California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 28

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

STA R T
San Bernardino

1

day

64
miles

FINISH
Big Bear Lake

9

LA KE A R R OW HEAD

YO U ' L L Q U I C K LY L E AV E S O U T H E R N C A L I F O R N I A' S PA L M T R E E S B E H I N D for the
ponderosa pines and alpine lakes of the San Bernardino Mountains. Highway 18 breaks free of San
Bernardino's street grid and enters the foothills on the northern edge of town. After starting from an
elevation of just over 1,000 feet in San Bernardino, you have a lot of climbing to do, and the highway
wastes no time as it starts a twisting ascent above Waterman Canyon. If it's winter, the hills can take

Rim of
the World
Scenic
Byway

on an Irish green. But clad in their summer gold, they can feel almost desert-like, especially as you

This lovely thoroughfare, located
just two hours from Los Angeles,
leads you through a four-season
wonderland for skiers, mountain
bikers, and wildlife watchers

introduce your kids to the San Bernardinos on the mile-long Sequoia Trail, an interpretive route at

pass slopes studded with spiky yuccas. In places, the road opens up to expansive views back out over
the flatlands before you leave the city behind. As you climb, stands of chaparral begin to give way to
thick forests of pine trees.
Take a break from the highway's twists and turns at Hortencia's at the Cliffhanger, a Mexican
restaurant that lives up to its vertiginous name with a one-of-a-kind panorama. From the restaurant, it's
only about 15 minutes farther to the nearly mile-high mountain town of Lake Arrowhead, where you
can score rooms that look out on the azure waters from your own private soaking tub at the rustic and
elegant Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. There's definitely a throwback vibe along the drive, and on
your way out of town; pick up vintage-style Lake Arrowhead souvenirs at the retro-chic shop Road Trip.
But you're really here to explore the mountains. Less than 10 minutes from Lake Arrowhead,
Heaps Peak Arboretum. Or in another nine miles, you'll find the winter Snowdrift Snow Tubing Park,
where you could spend the day sliding down the slopes.
A mile up the highway, the snow play is more vigorous at Rim Nordic Ski Area, where cross-country
skiers can explore 13 miles of groomed trails through the snowy woods. In summer, Rim Nordic
morphs into a mountain bike park, with plenty of single-track. Past Rim Nordic, the highway travels
along perhaps its most beautiful stretch on the approach into Big Bear Lake. The going gets more twisty
as the highway runs along slopes of chalky, white stone and looks over a deep gorge before reaching
the outskirts of town-where you'll find Southern California's top winter sports destination.
It's all about gravity at the Big Bear Mountain Resort, home to the twin areas of Snow Summit
and Bear Mountain. The lifts climb to 8,200 feet at Snow Summit, while Bear Mountain is a haven for
snowboarding, you don't have to be a downhill daredevil to enjoy Big Bear Lake. To truly appreciate
the four seasons of the San Bernardinos, join a tour with the Big Bear Discovery Center, where outings
range from snowshoe adventures in winter to guided summer canoe paddles. Finish your journey with
some top-of-the-world dining at the Himalayan Restaurant, the place to find Indian and Nepalese cuisine,
including such traditional dishes as a garlic chicken sekuwa.

28
VISITCALIFORNIA.COM

PHOTOGRAPH: JLPH

snowboarders, thanks to Southern California's only halfpipes. Although it's best known for skiing and


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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 4
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 5
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 6
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 7
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 8
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 9
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California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover3
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover4
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