Big Bear Lake

San Bernardino County

Big Bear Lake, CA
Big Bear Lake, CA

Big Bear Lake

San Bernardino County

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is one of the most popular lakes throughout Southern California. Visitors find plenty of lodging from inexpensive hostels to luxury resorts. Boating opportunities abound with a variety of marinas around the lake offering boat rentals and other services.

Big Bear Lake is only an hour's drive east of San Bernardino and two hours from Los Angeles. With several nearby ski resorts, Big Bear Lake attracts visitors year-round.


Big Bear Lake is open to virtually all kinds of boating. A 35 MPH speed limit keeps boats at reasonable speeds for a lake of this size. Although the water is brisk, water skiers, wake boarders, and other water sport enthusiasts enjoy Big Bear Lake throughout the summer. Boat rentals are plentiful and public launch ramps available.


Big Bear Lake has a host of great marinas along its shores. Most of them offer overnight slips, marine services, fuel, launch ramps, and other amenities.


For trout anglers, Big Bear Lake is sure to be rewarding. Regular plantings of catchable rainbows assure fishermen of a good daily catch. Bass are more challenging, but skilled anglers know how to work the shallows along the north side of the lake. Other fish like carp, bluegill, and catfish are also found in Big Bear.


Only Serrano Campground is actually on the lake, but Pineknot Campground is nearby. Other National Forest Campgrounds are scattered about the forest within an hour's drive of the lake. A surprising number of group campgrounds are also available. Several RV Parks are found at the lake.


Big Bear Lake has a great selection of resorts and lodges, most of them reasonably priced. Many cater to winter ski crowds as well as summer tourists. Cabins are available for rent all around the lake. There is also a good selection of Bed and Breakfasts and a fair number of motels.


Big Bear Lake is settled among the mountains in a picturesque setting that is hard to match. Thick forests line many shores, outcroppings of rock jut into the lake, and snow-capped peaks rise in the distance.

Nearby Communities

The community of Big Bear Lake on the northeast side of the lake offers almost anything you would need in the way of stores, restaurants, and services. Across the lake is the small village of Fawnskin. At the east end of Big Bear Lake is Big Bear City and the residential community of Sugarloaf. Two ski resorts are south of the lake - Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.

Big Bear Lake at sunset, California

Big Bear Lake Map

Big Bear Lake Facts
Lake Size: 2971 surface acres
Maximum Depth: 72 feet
Length: 7 miles
Shoreline: 22 miles
Dam Construction: 1910
Reservoir Manager: Big Bear Municipal Water District
Maximum Lake Elevation: 6,750 feet
Average High Air Temperatures
  spring: 65 degrees
  summer: 81 degrees
  fall: 67 degrees
  winter: 47 degrees
Summer Surface Water Temperature: 70 degrees

Recreation Opportunities Near
Big Bear Lake