Big Bear Lake truly offers an outdoor playground for all ages, all the time! Whether you are visiting for the first time or for the fourth time – the Big Bear Valley has something special for everyone whom wishes to visit the great outdoors. There are various amounts of outdoor areas to start your adventure, including picnic and park zones, lakeside exploration, hiking paths and outdoor thrills. 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 the San Diego sun, you’ll soon learn it is cooler at 7,000 feet.
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 – you can speak to an on-site Big Bear specialist at two separate organizations. First of all, I recommend stopping at the Big Bear Visitors Center at 630 Bartlett Road in The Village. My family and I always make the local Visitor’s Center our very first stop when we travel to new places. The knowledgeable staff will inform you of local events and offer you brochures on some of Big Bear’s most popular outdoor activities. 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 next location is located across the lake on the North Shore at The Discovery Center. Having been established decades ago to help preserve the forest, you’ll find a wealth of information 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 have an Adventure Pass for sale.
You may be asking yourself – what is an “Adventure Pass”? The Adventure Pass is issued by the United States Forest Service that permits bearers in designated areas to park their cars for the purpose of recreation. Offered by the day or annually, 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 stat, even the famous “Pacific Crest Trail” as seen in the movie Wild picks up from here. If you are looking for an easy scenic stroll, I recommend “The Alpine Pedal Path”. It is the perfect walk and you can even bring bikes and strollers! After you find the perfect trail, 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.
Zip lining 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 today.
While you can venture off and explore, sometimes it’s even more fun to check out the events held around town! Big Bear’s outdoor sporting events can cover all seasons, with winter and summer being the most popular vacation destination time periods.
With the upcoming summer and spring weather, let’s take a peek at the upcoming outdoor events in Big Bear Lake:
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!
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
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.
November 24 – Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot
The 4th Annual Big Bear Turkey Trot consists of 3 mile, 6 mile, and 9 mile Road Runs on Thanksgiving Day with Start/Finish line located at Meadow Park. This is a FUN event for the whole family. The run course is a relatively flat 3 mile loop through the neighborhood of Eagle Point, with 6 mile runners completing 2 laps and 9 mile runners completing 3, making it easy for all abilities to participate.
Enjoy your year of adventure and visit Big Bear Lake to get out and active in the great outdoors!