Big Bear

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Big Bear Lake is an all-year-round adventure for the whole family

Quick Notes:

  • Pick and choose which season works best for you

  • The entire family will find something they love at Big Bear Lake

  • It’s not just an outdoorsmen’s paradise

Tucked away in the heart of Southern California is Big Bear Lake. This small city in the San Bernandino Mountains might cover a little area, but it more than makes up for it with its big heart and lots to do all year round. The scenic family spot is just a quick drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas and is surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest.

Whether you’re a true snow bunny on vacation or want to hit up a nice summer retreat, Big Bear Lake has all-season fun for the whole family. It is famous for its fishing, biking, and skiing, but those aren’t the only Big Bear Lake activities that make the trip worthwhile.


Winter is one of the busiest times of the year at Big Bear Lake because of its infamous Snow Summit. The resort offers everything a family needs to have an exciting winter vacation, such as lodging options ranging from private cabins to budget-friendly motels, epic snowboarding and skiing trails, and family-friendly tubing adventures.

Their first-timers guide offers everything you need to know to explore Snow Summit, including the best trails to hit depending on skill level, a dining guide, and events calendar. Find out what’s happening and when for an even better way to plan.

Big Bear Lake / Twitter


When the snow starts to melt, and the ground starts to thaw, taking an off-roading tour is just the ticket for the Big Bear Lake spring weather. You and your family can explore plenty of meadows, canyons, and more in a 4×4 clearance vehicle with a knowledgable driver who will show you the sights while telling you the Big Bear Lake skinny on its wildlife and local plant life.

If off-roading isn’t your cup of tea, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers a unique experience through the wild. Acting as more of a rehabilitation center than an actual zoo, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo takes in injured or sick animals and gives them the attention they need to be released back into the wild.


Like many other summer adventure spots, the summer in Big Bear Lake is perfect for all the typical hot-weather activities. You and your family can rent a boat and catch your dinner or participate in tubing on the lake.

The Towne Trail is a beautiful looped trail that offers plenty of scenery and views of Jeffrey Pines and the Big Bear Lake itself. For a more fine arts approach to the outdoor wonderland, the Art on the Lake Festival runs during the summer and showcases unique works from local and emerging artists.


When the fall foliage is at its peak, Castle Rock Trail is the perfect hike for novice or pro hikers alike. The moderate 2.6-mile trail heeds plenty of wildlife and lookouts to enjoy the lush scenery surrounding it. If a festival is more your style, than there’s no better Big Bear Lake activity than Oktoberfest.

The popular German festival runs from the beginning of September to the beginning of November every year. Oktoberfest in Big Bear Lake takes the traditional roots of the festival and old-world celebrations to become one of the most authentic versions of this celebration.

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