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Best Outdoor Activities in CA - Big Bear Lake

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Big Bear Lake is a small city in Southern California. It sits on the banks of fish-filled Big Bear Lake. The area is known for outdoor recreation in the rugged San Bernardino National Forest surrounding the area. It’s home to Bear Mountain ski resort, with its terrain parks and learner slopes, and family-friendly Snow Summit ski resort. Boutiques, gift shops and restaurants line the streets of Big Bear Lake Village, the commercial area.

Big Bear Lake, CA

Big Bear Lake sits in Southern California’s rugged San Bernadino National Forest, just 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This outdoor sports hub is known for its all-year adventures – no matter the season, there are always outdoor activities nearby. Visit downtown to indulge in the town of Big Bear’s boutiques, gift shops and restaurants. Contrary to what the name says, there are no huge threat of bears in the area.

Big Bear Bike Trails

The Big Bear Lake’s 100 miles of cross country, singletrack biking trails are what makes Big Bear Lake a big hit for bikers. Mountain bike is in full action on Sky Line Ridge, an intermediate MTB trail spanning 15 miles with amazing views of Mount San Gorgonio. For a more challenging ride, try Pine Knot trail and Grout Bay Trail. Beginners to mountain biking, cruiser biking and fat biking can start at Bristlecone Trail, and Woodland Interpretive Trail.

Big Bear Bikes

For road biking options, visit the well-maintained paved roads of the 3-mile Alpine Pedal to Stanfield Cutoff where you’ll find relaxing, almost-deserted paths. If your road biking itinerary includes an uphill workout, try the Baldwin Lake lake loop. A more challenging route is Onyx Summit – the longest climb in California with a summit of 8443 feet!

E-bikes are an environment-friendly option you can use to ride around town or trails that allow them. Make sure you abide by the current e-bike regulations.

Big Bear Lake Activities

Winter brings 198 acres of skiable terrain – half of which are black diamond and double black diamond trails. Come summer, 100 miles of biking trails, and 22 miles of lakes become home to biking and water adventures. Ontario International Airport is the closest airport to Big Bear Lake.


TripOutside features the best local shops in Big Bear Lake, CA for gear rental and outdoor adventures.