Thrills and chills for July 4: California’s mountain resorts plan holiday blasts over water and snow

Fireworks light up the sky over Big Bear Lake. Spectators can watch from atop Snow Summit, or from the water.

California’s mountain resorts will mark July 4 with snow on the slopes, boats on the lakes and fire in the sky.

Beat-the-heat suggestion of the day: Rent a boat and catch the fireworks over Big Bear Lake, one of the biggest such displays in the region.

It’s just one of many upcoming Alpine holiday events that offer relief from a sizzling California summer.

In Big Bear, the centerpeice of the July 4 holiday weekend will be a massive show launched from a barge in the middle of the lake. You can rent that boat, or chair lift to the top of a ski resort to watch from way above. An “Above the Boom” event will take spectators up 8,200 feet atop Snow Summit resort, where they can enjoy a barbecue dinner, live music and children’s activities such as face painting and bounce houses.


Or, keep it simple and watch from one of Big Bear’s beaches or public parks. For more info on Big Bear options, go here.

Mammoth will mark the holiday with plenty of snow on the slopes, and an early fireworks show on July 1, a Saturday, and a big show on July 4 itself. In between, the mountain town will offer a parade, chihuahua races and live music.

Mammoth is still celebrating its snowy summer.
Mammoth is still celebrating its snowy summer.
(Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain)

And don’t forget the skiing, which will be going till at least August on Mammoth Mountain. A $99 pass allows visitors to ski, bike and golf all in a single day.


Lake Tahoe still has plenty of snow as well, and a packed July 4 schedule.

On July 3, popular Kings Beach, on the north shore, is offering food stalls, sand castle contests and live music in its 38th annual holiday bash. On the following day, Tahoe City holds holiday events, capped by its show over the water.

Nearby, Incline Village is staging a family-themed festival featuring rubber duck races, ice cream eating contests and a community fair, July 1-4.

Squaw Valley, where the snowy runs may remain open till next season, the holiday is being celebrated with a music and ski festival. Runs will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and hot tub parties will follow.


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