Basics

Address:

1000 Sugarpine Road, Big Bear City, California 92314.

Travel Time (Driving) from Los Angeles:

+/-2.5 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Nearest Airports:

Ontario International Airport (ONT) & Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Driving Routes:

There are three (3) different routes that lead up the mountain to Big Bear Retreat Center:

1) Highway 330 from San Bernardino (off the 210 Freeway) – This is generally the fastest route up the mountain. However, it is also one of the steepest and windiest;

2) Highway 38 from Redlands (off the 210 Freeway) – This is slightly less steep and windy than Highway 330, but adds an additional 15 – 20 minutes to the trip;

3) Highway 18 from the High Desert (Antelope Valley / Lucerne Valley) – this route is the least steep of all of the mountain roads, but requires an approach from the northern side of the mountains (which can add time for those coming from the southern side (Orange County, San Diego County, etc.).

It is highly recommended that you check current traffic and weather conditions as you plan your trip, as these can significantly impact travel times and route choices.

Ridesharing / Carpools

Ridesharing / Carpooling is highly encouraged, and is one of the most convenient ways to travel to Big Bear Retreat Center. During the retreat registration process, you will be asked if you are willing to offer a ride, or if you are interested in riding with others. The retreat manager for your specific retreat will coordinate the ridesharing process. Please keep in mind that your fellow retreatants are traveling from near and far, and may be in need of a ride to the retreat. If you can provide a ride for a fellow guest (to, from, or both ways) it is greatly appreciated.

Public Transportation

Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority ($10 / ~60 minutes)

  • Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) provides bus service to Big Bear from both the San Bernardino and Lucerne Valley areas.
  • Fare is $10.
  • Schedule is available HERE.
  • Take the bus to the Sandlewood stop (behind Vons) and Retreat Managers will coordinate pickups from there (~1 mile from BBRC).
  • For additional information, call (909) 878-3811.

METROLINK – Union Station –> San Bernardino Depot Station ($10 – $20 / ~1.5 – 2.0 hrs)

  • 1.5 – 2.0 hours from (depending on departure time). Always check the website for special advisories.
  • Cost is generally $10 – $20, with discounts for seniors, people with disabilities, military/veteran discounts, etc: https://www.metrolinktrains.com/ticketsOverview/ticket-info/price-finder/
  • Schedule is HERE.
  • Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) provides bus service from the San Bernardino Depot station to Big Bear (909) 878-3811. Fare is $10. Take it to the Sandlewood stop (behind Vons) and  Retreat Managers will coordinate pickups from there (~1 mile from BBRC). Schedule is HERE.

Uber/Lift – LAX –> Union Station ($20 – $50 / 30 – 60 mins)

  • Check current rates and traffic

Express Buses (“Flyaway”) LAX –> Union Station ($8.00 / ~1hr)

  • Express buses are fast and run frequently, and the entire journey (including walking) takes approximately 1 hour.
  • FlyAway buses stop at all airport terminals.  Exit any terminal at the arrival (lower) level and locate a green sign “FlyAway, Buses, and Long-Distance Vans” above the island curb.  The walk from any gate to a stop takes about 10 minutes.
  • The fare is $8; you will have to pay it upon exiting the bus.
  • FlyAway buses are large blue coaches properly marked as “FlyAway”. Board any FlyAway bus headed to Union Station.  Beware that several other FlyAway routes also serve the same stop, so check the destination signs on the arriving bus to make sure you are taking the correct route. Travel to Union Station and get off the bus.
  • Buses run every 30 minutes daily, with departures from Terminal 1 on the hour and on the half-hour.  All other terminals are served in numerical order after Terminal 1, with departures from Terminal 8 following about 15 minutes later.    Once you arrive at Union Station, first pay your fare at the kiosk next to the bus stop (debit or credit cards only) and then follow the descending pathway in the middle of the bus island.  This ramp connects to a wide underpass leading into the station.  The entire walk takes about 2 minutes.
  • The total travel time from LAX to Union Station should be about 1 hour including all walking and riding the bus (up to 1 hour 15 minutes if traveling during rush hours on weekdays).  In addition, do not forget to factor in the wait time, which may add up to 30 minutes to the travel time depending on when you arrive at the bus stop in the airport.
  • The FlyAway service operates at all times, and so there is no last bus to miss (connecting train schedules will govern).

METROLINK – Ontario East Station –> San Bernardino Depot Station ($13.25 – $26.50 / ~1.5 – 2.0 hrs)

  • 1.5 – 2.0 hours (depending on departure time). Always check the website for special advisories.
  • Cost is generally, $13.25 – $26.50, with discounts for seniors, people with disabilities, military/veteran discounts, etc.: https://www.metrolinktrains.com/ticketsOverview/ticket-info/price-finder/
  • Schedule is HERE.
  • No overnight parking

Uber/Lift – ONT –> Ontario East Station ($5 – $10 / 5 – 10 mins)

  • Check current rates and traffic
  • There is no public shuttle or bus between the airport and the Metrolink station.

Mountain Road Conditions

Located at an elevation of +/-7,000 feet above sea level, Big Bear Retreat Center experience four mountain seasons–including Winter.

In the Winter months, many tourists and Southern California locals are drawn to Big Bear to play in the snow and ice. This can result in heavy traffic and delayed travel times.

Please make sure you check traffic and road conditions before driving.

Additionally, Winter weather can create hazardous road conditions. When snow conditions exist and roads are icy enough, tire chains may be required. If you are planning to attend a retreat during the Winter months, your retreat manager will give you more specifics regarding tire chain requirements and procurement.

In general, Tire Chains range in price from $35 to over $100 depending on tire size. O’Reily Auto Parts, Pep Boys, AutoZone, and Amazon are all places where you can purchase chains. Some retailers, such as Pep Boys, will accept returns on unused chains for a 20% restocking fee. Others may have a No-Return Policy on tire chains. (You only need one set). Please inquire before purchasing.

Caltrans partners with approved private contractors to install your tire chains for you. They accept cash and cards. Simply pull over to the service area on the side of the road and there will be many service providers on standby to get you safely on your way. Fees begin at $25 and go up based on type of vehicle and tire size. YOU MUST ALREADY HAVE A SET OF CHAINS IN YOUR POSSESSION. THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY FOR SALE.

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