11 Things To Do in Big Bear on Mother’s Day Weekend

Have the perfect Mother's day at Big Bear Lake with your loving mom

Surprise your Mom by planning the perfect Mother’s Day getaway to Big Bear Lake. Whether she loves being on the lake, in the forest or relaxing with a weekend of shopping and pampering, Big Bear is the perfect choice for your getaway.

Reserve your lodging for the entire weekend at Big Bear

1. Reserve lodging for your getaway at BigBear.com for a full weekend of mountain recreation and relaxation.

Take your mom shopping at the Village and buy her something nice

2. Take her shopping in The Village to get something special at one of the unique shops like Earth’s Elements for the ‘boho momma’ or Barrel 33 to pick up a nice bottle of wine. She deserves it.

Have flowers delivered to your cabin while you stay at Big Bear

3. Make it an extra special weekend by ordering flowers from the Little Green House to be delivered to the cabin.

Enjoy an in-room massage from Mountain Mobile Massage

4. Dad can take the kids out fishing while Mom gets a relaxing in-room massage with Mountain Mobile Massage.

Take her on a hike on the Castle Rock Trail

5. Does Mom love the outdoors? Take her on a hike up Castle Rock Trail or along the Alpine Pedal Path at sunset for some great photo ops.

Go on a bike ride or kayaking along the water in Big bear

6. Rent bikes at Goldsmith’s Sports, Bear Valley Bikes or Paddles and Pedals and take a ride along the lake. Goldsmith’s Sports has guided electric bike tours if you contact them in advance. Paddles and Pedals also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals if you want some time on the water.

Take her out on the lake while renting a boat or kayak

7. If your Mom loves the water, take her out on the lake for an afternoon of fun. There are six marinas in Big Bear Lake that offer hourly, half-day and full-day rentals. Pontoon boats, fishing boats, kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis. Lake tours are also available on the Big Bear Pirate Ship and Miss Liberty Paddlewheel tours.

Take her on a picnic near the Bluff Lake Reserve

8. Pack a picnic and drive up to Bluff Lake Reserve for a .08 mile walk around the lake. You’ll see the pristine beauty of the old growth forest surrounding the lake and verdant meadows filled with ferns and wildflowers. Gates open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Big Bear Discovery Center
Enjoy the International Migratory Bird Day at the Big Bear Discovery Center

9. Head over to the Big Bear Discovery Center on Saturday, May 11 for International Migratory Bird Day. Activities include birdhouse building, making pine cone feeders, nature walks and bird walks.

Go to Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve to check out rare belly plants

10. Check out the rare wildflowers at the Baldwin Lake Ecological Reserve. These ‘belly plants’ are only found on the Pebble Plains in Big Bear Valley. A guided wildflower walk is available on Saturday, May 11 at 11:30 a.m.

Go to brunch at Wyatt's Saloon with music and bottomless mimosas

11. Treat Mom to a Cowboy-style Sunday Brunch at Wyatt’s Saloon from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 12. Live Country Western music, kids play area, an omelet bar, bottomless Mimosas and complimentary flowers for all Moms.

12. Also check out Mother’s Day Brunch at Stillwells Restaurant 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12. Adults are $30, Seniors $25 and kids $15. This includes a full buffet brunch featuring blackened Salmon and home-made chick pot pie, a carving station with turkey breast and baron of beef, cooked to order omelets, waffle and pasta bar and best of all, unlimited champagne and mimosas.

Hey! It’s camping for Horses – Equestrian Campgrounds in Big Bear

One of the most pleasurable ways to see the San Bernardino National Forest is on horseback.
Horseback riding is allowed on all National Forest roads and trails, except for nature trails.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness trails are very popular and Big Bear has a series of gentler trails which connect to the legendary Pacific Crest Trail.

If you want to bring your horses out of the summer heat for some alpine mountain riding but don’t want to camp, you can book your lodging in town and board your horses at Bear Valley Farms. From the farm you can head out to the trails in the area or onto PCT and get in some good rides, tuck your horses in for the night and head out to dinner in The Village.

If you don’t necessarily want to trailer your horses up here, but you’d like to get in some awesome Pacific Crest Trail rides, check out Baldwin Lake Stables. The horses are very well kept and they offer guided rides by the hour, half-day or sunset rides.

Enjoy Horse camping at Big Bear Lake

The Forest Service maintains equestrian campgrounds that are exclusively for horse camping. There are equestrian group camps and equestrian single-site camps. Check out four of our local camps:

Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground – Hwy 38
65 guests – 21 cars
$286 per night $296 per night holiday
46 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 9/21

This equestrian group campground is located in the Heart Bar Campground Complex off of HWY 38. There are 46 corrals and 11 picnic tables. Only campers WITH HORSES are permitted to camp at Heart Bar Equestrian Campground. Amenities include accessible restrooms with flush toilets and showers,one group fire ring and potable water. Firewood is available at Heart Bar Family Campground.

Driving Directions: From I-10 in San Bernardino, take the Alabama exit in the city of Redlands to Lugonia Avenue (State Highway 38). Travel northeast on Highway 38 for approximately 30 miles until you reach Forest Route IN02. Continue less than a mile to the campground.
Bring your family to Wildhorse Equestrian Campground for horse camping

Wildhorse Equestrian Campground– HWY 38
8 single-family campsites – 8 guests per site – 1 vehicle per site -$31 to $33 per night
3 double campsites – 16 guests permitted – 2 vehicles per site – $62 to $64 per night
Tents or RV camping
30 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 9/22

This campground accesses the Santa Ana River Trail with several trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. Facilities include 30 single horse corrals (12×12), 2 flush toilets and showers, water hydrants, picnic tables, fire rings with grates, 1 group fire ring, horseshoe game area, and a horse mounting area for visitors needing assistance. Only campers WITH HORSES are permitted to use these sites.

Driving Directions: From I-10 in Redlands, turn onto State Highway 38 and continue north for approximately 31 miles, to Forest Route 1N02. Turn right and continue less than a mile to the campground.

Both horses and RVs are welcome at Big Pine Equestrian Group Campground

Big Pine Equestrian Group Campground
25 guest max – 5 vehicle max
$110 per night – $120 per night holiday
Tents or RV camping
4 horse corrals
2019 Open: 4/26 – 10/5

This equestrian group camp is located in a pine forest at an elevation of 6280 ft. Amenities include 5 picnic tables, 2 double pedestal grills, 1 group fire ring, vault toilets, potable water and 4 horse corrals. Availability of water on site is very limited. Please fill up RV’s, trailers, etc. before coming to the site.

Driving Directions: Take Highway 330 to Running Springs, then head northeast on Highway 18 to Highway 38. Do not cross the Big Bear Lake Dam. Continue on Highway 38 to Fawnskin. Turn onto Forest Road 3N14 and continue about 6 miles to Forest Road 3N16. Turn left and continue less than a mile, then turn right and continue to the campground.

The 5 corrals at Green Spot Equestrian Group Camp allow you to bring your whole group

Green Spot Equestrian Group Camp
25 guest max – 8 vehicle max
$110 per night – $120 per night holiday
5 corrals
2019 Open: 5/10 – 10/19

This equestrian group camp is at the east end of Big Bear Valley at an elevation of 7,224 feet. Water is available for horses, however it is not suitable for human consumption. Trash services are NOT provided, so remember to ‘Pack it in, Pack it out’. Amenities include 4 picnic tables, 1 double pedestal grill, 2 single pedestal grills, 1 group fire ring and vault toilets.

Driving Directions: From the Big Bear Ranger Station, turn left on Highway 38 and proceed 3 miles east to Greenway. Turn right and continue past the airport to the signal at Big Bear Boulevard. Turn right and continue on Highway 38 for almost 4 miles to Forest Route 2N93. Turn right on Forest Route 2N93 and continue a half-mile to the second dirt road on the left (not marked). Proceed up the road about 50 yards to the campground.

Enjoy the trails around big bear on your horse

Here are a few links that you may want to check out:

Reservations for Equestrian Camping in Big Bear

Trails to ride in and around Big Bear

How to protect trees with a highline – Video

Horse Sense from SBNF

Pacific Crest Trail – Equestrian Info

Big Bear Lake Adventures

Big Bear Lake is a year-round, four-season resort in the mountains above Southern California. We are located in the San Bernardino Mountains about a 2 ½ hour drive from Los Angeles or Orange County and about 3 hours from San Diego. Big Bear Airport is available for most private planes and other aircraft.


Go skiing at Big Bear Lake

Everyone knows that winter in Big Bear Lake offers the best skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and snow tubing in Southern California.

Spring, summer and fall open up a whole new world of adventure for the outdoor enthusiast. Mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, wakeboarding, parasailing, rock climbing and more.

From Adventure Season in the Spring to Falltacular in the Autumn, here are some not-to-be-missed races and activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.


Compete in the Reebok Spartan Race

In mid-May, competitive adventure enthusiasts descend on Big Bear Lake as the true beast arrives with the Reebok Spartan Race. The Beast will test not only your endurance, perseverance and grit, but also your mind. The 12-14 Mile Beast packs more than 30 Signature Spartan Obstacles and your final hurdle to Spartan TRIFECTA glory.


Run in the HolComb Valley Train run in June

Three more high-octane events for adventure junkies are the Holcomb Valley Trail Run in mid-June Crafts and Cranks in late July and the Kodiak 100 Ultra Trail Run in late August. One is a 7, 15 or 33 mile trail run along the Pacific Crest Trail, one is a craft beer festival with downhill mountain bike racing and the other is an ultimate trail run of 25, 50 or 100 miles.


Race in the Big Bear grizzly 100 in September

Big Bear Grizzly 100/MTB Gran Fondo is the last weekend of September and is one of the last big adventure bike races of the year. This heart-pumping race gives MTB riders the option of a 20K, 30K, 50K, 75K or 100K course.


Enjoy German food at the Octoberfest at Big Bear lake.

If you still have some energy to burn after the race, sign up for the log sawing competition at the Big Bear Oktoberfest. Saturday night and Sunday afternoon you can enjoy German food, imported brews, Bavarian bands, traditional dances and other competitions, such as the Queen Stein Carrying Contest.


Enjoy the thrill of the Big Bear Jeep Experience

Thrill seekers can book a day of boulder crawling and other off-road fun at 7000′ feet with Big Bear Jeep Experience or bring your own 4WD and explore Holcomb Valley on the 3 1/2 hour self-guided Gold Fever Trail.


Go mountain biking at Snow Summit Bike Park

Like to mountain bike? Check out Snow Summit Bike Park where you and your bike can ride the scenic sky chair to the top of the mountain and choose from over 60 miles of trails to ride back down. While you’re up on top of Snow Summit, stop in at the Skyline Taphouse or Hog On The Rocks for BBQ and ice cold brews.


Enjoy remote camping at Yellow Post Sites

Remote camping at Yellow Post Sites is secluded and free and definitely off the beaten path. There are traditional campsites that start around $22 per night and Group Camp Sites that can have up to 40 people for about $120 per night. For camping reservations visit www.recreation.gov Big Bear also has hostels, hotels, cabins, cottages and private home rentals in a variety of locations. Explore your lodging options at www.bigbear.com.


Grab a cocktail while enjoying the live music at the cave

Most of the nightlife is in the Village where you’ll find local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Big Bear Lake Brewing Company is perfect for tasty craft beers and an extensive pub menu and The Cave is a great venue to hear some live music, grab a cocktail, a bite to eat and just chill with friends on the weekend.


Check out the bagels and sandwiches at Amangela's Sandwich & Bagel House

If you want something fresh and healthy, stop by Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House for made-to-order sandwiches, bagels and freshly-made soups and chili or check out Local Tropicali, a new spot featuring fresh organic bowls, coffee, juices and smoothies with a tropical flair. Both eateries have vegan options.

There are new events happening all the time, so visit our website at www.bigbear.com while planning your Adventure Season in Big Bear Lake.

Something Good is Brewing in Big Bear

Whether you’re looking for the perfect coffeehouse for a freshly roasted brew on a cool morning, or just a place to relax, read the paper or jump online to get a little work done while you’re in Big Bear Lake, you have options.


Enjoy a Bagel and tea at Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House
Amangela’s Sandwich & Bagel House – A Big Bear Village favorite for specialty coffees, teas, smoothies and other tasty beverages. Deli sandwiches and toasty bagels made fresh to order. Homemade foccacia rolls and huge salads. Freshly simmered soups and vegan chili. Dine inside or out near the firepit. Dogs on leash are welcome on the outdoor patio.


Have a house-made pie or vegan food at Copper Q
The Copper Q – Smack dab in the middle of the Village is a beautiful little coffeehouse, bakery and kitchen shop filled with eye-catching wares. One of the rare places in Big Bear to find delicious vegan fare as well as house-made pies, pastries and muffins. Check out their cooking class schedule that operates for small groups at the back of the store. Pet-friendly patio.


Get a delicious coffee at Starbucks
Starbucks – All the usual offerings from one of the top names in coffeehouses. You’ll find Starbucks in the Von’s shopping center at the east end of Big Bear. Gather around the outdoor fireplace or step inside for cozy seating. This store also has a drive-thru if you want a quick to-go cup.


Get either a coffee or tea at Coffee and Tea Exchange
Coffee and Tea Exchange – At the west end of Big Bear Village is a nice little shop with an array of coffee and tea specialties. Baked goods and sandwiches are also on offer. This is the best place to find a good selection of loose leaf teas, unique teapots and coffee presses.


Get a dank donut at Dank Donut
Dank Donuts – Home of the dankest donuts on earth…and in Big Bear. The original ‘dank donut’ is vegan, gluten-free and baked…not fried. For the purist, you still have the option of traditional bear claws, cinnamon rolls, fritters, maple bars and more. For heartier morning fare, try one of their filled croissants or a breakfast burrito with housemade salsa. Inside Tip: From 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. daily they have a Happy Hour. All donuts from the day are .25 each and a mystery beer is $3.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Indoor Family Fun In Big Bear


Brrr…Big Bear is cold in the winter. Some days the weather is windier, snowier or rainier than normal and that can send mommies and daddies searching for indoor activities that are fun for the whole family. When you’re looking for things to do in Big Bear, indoors, out of the elements, here are a few ideas:


Big Bear Bowling Barn

Come have fun bowling at the Big Bear Bowling Barn in Big Bear
Great gathering space for large groups or parties. 16 bowling lanes with bumpers for the littles, a snack bar for the whole gang and a sports bar for those looking for a cold beer and a glimpse of the game. At night, when the glow lights come on, they pump up the music and create a really fun atmosphere to bowl with family and friends.. 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (midnight on Fri & Sat) Kids $5 – Adults $6.50 40625 Big Bear Blvd. 909-878-2695


Big Bear Discovery Center

Learn more about the San Bernardino Nation Forest at the Big Bear Discovery Center
Stop by to see the San Bernardino National Forest exhibits. Get maps and information on the forest, rare native plants, and a variety of animal species. Popular winter programs include Animal Tracks, Children’s Storytime, Nature Crafts and Nature Walks. If there is enough natural snow, they also offer guided snowshoe tours most weekends. Open Thursday through Monday, year round. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 40971 North Shore Dr. 909-382-2790


Gold Rush Mining Adventures

Never go home empty handed going prospecting at Gold Rush Mining Adventures
Everyone can experience a ‘Eureka’ moment while cracking open a geode or mining for gemstones, fossils or gold. No prospector goes home empty handed. Take home the best souvenir in Big Bear— real gemstones, fossils, or geodes. Some minerals are large enough to have cut and faceted into your very own valuable jewelry. The friendly miners on staff will help your family or group get the most out of your Mining Adventure.Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 40016 Big Bear Blvd. 909-866-5677


Mountain Room Escapes

Beat the clock solving the puzzles Mountain Room Escapes
For all you puzzlers out there, Big Bear has two imaginative escape rooms that will get your mind working. You and your team try to solve the clues in one hour and 13 seconds to escape. Perfect for 2-6 players.Visit the website for times or to make a reservation. 40729 Village Dr., Ste. 6 877-584-6427

The premise: After a fun day of hiking in the woods, you and your friends find that you have become lost. A search for shelter leads to an abandoned cabin and the much sought after warmth you were looking for…but the cabin may not be as deserted as you thought. Can you escape a lonely old miner before he makes you a permanent houseguest?


Village Theater

Enjoy watching the latest feature films at Village Theater
See the latest feature films at Village Theater in Big Bear. With three movie screens and a full snack bar stocked with all the usual goodies, this is a perfect place to warm up on a cold winter day. Go to their website to get discount coupons or for ordering tickets in advance. Insider Tip: Tuesday is Family Fun Day with all seats at all shows for only $5. Call or go online for showtimes. 602 Pine Knot Ave. 909-866-5115.

Holiday Inspired Big Bear Shopping

Holiday shopping. In Big Bear. In The Village. At the ski resorts. From Big Bear souvenirs to beautiful works of art; unique mountain fashion or something beautiful for your home, you’ll find inspiration while shopping in Big Bear Lake. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


The Village in Big Bear Lake. With a nod to mountain living, in an alpine winter setting, you’ll find trendy fashion, handcrafted jewelry, local arts and crafts, toy stores, candy shops, and beautiful gifts for the kitchen and bath.

ski-shop girl

Ski Shops. Big Bear has a lot of them. Look for the latest in ski and snowboard gear. Find goggles, gloves, sunglasses and the hottest skiwear to kick-off the winter season.

mountain bike shop

Mountain Bike Shops. Big Bear has become a mecca for mountain biking. Local shops carry mountain bikes, fat tire bikes and road bikes along with all the accessories needed to thrill two-wheeled techies.


Big Bear Sporting Goods Stores. Look for specialty fishing gear, hunting gear, camping gear and outerwear. Perfect for the person who enjoys actively exploring the great outdoors.

wooden bear

Wooden Bear Carvings. Big Bear is known for custom carved wooden bears. These artisans also create wooden eagles, raccoons and elaborate totems. Perfect for vacation home owners and people who love truly unique local crafts.

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates – The list is long. Grab gift certificates for the ski lifts or snow tubing. Treat someone to a helicopter, zipline or Jeep tour. Give a gift certificate for dining at one of our local restaurants. If you really want to splurge, a night or two of lodging in Big Bear would be an amazing gift for friends or family to enjoy a winter getaway in Big Bear Lake.


The Village in Big Bear has free parking with over 600 parking spaces in five city lots located on Bartlett Rd., Knickerbocker Rd., Pennsylvania Ave., Alden Rd. and behind the Oakside Restaurant.

Vintage, Antique and Thrift Shops in Big Bear

Discover the unexpected. Are you one of those folks who loves to browse antique shops and thrift stores while you’re traveling? I am. Big Bear Lake has several shops that can keep you occupied for hours and hours of sheer browsing pleasure.

Whether you are hoping for rare finds of mid-century modern collectibles, distressed farmhouse pieces, or the bohemian gypsy look that is wildly popular, you can find a little bit of everything in the antique shops in Big Bear.

You’ll find collectible items like cast iron cookware, wood duck decoys, fine jewelry, antique toys, advertising signs, clocks, antlers, lanterns, distressed furniture as well as beautifully restored antiques. The list goes on and on.

Check out the thrift stores for good deals on second-hand, gently used cabin decor, household items, flannels and jackets, and sports gear. Also a great place to grab a quick vacation read for those wintry nights near the fire or long summer afternoons by the lake.


Fox Farm Antique Mall

42146 Fox Farm Rd.

Rd. | 909-866-0618

Thursday – Tuesday 10AM – 5PM

20 individual antique dealers all in one location. Beautiful antique furnishings, art and collectibles. Owners are friendly and knowledgeable.


North Shore Antiques & Collectibles

39220 North Shore Dr. | 909-878-3235

Thursday – Monday 10:30AM – 5PM

Open all major holidays

Don’t be fooled by the small appearance of this antique store in Fawnskin. The shop owner holds the majority of this easy-to-browse floor space with the back area giving way to 5 individual antique dealers. Beautifully displayed antique furnishings, collectibles, jewelry and art.


Big Bear Thrift & Treasure

40074 Big Bear Blvd. | 909-866-4336

Thursday – Monday ⋅ 10AM – 4:30PM

Ever-changing second-hand items and antique treasures. Browse through nine western themed outdoor buildings and the main two-story building for second-hand items and antique treasures.


Nestings Vintage

39307 Big Bear Blvd. | 760-413-1950

Friday – Sunday – Hours vary – Call ahead

(Seasonal store. Open May – October)

This delightful little shop in Boulder Bay is jam-packed with a combination of vintage collectibles and small furniture pieces for the cabin. Open from May through mid-October and the hours vary, so call ahead.


Heidi’s Consignment

41658 Big Bear Blvd. | 909-866-4508

Monday – Saturday ⋅ 10AM – 5PM Sunday 11AM – 4PM

4,000 SF consignment mall where you can find hidden treasures of fine jewelry, art, furniture, consignment clothing and antiques.

doves nest

Doves Nest Thrift Store

217 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-585-5698

Monday – Saturday ⋅ 9AM – 5PM Sundays 11 – 4

(Closed the 3rd Sunday of each month)

Two-story thrift store featuring gently-used items including clothing, household goods, crafting items, sports equipment and electronics. Non-profit shop that benefits local domestic violence education programs.


Hummingbird Project Thrift Store

400 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-584-8642

Open Daily ⋅ 12 Noon – 5PM

Non-profit thrift store with gently-used items including clothing, household goods, crafting items, skiwear and holiday decorations.


Big Bear Senior Citizens Thrift Store

1013 W Big Bear Blvd. | 909-585-0131

Open Tuesday through Saturday 10AM – 3PM

Non-profit thrift store featuring everything from clothing and jewelry to sports equipment and household goods.

Thanksgiving Holiday in Big Bear Lake

Thanksgiving Holiday + Big Bear Lake=Good Times

Courtesy of Big Stock

Courtesy of Big Stock

Spending Thanksgiving in Big Bear is a perfect way to start your holiday season. Cool days and chilly nights. Snow tubing and night skiing. Turkey Trot and forest hikes. Football and family time. Twinkling lights and Santa nights. It’s all here in Big Bear Lake.

Let’s Talk Turkey. Several Big Bear restaurants will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Make your reservations early because they book up fast every year. If you want to stay in your cabin and have a great meal without all the work, you can pre-order the entire feast from Barnstorm Restaurant for pick-up Thanksgiving morning. Another option is hiring Chef Allan, a private chef, to come to your cabin and prepare a gourmet holiday meal while you relax with family and friends.

Before the Feast. Run in the 5th Annual Big Bear Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. Costumes are encouraged, but not required for this fun turkey day event. 3-mile, 6-mile, or 9-mile runs for all ages on fairly level terrain.

Take A Hike. The whole family can enjoy a morning hike in the forest. Big Bear has hiking trails with everyone in mind, from paved paths along the lake to challenging hikes up the mountain for spectacular lake views.

Not Black Friday. Avoid the holiday crowds and check out The Village shops where you’ll find unique gifts, chic mountain clothing and the latest winter sports gear that you will not find off the mountain. Stop by one of the local eateries or coffee houses for a quick bite or brew. (You can always hit the Cyber Monday sales online when you get home.)

Friday Night Lights.  Santa’s Grand Entrance and Tree Lighting in The Village is an absolute must. Bundle up for a festive night as carolers stroll through The Village spreading holiday cheer while awaiting Santa’s Grand Entrance.



Snow Tubing. Some of the best fun on the mountain is when you take the kids snow tubing. Choose your inner tubes and ride the ‘magic carpet’ to the top of the hill. Hear the sounds of belly laughter as the kids race each other down the slopes. Snow tubing areas are open for night tubing on Fri. and Sat. 

Outdoor Adventure Tours. Big Bear Jeep Experience, Action Zipline Tours and Helicopter Big Bear offer a variety of top notch tours for those who want to add a little adrenaline to their visit.

More Mountain Fun. Big Bear Alpine Zoo is fun for the whole family. Go horseback riding or visit the petting zoo at Baldwin Lake Stables. The Bowling Barn is a great place for large groups to gather for some indoor fun.  


Ahhh…Relax. Get ready for the busy holiday season by treating yourself to a hot stone massage, aromatherapy session or a custom facial this holiday weekend. Check out the local yoga studio schedules for sessions that will help relax you and  balance your energy.

Holiday Lodging.  Whether you are planning a large family holiday or a romantic Thanksgiving getaway for two, we can help you find the best lodging in Big Bear. Plan your Thanksgiving getaway at BigBear.com

Stop Here First. Big Bear Visitors Center is located in The Village at 630 Bartlett Road. Pick up maps for hiking and The Village along with other area information from our friendly guest services staff.

Time for a Road Trip this Autumn Season

Cooler weather has settled in and warmer weather is on the way out, indicating fall is on its way to Big Bear Lake. Now is a great time to take a road trip to see what Big Bear offers this time of year. Big Bear is a true four season alpine resort and calls us in year round with the tree tops soaring high into the clouds, the bountiful fresh lake and the crisp, clean air that are all inviting to the senses.

Mountain Biking Alpine Pedal PathPerhaps you want to make this trip more than just a drive or as a casual passerby to the scenic route. It doesn’t matter if you’re from San Diego or Las Vegas, taking a weekend get-a-way and turning it into the ultimate road trip, makes it an experience to remember!

From experience, a road trip can start off several ways. It can be planned and well mapped out with lengthy travel itineraries or, it can be an impromptu journey, far from home to your destination of choice, with little planning and just enjoying everything along the way. A road trip to Big Bear can be satisfying, and depending on the time of season, taking in a little of the unknown. In summertime and the fall, cruising over to the mountainscape of Big Bear Lake typically means lots of selfie and photo breaks, roadside cafes, amazing views and a fully loaded itinerary with the usual must haves: an activity for the whole group, a history lesson, a unique dining experience and a relaxation motivator, nature and some decent lodging for the weekend of your road trip. Getting there may take sometime, but arriving is where all the fun’s at!

Planning ahead vs. the Unknown
You are likely to have friends or family that run the gamut of different personalities. Sometimes, it can be hard to please everyone and to be on the same page. Even just getting to your destination of choice can bring on a migraine. It’s best to take a list and check it twice, just to be sure some essentials are on board (or at least in the trunk) such as music, sunblock, proper clothing, gum and lots of snacks. Knowing when and where you’ll need lodging is also apart of the unknown or planning ahead category. Since you’re heading to Big Bear Lake, the site bigbear.com makes it a snap to locate lodging at home or on-the-go. Make sure to discuss with friends or family beforehand what matters to them most in their accommodations. Big Bear offers PLENTY of choices from B&Bs to private homes rentals, hostels, condos, resort cabins, hotels and motels. If your group can get on board and pick a place, you’ll start out a step ahead of the game!

Depending on where you are traveling from, you will find yourself stopping at the convenience store for snacks, food truck or travel-friendly diner. Since Big Bear is a short drive away, I recommend to wait until you arrive and enjoy one of Big Bear Lake’s restaurants. They go above and beyond casual food fare and serve everything from gluten free to sushi to T-bone steaks. We like to think there is a little something for everyone, and you’ll get it at 7,000 feet!

History, Interrupted
A relaxing summer and fall road trip to the mountains with your kids or with your best girlfriends means you can choose to learn a lot or a little! Big Bear Alpine Zoo is perfect for both kids and adults, where everyone can take in the sight of a Grizzly Bear or a cute, harmless owl. Admission supports and benefits animals whom have been danger or wounded in the wild, and everyone loves a good cause! If you’re an educational sponge, soak up some nature knowledge at the Big Bear Discovery Center, where you can learn all about this majestic valley. Even if you have young kids in your party, they will have fun outside in the Adventure Zone built just for them to crawl, climb and jump around in.

Take a hike or Take a tour
You may be itching to stretch those legs after the couple of hours spent in the car but someone in your group keeps complaining that they want to see more than just the flora and fauna side of things. Well, maybe you can agree to disagree? While some of your friends take a hike – Woodland Trail, Cougar Crest, Pine Knot – just to name a few, the others in your group may want to soar above it all with a outdoor tour from Helicopter Big Bear or take a rough and tumble four-wheel-drive experience with a Jeep Tour. Big Bear Lake is famous for its lake with 22 miles of shoreline, so why ride a jet ski, paddle activity or take a chance at fishing? Even if your idea of a vacation is to sit back, you can do that too, just by visiting the downtown Village and have a spa day finished off with a beer or mimosas at one of the many rustic, welcoming breweries, bars or pubs.

If your destination is Big Bear this summer and fall, then there are loads of different ways to see and experience the Great Outdoors. Driving around, flying around, walking around, swimming around and biking around are just some of the many ways to connect with nature and your friends and family on a road trip to one of the best destinations in Southern California. There are various events and competitions every weekend, including concerts and fall festivals. I hear the Oktoberfest is soon to arrive! If there ever was a time for a road to Big Bear Lake, it should be now!

Elevate Your Skills – High Altitude Baking Tips

Snowy landscape. Mountain cabin. Baking in Big Bear. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure. While this is an excellent environment for training athletes, it can be a challenging one for baking. Sitting at over 6500 ft. above sea level, there are a few simple things to know to bring your A-game to the mountain kitchen.  

Oven temperature – Increase 15 to 25°F; use the lower increase when making chocolate or delicate cakes. (Since leavening and evaporation proceed more quickly, the idea is to use a higher temperature to set the structure of baked goods before they over-expand and dry out.)

Baking time – Decrease baking time by 5-8 minutes per 30 minutes. (Baking at higher temperatures means your goodies are done sooner.)

Sugar – Decrease sugar by 1 tablespoon per cup. (Increased evaporation also increases concentration of sugar, which can weaken the structure of what you’re baking.)

Liquid – Increase by 2 to 3 tablespoons at 6,500 feet. Increase by 1 1/2 teaspoons for each additional 1,000 feet. You can also use extra eggs as part of this liquid, depending on the recipe. (Extra liquid keeps products from drying out at higher temperatures with faster evaporation rates.)

Flour – Add 2 more tablespoons per cup at 6500 feet.  For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon. (Additional flour helps to strengthen the structure of baked goods.)

Baking Powder and Baking Soda – The higher your kitchen, the lower the amount of leavening. At 6500 ft. 1 tsp. becomes ¼ tsp, 2 tsp. becomes ¾ tsp, and 3 tsp. becomes 1 tsp.

When baking a recipe that calls for both baking powder and baking soda plus an acidic ingredient, like buttermilk or sour cream, try switching to all baking powder and sweet milk.

Cookies – Because cookies bake for a shorter amount of time than bread or cakes, and are relatively low in water and high in fat content, they’re much less susceptible to the changes of high-altitude baking.  Increase the water slightly, to help the dough come together, and decrease the amount of baking powder and baking soda used.  Bake at slightly higher temperature, with a shortened baking time.

Just want fresh baked goods without all the work? Check out Sister My Sister Bake Shop , west of The Village, for some delicious freshly baked treats.

10 Great Picnic Spots in Big Bear Lake

Enjoy your next picnic lakefront or surrounded by the scenic beauty of the forest. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors is a perfect way to create memories of Big Bear Lake that will last a lifetime.

All of the picnic areas are available year-round. Colorful wildflowers and budding trees in the spring with great trout fishing at most locations. Lazy, lakeside summer days with star-filled nights. Autumn brings warmer colors and cooler temperatures and the skies are crisp and clear.  When the snow flies, these areas are great for building snowmen, having an epic snowball fight or making snow angels. Top it off with an outdoor BBQ in the snow. Bundle up and make sure you have dry clothes for little ones to change into when your day is done. Sunscreen should be used in all seasons at this elevation.


Lakefront city park with spectacular views of iconic Boulder Bay. Picnic tables, gazebo, fishing pier, lake access, public restrooms and parking lot. Grassy area to spread out a blanket and enjoy the day. A concrete walking path makes this accessible for wagons, strollers and wheelchairs. Kayak rentals and general store within walking distance.


Shady forested picnic area. Discover the beauty of tall pines dotted with wildflowers and historic cabins along a small creek.  Picnic tables, bear-proof trash cans and a paved walking path make it easily accessible for wagons, strollers and wheelchairs. Parking is on the west end of the Big Bear City Hall.


This shady, forested picnic area is a day use area only. There is a community fire ring, picnic tables, BBQ’s, parking and public restrooms. You can access the Pineknot Trail from the picnic area if you want to do some hiking. Pineknot Trail is a moderate to difficult trail. This picnic area requires a $5 Adventure Pass for parking. Adventure Passes are available at the Big Bear Visitors Center or the Discovery Center.


Small lakefront park near the Village. Picnic tables, benches, grassy area to spread out a blanket for a picnic or just relaxing and enjoying the views. Small playground for children and public restrooms on site. Park in the Bartlett Parking Lot in the Village and head towards the lake.


Small lakefront park with limited picnic tables and benches just steps away from the Village.  Grassy area to spread out picnic blankets and enjoy the views. The paved walking path makes it accessible for wagons, strollers and wheelchairs. Parking is next door in the Community Church parking lot. Public restrooms are on site.  


Lakefront city park with fishing dock, tennis courts, volleyball court, horse shoes, 2 lighted ball    fields, playground, group picnic pavilion, picnic grove with tables, BBQ’s and public restrooms.  Plenty of parking available and there is even an enclosed ‘Bark Park’ for your furry family members.


This picnic area is on a knoll above the lake. Picnic tables and BBQ’s under shady juniper trees with a short, slightly rocky path down to the lake for swimming. Alpine Pedal Path runs between the parking lot and the picnic area and is a perfect place for walking, running or biking. Easily accessible for wagons, strollers, bikes and wheelchairs. Pit toilets are in the parking area. This area requires a $5 Adventure Pass for parking. Adventure passes are available at the Big Bear Visitor Center or the Discovery Center. (Great area for sunset views.)


Shady, well-forested area with picnic tables, BBQ’s, restrooms and parking. Great location across from Serrano Campground. Easy access to the lake for swimming. Nearby kayak, paddleboard and bike rentals at Paddles & Pedals so you can enjoy water sports or cruise along the nearby Alpine Pedal Path and enjoy the scenery. Accessible for wagons, strollers, bikes and wheelchairs. This area requires a $5 Adventure Pass for parking. Adventure passes are available at the Big Bear Visitor Center or the Discovery Center.


Shaded picnic tables, BBQ’s, restrooms, parking and nearby lake access for swimming. Close to Captain John’s Marina for boat, paddleboard, kayak or canoe rentals. Also, the home of the Tarzan Boat which is like a giant playground on the water. Great family fun!


Lake view picnic area with BBQ’s, picnic tables restrooms and parking. Stunning mountain views across the street from Grey’s Peak Trail for hiking. This area requires a $5 Adventure Pass for parking. Adventure passes are available at the Big Bear Visitor Center or the Discovery Center.

Let’s Go Camping in Big Bear Lake!

marshmallows-fire-SS-580x400Spring is here and summer is just around the corner so it’s time to make your reservations for camping in Big Bear Lake. Mild temperatures on the mountain make it perfect weather for fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Each campsite includes a picnic table and a campfire ring for roasting marshmallows and keeping warm on cooler nights. Firewood is available to purchase at each campground. For the ultimate hassle-free experience, Big Bear RV Rentals can have everything ready at your site.

Serrano Campground is on Serrano-Campground-Signthe North Shore just steps from the lake. With more than a hundred sites for tent and RV camping, this is definitely one of Big Bear Lake’s most popular camping locations. A couple dozen sites provide full
utility hookups for RVs and a dump station is located within the campground. Showers and restrooms are available to all campers. Paddles and Pedals is nearby and offers bike rentals, paddleboard rentals and kayak rentals. The Alpine Pedal Path and Cougar Crest Trail are nearby and provide access to the Pacific Crest Trail.



Pineknot Campground is nestled in a dense forest of fir, pine and oak trees. This campground is a favorite for all levels of hikers and mountain bikers who want to explore the mountain trails. Buy a ticket for the Scenic Sky Chair at Snow Summit right next door for a ride to the top with some of the most panoramic views in the valley. This campground offers 47 tent and RV sites with no hook-ups.

Hanna Flat Campground copy_edit2Hanna Flat Campground is off the beaten path. This campground is on the North Shore, just under 3 miles from Fawnskin. A portion of the road to the campground is dirt but the roads are paved within the campground. Over 80 campsites are available for tent and RV camping, but there are no hook-ups. Popular for the seclusion and the dense pine forest in the campground, you can easily hike over to Gray’s Peak where you can view the lake from the top of the mountain. If you want to rent a boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard, just drive over to Captain John’s Marina in Fawnskin.

For year-round RV camping in Big Bear, try Holloway’s Marina and RV Park. Lakefront location with boat rentals, kayak rentals, canoe rentals and home of the Big Bear Pirate Ship Tour.

The Great Escape: Camping and Rock Climbing in Big Bear

Blog post and photos by Mr. and Mrs. Adventure

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You ever get that urge to get away and disconnect? There is only so much typing on a computer, texting with miniature buttons on a miniature screen and being reachable 24/7 that one can take before going mad – at least that how we felt this past weekend. So, in an attempt to disconnect from technology and reconnect to ourselves and nature, we decided to go camping and rock climbing in Big Bear – ah the great outdoors. I can already breathe more easily just thinking about it.

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After taking care of a few last minute things on our “to do” list, we drove over Saturday afternoon and finally arrived to Big Bear around 5:30 pm. Once at the lake we had about 30 more minutes to go until we were at our destination for the evening, Holcomb Valley’s South Lot Campground (google maps here and extremely detailed and helpful directions here).

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Photo Credit: SoCal Climbers MeetUp

As we drove along the bumpy dirt road, we passed Wilbur’s Grave on our left (mentioned in the driving directions linked above). Wilbur was apparently one of the early miners in the area, but nothing else about his life is known (random right?). His grave always seems to be decorated with one or more American flags and it’s a tradition to add random trinkets and decorations to it whenever passing by:

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While there is a number of campgrounds in Big Bear, the Holcomb Valley South Lot is our favorite. Not only is camping here completely FREE, but you can pitch your tent wherever your heart desires and you don’t need an adventure pass to park! The only downer is that you can’t have a campfire, but we had our portable propane powered grill and JetBoil so we were set. After scoping out the area, we settled upon a cozy little nook situated between some rocks and pine trees, providing us with our own little outdoor getaway – check out Drew looking so satisfied:

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It was now time to sit back, relax and watch the golden, summer sun slowly sink below the pine tree caked mountains, and as the night came upon us, the absence of our computers, television and phones became evident in the most peaceful and present sort of ways. With nothing to update, nothing to post, no one to answer to, we enjoyed each other’s company and began our slow evening of grilling, laughing and snuggling under the stars

holcomb valley campground, best campsites in big bear, big bear camping, rock climbing in big bear, holcomb valley pinnacles, free camping big bear, campfire, cookout, mrs adventureThe weather in Big Bear during the summer is absolutely incredible. Mid-80’s during the day with a cool mountain breeze, and low-60’s at night. If you have the right gear, it’s just warm enough to leave the cover off the tent. There’s something so right about sleeping under the glow of the moon and waking up warm under the rays of the fresh, new sun.

With sleeping bag hair and squinty eyes, we rolled out of our cozy tent and prepared breakfast tea and morning oats – fueling up for the day’s adventure of climbing rocks 🙂

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The Holcomb Valley Pinnacles is a moderate mecca with 75% of its 300+ sport climbing routes being 5.10 and under in difficulty (helpful scale explanation here). With classics like Gold StandardBye Crackie and Coyotes at Sunset, to name a few, there is no lack of epic routes to scale.

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We spent the majority of the morning brushing up on our lead climbing skills and luckily found the perfect shady spot to do so – Lizard’s Head, located on Motherlode‘s North face, is a playfully long 10-bolt climb which earned its name for obvious reasons:

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As you can see, I was seriously into it:

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About 5 hours in and our arms had turned to jello. It was time to throw that hammock up and enjoy a signature triple-decker PBJ:

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Transitioning from a morning of climbing to a hammock induced siesta, we decided to spend the rest of our afternoon relaxing by breezy Big Bear Lake:

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Sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, ferry riding, sport fishing, mountain biking, etc. – there are an absolute ton of activities to choose from when visiting Big Bear in the summer. For once in our lives, we opted to relax and parked along side the lake where we were able to take a small path down to the serene beach:

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It was beautiful. The sun was shining, the ducks were bathing, the pirates were sailing… wait, what??

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A few years ago, the mock pirate ship shown below, named the Timed Bandit, sank to the bottom of Big Bear Lake in a storm. Today, she is fully restored and back in business, offering 90-minute tours to visitors each summer ($19 for adults and $12 for children).

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I’m not sure if it was the pirates or the shimmering crystal blue waters, but soon enough Drew was inspired to jump into chilly Big Bear Lake. I on the other hand, opted to stay on land for survival purposes 😉

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Fulfilled by our weekend of disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with each other, we drove back home grateful for the much needed escape. Next weekend? Camping in Malibu!

Check out the whole blog post from Mr. and Mrs. Adventure here.

Spring is Around the Corner

Growing up in Los Angeles, I never appreciated the change from one season to another especially springtime.  Sure, at school there was Spring Break and there seemed to be an overabundance of lighter food and daylight started to last longer but, it wasn’t until I took a visit to Big Bear Lake, did I actually feel what spring was.

In this region of mountains and lakes, life sprouted up from all around the area -flowers, pine tree needles, grass and wonderful gems in nature I did not yet have a name for. This was spring, a world of new beginnings! During spring, Big Bear Lake is an inspiring place to be around and enveloped by. There are endless places to visit, hike around or swim to. My spring adventures have continued decades later, and as spring rises in Big Bear Lake, I continue to be surprised and amazed at the wondrous beauty all around.

snowboarding lessons in Big Bear

Snowboarding lessons at Snow Summit Resort for kids.

You don’t notice spring in the city like you do in the mountains or countryside, where new life is blooming all around you among wide, open skies and not stifled by the city limits. When it comes to activities and choices, Big Bear Lake is high on my list of entertainment value, a place where I can take my kids or my parents to enjoy the events and fun or just to relax and take in the scenic byways. The advantage of spending springtime in Big Bear Lake also means snow but in warmer Southern California weather than typical ski resort areas. Where else can you experience both major seasons in one beautiful place? In most temperate zone locations, spring months are March, April and May. Typically in Big Bear Lake, snow in one form or another exists until the end of April when the two major ski resorts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit – tend to close their doors and prepare the grounds for their summer hiking and bike park. But fear not, there are plenty of fun activities to do and be seen in Big Bear Lake this spring!

I’ve spoken about Big Bear’s hiking trails before but, let’s explore them a little more! If you’re looking for a view to end all views than look no further than “Castle Rock” – situated at the top of boulders and tall pines, you can see EVERYTHING this gorgeous mountain-top city has to offer, including the lake the small town is named after. You can get directions and a map to these hikes from the local Visitor Center at 630 Bartlett Road in the Village area.

Biking on the Alpine Pedal Path

Biking on the Alpine Pedal Path

If you’re looking for a trail with a little less exertion, you will want to look at taking a walk along “The Alpine Peddle Path” or “The Woodland Trail” which will bring you up close to nature but not so out-of-breath. You can even bring a stroller or wheelchair along the paved Alpine Path so everyone of any age can enjoy the surrounding beauty. Here’s a tip: Try going at sunset and bring your camera! The colors that play off the water are gorgeous all year round.

Another exciting way to see and enjoy Big Bear during Spring is by taking a helicopter tour. Located at the Big Bear City airport, “Helicopter Big Bear” is the #1 aerial touring agency in town. You can choose a trip starting at 15 minutes or more – and if you have a fear of heights – it’s worth having your heart jump into your mouth for this spectacular view! You’ll experience the excitement of a life time from prices starting only at $35 per person. Your family and friends will definitely be able to witness the way Spring sprouts up among the Valley from views you can only find at this very unique and liberating Big Bear Lake attraction.

Something the kids will love and enjoy beyond springtime, is the “Gold Rush Mining Adventures” located in the heart of Big Bear Lake. This enjoyable little adventure for young and old-er is likely to be the new favorite spot in town and on your next itinerary. You’ll have the chance to mine for gold, gems, rare fossils and geodes during your mining adventure with an expert guide – and you even get to keep your treasures! The shop even includes a wooden water-wheel and sluice. Some minerals are large enough to have cut and primed into your very own jewelry!

kids spring activities Big Beara

Kids mining for treasure in Big Bear.

If you want to see nature bloom and springtime pop with new colors, look no further than taking a tour on a zip line! Action Tours are located in the heart of Big Bear Lake and offer various tours depending on the time of season. In spring, their zip line tours prove to be the most popular and more scenic adventures around. Participation on a tour requires general training and spending 2-3 hours suspended on a zip line among the trees and pines in the San Bernardino forested areas. The tree colors and flowers in nature will never look better up close and personal during a zip tour as you suspend high in the air and bounce from track to track. As you make your journey, your helpful guide will teach you the history of nature as you explore the beauty that Big Bear has sprung during this up close and personal tour.

The Discovery Center is a forest institution that upholds the wildlife and nature statistics from years past and for years going forward. The Big Bear Discovery Center offers a hands-on approach to teaching future generations the importance of preserving and respecting the beauty of Big Bear Lake’s forests and the nature worldwide in an effort to keep the earth healthy and plentiful for generations new and old. That being said, the Big Bear Discovery Center offers a children’s play and learning park, free nature walks, guided outdoor tours and a in-door mini museum for anyone whom passes through the doors. They take donations that will help support Big Bear’s Spring and other seasons, along with helpful guides to help map out your forest adventures.

Those beautiful shores of Big Bear Lake will be calling to you! Before the summertime hits and the popularity of fishing blooms, take advantage now by grabbing or renting some gear and start fishing! Spectacular views are not your only treat – without a larger amount of fisherman occupying the shoreline means there’s a better chance that you could catch a bass or trout. If you don’t care to fish there’s still the popular snow sports available! Not only does the Springtime weather give you a boost from the city heat, but at cooler temperatures, you can also enjoy skiing and wearing minimal gear to stay warm – I’ve even spotted a tourist our two snowboarding in a t-shirt before! Spring weather is just so great – and if you are up visiting for a day of hiking – keep your eyes peeled for the blooming wildflowers and animal life throughout your forest adventure.

Big Bear Lake is one of my favorite places to visit – during springtime or otherwise – and I hope it’s yours too!

Winter Guide | Affordable Things To Do In Big Bear

When you think of a snow-filled winter vacation in Southern California  the activities that come to mind are skiing and snowboarding. The ski resorts are great, but I want you to know  there is so much more to discover when the snow flies in Big Bear! Here are some affordable winter activities to help make your next vacation even more memorable!


Snowshoe In Big Bear! Get outdoors and spend a day in the quiet solitude of nature. Snowshoeing is a wonderful winter activity for couples, friends or the entire family. Try out forest trails like Town Trail or Bristlecone where you can snowshoe at your own pace surrounded by the beauty of the forest in winter. It’s affordable winter fun at $15 per person, per day for snowshoe rentals and there is NO lift ticket! Rent snowshoes with poles at Goldsmith’s Sports or Bear Valley Bikes. Your rental company will point out the best trails and provide maps for your new adventure. Please Note: Snowshoeing is weather dependent.


Winter Hiking in the San Bernardino Mountains. There are four beautiful hiking trails on the North Shore of Big Bear Lake that are perfect for all ages in the winter.


Alpine Pedal Path (Very Easy, 5 miles, RT), Woodland Trail (Easy, 1.5 mile loop), Discovery Center Nature Walk (Very Easy, ½ mile loop) and Cougar Crest Trail ( Moderate – Difficult, 4 miles, RT). Wear layered clothing and good walking shoes, bring plenty of water, use sunscreen and always check the weather forecast if you are planning to be in the forest during winter months. Hiking is fun – Hiking is free.


Snowballs, Snowmen and Snow Forts in Big Bear. Get rowdy with a good old-fashioned snowball fight and help the kids build a snow fort to protect their territory! Build a snowman to stand guard over your fort.  This is one of the best free activities for all ages! Snow is easy to find in picnic areas or city parks… especially after a storm hits the valley! One of the favorite free snow play areas is Aspen Glen Picnic Area off of Mill Creek Rd. just west of the Village. Make sure to purchase a $5 Adventure Pass for parking at Aspen Glen Picnic Area.  Adventure Passes are available at the Big Bear Visitors Center at 630 Bartlett Rd. Caution: Snow sledding in the forest may have hidden obstacles like fallen tree branches or rocks. Please be careful if you choose to sled in the forest.


Snow Tubing in Big Bear Lake. Winter vacation memories are made here!  At Big Bear Snow Play and Alpine Slide a ‘magic carpet’ takes you, the kids and their tubes to the top of the snow-covered runs… a parent’s dream! An Unlimited Day Pass is only $35 per person and children 36″ – 42” tall are $20 and must be accompanied by a paying adult. Enjoy hours of fun snow tubing, then take a break to warm up indoors with a hot cocoa and snacks. Or, pack a lunch and use one of the picnic tables in the viewing areas for a fun family outing. Alpine Slide and Big Bear Snow Play are the safest snow tubing areas and have plenty of snow all winter long! Caution: Snow sledding in the forest may have hidden obstacles like fallen tree branches or rocks. Please be careful if you choose to sled in the forest.


Off-Peak Ski and Snowboard at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Want a more affordable option for skiing and snowboarding this season? Check out the prices at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain for off-peak, half-day or night skiing. Off-peak is usually during the week and non-holiday periods and offers lower rates. Half-day starts at noon and goes until 4 p.m. daily. Night skiing is available only at Snow Summit. Night skiing hours are 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Take a “snow” day and bring the kids up during the week. Shorter lines, less traffic and big savings!


Take a stroll through Big Bear Lake Village. The Village is always a fun place for shopping and dining on a cold, wintry day. Let the scents of fresh brewed coffee and sweet cinnamon rolls surround you as you browse through quaint boutiques and shops. Maybe you’ll find a souvenir or two to take home or the perfect holiday gift for someone special. Outdoor fire pits attract visitors looking for a warm spot to take a break while others dart into one the local pubs for a bite to eat and a cold-weather cocktail.


Guided Nature Walks, Nature Crafts, Children’s Story Time and Animal Tracking at the Big Bear Discovery Center. Most of these activities are free or very low cost. In the winter, weather providing, they offer Eco-Snowshoe Tours for about $30 per person. An experienced guide will lead a tour group to one of our forest trails for a few hours of snowshoeing and a little bit of forest education. Snowshoes are provided by the Mountains Foundation. Check their calendar for upcoming tours and book early to reserve your spot.


Big Bear Alpine Zoo is the only zoo in the U.S. devoted to alpine animal rescue and rehabilitation. Big Bear Alpine Zoo offers wild animals a safe place to heal or permanently stay if they are unable to make it in on their own. See grizzly bears, black bear, snow leopards and cougars. Snowy owls, majestic bald eagles and playful raccoons are just a few of the other beautiful animals you can see during your visit. Admission is $12 per adult (11 yrs. and up), $9 per child (3 to 10 yrs.) or seniors (60+) and free for ages 2 and under.


Affordable Night Life in Big Bear.  Are you a night owl? On Friday and Saturday nights you can listen to free country western music and kick up your boots with some line dancing at Wyatt’s Saloon or check out the weekend entertainment at our newest Village hot spot, The Oakside Restaurant & Bar. Thursday nights you can go to The Pines Lakefront for cocktails, appetizers and free Jazz. The Cave is a fun spot for live concerts on the weekends.  If bars aren’t your thing try glow bowling at the Bowling Barn or lazer tag at Big Bear Funplex for big fun with low prices.

Best Lodging in Big Bear. The most affordable lodging rates in Big Bear during the winter will be mid-week, non-peak days. Book early for weekends and holidays because everyone wants to be here once it snows! Hot Tip: Always check out the specials on our lodging page.