When people think of Big Bear and going to the mountains, a lot of the time they are thinking about winter time. With Bear Mountain and Snow Summit Ski Resort being the top Big Bear attractions, that makes sense. Everyone usually has snow playing, boarding, and skiing on the mind. Which is great, we love doing those too, but did you know that Big Bear has so much more to offer than just winter activities? Just imagine you and your family boating on our beautiful lake! Or maybe take those same lifts that you normally would in the winter, known in the summer as the Sky Chair, and take in the beauty of Big Bear and the surrounding mountains from a top elevation of 8,200 feet! That’s not all though! Let’s dive more into some of the top things to do in Big Bear this summer…
*Read our full list below, or jump straight to the category that most catches your eye:
Things to do on the lake, Scenic Sky Chair, Summit Bike Park, Bear Mountain Golf Course, Local Events, Horse Back Riding, Big Bear Speedway, Alpine Slides, Off Roading, Action Zipline, Big Bear Observatory, Hiking & Biking Trails. Helicopter Tours, Alpine Zoo, The Village
Fun on the Water
Now, this topic is nearly endless in possibilities. From lake tours on the Miss Liberty, to boating, kayaking, and more! Our lake has always been a hot destination for hitting the water, but 2019 is looking better than ever with our heightened lake levels from the previous season’s rain and snowfall.
Not everyone has their own equipment for enjoying the lake though, and that’s okay! There are several options for rentals once you get here, some even provide a discount for you when you stay with Destination Big Bear. The only thing better than beating the heat on the water is saving money when doing it.
Let’s not forget about fishing! Fishing is highly popular at Big Bear Lake and an area is also a go-to place for fishing tournaments. One important aspect to remember though is that a fishing license is required when fishing in the Lake. You can obtain this easily online here.
Scenic Sky Chair
Talk about views! Snow Summit’s Scenic Sky Chair offers views that are nearly impossible to beat when it comes to Big Bear! Reaching a top height of 8,200 feet in elevation, you’ll get great views overlooking the Lake below and the surrounding mountains. The Scenic Sky Chair offers tourists multiple uses. You can choose to take a round trip ride to the top and back simply to relax and take in all there is to see. Or you can use the lift as a “lift and launch” where you’ll get off at the top and have the option to hike or bike back down. This is a popular option when biking down the Snow Summit Bike Park. The summer opening day for these activities is Friday, May 24th, 2019. You receive two free children’s lift tickets per adult ticket purchased. Save 20% off your adult tickets when purchased 72 hours in advance. You can find more on ticket sales and dates here.
Take a thrilling down-hill ride at Summit Bike Park! Taking the Scenic Sky Chair, reach the top and begin your journey down, from 8,200 feet up! If you aren’t an avid cyclist, or maybe you have children that are just starting out, don’t let that elevation number scare you! Summit bike park offers options for everything from beginner trails and base level riding to expert trick and riding trails, plus everything in between for anyone! The minimum age for children starts at 5 years old.
The parks also offer several ticket options. Whether you’re looking to spend the entire day, only a few hours, or a few days at a time. If you really love it, Summit Bike Park also offers season passes so there doesn’t have to be a limit on your down-hill adrenaline rush! You can find all these options and more here.
Summit Bike Park’s opening day is Friday, May 24th, 2019.
Bear Mountain Golf Course
It’s tee time at Bear Mountain Golf Course! Bear Mountain Golf Course is a proud participant of SCGA (Southern California Golf Association) and committed to providing you with the best possible golfing experience. Bear Mountain Golf Course best describes itself with
Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned golfer, Bear Mountain is an idyllic setting with rolling fairways and manicured greens, plus a full-service pro shop, driving range, and PGA-certified lessons. Bear Mountain Golf Course is located at the base of Bear Mountain Ski Resort.
The golf course also offers the fun and exciting nighttime Glow Golf! This event is limited in days and spots, so be sure to reserve your place! It is open to all ages and all skill levels. Take in a fun round while under the beautiful star-fill Big Bear night sky. Your tickets for this event include cart, glow ball, and dinner. You can find more on this and RSVP here.
The local Big Bear events are “can’t miss”! And what better way to truly take in the Big Bear experience than attending these great options! Big Bear is a proud host of everything from car shows, chili cook-offs, holiday celebrations, and more!
Big Bear is also known for hosting numerous athletic events and activity tournaments such as Spartan Race, golf tournaments, bike races, fishing tournaments, and so many more!
Don’t miss out on the Art/Cultural events as well! Catch a play at the Performing Arts Center, a fun-filled concert at The Cave, and several cultural events at The Convention Center!
Be sure to make Big Bear your go-to place for catching the 4th of July fireworks, the highly popular Oktoberfest, Renaissance Fair, and more!
Check out a full list of Big Bear official events here.
Gallop away at Baldwin Lake Stables!
Head along a wide variety of terrains, on several trails, all with spectacular vistas. These rides are geared to the experience of the rider – available all day. Reservations suggested.
At Baldwin Lake Stables discover the peaceful countryside of the Big Bear Valley’s east end; surrounded by equestrian ranches and the National Forest, just 7 miles east of the Big Bear Village. Escape from the traffic and congestion of the city – where the pavement ends and the “Real West” begins.
And may we personally recommend the sunset ride? Big Bear sunsets are not ones to be missed, don’t worry, you can thank us later.
Your favorite Big Bear Snow Play in the winter is known as the exciting Big Bear Speedway in the summer! Grab your safety gear, buckle up, and prepare for the thrilling ride! Whether riding solo or with a partner, Big Bear Speedway has cart options for both.
Test your racing skills on their track and see who in your family can get the best time! Do you have what it takes to beat the clock?
Opening day is May 4th, 2019. Age restrictions apply for driving, passengers must be 4 years of age or older.
Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain
You’ve been down the thrilling Alpine Slides in the winter, get ready to experience the thrill in the summer! Start out with taking a scenic chair lift ride to the top where you start your exciting ride down!
The snow-filled fun in the winter is transformed into water-filled fun in the summer! Take your pick from two quarter-mile-long cement tracks filled with flowing water and take on the turns and straight stretches! You can choose to go at the speed of your choice by control the hand brake on each individual sled.
There are minimum height restrictions and tickets required. Find out more on the requirements and purchase information here.
See the scenery of Big Bear mountains in a whole new way when taking part in the exciting off-roading options! While some people may think hiking and biking when they hear the word trails, a lot of Big Bear visitors think of the mud-flying and adrenaline rushing off-road driving trails!
With this being such a popular activity and knowing that not everyone may have the proper off-roading “toys”, there are options provided to still partake in the fun!
Book a tour with Big Bear Jeep Experience! Personally drive one of their Jeeps while following the guide jeep, with communication between vehicles on a two-way radio. The guide will announce different historical spots along the way as well as stop at scenic locations, so be sure to bring your photo and video equipment!
You can find more on their offers here.
We’ve mentioned several ways already to take in the beautiful Big Bear views, but you didn’t think we were done did you? Of course, we’re not! Continue your adventures ziplining through the San Bernadino forests with Action Tours Ziplining!
Lasting a total of roughly 3 hours, taking the thrilling tour of 9 high-speed zip lines and suspension bridge through the mountains! Each tour is done with an expert guide to show you the way!
The fun, however, starts before you even reach the ziplines! Hop into the swiss army vehicles for a 2-mile ride through unmaintained genuine mountain driving to the course!
Big Bear Solar Observatory
Fulfill your inner child-like wonder of the galaxies above when taking a tour of the Big Bear Solar Observatory.
During the second and fourth Thursday in the months of June, July, and August the observatory is open for public tours for FREE!
Take a guided tour inside the spectacular observatory by one of the staff members, where they will teach you all about the operations and how everything works!
Hiking & Biking
Close second, if not tied, to lake activities are the numerous trail options for hiking and biking through the San Bernadino forests.
Our trails vary in length, terrain, and difficulty. Remember all the views we were mentioning before? Catch more of them on the scenic trails. The big pay off views are well worth the time and endurance that some trails require.
Get the whole family outdoors and breathing in the fresh mountain air. And don’t forget the furry four-legged family members as well, as many of our trails are pet-friendly.
See our full list of trails here.
Experience Big Bear from new heights! Helicopter Big Bear offers several different options which vary in length of time and the routes taken. They put a high focus and priority on safety measures and are here to help you with any questions you may have, as most of their passengers are actually first timers! All ages are welcome on the tours as well. Don’t forget to take advantage of our special deals that are received as a Destination Big Bear guest.
One thing you can’t miss doing is visiting the Alpine Zoo. Our zoo is used as a rehabilitation facility. Here, animals that are injured, orphaned, or have other concerns are treated and helped in their process of returning to the wild if and when they are able to. 90% of their animals are able to be released back into the wild. The zoo opened in 1959 after a wildfire raged through the San Bernadino Forests and was able to provide a safe haven for injured animals to recover and heal for a second chance at life in the wilderness. They currently represent over 85 species! The zoo offers many programs and activities where you can learn from the zookeepers and have not only a fun experience but a knowledgable one as well.
Big Bear’s Village is THE place to go for shopping and dining. Park in one of the free public parking lots and enjoy the weather by walking through The Village and going shop to shop. Start your day in The Village with breakfast at the well known Teddy Bear Restaurant, or maybe get lunch between hitting the shops at Fire Rock, end out your day with a delicious meal and craft brews at The Brewery. Your options are endless. There’s an option for eating or shopping at every corner. Don’t forget to pick up your Big Bear memorabilia at one of the great gift shops and take home a piece of Big Bear with you.
Take a look at our Visitor’s Guide and see a full list of rental options, restaurants, and more here.