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Mt Baldy - Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear City advice

Mt Baldy - Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear City advice

Old Oct 18, 15, 8:36 pm
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Mt Baldy - Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear City advice

I'll be staying in a friends house near Riverside. The plan is to go up to Mt Baldy as a day trip.

We're also planning to do 2 days/2 nights in early November up in Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear City. Any opinions on Lake Arrowhead vs Big Bear City. We want to hike and drive around to enjoy the scenery. Maybe go to a decent place for lunch and dinner. Is one of these places better than the other?

My other question is if we do Mt Baldy as a day trip, should I even bother with Lake A and BB City?

Thoughts?
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Old Oct 20, 15, 1:37 pm
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I'm more familiar with the Big Bear area than Lake Arrowhead in terms of staying, eating, etc. Both certainly have the scenery and hiking you are looking for. Big Bear isn't exactly known for fine dining and hotels. There are plenty of decent places. Lake Arrowhead has a couple nicer places to stay. I'm not too familiar with restaurants in Lake Arrowhead though. Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead are certainly close enough to each other that you can stay at one and cover them both.

Mt. Baldy is different than Arrowhead/Big Bear. Baldy is definitely more of a day trip location like you're planning. There is some good hiking on Mt Baldy. Personally, I'd say do both the day trip to Baldy and the 2 days in Arrowhead/Big Bear.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 2:48 pm
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I assume you are going up before winter? Baldy- you are taking the lift up then hiking? The nice thing is that it is an easy drive to the base of the lift.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 9:08 pm
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Both Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear strike me more as day trips than an overnight destination but maybe if you throw in some hikes it would be OK. Doing this even now runs the risk of being caught in a snow storm. It might not be a good idea to hike too far from your car unless you carry winter survival gear.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX2Anywhere View Post
Mt. Baldy is different than Arrowhead/Big Bear. Baldy is definitely more of a day trip location like you're planning. There is some good hiking on Mt Baldy. Personally, I'd say do both the day trip to Baldy and the 2 days in Arrowhead/Big Bear.
That's what we're going to do. I booked an Air BnB for a place just a little north of the lake.

Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
I assume you are going up before winter? Baldy- you are taking the lift up then hiking? The nice thing is that it is an easy drive to the base of the lift.
Trip is early November.

Anything to do at the base, or the ride to the base? Are there activities on top in addition to hiking?
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Old Oct 21, 15, 1:37 pm
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Baldy has mountain biking in the off season and skiing and snow tubing in the winter. There's always the chance of an early storm. Watch the weather and be prepared. Baldy is a place that often catches people off guard because may be warm and sunny at the base and then you get to the top and hike a bit and you are in the mountains for real.

The base is a parking lot.
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Old Oct 26, 15, 11:42 pm
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Baldy has nice scenery and a nice view. Baldy Village at about 4000' has a few restaurants and a trout pond, but not a whole lot to do. It's not particularly touristy, and sort of revolves around people making day trips up for lunch and overnights in some cabins. There's a campground and another restaurant (that seems inconsistently open, but I don't go all that way up all the time) a bit below the ski lifts, and then the ski lifts have a restaurant at the top of the notch serving typical small ski area food.

An alternative that may or may not be possible is to go through Wrightwood and drive up the Angeles Crest. There are nice views along the crest off in both directions (to the Desert and the LA basin) and some nice peaks that you can hike that are less demanding than Baldy (though it doesn't sound like you're planning to hike all the way to the top from the base of the lifts). The "may not" part of possible is that the road is often covered with rock slides and closed between Islip Saddle (sometimes west of Islip) and Wrightwood. There's also hiking out of various places along the way up.
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Old Oct 28, 15, 3:35 pm
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Thanks for the additional imput. Now to look at a map.

dh
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Old Nov 3, 15, 3:09 pm
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If you are going to Big Bear/Arrowhead, I really don't think you will want to have a day trip to Mt Baldy. I live about 25 minutes from their base parking lot and there is really not much there to see that you won't see at Big Bear/Arrowhead. You could ride the ski lift to the top and eat at the restaurant. The restaurant is not that great.

As for Big Bear vs Arrowhead, I like both but prefer Big Bear. Arrowhead is about 30 min closer to me though. Both have lots of restaurants, but I think Big Bear got better ones. I don't hike but my niece does. And they usually go to Big Bear to hike instead of Arrowhead. If you must choose one, I would pick Big Bear.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 3:14 pm
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You said early November? Got snow today.
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Old Nov 6, 15, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by Need View Post

As for Big Bear vs Arrowhead, I like both but prefer Big Bear. Arrowhead is about 30 min closer to me though. Both have lots of restaurants, but I think Big Bear got better ones. I don't hike but my niece does. And they usually go to Big Bear to hike instead of Arrowhead. If you must choose one, I would pick Big Bear.
I booked 2 nights in Arrowhead. I plan on heading to BB for a side trip.

Will report back when we return.
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Old Nov 8, 15, 10:20 pm
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i have a question as well, i will be staying in Pasadena can i go to Big Bear or Arrow head and come back in the same day?
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Old Nov 8, 15, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jdmlove View Post
i have a question as well, i will be staying in Pasadena can i go to Big Bear or Arrow head and come back in the same day?
Depending on traffic conditions, it's at least a two hours drive in each direction.
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Old Nov 8, 15, 10:54 pm
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so if i leave let say early morning around 7am.. will it be enough to spend the day there and come back late afternoon?

and which one will be better for one day trip.. lake arrow head or big bear.. just wanna see some beautiful views and have lunch..
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Old Nov 8, 15, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by jdmlove View Post
and which one will be better for one day trip.. lake arrow head or big bear.. just wanna see some beautiful views and have lunch..
The two lakes are only about 15 miles apart.

This Frommer's article should give you an idea about the differences between the two.

Big Bear Lake draws skiers and the more adventurous types who want to experience the great outdoors. The privately owned Lake Arrowhead is easier to get to, but it appeals more to those who are not as interested in winter sports, water skiing and lake access (which is restricted for use by local property owners).
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