Big Bear Discovery Center

Big Bear lake, CABig Bear Valley is well known for its winter sports fun. But after the snow melts and the skiers flee the area, a whole new adventure awaits you.

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.

Big Bear discovery centerFrom the balcony of the discovery center you can enjoy a great view of the Lake nestled in the middle of the San Bernardino Forest - a perfect photo opportunity.

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.

Snow Play
Big bear snowWinter 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.

Big Bear Discovery Center

40971 North Shore Drive (Highway 38)
Fawnskin, CA 92333
(909) 382-2843

Other attractions in the area:

Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain

Snow play, Alpine Slide, Go-carts, Waterslide

800 Wildrose Lane
Big Bear Lake, Ca 92315

Pine Knot Marina

Boat rentals, boat tours, Jet Skiis, Para sailing

439 Pine Knot Blvd
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-7766

Scenic Sky Chair Rides – at snow summit

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