One of two public boat ramps on Big Bear Lake (the other being East Boat Launch), Duane Boyer Public Boat Launch is the west ramp, and is the only one open during early season (April 1 through May 12) This is a prime spot to put your own boat on Southern California's favorite lake, cradled within breezy pine forest in the high-elevation retreat of the San Bernardino Mountains.
From the West Ramp, it is a reasonable paddling distance to several parts of the lake. The dam is 2 miles to the west. Along the way are strips of undeveloped shoreline where you can stop for brief rests or a picnic, including the popular swimming area at West Shore Beach. To explore more open water, you can paddle the other direction and around the horn of the aptly named Windy Point or across the lake to Gilner Point and Metcalf Bay. Most of the shoreline in this area is private property, however, so you should be prepared to stay in your boat the whole time.
To use the boat launch, you must have a Lake Use Permit in addition to the normal day use fee. The permit includes invasive species inspection, which is required for all watercraft that enter the lake. For small non-motorized craft, the permit fee is $20 for one day. Inspection and permits are available at the office on site.
Boat launch hours vary by season and the day of the week, and they are also subject to change based on weather and lake levels. It is typically open from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. during early and peak season, an stays open until 7 p.m. on weekends during peak season (May 13 through October 2). It closes at 3 p.m. every day during the late season (October 3 through November 30) and is completely closed all winter. Check the Lake Management website or call 909.866.2917 for updates.