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Tips You Should “Know Before You Go” Play in the Snow


SAN BERNARDINO-( The San Bernardino National Forest has become a Winter Wonderland after the first El Nino storm this week officials said. Plenty of fresh snow to the local mountains has brought in a blanket of snow cover to the mountains in Southern California.

Big Bear city had about 2 feet of snow with Fawnskin receiving 17” of snow. Mountain High reported up to 28” in some areas, Mt. Baldy 18” and Wrightwood, a still impressive 12” snow fall.

Heavy traffic due to the freshly fallen snow will cause visitors to flock to the area and is likely to cause heavy area traffic.

The US Forest Service, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol are asking visitors to “Know Before You Go” by calling ahead to check on current conditions in the local mountains. Many are coming for the sports that they love including skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding or just playing in the snow.

“As the lure of the fresh snow appeals to residents across the southland, we’re asking folks to be wise and follow safe practices while in snowy conditions across the forest,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor John D. Exline. “We want everyone to have safe visit, drive with care, park legally and pack out your trash,” Exline added.

Winter Visitor Tips from the U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest:

  • Winter weather conditions in the mountains can be extreme and change without notice. An inadequately clothed person can get hypothermia (low internal body temperature). Hypothermia can be deadly – learn to recognize the early symptoms. Keep warm and dry.
  • Stay Away from ice covered lakes and streams. Over the past decade several forest visitors have fallen through thin ice and drown. – Do not attempt to cross any water.
  • Be extremely careful when walking on ice covered or slippery surfaces like parking areas and trails and especially steep slopes. One slip could result in a serious injury.
  • Be courteous and remember that you are sharing public lands with other recreational users. Do not recreate on unauthorized areas or private property.
  • Bring along extra safety items such as extra clothing, blankets, water, flashlights, maps, and your cell phone. Did you remember spare batteries?
  • “Pack it in, Pack it out” – Do not Litter. Take along a trash bag or other receptacle for collecting your trash so that you can deposit it in the proper trash receptacle.
  • The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on a visitor’s parked vehicle when recreating in Winter Special Recreation Permit areas and certain developed sites like campgrounds, snow play, and picnic areas. A list of designated fee sites and areas is posted on the Fee Program website at:

Motorists Tips:

  • Snow Chains are required during winter months.  Be prepared to show them at chain control, and know how to install them.

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