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Nuances of Mountain Living

Purchasing a Big Bear mountain home is a different decision than purchasing one “down the hill.” You’ll want to be prepared for the change from urban living to our mountaintop lifestyle. Expect changes in trash pickup, mail delivery and even grocery shopping.

Trash pickup is determined by your neighborhood. Big Bear Lake and parts of Big Bear City have regular trash pickup. Once you get out to the east Valley, like Baldwin Lake, you have to take your trash to the dump (as a resident, there is no charge).

Big Bear Lake has several trash recycling areas, known as, ‘Clean Bear Sites’. There’s also a hazardous waste disposal site on Garstin. Big Bear City has their trash picked up through the CSD (Community Services District).

Mail delivery is also determined by where you live. There are a few residents in Big Bear City that have a mailbox in front of their house and receive mail delivery. Some areas of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City have neighborhood mailboxes. These are clusters of boxes that serve a specific area. Residents are given a key to their own mailbox within the cluster of boxes, which are usually within a block or two of their residence. The rest of the residents have post office boxes and drive to the post office to pick up their mail. The only time it can be an inconvenience is when applying for a loan and the bank does not allow PO boxes.

Shopping is also different. Big Bear Lake has two large grocery stores, Vons and Stater Brothers. Although they have a great selection, those of us who enjoy international cuisine have to shop off the mountain. Big Bear has the Butcher’s Block and a DIY store, but we occasionally find ourselves heading down to Lowes to pick up our home improvement supplies.

Now that we’ve been in Big Bear for over 15 years, this does not seem like an inconvenience. It’s a small price to pay for our beautiful mountain lifestyle.

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