Friday, July 19, 2024

Don't Miss

Big Bear Lake Tent Camping

What People Are Saying About St Charles Canyon Campground

The BEST Camping Spot at Big Bear Lake! ð¤«

Way fewer people and way more remote than in town camping. Each campsite has a fire pit and a picnic table. Theres our bathroom area as well as water access. Loved how wooded and private it seemed. Short drive into town or access water.


We had a blast staying here. The camp host was very nice, the campsites were clean and the area is beautiful. Close to a small trail, perfect for kids. Close to bear lake for water sports. It is close to a main road and you will get lots of noise from it.

– Google Reviews

This campground was awesome! So quiet. Camp host Terry has the cleanest outhouses I have ever seen and was super helpful. You can tell he takes pride in what he does and treats the campground like it is his own property!! Thanks Terry for a fabulous place to come camping.

You Wont Want To Leave

The Big Bear Lake area is not exactly a closely held secret, but it has many layers to reveal. As you discover them, you may realize that you want to stay here year-round. Why wouldnt you want to live in a place where you can bask in the sun and frolic in the snow? Sounds like a winning combination to us.

Whats your favorite thing to do at Big Bear Lake?

Looking For The Best Camping Near Big Bear

Youre in the right place! In this guide, we will be covering the following:

    • 11 awesome tent camping and RV sites around Big Bear Lake, California
    • Tips on nearby hiking trails, mountain biking trails, boat rentals, and more
    • Info to help you plan your camping trip

Located a mere two-hour drive from downtown Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake is the perfect spot for both weekend jaunts and epic, multi-week adventures in the great outdoors.

Keen for a quick weekend trip spent fishing and boating on the idyllic Big Bear Lake? Then youll love the Serrano Campground. How about spending the night stargazing from your remote forest campsite? Then Big Pine Flat campground is calling your name!

For everything else, check out the other awesome campsites featured in our guide to the best camping in Big Bear!

RELATED READING: For more great hikes and California campsites check out our other guides.

Don’t Miss: Camping In Florida With Dogs

Epic Rv Park & Marina & Water Rentals

Tired of the same old weekend camping routine? Epic RV Park offers an RV park of 12 double-wide full-service RV slots and a large group campsite that can accommodate up to 100 people! We also have a playground, grass play, and picnic area, bathrooms, and we’re all located right on the waterfront. We have a marina with a ramp and on-the-water rentals including boats. Whether you’re on vacation or just passing through it is guaranteed to be a great time.

Address: 2410 S. Bear Lake Blvd., Garden City, Utah 84028

Big Bear Mobile Estates And Rv Resort

Best dispersed camping near Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Mobile Estates and RV Resort is incredibly spacious and beautiful. The resort offers friendly, worry-free service and a beautiful selection of comfy RV sites for rent. Whether you are looking for a weekend getaway, or a permanent vacation home, we here at Big Bear are determined to make you a happy camper.

You May Like: Best Camping Spots In Rocky Mountain National Park

What People Are Saying About Epic Rv Park & Campground

We loved it. Great place to camp and it’s great for kids. They have a park they can play in. A volleyball court for the adults. Lots of green space for tent camping and a bathroom you can shower in. You can rent paddle boards, wave runners/ jet skis, boats. Has all the hook ups for a camper. And has lots of space.

– Google Reviews

We have stayed twice in the last few years. We rented jet skis and stayed with our motorhome, the area is clean, the bathrooms are updated. We had a lot of fun, small area so no big crowds. Staff are great and made it perfect.

There Are Breathtaking Hikes Everywhere

At Big Bear, there are miles and miles of trails heading off in all directions. And with 22 miles of shoreline, chances are youll have a view of the lake as you explore the hills and canyons. You can enjoy panoramic views of the lake or look up to the areas highest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain.

Best of all, there are hiking trails for all ages and abilities. Everyone can enjoy Big Bears beauty without fear of stumbling on the trail.

Recommended Reading: Camping Near Ecola State Park

Little Bear Springs Pacific Crest Trail Camp

A post shared by Bill Stewart

Little Bear Springs is also a PCT Trail Camp that offers visitors a chance to take in the stunning outdoor scenery. Here, campers have access to all the essentials. So try it out and make it a camping trip to remember with outdoor activities and nearby attractions.

Cost: Nightly rates vary depending on the season but start around $20.

Contact: 382-2790.

Amenities: Include picnic tables, a fire ring, and a vault restroom. There’s also non-potable water, a water trough, plus pipe horse corrals for equestrian use.

Attractions: Campers have easy access to the Pacific Crest Trail. Plus, this campground is not too far from family-friendly activities like the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain and Gold Rush Mining Adventures.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Camping At Big Bear Lake (FINALLY!) | Serrano Campground Lakeview and Visiting Tips!

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

Read Also: Best Camping In Redwood National Park

Where To Learn More About Camping In Big Bear

The Big Bear Discovery Center is the home base for everything wilderness related to Big Bear. You can find all the answers to any camping related questions you have by calling or visiting the Discovery Center.

Located along the north shore of the lake, next to the Serrano Campground, the Discovery Center provides all the free resources needed for exploring Big Bear and related camping information.

Your Guide To Camping In Big Bear

Waking up in a tent with the alpine mountain air and a forest of tall trees is one of the best ways to unwind. Camping in Big Bear at an elevation of 7,000 feet is a famous mountain getaway for travelers coming from the coast and desert looking to get out in the wild.

I had been coming up to Big Bear for years staying at hostels and cabins and had a fantastic time, but I knew there was more to discover. I was craving the desire to get out into the wilderness and sleep under the stars. Like me, you would love to bring your friends to an unbelievable camping spot, but you just dont know where to go. I knew there were many options for alternative accommodations to stay outdoors. I wanted to find a resource where I could see it all in one place, from a locals perspective.

As the co-owner of ITH Big Bear Hostel and Retreat Center, I have explored Big Bear and surrounding forest in depth and want to share what I know so you can have fun outdoors.

Big Bear Lake in Southern California is the ultimate four-season resort town in the mountains of the San Bernardino National Forest. The proximity attracts campers and travelers for hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, fishing, and boating. The surrounding forest offers visitors many beautiful campsites to choose from. Although its unlikely that you will see a bear, they live in the area, so please store your food in sealed containers in your trunk or RV when not in use.

Recommended Reading: Garden Of The Gods Illinois Camping

Dogwood Campground Lake Arrowhead

The Dogwood Campground is only available during the summer or the shoulder seasons, but its a great family-friendly place to bring the kids. During the peak season a number of interactive nature programs are offered and an amphitheater regularly hosts campfire programs.

The site is named after the many Dogwood trees that surrounded the camp and regularly put on an impressive display. Stop by during the spring bloom or in time for the fall foliage change to see the campground burst with seasonal colors!

The camp is large and offers dozens of spacious spots that accommodate tents and RVs. About half of the sites have full hookups and the park itself offers amenities like flush toilets, showers, and potable water.

Where Is Big Bear Lake

Best dispersed camping near Big Bear Lake, California

High up in the majestic San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is arguably home to some of the most beautiful alpine mountains in Southern California. Big Bear Lake is an adventurers basecamp offering numerous camping styles that accommodate glampers, RV, and tent enthusiasts. Big Bear Lake engulfs a mountainous valley with its highest peaks reaching around 9,000 feet. The highest peak near Big Bear Lake is San Gorgonio mountain at 11,052 feet.

For traveling, you have three options to get up to Big Bear: Hwy 330/18 from the West , Hwy 18 from the North , and Hwy 38 from the South .

Big Bear Lake is also home to bald eagles. You can see the live Big Bear Eagle Cam to say hi and see what the birds are up to.

Don’t Miss: California State Beach Camping Reservations

What You Might Not Know About Big Bear Camping

Big Bear camping is not your average bear. The weather limits many places we like to visit, and many of them shut down in the colder months. In winter, however, Big Bear simply kicks into a different gear.

Its a cliché to say a place offers something for everyone, but youre not likely to get bored at Big Bear. In this section, well take a look at the different ways you can enjoy this incredible destination.

Big Bear Lake Area Campgrounds

There are 6 beautiful Big Bear Lake area campgrounds and all offer great family camping. The 6 campgrounds include Big Pine Flat, Hanna Flat, Heart Bar, Holcomb Valley, Pineknot and Serrano.

At 6,752 feet in elevation, Bear Lake is a great place for Southern California residents to enjoy clear/cool mountain air and experience the great outdoors. The lake is popular for its fishing and water sports. The town of Big Bear Lake also offers a variety of shops, stores, restaurants, bars, a golf course, museum, zoo and other attractions.

Big Pine Flat

Big Pine Flat has 19 campsites for tents, trailers, motorhomes and RVs. The campground is about 5 miles away from Big Bear Lake and tucked away in a secluded area of the San Bernardino National Forest. The campground is set among a forest of large pine trees. Camp roads and parking spurs are gravel, and the campground is first-come first-serve. Each campsite has a table, fire ring and grill. The campground has drinking water and vault toilets.

Hanna Flat

Hanna Flat is located about 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake in a valley filled with Jeffrey and Ponderosa Pines, Oaks and Willow trees. It has 86 large campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers and RVs. Its a great place to ride a mountain bike or off road vehicle, explore nearby historic mining sites, hike, rock climb, horseback ride and picnic. The campground is first-come first-serve and has vault toilets and drinking water. Each campsite has a table, fire ring and grill.

Recommended Reading: Portable Cpap Machines For Camping

You Can Enjoy The Water And The Mountains

You can water ski or snow ski, depending on the season or the water temperature. And there are plenty of other things to do outside. On the lake, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are all prevalent. On the ground, hiking and biking are big, and theres also a nine-hole golf course. As for the slopes, the Big Bear area has abundant snowfall because of its high elevation, but sometimes they work a little magic to enhance it: They use compressed air and water to make sure conditions are just suitable for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing.

Big Pine Flat Family Campground Apple Valley

Serrano Campground | Big Bear Lake

Big Pine Flat is one of the few remote camping areas left in BB where you can still escape the crowds. Tucked away on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Pine Flat is parked right in that sweet spot where the edge of the forest becomes a wildflower meadow.

At close to 7,000ft in elevation, youll enjoy a large, sprawling campground with plenty of room between sites.

The camp has 11 first-come-first-served RV and tent sites. While RVs are welcome, youll have to travel down a pretty precarious dirt road to reach the campsites. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, and grill, and the camp offers drinking water and vault toilets.

Also Check: Free Camping Sites In Florida

Camping In Big Bear Lake California


Situated in the majestic San Bernardino mountains, Big Bear is arguably home to some of the most beautiful alpine scenery in Southern California. Along with camping in Big Bear, the area offers many recreational opportunities to those who want it, from winter snow skiing to summer hiking, biking, and boating. Big Bear is home to numerous campgrounds that accommodate both RV and tent enthusiasts.

As a Southern California resident for 43 years, Ive had my share of Big Bear camping. Its just too close and convenient to ignore. Big Bear is an easy 1-3 hour drive from Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside/San Bernardino counties. So what does Big Bear have to offer in recreational camping? What campgrounds are easiest to get to? Which ones require reservations? Do any of them have RV hook-ups? Read on, discover and learn. Then head on up there and enjoy all that Big Bear camping has to offer.

Camping At Big Bear California

Discover campgrounds located around Big Bear Lake, California. Big Bear is a popular getaway spot, busy year round. In summer, it’s cooler than the inland deserts and in the winter, you can go skiing. It’s about 100 miles from Los Angeles and 150 miles from San Diego.

At 7,000 feet elevation, Big Bear’s mountain location is a nice change from the coast and the desert. The biggest event of the year is Oktoberfest, a German-style beer festival that draws huge crowds.

Read Also: Best Rv Camping Lake Tahoe

Free Camping Near Big Bear Lake California

Where beauty lives, money follows, is a famous quote, found on t-shirts everywhere in Roman times Its easy enough to spend money in Big Bear, so luckily the camping part of the affair can be completely free.

The San Bernardino National Forest is a massive situation, blanketing over three-quarters of a million Californian acres. The forest serves up free camping via a relatively unique concept they call yellow post camping, essentially metal pipes sticking out of the ground, numbered and painted yellow. A fire permit is required for any type of flameincluding stovesat these spots, and its subject to current fire conditions. Some of the spots are first-come, first-served and others can be reserved. The ones closest to Big Bear Lake are known as the Coon Creek Yellow Post sites, and all 19 of these are indeed first-come, first-served. The first few are large enough for many RVs, and they narrow out as you find yourself deeper into the forest.

Nearby Jenks Lake offers dispersed camping as well. Both options are free and, while not exactly a cakewalk in, dont necessarily require four-wheel-drive or particularly high clearance.

Note that the Coon Creek Yellow Post sites are closed in the winter, should you be the type of RVer brave enough to visit during the colder months.

What People Are Saying About Conestoga Ranch

Best dispersed camping near Big Bear Lake, California

One of the best experiences. I always wanted to experience glamping and I can see this place exceeded my expectations. The staff is super friendly and the place from outside looks super clean. They have many things to do around, so you can enjoy it there. The tent was super maintained and it was the cutest of how it was decorated. If you want to experience something different and great definitely book here.

– Yelp

Stayed in the tent. Comfortable beds. Friendly and helpful staff. Loved taking the bikes into town for shakes. Fun and relaxed atmosphere. Tent withstood strong wind and rain our last night without issues.

Don’t Miss: Camping World Of Rocklin Parts & Accessories

Latest Posts

Popular Articles

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.