Ultimate Guide to Big Bear Outdoor Activities & Adventures | Big Bear Cabins

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Experience Big Bear outdoor activities

The Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Adventures in Big Bear, California

California’s Big Bear is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream vacation destination. This Golden State town offers numerous adventures, ranging from on-land, aquatic, and aerial thrills, making it one of the nation’s foremost locations for connecting with nature. Here’s an in-depth look at what Big Bear outdoor activities offer.

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Discover Big Bear hiking trails

Scenic Hiking Trails

Hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy Big Bear’s lovely outdoors as you traverse the sweeping landscape on gorgeous trails. The San Bernardino National Forest hosts over 20 trails, giving you access to over 100 miles of year-round hiking routes. The 3.1-mile Jenks Lake Trail near Big Bear Lake offers a generally simple hiking experience, featuring an elevation gain of roughly 486 feet. The trail begins with a gentle incline towards the lake, offering breathtaking views atop a wooden boardwalk that extends into the water.

The Bertha Peak Trail provides a moderately challenging 7.5-mile hike featuring an elevation gain of 1,358 feet. You can access the route via the Cougar Crest Trail before emerging at Pacific Crest Trail, then Bertha Peak Road, where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of Big Bear Lake. The Plantation, Skyline, and Seven Oaks Trail is Big Bear’s most arduous hiking route, covering 11 miles with an elevation gain of 2,575 feet. The trail takes you to Grand View Point, eventually emerging at Radford Camp outside Seven Oaks.

Lovely Biking Routes

Biking is an excellent alternative to hiking, with Big Bear featuring multiple miles of well-groomed trails primed for exploration. Bear Lake Woodland Trail stretches 1.6 miles, offering a hassle-free biking experience with lovely lake vistas towards the road’s end. Explore Bertha Peak via Holcomb Valley Road for a slightly more challenging route and relish the 2.8-mile biking experience with excellent views of Holcomb Valley and Delamar Mountain.

The 11.3-mile Beast Trail is Big Bear’s most demanding biking route, with an elevation gain of 3,510 feet. Cycle up to Snow Summit and enjoy the gorgeous sights of sweeping pine forests and the city’s vicinity. For quality mountain bike rentals, check out Chains Required Bike Shop and explore their impressive selection of high-end options. Choose from full-suspension or comfort E-bikes, cross-country, hardtail, or downhill demo bikes, and enjoy an exciting biking escapade with quality equipment.

Plan for zip lining in Big Bear

Awesome Ziplining Tours

Ziplining blends the thrill of soaring through the air at incredible speeds with majestic views of the gorgeous landscape. For Big Bear’s most exciting ziplining adventures, check out Action Tours and relish an exhilarating escapade near Big Bear Lake. The company offers ziplining on nine high-speed zip lines where you’ll zip above the forest floor at up to 35 miles per hour. The tour also features a suspension bridge that helps connect different parts of the course while delivering a fun experience as you walk across.

Action Tours provides transportation from the departure site to the zipline center, saving you the time and hassle of driving. The experience lasts roughly three hours, including transportation time, giving you ample time to enjoy the adrenaline-pumping excitement. The company permits ziplining for kids aged eight and older, allowing for riveting, wholesome family fun with your little ones. The zipline course’s design adheres to San Bernardino County’s building codes, ensuring safe ziplining for you and your loved ones.

Thrilling Off-Roading Trips

Big Bear hosts hundreds of miles of awe-inspiring off-roading trails, delivering epic drives in the expansive San Bernardino National Forest. The Pioneertown to Big Bear OHV Route covers 19.2 miles, offering an easy to moderate technical off-roading experience with picturesque views. The 11.1-mile Gold Fever OHV Trail passes through the lovely Holcomb Valley, promising several historical areas, including Two-Gun Bills Saloon, Jonathan Tibbetts Quartz Mill, and Original Gold Diggings.

The John Bull OHV Trail stretches 15.2 miles, delivering Big Bear’s most arduous off-roading experience. The route features steep climbs with massive boulders and umpteen rock gardens, putting your driving skills to the test. You can conquer some of Big Bear’s off-road trails with a stock off-roading vehicle, but most require high-clearance 4X4s with differentials to help maneuver through tight sections.

Experience horseback riding in Big Bear

Relaxing Horseback Riding

Explore Big Bear’s breathtaking backcountry on a peaceful horseback riding tour. Baldwin Lake Stables is the town’s most renowned horseback riding company, offering numerous rides along multiple trails. The three-hour ride takes you through the Pacific Crest Trail, where you’ll enjoy impeccable views of the famous Mojave Desert. Watch the sun dip over the majestic mountains on a Sunset Ride, or book a Private Guide Ride for a secluded riding experience.

If you’re vacationing with your little ones, head to the Baldwin Lake Petting Zoo and enjoy delightful interactions with the zoo’s animals. They get to feed, pet, and cuddle cute rabbits, pigs, goats, and alpacas as they relish the company of the zoo’s adorable residents. Your kids can also take pony rides as a trained guide leads them around the grounds. Baldwin Lakes Stables ensures a careful selection and handling of horses, promising a safe and smooth ride for you and yours.

Epic Stargazing Experiences

Big Bear features breathtaking night skies thanks to its high altitude, making it one of South California’s premier spots for spectacular stargazing opportunities. Holcomb Valley Road off North Shore Drive is one of Big Bear’s best locations for viewing stars owing to its distance from central Big Bear, lowering levels of light pollution. Woodland Trailhead also offers optimal sky viewing opportunities thanks to its remoteness from lighted areas. Other popular spots for clear night skies include North Shore Lane, PCT Crossover Hwy 18, and Boulder Bay Park.

As you prepare for your night under the stars, dress in layers to keep out the cold, even in summer, since temperatures can drop as low as 42 degrees. Also, use a red LED flashlight over a conventional flashlight to help generate greater rhodopsin levels in your eyes, enhancing better night vision. For an extended stargazing experience, carrying snacks and drinks can help maintain energy and hydration. Pack a foldable or reclining seat and enjoy cozy viewing outside the confines of your car.

Experience fishing in Big Bear

Fishing Charters

Relish an exciting angling escapade on a fishing charter as you aim to reel in Big Bear’s local fish species. Fish Big Bear Charter Service offers Big Bear’s best fishing experience aboard a fully equipped 22-foot pontoon vessel featuring fish-finding and catching equipment. The system’s advanced capabilities allow you to see the fish on-screen before being hooked. The boat’s massive bimini top supplies adequate shade, especially on warmer summer days, allowing a serene fishing journey safe from the sunshine.

Captain Sean Rabago has over 25 years of fishing experience in Big Bear Lake, offering expertly guided service. Fish Big Bear Charter Service provides all the necessary fishing equipment, including an ice chest for storing your catch. Since Big Bear Lake lies nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, the lake tends to be colder than the marina, so dress in layers to keep warm. Kindly note that you’ll need a California Fishing License for anyone aged 16 years or older, which you can purchase online at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding Adventures

Explore Big Bear Lake’s gorgeous waters on a laid-back kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding adventure. The lake hosts 22 miles of scenic shoreline with numerous inlets, coves, and bays, making it an excellent spot for exploration. Several bird species frequent the lake, including bald eagles, mallard ducks, and great blue herons, allowing exciting bird-watching opportunities. Launch from one of the local public boat ramps and go upwind for a less arduous paddling experience.

All kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding activities require Lake Use Permits from the Big Bear Municipal Water District. Permit costs range from $25 for a day, $35 for two days, $45 for three days, and $55 for four days, while a seasonal permit goes for $60, giving you year-round access to the lake. For quality kayak and paddleboard rentals, check out Get Boards and explore an impressive selection of top-range equipment. If you’re a first-timer looking to learn the basics, their experienced staff offers expert advice and a free map of the best kayaking and paddleboarding spots.

Experience parasailing in Big Bear, CA

Blissful Parasailing Escapades

Parasailing offers spectacular panoramic views of local scenery from several hundred feet in the air. The principle involves attaching a parasail to a boat via a tow rope, which fills the chute with air as the vessel accelerates across the water surface. The drag created by air resistance holds the parasail up, delivering a unique vantage point to take in the sweeping sights of Big Bear Lake and its surroundings.

Pine Know Marina Parasail is Big Bear’s only go-to for exciting parasailing adventures. Enjoy a solo experience at $80 or a tandem flight at $160. The parasail rises to 500 feet, allowing for a one-of-a-kind aerial adventure as the wind rushes across your face. The tow rope safely reels you back to the vessel as the boat slows down.

Fun Helicopter Excursions

Experience Big Bear’s beautiful skies on a scintillating helicopter ride and enjoy excellent views of the rolling hills and lush forested landscape. Helicopter Big Bear is the town’s most renowned helicopter tour company, offering several riveting helicopter excursions. Their tours range from seven to 45-minute flights, taking you past Big Bear’s most famous spots. Depending on your preferred flight option, you’ll fly past Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Snow Summit, Bear Mountain, Bear Valley, Mojave Desert, Holcomb Valley, Van Dusen Canyon, and Onyx Summit.

Each tour can accommodate two to three passengers, making it a popular choice for sightseeing with your partner or family. The seven-minute Tour Romeo costs $65 per person for two passengers or $55 per person for three passengers, while the longest 45-minute Tour Echo costs $300 per person for two individuals or $260 per person for three passengers. Carry a sweater or jacket to keep warm as the temperatures get chilly up in the air. The family-owned company has been a Big Bear mainstay for over a decade with FAA-approved personnel, ensuring a safe flight experience.

Fast-Paced Sledding at Alpine Slide

The Alpine Slide has garnered worldwide fame for offering epic downhill descents at incredible speeds. The renowned slide delivers South California’s sole genuine bobsled experience, drawing massive annual crowds. The ride starts with a picturesque chairlift to the top of the hill, where you navigate your sled down the cement tracks. Each sled features Teflon runners to provide abrasion resistance and ball bearings for a smooth descent. Choose from two quarter-mile tracks and enjoy the fast-paced ride with long straightaways and banked turns.

Control how fast or slow you want to go using the control handle to apply the brakes. The experience usually lasts roughly two minutes, based on your speed, with an option of running side-by-side with family or friends. The Alpine Slide remains open daily, with single ride charges at $9 and five rides costing $40. Kids must be at least 36 inches tall to ride with an adult 18 or older. The ride remains open year-round, allowing for riveting action regardless of the season.

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Book Your Big Bear Vacation Rental Early

Big Bear has etched its place as one of California’s best locations for epic outdoor thrills. Whether you’re looking for epic outdoor escapades with your partner or want to treat your loved ones to a memorable vacation as you connect with nature, Big Bear has everything you need for a riveting experience. From scenic hiking and biking trails to exhilarating helicopter rides and laid-back paddleboarding adventures, indulge in scintillating outdoor adventures.

As you prepare for your Big Bear escape, look to Big Bear Cabins for the town’s finest vacation rentals. We offer an impressive selection of high-end holiday homes, including corporate rentals, Jacuzzi cabins, lakefront homes, and pet-friendly rentals for vacationing with your precious pawed pal. Our properties feature ample amenities, including spacious living rooms, fully equipped kitchens, snug bedrooms, modern bathrooms, and convenient locations, offering easy and quick access to the best outdoor thrills. Contact us today to book your vacation rental early and enjoy the splendor of Big Bear in comfort and convenience.