Big Bear Lake is a four-season escape in Southern California and very famous for snow sports. Going for Ski in San Bernadino Mountains is in my California bucket list, but a day trip to Big Bear Lake in the summer is very popular among the locals and tourists. I have been waiting for the weather to get better and this week it started getting warmer. Hence, I decided to enjoy my sunny Friday in Big bear lake.
Tips to visit Big bear lake
- If you are using highway 18 it is a winding road so be careful while driving.
- Try to avoid a visit during a rainstorm as it’s known for Landslide.
- Even the temperature was in the 70s, wind near the lake feels cooler. Hence carrying a hoodie or cardigan will be a wise choice.
- No food facilities at the lake.
- Make a stop at the big bear lake visitor center. The lady at the visitor center was super helpful and guide you in the right direction.
- Must pack sunscreen and water gears.
How to get there?
The big bear city has a small airport and you can get an air taxi from LAX airport, but trust me, you don’t want to take those because it is super costly. Pick either airport from Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Palm Springs and get a rental car. You can enjoy the view of the valley and mountains while driving up to Big Bear Lake.
One day trip to Big Bear Lake in summer
As it was Friday, we didn’t want to get stuck in office traffic so we decided to start late from my house. We started around 10 pm with a little bit of traffic around corona we reached the big bear lake around 12:45 pm. We also stop by at one lookout point while driving through the San Bernadino mountains. There are so many lookout points and I will definitely suggest making a stop because the view is incredible.
Meadow Park & Ski Beach Park
I have researched sandy beach and Meadow park is suppose to be a sandy beach, but when I get there I found the beach is closed. I really got disappointed because there is no update of beach closure anywhere on the website. Hence We just went ski Beach Park, which is right next to Meadow Park. The Ski Beach park was a nice little park with kids play area, restroom facilities, small deck and access to water.
Big Bear Village Visitor Center
As we already crossed lunchtime I was super hungry. We head to big bear village and I must say they have created such a cute village. There is plenty of street parking but directly go to big bear visitor center because they have a huge parking lot. I walk into the visitor center and there was a lady whom I asked about the sandy beach and other stuff to do. She was super nice she marked everything on the map for me. I strongly recommend you make a stop at the visitor center.
Big Bear Village
The village was so cute we decided to walk around and explore the village first. I got a map of the village from a visitor center where every shop and restaurant marked clearly. The walking path is wide enough and accessible for a stroller and wheelchair. The village has everything restaurants, shops, theater, but those wooden sculptures of the bear stole my heart. You can also enjoy people watching around the village. While it was feeling windy by the lake, the village area was more on the warmer side.
I wanted to have ice cream to beat the heat so we stop at the North Pole fudge on Pine knot Avenue. They have a good variety of ice cream and shakes. The majority of shops and restaurants are on pine know avenue and village drive. I also recommend Amangela’s sandwich, you should try it. It was super delicious and filling. After a long time, I had a super delicious vegetarian sandwich. We spend around two hours in the village and then head out to the beach.
Carol Morrison Public Launch
I know you must be thinking why am I suggesting the public launch? There is a long stretch of sand where we enjoyed swimming and playing with sand. I love the huge parking so no hassle of finding parking and plenty of picnic tables too. As the name suggests people bring their own boats and jet skies and use this launch area to get in the water. I highly recommend this place for picnicking, swimming and water sport.
Juniper point picnic area
From Carol Morrison, Public Launch drives further on North shore drive towards Fawnskin town to get Juniper point. This point has plenty of picnic benches and its crosses to Alpine Pedal Path Trail. We walk through the picnic area and took a glimpse of the lake. The Alpine pedal path trail is paved and accessible from different points. You will see people jogging, bicycling and strolling over this trail.
Pine Oak Lane North/South Beach
Before we head back home, we made one more stop at the Pine Oak lane beach. From the road, you won’t see the beach because the water level is lower than the road level. There are small patches of sandy beaches. You can get all your gears and head down to the beach.
Other Things to do in big bear lake during summer
It was just a one day trip to the big bear lake, but the lake has a lot to offer besides swimming and water sports. The big bear lake has six full-service marinas, which offer rental facilities. You can rent boats, wakeboard, tube, kayak and more from Holloway’s, Pine knot, North shore landing and pleasure point. You can bring your own boat or jet ski and use one of the two boat launch areas to get in the lake. Fishing is permitted anywhere in the lake so the choice is yours if you want to sit by the shore or rent a canoe and explore in the lake. Kayaking and Canoeing are my favorite lake activities.
If you are looking for more adventure things Magic Mountain got you covered. Alpine slide and Soaring Eagle are the most popular rides on Magic Mountain. You can also enjoy the Mini Golf, Go cart, water slide, and snow play. Mountain biking is most adventures and thrilling activity to do at Big bear and many cyclists come here to enjoy it.
The Big Bear snow summit also offers a pool of activities and scenic sky chair ride gives an amazing view of the lake. They offer zip line, wall climbing and many more activities in the summer and very popular for skiing and snowboarding in winter. Big bear has numerous family-friendly things to enjoy no matter the age group.
I have to visit a big bear again for the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and Sky chair at snow summit for sure. The Christmas in big bear would be like a fairy tale, hence I hope I get a chance to celebrate Christmas in big bear.