Scenery, Easy Runs, New Lodge, Not Crowded
Short Vertical, Slow Lifts, Expensive
4 out of 5 for what this mountain offers: A great experience for beginners.
It's a summit-based lodge, so there's no lift lines crowding the lodge area and no skiers zooming around. Great for kids. My in-laws taught their sons and daughters to ski here when they were 4-years old. The mountain is very small (ironic because it's called Big Bear). But it's very scenic. I arrived at about 9/10am on the weekend and the mountain was not crowded. It was actually quite peaceful.
There aren't many runs to chose from. But it's enjoyable for every level. Runs are narrow and separated by thick trees. The lifts are slow but they installed two double chairs to help with lift lines and they are brand new.
The lodge is also new and massive. Great facilities. Big Bear has a resorty feel to it. Which is nice but also why I think lift tickets are so expensive. Season holders make out just fine I think. But $40-$50 for this mountain is pretty pricey.
Still, it's a good kept secret. And a nice place to get in a few runs or teach someone to ski without dealing with the crowding and annoyances of the Poconos.
For advanced skiers, there are a few steep sections, some terrain parks, and a "bowl" you can play with but, you could get bored really fast.