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Do I need chains in Big Bear?

Always carry chains when driving in the mountains in winter.
Always carry chains when driving in the mountains in winter.
Oregon Department of Transportation / OregonDOT (Flickr)

Weather in the mountains can change within a matter of hours from a beautiful, sunny day to a snowstorm with chain requirements. These are three of the best ways to find out if you’ll need chains in Big Bear:

  1. Check the weather– On the morning of a trip, check Ben Brissey’s website, Bensweather.com. Brissey is a local forecaster with 15 years of experience. He provides a daily forecast for Big Bear. Or log-on to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website for nationwide forecasts that include Big Bear Lake.
  2. Check the snow report–The Bear Mountain snow report and Snow Summit snow report are updated daily during the winter season. For road condition updates, view these pages before you go or call the snow phone at 800-BEARMTN (for Bear Mountain and Snow Summit).
  3. Check the roads–Caltrans recommends checking road conditions at 800.427.7623 before driving. The Caltrans website is also a good source for the most updated road information.

Checking the weather, snow reports and road conditions are three of the best ways to find out about chain requirements. Always remember to carry chains when driving in the mountains in winter.

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