The majority of housing in the residential area of this mountain community is situated along the lake on the north facing slope of the valley. There are lots of towering trees that keep things cool year round. Prevailing winds, rain and snow generally come over the dam and along the lake from the west.
If you have a chance, while making a decision on where to live in Big Bear, drive through the neighborhoods after we’ve received a few inches of snow. Your choice of convenience, balanced with utility, will help you make an informed decision about your next neighborhood.
Plowed roads do not mean cleared roads! Those plows do a great job, but in many neighborhoods, patches of ice may last for weeks. You may find yourself sliding through a stop sign on a balmy afternoon a month after the last snowstorm.
Big Bear Lake, including Boulder Bay, get taken care of very well during and after a snowstorm. The main roads and routes to the slopes usually get plowed and cindered very quickly. After a decent 8-12 inch blizzard, some side streets may take a few days before they are maintained.
Lower Moonridge gets cleaned up fairly quickly. Upper Moonridge has areas that can be treacherous. You want to be very alert in the higher elevations.
Certain areas may stay icy for a long time after a storm. After the Christmas blizzard that left snow above the bumpers, some residential streets weren’t plowed for 2 weeks! This doesn’t stop the locals, but now you can understand another reason for owning a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
The most winter-like part of the Big Bear area is “usually” Boulder Bay. Most of the Boulder Bay area faces north in the shadow of the hills, amongst high trees. In Boulder Bay, the snow can pile up and stick; sometimes for weeks after the rest of the area is melted clear. 3 weeks after our Christmas blizzard, the houses along the lake in Boulder Bay still had snow over their roofs.
Houses along the North Shore, from Fawnskin to the Peter Pan area, tend to melt out the fastest, since the hills all face the Sun. The North Shore area and many south facing neighborhoods, tend to clear very rapidly.
Big Bear City depends on the snow pattern. The main roads will be well taken care of. Side streets in the trees may not get plowed as rapidly. The tree lined roads of Big Bear Citys tend to melt slowly.
The roads to and through Sugarloaf are usually taken care of fairly quickly. Avoid Maple Lane during and after storms. Use Baldwin Lane to the 38, and avoid that steep hill.
If you need the convenience or necessity of being near the major facilities of Big Bear, the grocers, the services, the village, the slopes, you may want to choose a neighborhood based on snow handling capabilities.
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