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14 Splendid Things to Do in Big Bear, CA

Ishaan Govardhan Nov 29, 2019
Back in the 1800s, this city had captured the nation's imagination by becoming the focal point of the great Californian Gold Rush. Nowadays, the lakeside town of Big Bear is home to a different kind of treasure: it's a year-round vacation destination, offering many unique experiences specific to each of the 4 seasons.

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Seen in classics like Gone with the Wind and Old Yeller, Big Bear Lake has been Hollywood's favorite shooting location, ever since one of the first motion pictures of all time was filmed here. Its isolated setting among the San Bernardino Mountains has also drawn great athletes like Mike Tyson, looking for a place to train.

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Every winter, popular ski resorts like Bear Mountain Ski Resort and Snow Summit Ski Resort are visited by hundreds of tourists. Book your stay on top of a snowy mountain at such a resort, for access to fun winter activities like snowmobiling.

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As California's premier skiing destination, Big Bear lives up to the promise, by delivering winter thrills every year. You can tear up its powdery white slopes and shred some snow with an epic ski jump off one of the many ramps that have been installed here.

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Have fun snow tubing or snow sledding on the specially designated slopes at Big Bear Snow Play. The thrilling Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain, is a ride that no adrenaline junkie would miss out on!

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Being a resort town, Big Bear has always treated tourists like royalty. If you don't feel like staying at a crowded ski resort, you can rent yourself an isolated mountain cabin up among the wilderness of the hills.

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Once the snow begins to melt, off-roading trails and dirt paths start opening up all around the Big Bear Lake area. Scenic routes like the 26-mile Big Pine Flat Trail or the Gold Fever Trail are ideal for taking your rented 4x4 jeep out on a spin.

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If you're looking for a slower ride, saddle up on a horse at Baldwin Lake Stables. With pony-rides for kids and overnight horseback excursions into the wild, this place has something for everyone.

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Although the great grizzly bears that once roamed these woods became extinct after the Gold Rush, there is still plenty of wildlife to be found here. Take the kids to Big Bear Alpine Zoo next, for a close look at cougars and brown bears.

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Once you make your way to the fresh water of Big Bear's glacial lake, you won't be able to resist rowing a canoe on its sparkling surface. It's the best way to get yourself acquainted with the natural splendor of Big Bear Lake!

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Can't resist making a huge splash? You should know that Big Bear Lake is basically the perfect playground for water sports enthusiasts. Thrilling activities like parasailing, water skiing, tubing and jet skiing are a must.

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Along with a map of the lake's several fishing holes, all you need is your lucky fishing rod and bait. See if you can hook trout and bass!
There's quite a bit of gold still left over from the frenzy of the Gold Rush. Join the local gold mining experts at Gold Rush Mining Company Adventures, and try gold panning under their guidance. This is your chance to feel like a real treasure hunter!

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The lush expanse of the San Bernardino National Forest is full of hiking trails that loop Big Bear Lake. Venture into the wild on challenging nature walks along Castle Rock Trail, Pineknot Trail and many others.

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Hook up with Action Tours California, for an unforgettable zip line tour of the Big Bear Lake area. Imagine a series of 9 zip lines that tower over the canopy and send you hurling through the mountain air at a speed of 35 mph!

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Work up a sweat as you climb the towering cliff walls of San Bernardino mountainsides. Seasoned rock climbers should head over to the steep crags of the Holcomb Valley for a real challenge!