It's like Stairway to Heaven for people who love travel, art, nature, music, and getting outside for sweet adventures. Not much is better than an epic roadtrip and we've got just the ticket to get you ready.
Top 5 Hits for Family Adventures
- Hike Castle Rock Trail, climb castle rock and enjoy the view.
- Boulder around the large rocks around the trail.
- Paddleboard or Kayak around Boulder Bay Park
- Picnic at Ski Beach Park
- Visit the Big Bear Discovery center
- Season: Spring and Fall
- Difficulty: moderate, 2 mile round trip with 700 ft elevation gain.
- Time Needed: Day trip
- Cost: $5 Adventure Pass, or National Park pass for parking.
- The trail to Castle Rock continues on past the castle rock formation in a switchback going up. Don't go up to the left. Instead hike around the back of castle rock and find the easy path up the rock formation.
- It is a steep hike, but it is still fun with small children. There are lots of rocks to play on ¾ of the way up.
- Trail parking is on the main road around the lake. The trail head is a short walk down the road at a road bend, be careful when walking down and crossing the road.
The area of Big Bear Lake is a busy little paradise. The Big Bear Discovery Center is a great place to start your exploration, providing informational exhibits, eco-tours, an amphitheater, and trail maps. There is a lot of history rooted in this area. The native Serrano culture called it “Pine Place,” and it wasn’t until 1883 that a rock dam was constructed to flood the area that forms Big Bear Lake. Before this, the surrounding mountains had been popular for logging and gold mining. In fact, gold mining is what initially attracted settlers to the immediate area – pushing the local population over 1,000 individuals in the 1860’s.
Today, the lake itself is known for an abundance of fish, and the surrounding area is popular in all four seasons for activities ranging from skiing and snowboarding to hiking and mountain biking. Because of the seasonal temperature changes in this area, the surface water changes density and creates layers in a process called thermal stratification. Warm water is less dense and moves towards the top of the lake, hovering over the cooler, more dense water. The cool, dense water holds more oxygen than warm water. Thermal stratification allows the mixing of these layers, which replenishes dissolved oxygen levels throughout the lake – critical for the survival of aquatic life!
Big Bear Lake sits at an elevation of 7,000-feet and is about eight miles long. Towards the western end of the Lake, directly across from Fisher Cove, is the beginning of Castle Rock Trail. This is a steep, rocky hike that ends in panoramic views over the lake and nearby peaks. The exciting climb, coupled with great views and a beautiful forested trail, has made this hike one of the most popular in the San Bernardino National Forest.