Big Bear Lake in the gorgeous mountains of Southern California truly offers an outdoor playground for all ages, year-round and many outdoor events during the spring and summer seasons.
There are various amounts of outside areas, including picnic and park zones, lakeside exploration, hiking paths and outdoor thrills. With summer just beginning to start, you’ll see that Big Bear is a great place for a day or weekend trip away from the city-life grind. Bubbling with charm and quaint tastes, you can explore the town and surrounding forest at your leisure. Big Bear Lake is also a convenient outdoor destination! Located only a couple hours from Los Angeles traffic or San Diego, you’ll soon learn the weather is cooler and the sky is clearer at 7,000 feet.
Big Bear Lake CA
If you are just starting your outdoor adventure in Big Bear Lake, have no fear if you need assistance! Located around the valley are locations specifically designed to help you map out a game plan of exciting tours and areas to explore – we recommend the following locations to speak to a local Big Bear specialist.
First, I recommend stopping at the Big Bear Visitors Center at 630 Bartlett Road in The Village. My family and I always visit the local Visitors Center when we travel to new places. This particular visitors center is one of the best I have encountered! The staff are charming and helpful – they will inform you of local events and offer you brochures on some of Big Bear’s most popular outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to sign their guestbook! Even if you don’t want to stop in, be sure to score a handy Big Bear Visitor’s Guide in the rack outside. Filled with local information and events, along with a color map, you will find yourself referring to it more than once during your stay.
The second option is located across the lake on the North Shore, you will be able to visit the Discovery Center. Having been established decades ago, to help preserve the forest, you’ll find a wealth of information here from a trained staff of volunteers. You can pick up off-road maps and buy permits here, including a campfire one. Since you are likely visiting Big Bear Lake to experience the outdoors, this is the perfect place to get started. The Discovery Center is also FUN – the kids will especially enjoy the outside exploration center! If needed, both of these locations also sell Adventure Passes.
You may be asking yourself – what is an “Adventure Pass”? Designed for the mountains and National Forest, these little red cards allow you to park your vehicle on specific land in the Big Bear Lake roads and valley. Offered by the day ($5/day) or annually ($30/annual), you will find this pass very useful to park for many of the hiking and bike trails. Remember, the rest of the parking locations in Big Bear Lake are FREE!
The hiking and biking trails you can check out in Big Bear Lake are some of the best in the state! Even the famous “Pacific Crest Trail” picks up from here. After you find the perfect trail on page 35 of the Visitor Guide, be sure to grab an Adventure Pass and some sunscreen, and be ready to be wowed by the majestic beauty the mountains showcase for you. You can also experience the lake! The trail “The Alpine Pedal Path” is the perfect walk – you can even bring bikes and strollers!
Ziplining is a fantastic outdoor adventure you can enjoy in the National forest with an expert guide! Spend a few minutes training and practicing at the starting point – tours can be up to three hours long! Adventure seekers will hang from the trees and glide from platform to platform as they zip along. Prices for the tour start at $120 per per person. Tours fill up quickly, so be sure to call Action Tours at 909-866-0390 or call a Big Bear Lake reservation agent at 1800-424-4232 (1800-4-BIGBEAR) today.
While you can venture off and explore, sometimes it’s even more fun to check out the events held around town! Sporting events can cover all seasons -winter and summer are the most popular vacation destination time periods. It doesn’t matter if you’re age or if you are visiting for the first or fourth time – the Big Bear Valley has something special for everyone whom wishes to partake in one of our many biking, cycling and paddling events for beginners and advance to get out there and have fun while experiencing the great outdoors!
With the upcoming summer and spring weather, let’s take a peek at all the outdoor events coming to Big Bear Lake:
June 12th – Holcomb Valley Trail Run
The Holcomb Valley continues to be a favorite spot among camping and adventure enthusists! Starting at the water of Big Bear Lake, this Trail Run brings runners views of scenic areas in Big Bear as they make their journey to the finish line. Races are 33 miles, 15 miles and 7 miles long and completely outdoors. This race tends to end up sold out – so sign up soon – please call (909) 633-6729 for more details.
June 18th – Big Bear Triathlon at Marina Resort
Challenge your running skills at 7,000 feet! Olympic Triathlon to start at 8:00 AM and Sprint Triathlon at 8:30 AM. Registration pickup and athlete check-in will begin on Friday June 17th at 4 PM.
July 9th – Big Bear Lake Paddlefest at Meadow Park
The 9th annual Big Bear PaddleFest is held on the South Shore of Big Bear Lake, offering lovely views of the area. The race will include: 5K Recreational Race, 10K Elite Race, 20K Around the Lake Challenge, Sprints and Relay Races. There will be music, sports and a boating expo at this popular event!
Big Bear Gran Fondo
July 30th – Big Bear Gran Fondo / Grizzly 100 Races
This is a endurance mountain bike event with rides for all levels of participation. Riders challenge their biking abilities with distances of 20K, 30K, 70K and the big 100K race. All runs stop and start in The Village in gorgeous downtown Big Bear Lake. The 100 K is a National Ultra Endurance event. Professional mountain bike riders from all over the world will compete for points and prizes in this national series. Contact (909) 866-8000 for specific details.
August 6th – Tour De Big Bear Cycling Tour
Riders of all levels ditch the summer heat in favor of the mountain weather around Big Bear and Baldwin Lake for this race. Each Tour distance includes portions of the 2010 and 2012 AMGEN Tour of California and typically draws many fans to the area. For more information, including registration and course maps, please visit website at www.tourdebigbear.com
September 16th-17th – Kodiak 100 Ultra Trail Run / 50K+50 Mile Race in Village and Forest Trails
If you want a truly gorgeous Big Bear experience, look no further than these races – all of Big Bear will be on display! Held in September, the weather typically yields summer tempertures – perfect race weather! The 100K race starts on Friday at 12 Noon, the Front 50K at 12:01 PM. Saturday at 6 AM will be the 50 Mile Race start and 8 AM that same morning will be the Back 50K. Stay informed by checking out www.kodiak100ultramarathon.com
Big Bear North Shore Half Marathon 5K and 10K
October 1st – Big Bear North Shore Half Marathon and 5K and 10K Runs
The 3rd Annual Big Bear North Shore Half Marathon 5K and 10K are held on Friday and Saturday. Additional race details can be found at www.bigbearnorthshorehalfmarathon.com along with registration links. This is mainly a flat course, starting at Business Center Dr. in the central area. The runners will head east over Stanfield Cut-off as well as the scenic highway, National Forest, the town of Fawnskin, the bald eagle sanctuary and ending with reverse race coursing.
Enjoy your year of adventure and visit Big Bear Lake for your next outdoor adventure!