Big Bear Autumn: Flashlight Safaris | NBC Southern California
Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Big Bear Autumn: Flashlight Safaris

Explore the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, and meet some nocturnal critters, every Friday and Saturday in October.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Murat Baysan, Shutterstock
    Tuck a flashlight into your bag and make for the Big Bear Alpine Zoo for an after-sundown adventure this October.

    STEP OUTSIDE... your Big Bear cabin on an October evening and you might experience a few things from the get-go. You'll likely detect a certain crispness in the air, and whether that inspires you to pull your scarf closer or not depends on just how cool it feels. You'll likely see some amazing stars, the kind that can't be detected in the brighter cities down the mountain. And you may, in the distance, beyond those Ponderosa pines over there, hear a critter or two scurrying off. The San Bernardino Mountains are home to a host of fascinating beasties, from black bears to grey foxes to hedgehogs and owls. Many of these furry, hooting, big-of-beak, rustling-among-the-leaves mountain residents also call the Big Bear Alpine Zoo home. And while the higher elevation animal park, which puts a focus on regional beasties, is open throughout the year, something rather special happens during the first full month of fall: nighttime tours. They're called...

    FLASHLIGHT SAFARIS... and they happen each Friday and Saturday evening throughout October. Arrive with your light in tow and prepare to see the nocturnal doings of several of the zoo's animals as you get to know "the more active side of our animals during twilight and dusk." True, some zoos do host after-sundown events, but those can include bands or a dinner. The Flashlight Safaris are very much built around the nocturnal doings of the local critters. They're popular — the safaris and the critters alike — so consider choosing your date ahead of time. And ponder how the next time you step outside at night, in the mountains, and hear a hoot-hoot, you'll possess a deeper understanding of how mountain beasties comport themselves by the glow of the moon.