Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake, California
Cabin rentals at Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake is a year-round vacation destination in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest to the east of Los Angeles. The lake and the town became one of southern California's earliest mountain vacation resorts back in the early 20th century and became popular with Hollywood stars, as well as being used as a location for a number of films. Winter tourism boomed with the establishment of skiing at the nearby Snow Summit area in the 1950s, on the way to the smaller neighbour Lake Arrowhead. Hiking and mountain biking are popular in the summer months on the San Bernardino mountain trail network.

Big Bear Lake Quick Facts

Where is Big Bear Lake in California? graphic

Big Bear Lake is located in southern California in the San Bernardino National Forest to the east of Los Angeles. It is in San Bernardino County and 25 miles northeast of the city of the same name.

Big Bear Lake covers an area of just over 12 square kilometers (2971 acres) when it is full.

The deepest point in Big Bear Lake is just over 20 meters (72 feet).

Big Bear Lake was created in 1884 by a dam constructed to provide irrigation water for citrus groves in the Redlands area. The dam was replaced by a larger version in 1912 which expanded the size of the reservoir.

Highway 330 from San Bernardino is the most direct route to Big Bear Lake. The winding Highway 38 from Redlands arrives via a much longer route and meets Highway 18 from the north at the lake.

Map of Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake Cabins

Big Bear Cabin, Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Cabin

Big Bear Cabin is a small cottage rental agency offering three properties around the lake, ranging from a cozy one-bedroom cottage to a luxurious four-bedroom lakefront rental.

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Castle Wood Cottages, Big Bear Lake

Castle Wood Cottages

Castle Wood Cottages offers themed cabins which are perfect for a romantic break in the mountains. Castle Wood can also up the special feeling with rose petals on the bed and candles around the hot tub.

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Big Bear Lake Boat Rentals

There are a number of marinas around the lake, some of which offer boat hire and fishing supplies:

Big Bear Marina
Big Bear Marina is situated on the southern side of the lake and offers pontoon and fishing boat rental, as well as watersports, fishing tackle and lake tours.
Holloway's Marina
Holloway's Marina and RV Park is located on the southern shore of Big Bear Lake and offers various types of boating and kayak rental as well as pirate ship lake cruises.