Updated: Mar 25
Everything You Need to Know
About the Big Bear Trolley
In California, the Big Bear Trolley service is one of the popular forms of mountain transit in the town of Big Bear Lake. For every passenger, it provides scenic views of the San Bernardino Mountains and is a piece of Big Bear that adds to the small-town experience.
If you’re new to the area or just planning transportation ahead of time, you undoubtedly have many questions about it. The likeliest of them being which line should you take, when, and where do they all go?
Price of Admission
The most important thing to note is that you won’t need to pay. Yes, the Big Bear Trolley is a free ride. Free, in fact, for both locals and visitors alike. The Valley is often full of traffic congestion from travelers during the Winter and Summer seasons, so free complimentary shuttles were established, and it might just be the perfect fix for new arrivals. What’s more, as of October 31st, 2021, the Big Bear Trolley’s transportation
services have been extended to Big Bear Airport. For a visitor, there’s no need
to arrange for transportation: one can simply be transported after landing for free (red line on Westbound only) every day for the duration of their stay. Just track the trolley’s routes via the localized app for even more convenience.
While this is great news, it is important to mention that it’s not for forever. The new service is more of a project and is planned to end in the next two years, depending on overall performance.
What To Look For
Because Big Bear's free trolley service is run by a single transit agency, quite a few forms of public transportation in the region look similar to one another in the city of Big Bear Lake. So as a visitor, you may not know that the trolley is more like a bus than the typical rail-restricted trolley.
The travel circuits are also color-coded, depending on the line you’re catching; No matter what, look for a big red trolley with wheels. Just a couple of quick tips: all trolleys provide bike racks and a wheelchair lift, and when you approach your stop, just pull the cord.
What To Remember About the Trolley Routes
Besides its appearance and free shuttle services, Big Bear Trolley service has three lines and can be easily remembered: the red, blue, and gold lines. Sounds stressful, but each line intertwines at certain points. And if you’re not too picky about where you’re going in the first place, the following will suit you.
The Red Line
You can catch the red or blue line, either Westbound or Eastbound, between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Both East and West on all lines begin and end at slightly different times, but both red and blue on East and Westbound visit the Big Bear Mountain Ski Resorts every 30 minutes throughout the day. It will either drop you off or pick you up from the parking areas of either Snow Summit or Bear Mountain. This is also the line that will take you to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.
If you want to access the best bars and restaurants in the area, the free big bear trolley red line is a great way to get to the Big Bear Lake Village, a popular tourist destination for its multiple dining spots, retail shops, entertainment, and other attractions. The village parking lots are usually pretty full.
The Blue Line
For anyone looking forward to outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, or camping, know that this line is for you. The blue lines sometimes called the hiker shuttle line, stretches along the edges of and stops near Big Bear Lake - which is lined with trails - at various marinas for most outdoor and water-related excursions and snow play areas.
It also leads to Boulder Bay and a popular art center. But unlike the red line, you will need to catch either East or Westbound for a particular lodge. Just know the blue line will come Westbound at 6 a.m., bright and early. But you can always catch it coming either way in 30-minute intervals between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The Gold Line
The gold line goes all the way into Big Bear City and is special for newcomers to pick up the essentials. If you hop on the gold line, you are likely to see many older people. This is normal since this line is designed for the seniors in the area, though anyone can take it. Expect stops at the hospital, grocery stores, pharmacies, and apartment complexes for seniors like the Mountain Meadows senior apartments.
Mind you, if the gold drops you off, you will have to wait longer to get picked up than the other two lines. The Eastbound and Westbound gold line will come back to your stop every hour between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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