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Local Area Guide | Big Bear Activities


Welcome to Big Bear Lake, California. Big Bear Lake is a beautiful four seasons resort community that sits in the mountains above the city of San Bernardino. It is the perfect vacation destination surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest with many activities and attractions for people of all ages. With such versatility, it can be difficult to choose what to do while you are here, so we put together a list of some of the most popular activities you will want to check out during your Big Bear stay!



Action Zipline Tours

Glide among the treetops with Action Zipline Tours. One of the most exciting ways to experience Big Bear year-round, weather permitting. A three hour tour includes an off-road ride two miles into the forest in safari jeeps, with nine high-speed ziplines that run down a mountain for the most avid thrill-seekers, a beautiful suspension bridge with stunning views of Johnson Valley as a backdrop for it all.

Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain Recreation Area in Big Bear Lake is home to the world-famous Alpine Slide and offers family fun activities year round. In the summer a cool water slide and in the winter fun snowplay. The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain is open year round and is Southern California's only authentic bobsled experience.

Baldwin Lake Stables

At Baldwin Lake Stables you will head along a wide variety of terrains, on several trails, all with spectacular vistas. Rides are geared to the experience of the rider - available all day. Reservations suggested.

Bear Mountain Golf Course

Bear Mountain Golf Course a 9-hole, mountain-style course located at the base of Bear Mountain Resort in the Moonridge meadow area. The course provides a tranquil atmosphere for players of all abilities and is complete with a pro shop, Bear Trap Restaurant along with golf club and cart rentals. You will play in mild summer breezes, aromatic pine trees and blue skies for a unique golf experience.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo. a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven; temporarily while they heal or permanently as they are unable to survive on their own. 90% of all the animals brought to the zoo for rehabilitation are successfully released back into their native environment. Those that remain on exhibit are either too injured or have been imprinted by humans and cannot be released back into the wild to care for themselves.The zoo is run by Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, a Special District of the County of San Bernardino.

Big Bear Discovery Center

The Discovery Center is an educational and informational portal to the San Bernardino National Forest and is located within the heart of the Big Bear Valley. The goal of the center is to ensure awareness on how to become a more responsible caretaker of a national forest while increasing enjoyment and knowledge of California’s most recreated forestland, the San Bernardino National Forest.

Big Bear Funplex and Bowling Alley

Big Bear Funplex offers the most fun you can find in Big bear Lake! You can go and enjoy the amusement center, go bowling at The Bowling Barn, or enjoy cocktails and pizza as you watch your favorite sports team on big screen TVs at Alley Oops Sports Bar. There is something for everyone!

Big Bear Mountain Resorts

Big Bear Mountain Resorts offers guests a unique opportunity to experience two distinct winter resorts, each with its own personality and attributes, for one price. A single lift ticket provides access to both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain which are located just two miles apart, and are connected via a free inter-resort express shuttle service. Once winter is over mountain bikers have the opportunity to get back to the Snow Summit Mountain Bike Park. Come Spring Mountain Bike Season Passes are available and they currently added a Mammoth/Snow Summit Bike Pass.

Big Bear Off Road Adventures

You will want to take advantage of the fully convertible Pinzgauers to explore the ridges, canyons, meadows, streams and rivers of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains while you visit historic community & gold rush sites. Delight in panoramic vistas of desert and mountains.

Big Bear Snow Play

Conveniently located in the heart of Big Bear Lake (only minutes away from some our big bear rentals), it has one of the most popular sledding hills in Big Bear. The Big Bear Snow Play is equipped with its own snow making system, which allows them to have the best snow conditions on the ground at all times regardless of Mother Nature. This means that no matter when you come, you will have a blast going down the hill.

Big Bear Solar Observatory

The Big Bear Solar Observatory is not only one of the most iconic structures in Big Bear Lake, it also houses a sun telescope with one of the largest apertures of the world. Owned and managed by the NJIT, it is a great place of observation. Located on North Shore Drive, the Big Bear Solar Observatory can be appreciated from various parts of the lake and even some of our big bear lakefront cabins.

Big Bear Valley Historical Museum

Big Bear Historical Museum, open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. May through October, offers a walk through the colorful and romantic history of Big Bear.

Big Bear Valley Sportsmans Club

The Big Bear Valley Sportsman's Club (Incorporated 1946) operates the only supervised shooting facility in Big Bear Valley. A NRA certified range safety officer supervises the site whenever the range is open. Shooters must provide their own firearms and ammunition. Eye and ear protection are required for all shooters and spectators within the shooting area.

Biking in Big Bear

Big Bear is home to some of the world's best mountain biking trails, ranging in difficulty from easy cruising to challenging. You can take Snow Summit's breathtaking Sky Chair to the top of Big Bear to reach scenic bike trails or cruise the gentle North Shore Peddle Path. Big Bear offers some of the most beautiful and serene hiking and biking trails in Southern California and if you don't have your own bike there are many bike rental shops to choose from.

Calico Ghost Town
Whether you are on your way to Big Bear, Headed home from Big Bear or want to take a day trip, you will want to visit the Calico ghost Town. Calico is an old West mining town that has been around since 1881. With its 500 mines, Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. It was then in the mid-1890's silver lost its value and Calico then lost its population. Miner's packed up, loaded their mules and moved away abandoning the town and it became a "ghost town." Calico in the 1950's was purchased and restored with all but the five original buildings kept to look as they did in the 1880's.


Big Bear Camping is one of the most popular activities during the summer in the mountains of Southern California making it your time to sleep under the stars in the fresh, pine-scented mountain air. No matter which way you love experiencing the great outdoors, in a tent or an RV, Big Bear has the perfect accommodations for you. Big Bear campgrounds in the National Forest are operated by the U.S. Forest Service and in addition to these plenty of RV camping is available within the Valley.

Fishing in Big Bear

Fishing in Big Bear Lake will offer you one of the top rated fishing locations in all of Southern California as well as pristine waters. Big Bear fishing reports indicates freshwater anglers of all types will enjoy the quality trout and bass found in the local waters along with an abundant supply of catfish, crappie and blue gill.

Hiking in Big Bear

With over a million acres of National Forest few places on Earth offer as much habitat diversity as are available in Big Bear. We offer some of the best hiking in Southern California with logging roads to trails to cross country, there is a path for everyone. In Big Bear the general climate is alpine, with large areas in the East Valley and Cactus Flats has a high desert climate while throughout the valley there are pockets of marshes, springs, meadows and wetlands.

Holcomb Valley
Holcomb Valley, just a short drive north of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest you will find this historic gold country where more gold was taken out of per square mile than anywhere else in Southern California! In May 1860, gold was found there by William F. Holcomb and Ben Choteau (miners who had been prospecting in the Big Bear Valley). Holcomb found gold while he was tracking a bear in this valley which later was named after him. In May after filing a mining claim word quickly spread and prospectors rushed to the area. Not long after, a gold camp sprang up close to where the gold was found, it became a town and soon after became the largest town in San Bernardino County with a population of about 1,500. To visit this area you will first want to visit the Big Bear Ranger Station to obtain directions, adventure pass and a map.

Marinas & Watersports

Big Bear Lake has everything you need from paddle boarding, pontoon boating, sailing, power boating to windsurfing, sailboarding, wakeboarding waterskiing or even jet skiing, canoeing or kayaking. Boats and equipment can be rented at any one of the marinas along Big Bear Lake's 23 miles of shoreline and if you own your boat you will then need a Private Boat Permit and this can be purchased at any one of the marinas. The marinas are open come spring and continue through summer and into autumn.

Restaurants & Night Spots

In Big Bear Lake the Ski resorts and a gorgeous lake are just one of the reasons so many come, but our Big Bear dining options (both gourmet food and home-style cooking) will satisfy all appetites. Big Bear has a wide array of restaurants offering a variety of different cuisines, steak house, seafood, pasta and pizza allowing Big Bear restaurants to cater to "everyone's tastes". In addition to our wonderful restaurants Big Bear has a couple of night spots you may want to check out to keep the fun going!


The Big Bear Lake Village which is located in the heart of Big Bear Lake combines alpine architecture with your modern amenities. In the Big Bear Lake Village you will find a charming shopping district which is the main hub for Big Bear shopping, dining and entertainment. The Village which recently had a wonderful makeover helps to make your experience in our mountain town even more enjoyable with heated sidewalks, seat walls, outdoor fire pits, landscaping, decorative signage and lighting.


Snowshoeing into the open country via snowshoes or cross-country skis is one of the best ways to enjoy Big Bear Lake’s picturesque winter scenery. A great way to escape the crowds and enjoy the peace of this natural winter wonderland. Snowshoes and cross-country, steel-edged skis can be rented at various sporting goods stores throughout Big Bear.

Swimming in Big Bear Lake

Summer swimming in Big Bear Lake is refreshing and fun for everyone. If you want a safe swimming area to bring the family, Meadow Park is the best place to go with its sandy swim beach a lifeguard, a floating dock, water toys, snack bar and public restrooms. For the more adventurous swimmer you can find all kinds of swimming and wading spots around the lake,but note there are no lifeguards and Lake Management (MWD) requires that you swim within 50 feet of the shore.

Tours of Big Bear

One of the ways to enjoy and see the Big Bear Valley is with a designated tour. Choose this tab to view multiple area Tours.


Tennis in Big Bear Lake! Tennis is available through the Bear Valley Parks and Recreation at Meadow Park a 16.25 acre facility with tennis courts, volleyball court, horse shoes, 2 lighted ball fields, play lot, group picnic pavilion, group picnic grove and restrooms.