Great Terrain Park, Close to LA
Crowds, Snow Quality, Hot Weather, Nightlife
Yes I claim that Bear Mountain is the best resort in Southern California but before you plan your next trip there, being the best ski resort in SoCal is not saying very much. When I snowboard locally it was usually at Mountain High but I decided to take a day trip up to Bear in March not expecting it to be much better than MH. However, I was pleasantly surprised how much fun I had at Bear. Their Terrain Park was a lot of fun, and from what I could tell it had jumps and jibs for all levels. The extra hour or two drive to Big Bear is definitely worth how much better it is than Baldy or Mountain High.
That being said, Bear Mountain is still pretty crowded and the snow quality is not very good. If you are going for steep runs and powder sorry you are wasting your time at Bear. The double blacks are like blues at Mammoth so I would not recommend Bear to skiers because it is mainly terrain park oriented. Also, I would only recommend Bear for a day trips with a couple friends and not for a full on skiing vacation. My reasoning is that if you are willing to spend the money for accommodations and other expenses then Mammoth, Tahoe, or Utah are so much more worth it. Also Mammoth, Tahoe, and Park City all have things to do other than ski. I actually talked with a local at Bear and he said it was boring living in Big Bear because there is nothing to do but snowboard.
Overall, Bear Mountain is by far the best resort in Southern California but I would only recommend it for snowboarders between the ages of 12 and 25 who love to push their limits on terrain parks or for riders who want a warm up before going to an actual resort.