and

has become wildly popular. Guests love

sliding on snow that gets another fresh

groom after the day session. There’s new

glow lighting and the snow gets faster and

Big Bear Today

faster as the evening progresses.

Tube daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with

evening sessions Fridays, Saturdays and

holiday periods including February 14, a

great chance to take your sweetie tubing

on Valentine’s Day. Lift passes for all

sessions are $35 and include inner tube

rental.

Soaring Eagle is a zipline-like

experience with a couple notable

differences. Riders sit instead of lie down

and ride up to the top tower backwards.

Plus guests don’t have to apply any brake

or use any skill set, since it’s an amusement

park ride rather than zipline, so they’re just

along for the ride.

What a ride it is! Between the two

towers riders soar 500 feet—close to two

football fields!—and reach speeds up to

26 mph, with a vertical drop of about 125

feet. It’s the first ride of its kind in

California with the nearest other one atop

the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. There’s no

bulky shoulder harness to wear so guests

feel, well, as free as birds while they fly.

Double seat belts secure up to two

riders and they shoot to the top tower

facing the ground, almost as fast as when

they’re coming down, an experience that’s

as exhilarating as the descent. Soaring

Eagle costs $12 per rider.

Bundle Soaring Eagle flight, go-karts

and miniature golf for $22, a steal of a deal.

Alpine Slide is at 800 Wildrose Ln.

Call (909) 866-4626.

Even non-Olympians enjoy bobsled-like rides at Alpine Slide


Big Bear Today

HOMESTYLE

QUALITY...

Steaks

East

Seafood

Valley's

Pasta

Only

Chicken

Bakery!

Voted Big Bear's

Best Breakfast!

DAILY Breakfast Special!

Every Saturday Night

All-You-Can-Eat

Beef Ribs!

NIGHTLY DINNER SPECIALS

WED—PRIME RIB

THURS—CLOSED

FRIDAY—HOMEMADE CHICKEN POT PIES

OR SURF & TURF

SAT—ALL-U-CAN-EAT BEEF RIBS

CHICKEN POT PIES IF AVAILABLE

SUN-HOLIDAYS—PRIME RIB

FRESH CATCH OF THE DAY FRI/SAT

After lunch or dinner...

treat yourself from our

Bakery!

Caramel-topped apple

dumplings...cheesecakes...

apple streudel...fresh-baked pies

of the season!

Also Available to Go!

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Dine Next to Our 2 Cozy

Fireplaces or Under Trees on

Our Outdoor Patio!

337 W. Big Bear Blvd.

(2 miles east of the Convention

Center in Big Bear City)

(909) 585-7005

...FAMILY

PRICES!

To To Los Angeles

and Orange County

Captain John’s

S

Marina

CAPT. JOHN’S GROUT BAY

West Boat Ramp

MARINA WINDY POINT

W E

North Shore

Landing

Castle Rock

Trail

Fly on Soaring

Eagle at Alpine

Slide, open daily

Holcomb

Valley

BOULDER

BAY

1989 25 YEARS 2014

The Mountain’s Monthly Lifestyle Magazine

All Phone Numbers are area code

(909) unless otherwise noted

February

3-4

Uniform Days at Snow Summit

and Bear Mountain; $50 lift tickets

for badge-carrying personnel.

866-5766.

6-7

U10-14 South Series slalom

race at Snow Summit, free spectating.

866-5766

March

3-4

Uniform Days at Snow Summit

and Bear Mountain; $50 lift tickets

for badge-carrying personnel.

866-5766.

7

17th Annual Bear Mountain

Scout Day for boys and girls

with discounted lift tickets, rentals

and lessons for registered

scouts. 866-5766.

13

USARC Ski-A-Thon at Bear

Mountain; $150 donation ($500

teams of four) for lift ticket, line

GILNER POINT

METCALF

Holloway

BAY Marina

Big Bear and Vicinity

Pleasure

Point

Performing Arts

Center (PAC)

Polique Canyon

Trail

Solar Observatory

BIG BEAR LAKE

Mill Creek

Mill Creek

Alpine Slide

at Magic Mtn.

Pine Knot

Trail

Cougar Crest

Trail

Woodland

Trail

Discovery Center

Serranno

Campground

East Boat

Ramp

EAGLE POINT

Swim

Beach

Big Bear

Pine Knot

Marina

Marina

Meadow Park

Town Trail

cutting, lunch, apres ski party

and goodie bag. 584-0269.

13

Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Party at

Wyatt’s at the Convention Center

with live band. 585-3000.

20

Greenthumbs Native Plant Restoration

Program returns with

volunteers working with virus

protocols from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.;

meet at the Ranger Station.

382-2809

Ȧpril

17

Greenthumbs Native Plant Restoration

Program returns with

volunteers working with virus

protocols from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.;

meet at the Ranger Station.

382-2809.

30-May 2

Make A Wish Trailblaze Challenge

sees 28 miles of hiking on

Pacific Crest Trail to benefit

children with critical illnesses.

Youth ski racing at

Snow Summit!

Walk

Board

February 2021—Page 13

Big Bear City

Moonridge

For updated calendar of events visit us on the Internet!

www.bigbeartodaymag.com

CC

Club View Drive

Big Bear Mountain

(310) 788-9474.

May

15

Greenthumbs Native Plant Restoration

Program returns with

volunteers working with virus

protocols from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.;

meet at the Ranger Station.

382-2809.

29-30

3rd Annual Maifest at Wyatt’s

with German contests, beer,

food, music by The Express.

585-3000.

June

5-6

Team Big Bear Mountain Bike

Shootout #1 mountain bike racing

at Snow Summit. 633-

6729.

Live music weekends at Wyatt’s

Click Us Up!

bigbeartodaymag.com

To Victorville, Barstow

& Las Vegas

Museum

Big Bear

Alpine Zoo

To Angelus Oaks

and Redlands

E

V

E

N

T

C

A

L

E

N

D

A

R


Page 14—February 2021

Recreation

Guide

Action Tours

Zip through the trees on nine ziplines.

Segway along Village streets, discovering

Big Bear history at the same time on a most

unique tour and ride. Learn tree rope climbing

skills like rappelling from certified

instructors or seasonally snowshoe through

the forest. (909) 866-0390.

Alpine Slide

Shoot down a tobogan-style ride at Magic

Mountain, as a hand lever allows you to

control the speed. After an exhilerating

run, ride the chairlift back to the top for

more fun. $7/ride, 5-ride books $30. Also

new Mineshaft Coaster ride plus snowplay

area with Magic Carpet uphill lift, miniature

golf, go-karts, Soaring Eagle, familypriced

snack bar, video games. Open daily.

Big Bear Blvd., 1/4 mile west of the Village.

(909) 866-4626.

Bike Rentals

Bear Valley Bikes across from Alpine

Slide has a variety of bike rentals. Front

suspension $10/hour, $30/4 hours, $40/all

day. Full suspension $20/hour, $50/4 hours,

$70/all day. Full suspension demo $25/

hour, $60/4 hours, $85/all day. 40298 Big

Bear Blvd. Call (909) 866-8000.

Goldsmiths Pedego Electric Bike Shop

has a variety of electric bike rentals, 42071

Big Bear Blvd. (909) 866-2728.

THE ALMANAC

Bingo

The Elks Lodge hosts stirring Bingo games

each Friday night at 7 p.m. All are welcome

ages 18 and over. 40611 Big Bear Blvd.

west of the Village, across from Lakeview.

(909) 866-3557. Temporarily closed,

please call

Bowling

The Bowling Barn offers new lanes with

automated scoring for bowling enjoyment.

Also new outdoor ice skating rink, arcade

games and full-service cocktail lounge with

pool. Glow Bowling after dark with black

lights, sounds. Open daily. 40625 Big

Bear Blvd. (enter on Bonanza).(909) 878-

BOWL.

Cross Country Skiing

All the great hiking trails in Big Bear make

great destinations for winter cross country

skiing, provided there’s enough snow.

Holcomb Valley is especially popular with

skinny plankers.

Goldsmith’s Boardhouse has waxless,

steel edge all-mountain wide touring skis,

boots and poles for small child to large

adult, $15/day. Also telemark skis, $22/

ski-boot-pole. 42071 Big Bear Blvd. (909)

866-2728.

Fishing

Catch some fun with Big Bear Charter

Fishing on a 22' fully loaded, super comfortable

boat with afriendly, expert guide

Aaron Armstrong. Open or private charters

for individuals or groups of all ages.

All gear provided—rods, reels, bait, lures,

Big Bear Today

Recreation • Dining • Nightlife • And More

Road Conditions: (800) 427-ROAD quickmap.dot.ca.gov

Check out new Stanfield Cutoff Trail, with or without the snow

drinks and snacks. Bass fishing too aboard

a Ranger Comanche. At Holloway’s Marina;

(909) 866-2240.

Gold Rush Mining Adv.

The adventures are real and so are the

treasures! Pan for gemstones and fossils

millions of years old in the working sluice

with water wheel, crack geodes to reveal

prescious stones within, find real pearls in

oysters and unearth dinosaur bones and

poop. Emporium with mining and dinosaur

theme gifts plus old fashioned fudge,

candy, sarsaparilla and more. 50016 Big

Bear Blvd. (909) 866-5678.

Helicopter Tours

See Big Bear from above during aerial

tours by Helicopter Big Bear. The lake, ski

resorts, desert and surrounding mountains

can be viewed aboard a climate-controlled

Robinson R44 helicopter flying daily from

Big Bear Airport. Tours start at $35 per

person based on two passengers. (909)

585-1200.

Hiking

There’s dozens of trails and natural areas to

enjoy the rugged beauty of the San

Bernardino National Forest. From easy

strolls along the lake to stenuous climbs

into the mountains, there are trails for all

abilities, including families, within a short

drive of Big Bear. For information on all

trails in the Valley and the required

Adventure Pass, visit the Discovery Center

on North Shore Dr., about two miles west

of Stanfield Cutoff. (909) 866-3437.

Alpine Pedal Path is a very easy 3.5 mile

(each way) paved trek following the lake

on the north shore. Popular with hikers,

bikers, skaters, strollers and wheelchairs

as it passes Carol Morrison East Boat

Launch, Discovery Center, Serrano

campground, Solar Observatory and more.

Castle Rock Trail is a short but strenuous

hike, that ends with a panoramic view of

Big Bear Lake. Legend has it that a beautiful

Indian maiden, jilted by her lover, took her

life by leaping from this towering 100 ft.

monolith. It’s reached after a mostly uphill,

.8 mile walk past a stream and featuring

beautiful views. Located on Hwy. 18

between Boulder Bay and the dam; park on

Continued on page 15

Enough Pause. Fast Forward to fun with Big Bear Today!

Time to Push Play!

Packed with all the ways to get out and just have FUN,

from the lake to the trails.

Keep your distance, and your sanity, with Big Bear Today!

And when you can't

PICK US UP,

then CLICK US UP

for online adventure!

The Mountain’s Monthly Lifestyle Magazine

www.BigBearTodayMag.com


Big Bear Today February 2021—Page 15

the lake side of the road.

Cougar Crest Trail is moderate two-mile

(each way) hike. As it winds above the

lake’s north shore, it offers up great views

of water and the surrounding mountains.

Trailhead is on North Shore Dr. about two

miles west of Stanfield Cutoff, .6 mile

from the Discovery Center where you can

park without an Adventure Pass.

Woodland Interpretive Trail is a short,

scenic family stroll with minimal elevation

gain, located on the north shore near Cougar

Crest. Free trail maps (available at the

trailhead or Discovery Center) identify

markers along the route noting local

vegetation, wildlife areas, etc.

Pacific Crest Trail comes through Big

Bear from Onyx Summit through the East

Valley to Hwy. 18 and then past Holcomb

Valley Rd. and Cougar Crest through

Holcomb Valley before continuing its 2,638

mile journey from Mexico to Canada. Call

the Discovery Center to find out where to

catch this famous international trail.

Pine Knot Trail from Aspen Glen picnic

area climbs the southern ridge above Alpine

Slide three miles (each way) to Skyline Dr.

2N10, through lush meadow and stands of

white fir and Jeffrey Pine. Continue another

1/4 mile to Grand View Point for spectacular

180-degree vistas.

Holcomb Valley

At one time, Big Bear Valley was thriving

gold country. The last remaining signs of

this historic chapter in Big Bear history are

featured in a driving tour through what is

known as Holcomb Valley. Totaling 11.6

miles over a dirt road, the tour offers stops

at Two Gun Bill’s Saloon, Hangman’s

Tree, Pigmy Cabin, Metzger Mine, and

more. Free maps available at the Big Bear

Discovery Center on the North Shore—

call 866-3437. Allow three hours or more.

Horseback Riding

Baldwin Lake Stable is open year-round

for horseback riding. Rates are by the hour,

offering one, two, three and four-hour rides

with longer rides heading along the famous

Pacific Crest Trail plus sunset rides. A

variety of spectacular mountain trails with

horses for all riding abilities. For little

buckeroos there’s hand-led pony rides and

petting zoo. Reservations suggested for all

rides. Big Bear Blvd. east to stop sign at

Hwy. 38, go through intersection, veer left

on Shay Rd. to 46475 Pioneertown Rd.,

Big Bear City. (909) 585-6482.

Mineshaft Coaster

First ride of its kind in California! Ride

carts you control on a mile-long track with

steep drops and climbs, 360-degree

corkscrew turns, two mining tunnels and

more. Up to two can ride at one time. Open

daily at Alpine Slide, on the boulevard 1/4

mile west of the Village. (909) 866-4626.

Miniature Golf/Go Karts

Putt ‘N Around, located at the Alpine Slide

at Magic Mountain, features a landscaped

18-hole miniature golf course complete

with water hazards and breaking greens.

Then there’s an oval-shaped go-kart track

with high-banked turns, which nine Can

Am racers—including four two-seaters—

with Honda 5.5 horsepowers engines and

an array of safety features zip around.

Open till 9 p.m. daily. 866-4626.

Snow Playing

Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain, which

has snowmaking to ensure snow, offers

great inner tubing daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and

there’s a Magic Carpet to take riders to the

top. Night tubing (5-9 p.m.) Fridays and

Saturdays plus holidays. All sessions $35

which includes tube rental and lift. The

area also has the Southland’s only Alpine

Slide and a great outdoor deck, plus the

Putt ‘N Around go-karts and miniature

golf course. 1/4 mile west of the Village on

Big Bear Blvd. 866-4626.

Big Bear Snow Play has Southen

California’s longest tubing runs. Two

Magic Carpet lifts mean guests never have

After Dark...

Big Bear’s Nightlife & Entertainment Guide

ALLEY OOPS SPORTS BAR—Family Karaoke each Saturday night at 8 p.m. Glow

Bowling at 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun.

Watch the big game on big screen TVs, open to all ages. Happy Hour Monday-

Friday 5:30-7 p.m. with 50¢ off all bar drinks (except draft), $1 hot dogs. Bowl

3 games for the price of 2 with coupon in this issue. Inside the Bowling Barn at

40625 Big Bear Blvd. (909) 878-BOWL. CLOSED FOR COVID-10, PLEASE CALL

BIG BEAR MOUNTAIN BREWERY— Craft microbrew beers, food in a cozy

atmosphere. Wear your gear, 75¢ off your beer. 40260 Big Bear Blvd. 866-BEER.

THE BONE YARD—Over 40 beers on tap plus large selection of wines and spirits.

560 Pine Knot Ave. (909) 878-0401.

NOTTINGHAMS TAVERN— Dayton Borders Thursdays on the patio from 6-8 p.m.

40797 Big Bear Blvd. near Bartlett. 866-4644.

THE CAVE BIG BEAR—Your favorite artists up close and personal! See national

performers, top tribute bands and more in Big Bear’s hot new intimate concert

venue. Good food and full cocktail service including craft beers from Big Bear Lake

Brewing Co. CLOSED FOR COVID-19, PLEASE CALL (909) 878-0204.

THELMA’S RESTAURANT—Brad from Silver Moon on the patio every Friday and

second and fourth Saturday 5-7 p.m. 337 W. Big Bear Blvd. 585-7005.

THE LODGE AT BIG BEAR LAKE—Fridays see singer Nikki Sparks in Stillwells

lounge 6-9 p.m. Brad from Silver Moon, Johnny Jukebox. Call for schedule. 30650

Village Dr. (909) 866-3121.

THE PINES LAKEFRONT/TAVERN—Live music on the outdoor patio Saturdays and

Sundays 1-4 p.m. 350 Alden Rd. (909) 866--5400.

WYATT’S CAFE & SALOON—Open 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays delivery/

takeout only, Fridays, Saturdays with live music. on the outdoor stage. Wyatt’s

at Convention Center, Big Bear Blvd. at Division. (909) 585-3000.

to walk back to the top and snowmaking

lets the area build features to enhance the

experience. Heated base lodge and paved

parking. Next.to Motel 6 on the boulevard

one mile east of the supermarkets.Sessions

daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m. plus Glow Tubing

sessions Fridays, Saturdays, holiday

periods 5-9 p.m. All sessions $35 which

includes tube rental. (909) 585-0075.

Snowshoeing

No lift lines—nor lift tickets to buy—

makes snowshoeing one of the fastestgrowing

winter sports. A great way to

escape the crowds and enjoy the serenity of

Big Bear’s endless hiking trails covered by

winter’s snow. Get maps, directions etc.

from the shop below or Discovery Center.

Soaring Eagle

Zip 500' downhill on the new Soaring

Eagle attraction at Alpine Slide, only one

of its kind in California. Reach speeds up to

26 mph during the dramatic downhill

descent—only after riding backwards to

the top! Up to two can ride at one time.

Open daily. On the boulevard 1/4 mile

west of the Village. (909) 866-4626.

Zoo

The new Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge

opens November 5! Grizzly and black bears,

bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, , eagles,

and other animals now have a new state-ofthe-art

home with creatures comforts for

both animals residents and guests. Open 10

a.m.-4 p.m. with animal presentations and

special programing. 747 Clubview off

Moonridge Rd. $15 adults, $10 ages over

60 and children 3-12, two and under free.

(909) 584-1299. Temporarily closed,

please call

Dining

Guide

Big Bear City

BARNSTORM RESTAURANT—

Comfortable dining at the airport. Open

daily for breakfast and lunch, dinner

Thursday through Sunday with nightly

specials and Saturday night entertainment.

German food a specialty plus steaks,

seafood, chicken, burgers. Ground floor at

the airport. (909) 585-9339.

THELMA’S TWIN PINES-Homestyle

cooking at awesome prices make this a

family dining favorite. Daily breakfast,

lunch and dinner specials. All-you-can-eat

beef ribs on Saturday nights, and homemade

pot pies are big favorites. Open daily for

breakfast, lunch, dinner. 337 W. Big Bear

Blvd. Call 585-7005.

Big Bear Lake

BIG BEAR LAKE BREWING CO.—

Craft micros brewed on premises and

gourmet pub grub and appe-teasers at this

new brewery in the Village. Full bars

upstairs and down with lakeviews and all

sports all the time on big screens. 40827

Stone Rd. (909) 878-0283.

CAPTAIN’S ANCHORAGE—Historic

and rustic, this restaurant, built in 1947 as

the Sportsman’s Tavern and once owned

by Andy Devine, is a Big Bear favorite

with specialties like prime rib, Alaskan

King Crab legs, seafood, and steaks.

Homemade soups, romantic seating, and

cocktails in the Andy Devine Room. Open

for dinner daily from 4:30 p.m. Moonridge

Rd., just off Big Bear Blvd. (909) 866-

3997.

DYNASTY—Authentic Szechuan cuisine

with an array of specialty dishes. Mongolian

BBQ too and great cocktails. 40989 Big

Bear Blvd. 866-7887.

OLD COUNTRY INN-Family-style home

cooking at this local’s favorite with

breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Steaks,

German and Italian specialties and much

more with great weekday specials. 41126

Big Bear Blvd., east of Pine Knot. Call

866-5600.

STILLWELLS—In Northwoods Resort,

open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with

fresh seafood and pasta dishes, gourmet

steaks, homemade soups and more. 40650

Village Dr. (909) 866-3121.

Click Us Up!

bigbeartodaymag.com


Page 16—February 2021

THE BACK PAGE

Skating away on Barn’s new rink

S

kiing, snowboarding, snow play,

snowshoeing. Big Bear boasted just

about every winter activity you can

think of, save for one: ice skating.

That’s changed with the new temporary

synthetic ice rink at the Bowling Barn.

Folks are skating outdoors wearing real ice

skates on a surface that looks surprisingly

authentic and downright slippery even

though it’s not.

Actually the rink that’s around 1,700

sq. ft. is made of durable, ultra high-density

polyethylene plastic, so it never needs

a Zamboni. A glycol lubricant is applied

to the rink surface to make it slippery and

since there’s no electricity or refrigeration

required, synthetic ice skating is very environmentally

friendly.

“It’s about 15-20% slower than real

ice so inherently it’s an easier surface to

skate on,” said Steve Frisken from Chill

Entertainment, the nation’s leader in popup

skating rinks. “Hockey walls line the

rink around three sides with the fourth left

open to enhance distancing.”

All guests are required to wear face

coverings and only 12-15 skaters will be

allowed on the rink at one time to encourage

distancing and allow guests plenty of

elbow room. Which Becky Schaefer and

her five-year-old daughter Serena took advantage

of on a recent visit.

“She likes it, a lot of fun,” Becky said

of her daughter who spent much of her ses-

sion twirling in place. “At first it felt a little

different from regular ice skating then after

awhile you get the feel of it.”

The Manhattan Beach residents saw

the new rink driving by and Serena clamored

to give it a try. “I always felt that (Big

Bear) needed an ice rink and it’s nice that

it’s outside,” Becky said. “It’s perfect for

her age and something fun to do.”

Skating is in 30-minute sessions on the

hour and half-hour with about 15 minutes

of ice time, priced at $10. For the more

adventurous half-day and full day skating

passes are available for $25 and $40 respectively.

All prices include skate rental

though guests are welcome to bring their

own as long as they’re sharp.

Ice skating is offered daily at the

Bowling Barn through late March from

noon-8 p.m., weather permitting. Skating

joins an array of fun activities at the Bowling

Barn. In addition to bowling on 16 social-distance

lanes there’s Laser Maze,

video games and great to-go food.

Newly-installed plastic welding

screens ensure bowlers social distance

while having a great time. “The screens

give the feeling that you are in your own

little space down there,” said Bowling

Barn’s Bill Ross. “There’s only a handful

of alleys in the country using them and I’ve

only seen one other with them.”

The Bowling Barn has high-powered

speakers and amps to kick up the sound

system a few decibels and really get the

party going. There’s laser lights, dancing

and spinning on the lanes and above the

pins, while center screen drops down to

play music videos, flanked by two more

screens on each side.

Laser Maze offers a challenge straight

out of an action movie. Enter the Arena

and try to break into the vault on the other

side of the room by avoiding countless

crisscrossing beams of light, accented by

fog to make them stand out. Crawl, jump,

slide, roll, whatever it takes to cross the

obstacle course of light. Hurry...the clock

is ticking!

Beam Buster in contrast sees players

trying to bust each laser beam before time

runs out. Both games are fun for the whole

family with top scores posted outside the

arena. Even record your experience on

video for just a buck.! Each game is $3 for

Big Bear Today

Skating on synthetic ice outdoors

at the Bowling Barn

Becky and Serena Schaefer showing

how it’s done

single player or $6 for two.

Bowling Barn has great grab and go

food like barbecue chicken pizza, street

tacos, chicken wraps, flaming hot onion

rings and carne asada fries. There’s a variety

of video and action games too, like

Hoop Fever, pool tables, air hockey and

many more. Including old favorites like

Alpine Skier and Dance Revolution.

Bowling Barn is at 40625 Big Bear

Blvd. (enter on Bonanza). Call 878-BOWL.

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