Big Bear Lake is famous as both a ski area and year-round weekend destination. With relatively mild summer temperatures, Big Bear Lake offers a cool escape from the heat of Southern California. It offers serene nature, excellent food options and a multitude of outdoor activities.
Things to do in Big Bear Lake
Thanks to the scenic and rugged surroundings, Big Bear Lake is an ideal destination for those in search of adventures, such as hiking, bicycling or horseback riding. The lake itself is full of trout, catfish and bass, perfect for avid fishermen.
Big Bear Lake is located in the heart of San Bernardino National Forest, surrounded by the mountain landscapes of Butler Peak, San Gorgonio Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain. Each one provides a unique challenge to hikers, along with stunning countryside views.
During the snow season, Big Bear Lake is a great place to go skiing. Both Bear Mountain Ski Resort and Snow Summit Ski Resort are located here, offering 26 lifts and 176 hectares of skiable terrain. Both welcome skiers and snowboarders alike, but snowboarders tend to find the slopes of Bear Mountain more appealing.
For a small mountain town, Big Bear Lake has an incredible variety of cuisine available, with a range of American bars, steakhouses and burger joints. You can also find unique international food, from Indian to German, including hearty European fare at The Old German Deli.
Getting around Big Bear Lake
It’s possible to get to Big Bear Lake by bus from San Bernardino; however, driving is the most convenient way to get around. It’s about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles to Big Bear Lake or about 2.5 hours from San Diego.