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Jill Sanford | 09.07.2017

Located about 100 miles from the heart of L.A., Big Bear Lake is a year-round tourist destination that offers something for everyone. It is located in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles and is 6,752 feet above sea level.

The resort community is located along Big Bear Lake, an alpine lake that is popular among paddlers, swimmers and fishermen and women. The lake is surrounded by trails that take you high into the San Bernardino peaks or along the water’s edge. The trails vary in difficulty, making this an ideal destination for a group with varying interests and ability levels.

The town is home to about 5,000 people, but with it’s close proximity to L.A. and it’s excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation, the number of people in the area swells to about 100,000 on busy weekends and holidays.

Given the overcrowded nature of this place, it’s best to visit mid-week or in the shoulder season if possible. That makes the months leading into fall an ideal time to explore this region. A long weekend or 3-day holiday in the area makes for plenty of time to go for a paddle, stretch your legs on a hike, and have a few picnics on the water. While the area does see quite a bit of snow in the winter, you can camp out at one of the many camping areas late into the fall if you can brave the chilly temperatures.

Here’s a range of camping options and activities to customize an itinerary that works perfect for your group's specific interests.




Paddling and Swimming

Areas of Interest


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