Big Bear Lake California
Epic views of the lake during an autumn mountain biking excursion
Vacation rentals surrounding the lake on a winter's day
Off-road driving in the mountains on a Big Bear Jeep Experience tour
The Big Bear Solar Observatory on a starry night
A gorgeous backdrop for hiking in the Big Bear Valley
Paddle boarding on the lake at dusk
Family building a snowman on the lakeshore in winter
Cruising around the lake on a personal watercraft
Showing off a freshly caught trout
The Big Bear Visitors Center, an ideal starting point for any trip
365 days of adventure in the mountains of Southern California
A Playground for All Seasons
In the winter, conquer the slopes at Snow Summit, test your endurance with long-distance snowshoeing or feel the thrill of bobsledding at the Alpine Slide. For a dose of warmth, escape the frosty air and venture into the Bowling Barn for indoor bowling, ice skating and laser tag. Spring ushers in a world of possibilities. Hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail, rock climb at Onyx Summit or spend the day fishing at the marina. The sizzle of summer is perfect for wakeboarding, surfing and a trip to Holcomb Valley – the birthplace of Southern California’s gold rush. During the fall, the landscape is set ablaze with the hues of autumn. Taste craft beers at Oktoberfest, enjoy the crisp mountain air via horseback or ride the Scenic Sky Chair for breathtaking aerial views.
Natural Wonders and Famous Sites
Picturesque vistas, tranquil hideaways and Hollywood filming locations await when you venture into the untamed wilderness around Big Bear Lake. Beneath the towering pines at Bluff Lake Reserve, refresh and recharge from the urban hustle while exploring filming locations from Disney’s “The Parent Trap.” Hike, bike and skate the paved trails on the Alpine Pedal Path. And remember to look up every now and then: The path is known for its frequent bald eagle sightings. For inspiring views of Big Bear Lake, hike the 4.2-kilometer trail to the outcrop at Castle Rock. With a 152-meter elevation gain, it’s the perfect place for photo ops and a mid-day picnic. Thanks to the abundance of nature preserves in the area, wildlife encounters occur frequently. Keep your camera on standby for glimpses of chipmunks, coyotes and deer.
The Village: Eclectic Shops and Diverse Dining
For quality dining, shopping and entertainment, take a trip to Big Bear Lake Village, home to more than 120 storefronts. Explore unique boutiques, browse kitschy gift shops and check out the latest in “wilderness chic” home décor. Campers should make a pit stop by the local outfitters for gear, and if you love the holidays, Christmas Store ‘N’ More spreads Santa-filled cheer year-round. Looking to kick back and see the sights? Take a trolley ride around town. For endless laughs, a comedy show at The Cave is a great way to spend the evening.
After a day of shopping or outdoors excursions, tantalize your taste buds at a variety of dining destinations. Munch on savory beef jerky at the Big Bear House of Jerky, grab a slice at Saucy Mama’s Pizzeria or dine at the Local Tropicali for a taste of Hawaiian fusion. Indulge your sweet tooth at North Pole Sweets and Treats – the cookie dough fudge is heavenly.
From Rustic to Luxury: Big Bear Lake Accommodations
Whether it’s camping under the stars or relaxing poolside at a resort, accommodations are abundant in Big Bear Lake. Lodges such as Snow Lake and Hillcrest provide rooms with lakeside views, while the campgrounds at Pine Knot and Serrano have reasonable daily rates. Cabin rentals are available throughout the year, while The Club at Big Bear Village rolls out the red-carpet treatment if you seek more luxurious accommodations.
Big Bear Lake is no stranger to the silver screen. It has been featured in classic movie productions, including Gone with the Wind and Heidi (starring Shirley Temple).
Originally a ranching community, Big Bear Lake became the site of Southern California’s largest gold rush when gold was discovered in Big Bear Valley in 1855.