ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Big Bear Lake California

Updated on September 14, 2019

There are not many places on earth I can think of other than Southern California where you can play in the snow all morning, then hop in your car, take a short drive up the freeway, prepare a nice comfortable lounge chair by the pool, apply your favorite moisturizing lotion to perfect that bronze tan, and bask in the warm sun for the remainder of the afternoon.

This is the splendor and convenience of extreme climactic changes you experience in many regions of Southern California. Within the same day and literally within a matter of hours, a person can snow ski the many different winding slopes at Big Bear, then cruise over to the Coachella Valley, fire up the barbecue, and enjoy a flame broiled dinner while soaking up the sun poolside in swim attire.

The Region I'm referring to is a unique place where San Bernardino County meets Riverside County, where the high mountains meet the low desert, one of many geographical points in California where unusual and abrupt climactic changes in temperature and scenery occur within an hours drive. This is where you'll discover Big Bear Lake, located within the mountainous terrain of San Bernardino, and it's also where you'll find the Coachella Valley, home to Palm Springs, the premier golfers paradise. A seamless geographical transition which presents a beautiful yet somewhat surreal trip between the two destinations. From snow skiing down a mountain as you endure an ice cold chill turning your cheeks a rosy red tint, to playing a set or two of tennis in a warm dry desert climate almost within the blink of an eye.

Photo Courtesy of Kyle L.
Photo Courtesy of Kyle L.
  • Big Bear Lake - Brief History

Located in San Bernardino County with a modest population of roughly 6,000, incorporated in 1980 and documented as the largest recreational lake in Southern California, Big Bear is without a doubt one of the most popular year round resort destinations not only for state residents, but also people from all over the world. In winter, the city plays host to high octane dare devils seeking a thrill ride down any number of ski slopes designed for the beginner up to the consummate pro, and when summer arrives with its first sparkling hot sun rays, that's the queue for boaters, fisherman, campers and all other warm weather activity enthusiasts to flock here in droves to enjoy spring and summer recreation.

Big Bear was always an attraction for nature lovers, a place where you could walk or jog along rustic trails while breathing in a refreshing combined scent of pine trees and the purest mountain air on earth. But it wasn't until 1921 when the first resort was built, the Pan Hot Springs Hotel, that it began to attract attention from the more prominent notables including the Hollywood elite.

Just prior to the construction of this trailblazing hotel, a natural hot spring was discovered. This bubbling fountain of refreshing water presented the perfect opportunity for the owner to promote the new resort as a place not only for outdoor and indoor recreation, but also a rejuvenating spa to provide soothing physical relaxation for those who needed to unwind and dismiss the everyday stresses. This of course was achieved via a hot and steamy natural mineral bath at the Pan Hot Springs Hotel.

 Photo Courtesy of CJeppson
Photo Courtesy of CJeppson

Shortly after the opening of this landmark hotel, Big Bear experienced a significant growth spurt which resulted in the construction of an additional 40 plus new resort style establishments mainly to facilitate the ever increasing number of overnight vacationers and day trip visitors.

With its wide open spaces, majestic mountain ranges, and very close proximity to Hollywood, it's no surprise many top prime time television shows and big screen motion pictures were, and still are filmed here on location. In addition to the celebrity crowd, Big Bear is a prime training location for some of the greatest boxers in the world who seek thinner oxygen conditions at higher altitudes to help develop increased stamina and energy for optimum preparation when they enter the ring for competition.


  • Boating - Fishing - Swimming - Hiking

Needless to say, when the warm weather arrives at Big Bear Lake the transformation from skiing and snowboading winter wonderland, to a water sports enthusiasts haven is seamless. When the snow finally melts away to reveal the lush green landscape, seasonal flora, and crystal clear sparkling lake, it's time to ring in spring & summer with an invigorating boat ride, a relaxing day of fishing, a complete overall body workout by taking a nice swim in the lake, or any other physically exhilarating warm weather recreational activity you can think of.

Hiking is a very popular activity at Big Bear, the trails range from flat and easily maneuverable, all the way up to near vertical steep inclines designed for the more experienced. A good quality walking or hiking shoe which absorbs high impacts to avoid potential injury might be something to consider if you are a novice to this activity, a slight twist or even sprain is not uncommon in this type of uneven mountainous terrain.


Photo Courtesy of emmyboop
Photo Courtesy of emmyboop
Photo Courtesy of favouritethings
Photo Courtesy of favouritethings
  • Wildlife

Big Bear lake is located in a wilderness area surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest, so you will be sharing the same lands with all indigenous wildlife.

That's not to say you will cross paths with anything other than the more commonly found docile squirrel, fox, or various types of birds, but as a precaution, it's always a good idea to be prepared just in case you do encounter a potentially more harmful species. Animals in their natural habitat will usually just ignore you and prefer to just go on their merry way, but it's always a good idea to educate yourself in regard to predominant indigenous species before visiting any wilderness area. Check with local rangers or authorities prior to your visit so you'll be well educated and properly prepared for the adventure.

  • Skiing - Snowboarding - Winter Activities

Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in California can be found right here at Big Bear, consisting of a wide range of slopes for every style and challenge, from the beginner to the pro.

Significant snowfall is recorded annually so the skiing season can be a long fulfilling ride here, unless out of the ordinary weather conditions result in lesser than usual snow pack. There are ski shops for needed supplies at reasonable prices, so if you forget or misplace essential equipment, you shouldn't have a problem finding what you need.

 Photo Courtesy of yourcoco
Photo Courtesy of yourcoco
Photo Courtesy of planetlight
Photo Courtesy of planetlight
Photo Courtesy of tkksummers
Photo Courtesy of tkksummers
  • Lodging & Shops

Lodging in Big Bear primarily consists of cabin rentals or corporate owned hotel or motel properties. It's just a matter of location preference and type of modern amenities or lack there of, you're looking for. Some of the private cabins which rent on a weekly basis provide the most spectacular lakefront and mountain views you'll find anywhere. Most come with at least one fireplace so if you plan to visit during winter, the soothing warmth emanating from the fireplace as it buffers your body from the freezing cold chill can be one of the most cozy and romantic experiences of your visit. What could be more relaxing than reading a book or embracing a significant other while sitting next to a warm, crackling, conglomerate of heated embers. Other accommodations include some of the more popular name brand hotel and motel chains which provide a variety of amenities and locations to choose from.

Shopping is quaint and mementos can be found throughout the different boutiques within the market place. Big Bear is a mountainous and wooded region, so many of the products for sale will reflect the outdoor motif, even hand made pieces by local residents can be found for sale which adds a very personal touch to many souvenirs and gifts. If you are searching for something a little more elaborate, there is no shortage of luxurious items for that special purchase.

**** Lodging Ideas & Map For Directions Below ****

Photo Courtesy of mojosaurus
Photo Courtesy of mojosaurus

Directions to Big Bear Lake:

A
Big Bear Lake Ca:
Big Bear Lake, CA, USA

get directions

B
Los Angeles Ca:
Los Angeles, CA, USA

get directions

C
Palm Springs Ca:
Palm Springs, CA, USA

get directions

D
San Diego Ca:
San Diego, CA, USA

get directions

E
John Wayne Airport:
John Wayne Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, CA 92707, USA

get directions

F
LAX:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

get directions

G
Palm Springs International Airport:
Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), 3400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

get directions

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • nakmeister profile image

      nakmeister 

      10 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      A great hub, made me almost believe I was there at times. Lovely photos too. I'd never heard of Big Bear Lake before but now if I ever get the chance I'd like to visit.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I enjoyed reading this hub – it was an interesting virtual voyage! The Big Bear Lake region looks like a great place to explore. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit the area some time soon.

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      10 years ago from > California

      Hi liswilliams,

      Nice to see you & Thanks for stopping by.

      Snow Sports & Skiing in Winter...Fishing, Camping & Boating in summer...Something for everyone year round. Plenty of outdoor activities for the entire family. Typical mountain travel getting there but well worth the trip I think.

    • liswilliams profile image

      liswilliams 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Awesome stuff. Thanks for the tour, hope I can stop off there some time.

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      10 years ago from > California

      Hi Happyboomernurse nice to see you again, glad you enjoyed your stay at Big Bear.....

      It really is a nice place, a 4 season resort if you will, something to do year round. Someday you must visit SoCal, especially around winter time...Average temps here in Dec, Jan, Feb, are in the high 60's to low 70's.

      If your looking to get out of the cold winters this is the place to be.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      10 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi Alternative Prime,

      Just stopping by for a cyberspace mini-vacation. I loved the photos and could really imagine myself warming up by a crackling fireplace. This time you enticed me to click on lodging to check out prices which weren't as high as I expected. I've traveled up and down the whole east coast but never ventured out west. Getting to Big Bear Lake California is definitely something to dream about.

      Thanks for sharing this informative, well written hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)