When you think of fall, crisp temperatures and leaves changing color immediately springs to mind. You may think of the East Coast and foliage hikes through rolling hills and forests, but you probably don’t think of Southern California. What many don’t know is that all of the beauty of fall can be seen in beautiful Big Bear, California. If you want a truly fall escape without traveling too far, check out our perfect fall journey in Big Bear.
Hiking Castle Rock This Fall in Big Bear Lake
Castle Rock Trail is a popular 2.5-mile-long hike in Big Bear that offers incredible panoramic views overlooking the lake and unique rock formations. Castle Rock Trail is especially stunning in fall when trees along this trail start changing colors into various hues of yellows and oranges. This trail is perfect for those who are looking for a short trail to do in Big Bear that offers incredible views, fall foliage, and doesn’t take too long to complete. The trail starts at the Castle Rock Trailhead located on the Big Bear Blvd. There is a small parking lot across the trailhead, but it can only fit a handful of cars and it fills up quickly. If this parking lot is full, you can also park along Big Bear Blvd, but be careful of the blind corners and oncoming traffic when you park and cross the street. Due to parking limitations, we highly recommend hiking this trail early in the morning.
Stroll Through The Village
There are a lot of places to see fall foliage around the Big Bear Lake, but by far the most colorful location to see the changing fall colors in Big Bear is at The Village. The Village is Big Bear’s downtown area full of shops, restaurants, bars, dessert spots, a movie theater and more. The Village is the epicenter of Big Bear where people head out to eat, walk around, grab a coffee, ice cream, and just hang out. There are tons of amazing restaurants in The Village that are especially popular for lunch and dinner. Dinnertime on the weekends can get super crowded and some restaurants can have long wait times up to an hour or more. If you’re hunting for Big Bear lake fall foliage, The Village is one of the best places to enjoy an abundance of fall colors in Big Bear. In September & October Action Tours even offers a daily Fall Segway Tour dedicated to showcasing the most colorful spots around Big Bear Lake for fall colors.
Big Bear’s Oktoberfest
Big Bear is home to one of the highest-rated Oktoberfest’s in Southern California. The Big Bear Oktoberfest has been taking place in Big Bear Lake every fall for the past 49+ years and is one of the top events in Big Bear around September & October. Big Bear Oktoberfest is open on the weekends starting September 7th all the way through November 2nd. It now offers four live German bands, tons of food choices, beer, dress up, dancing, drinking contests, and other fun activities. If you are planning a trip to Big Bear on a weekend in the fall, the Big Bear Oktoberfest is the one activity that you shouldn’t miss. Note that this Big Bear Lake fall festival does get super busy, and we highly recommend buying tickets online well ahead of time or you could end up standing in entrance lines for hours.
Bear Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch
One of the most family friendly activities that you can do this fall in Big Bear Lake is to go to the Pumpkin Patch at Bear Valley Farms. Bear Valley Farms is located on the east side of the Big Bear Lake. Through the year this farm is used for horse camps and riding lessons but in fall they also set up a pumpkin patch for the Big Bear Lake community. The Bear Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch is open on Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm and costs $10 to enter. The entrance ticket includes a variety of activities from a petting zoo and hayrides to a haunted house and plenty of cute photo-op spots with pumpkins and haystacks. You can also purchase a pumpkin to bring home and carve!
Zipline Pumpkin Smashing
If looking through a pumpkin patch is a little too vanilla for you, take your pumpkin activity up a notch with the Pumpkin Smash Tour. Every Saturday in October the Action Tours Company in Big Bear sets up a Pumpkin Smash Tour where you can zipline through the forest while throwing pumpkins from the zipline at different targets. If you hit a target, you can even win a prize. The Pumpkin Smash Tour costs $129 and included with this tour are nine different ziplines that get progressively higher and faster, reaching speeds up to 35 miles per hour.