Winter weather expected in mountains

Snow levels may drop to 6,000 feet over weekend

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Winter weather is expected the next several days to the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains in the San Bernardino National Forest. Snow levels could drop to 6,000 feet over the weekend.

Although you may be tempted to enjoy the winter conditions, officials are asking visitors to 'Know before you go' by calling ahead to check current conditions in the mountains.

The Silver and Mountain wildfires impacted Hwy. 243, south of Banning and south of Idyllwild last year.

Winter Tips:

  • Dress accordingly to avoid getting hypothermia, which can be deadly. 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.
  • Be extremely careful when walking on ice-covered or slippery surfaces like parking areas and trails and especially steep slopes to avoid serious injury.
  • Do not recreate on unauthorized areas or private property.
  • Bring extra clothing, blankets, water, flashlights, maps, a cell phone and extra batteries.
  • Park in a safe location and don't block in other drivers. Never park in front of closed gates, they may be needed for emergency access and you could be cited or have your vehicle towed. Don't park in restricted or 'No Parking' areas for the safety of all travelers. 
  • Park in a safe location when installing tire chains or traction devices. Never stop in traffic lanes to avoid causing safety hazards for yourself and other drivers on the road.
  • If involved in an accident, try to drive your vehicle to the side of the road immediately if it's safe to do so. Call 911 or ask other drivers to call for your from the nearest phone.
  • Do not litter. Take a trash bag with you so you can take care of any garbage.

The Forest Adventure Pass must be displayed on all parked vehicles when in High Impact Recreation Areas and certain campgrounds, snow play, and picnic areas.

List of designated free sites

Call ahead to local ranger stations:

  • Big Bear Ranger Station & Discovery Center - (909) 382-2790
  • Idyllwild Ranger Station - (909)-382-2922
  • Lytle Creek Ranger Station (909)-382-2852
  • Mill Creek Ranger Station (909)-382-2882
  • Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (760)-862-9984

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