Snow Day in Big Bear, California

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Snowy Backcountry Outside Big Bear California - Campfire Chic

After the first big rainstorm of the season, some friends decided we should head up to Big Bear to go off-roading a bit and find some hills for a day of sledding and hot drinks. Normally, the drive up to Big Bear is no more than two hours from where we live, but this time it took us about 6 hours to go 100 miles. It’s a good thing I packed a bag of assorted snacks, because we sat in traffic for so long that we missed lunch and didn’t have time to inch our way into the city for a bite to eat. We knew we needed to get out of the resort areas and into the less accessible areas for some breathing room from the crowds.

Big Bear California Sledding in the Backroads 2016


January 2016 Snow Day in Big Bear - Campfire Chic

The weather was perfect and we found a great hill to use with our sleds (and my giant donut float!) and a stretch of road that we could use to sit on an inflatable sled and get dragged behind a truck like a water skier behind a boat on a lake. We were really lucky to have this area to ourselves, especially after seeing the long lines at the resorts and recreation areas we drove by on our way up the mountain. We didn’t stay for long because we got such a late start and didn’t want to navigate the backroads in the dark if we could help it. When driving in this area, you need to have patience as other drivers try to get around you and as some of your caravan get stuck in the snow. It’s a small price to pay for a fun day with friends.

Hot Drinks During a Snow Adventure with Stanley and Kam of Campfire Chic

You can always count on me to bring (maybe too many) snacks on a microadventure like this. I packed cookies, crackers, fruit ropes, snack mix, and hot apple cider in our Stanley growler. We didn’t think we’d want that much cider, so I warmed enough for four people to have a small amount (just enough to warm our bones) and I wish I brought more because it was so delicious! The warm cider was exactly what we needed after running around in the snow and I’m so glad we had the growler because I knew I didn’t need to worry about it tipping over and spilling or the cider getting cold anytime soon. I plan on bringing this baby with us on every snow trip now! I might switch things up and go with tea next time to keep us away on the drive home.

Before heading out on your next adventure:

  • Take your car in to your mechanic to make sure you have the proper amount of air in your tires, that nothing looks like it needs to be replaced, and to chat about snow tires/tire chains
  • Call ahead/go online and find out if there are travel advisories. You don’t want to be the people who sit in traffic for four hours only to turn around because you’re unwilling to purchase snow chains for your tires
  • If you’re required to have the chains in your car, you should practice actually putting them on your tires (we saw too many people yelling to other travelers for help. Don’t be that person)
  • Get a map of the area and know where you are going. Ranger and information centers are there to help you! Stop in and inquire about conditions and let them know where you plan on going in case you get into a pickle
  • Let somebody back home know when to expect you. As soon as we realized we wouldn’t be keeping to our anticipated itinerary, we were all on our phones to update our parents and asking them to check in on pets

As with any adventure, use good judgement and have a backup plan. 

This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products mentioned in this post. Clicking on these links and making purchases may result in a small commission payment for me. Thank you for supporting Campfire Chic. 

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Active Adventure California Microadventure

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Josh January 26, 2016, 4:05 pm

    Yes, the donut made an appearance!

    • Kam January 26, 2016, 8:24 pm

      We brought a air compressor just to blow it up haha!!

  • Kristin | My Life as a Teacup January 28, 2016, 2:58 pm

    Inflatable donut twins!

    • Kam February 1, 2016, 7:45 pm

      They’re so awesome! I want the strawberry one next!!


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