Destination California: Big Bear’s Mineshaft Coaster and Zoo

Destination California

BIG BEAR, Calif. (KSWB) — It’s a mountain getaway with a big adventure.

It’s the only mountain coaster on the West Coast.

Made of steel and hugging into the natural curves of the mountains, this ride is completely controlled by you, so you can take a scenic cruise or go up to 30 mph.

“It’s a mile long, so seven to nine minutes long … so you get to kick back and relax on the way up and go full-throttle on the way down, and have a thrilling experience if you want.”

The coaster is the latest upgrade in this Big Bear Adventure Park, complete with alpine slides, zip line and water slides in the summer.

Your next stop might be to meet some critters at the Big Bear Zoo, from raccoons and bears to hawks and wolves. This isn’t your average zoo but more a sanctuary for local species found injured, orphaned or rescued from the mountain communities.

“You can see animals that you would normally see out in the woods where it’s scary and you want to leave them alone … you get an up-close look at them. The goal is to teach people how to interact with the animals … so they stay in the wild.”

Completed in November of 2020, the 5-acre property is the perfect way for the whole family to meet some of the “locals.”

If you’re looking to stay awhile, Big Bear Village is back to life with shops and buzzing with restaurants. A staple is the local Himalayan restaurant where the naan is made fresh daily.

If you’re looking to rest your head after a long day of adventure, The Lodge at Big Bear Lake has suites fit for every mountain enthusiast.

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