This last Sunday we made the one hour and 45 min trek to Big Bear Lake. In all my years of living in LA I had never quite made it there to see what all the fuss is about. The ski season was about to start and only a little snow had already fallin so there was no need for chains and the roads were very passable.
The drive there is certainly fun going from next to nothing to 7000+ feet in elevation up winding mountain roads. Once there we drove around the lake to see the houses then cut over to the Rim of the World Drive from North Shore Drive. This is where the real adventure begins. I do not recommend going there after the seasons snow fall start since most roads get washed out or damaged even for super high clearance vehicles to pass.
Note: Be sure to take with you provisions and an emergency kit in case you get stuck and have to spend the night. An emergency beacon is even better to have! Also be sure to get an Adventure Pass if you plan on making stops. As always advise family or friends on your travels and when to expect to hear back from you!
The Subaru XV Crosstrek did an excellent job of tackling the off-road driving. We did get stuck twice but that was due to the road being washed away to the point of needing much more clearance. Glad the Crosstrek has skid plates since I am sure they have some scars to prove the adventure. Luckily on the first instance of getting stuck some dirt bikers came by and helped us out. I have to say I am thoroughly impressed with how well it handles off road and the CVT does a great job of laying down the power on rough terrain. We will be sure to head back to Big Bear once more snow is in the forecast. Plus there are many more secluded hiking trials to be seen once the weather warms again in Spring.