Big Bear Discovery Center
The valley and mountains around it are full for hiking and biking trails waiting to be explored, and the “Big Bear Discovery Center” is the place to start your adventure.
Located adjacent to Big Bear Lake on highway 38, the center offers maps, passes, café, souvenir shop (Adventure Outpost) and expert advice from the on duty rangers. You can also join educational Naturalist-led interpretive programs and events.
We decided we want to enjoy a hike close to the lake, so we started by talking to the rangers. They were very friendly and helpful. They gave us a map of the area showing all the trails. They showed us how to walk from the Discovery Center to the Alpine Pedal Path - which runs adjacent to the lake.
The trail is paved asphalt, which makes it popular with bikers too. It meanders through forest and meadows with many views of the lake. Along the trail you can find many shady benches to catch your breath and admire nature. Close to the shoreline you can find picnic tables and barbeques (closed during fire season).
The trail is about 3.5 miles long and considered very easy. It is easily accessible for hikers, skaters, joggers and even strollers and wheelchairs.
Winter is here and the kids are screaming for you to take them to the snow. Where would you take them?
You have several options:
You can stop along the way to Big Bear and find a good spot for sliding. But be warned, those spots are rare and parking places are almost impossible to find. Many popular spots are actually off-limits – but people use them anyway. Bring your own inner tube or slid.
You can try one of the official snow play areas. In my opinion they are the safest places to have fun on the snow, but they are usually expensive. Expect to pay around $25 per person. Everyone in the party has to pay – whether you are sliding or not. Alpine Slide snow play has the advantage of offering an escalator to the top – so you can avoid the long an exhausting climb. Inner tubes are provided.
Alternatively, you can go to Big Bear Lake and find a more peaceful and safe area – for free. Try any picnic area or campground. My favorite is next to Serrano Campground (this is also close to the Discovery Center). This place doesn’t have steep hills, but it has lots of snow. It also overlooks the frozen lake - offering great views of the lake and the mountains.
Other attractions in the area:
Snow play, Alpine Slide, Go-carts, Waterslide800 Wildrose Lane Big Bear Lake, Ca 92315
Boat rentals, boat tours, Jet Skiis, Para sailing439 Pine Knot Blvd Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 (909) 866-7766
Take the sky chair to the top of the mountain. Enjoy the views, hike or bike down to the base. Enjoy a BBQ at the top. This is not available during Ski season.880 Summit Blvd Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 909-866-5766