Approximately 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles sits the popular resort town of Big Bear, an alpine wonderland known as much for its golfing, fishing, and water sports as for its powdery white ski slopes.
Visitors can expect more than 300 days of sunshine a year and summer temps above 80 degrees despite altitudes averaging 7,000 feet.
Outdoor enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the diverse wildlife, from bald eagles to bears to bobcats, a seven-mile-long freshwater lake, and plenty of places to get their glamp on. Below is list of glamping options in big bear, from RV resorts to campgrounds to cabins.
Holcomb Valley Ranch
This 411-acre ranch in the San Bernardino Mountains is four miles north of Big Bear Lake (as the crow flies) and features numerous one- to five-acre campsites spaced generously apart. You can park an RV or pitch a tent. Each site has its own firepit and picnic table.
Portable toilets and a large covered pavilion for group events are available year-round while fresh spring water and bathrooms with showers are accessible May through October. Base rates cover two adult guests, with an extra fee for each additional adult. Dogs, horses and kids under 10 stay free.
|34300 Holcomb Valley Rd., Fawnskin, CA 92333
Cozy Sugarloaf Cabin
This pet-friendly, barn-style cabin is adorned with polished wood walls and a corner fireplace. It accommodates six via its two bedrooms, five beds and large private bath, with linens and towels included. Home chefs can make use of a fully stocked kitchen with fridge, oven and stove or do a little grilling outside on the barbecue.
A smart TV with Netflix is there for rainy days, while complimentary bikes and kayaks are provided for sunny ones. A scenic eight-mile drive gets you to the heart of town near the marina, several ski resorts and dozens of local dining options.
|Sugarloaf, CA 92386
Getaway Big Bear
Getaway Big Bear offers a unique and rustic glamping experience in Running Springs, a town near Big Bear Lake. The company provides a range of cozy, thoughtfully designed cabins that are perfect for those looking to disconnect from the world and recharge their batteries.
The cabins are fully equipped with modern amenities such as a kitchenette, air conditioning, and heating, while still retaining a rustic feel with their natural wood furnishings and surroundings. What sets Getaway Big Bear apart from other glamping options is its emphasis on unplugging from technology and embracing a slower pace of life.
The cabins don’t have Wi-Fi or televisions, allowing guests to fully disconnect and immerse themselves in nature. Instead, guests can enjoy board games, books, and other analog activities, making it the perfect place to spend quality time with loved ones or simply unwind and recharge.
|2001 Wilderness Rd, Running Springs, CA 92382
Dog Gone Desert
Tucked away in the boonies 40 minutes north of the lake is this three-acre desert paradise offering sweeping mountain views in the daytime and unparalleled stargazing at night. The campsite, complete with water and electrical hookups, can host RVs up to 60 feet long.
On-site amenities include hiking trails, hot tub, fire pit and a veritable petting zoo with four horses, two mini horses, a donkey and a mule. Sorry, no toilet though. Off-road vehicles are welcome, so ask about the back road to Big Bear that’s accessible from the property.
|Lucerne Valley, CA 92356
For those who want more “glam” than “camp,” this four-bedroom, four-bath retreat offers a luxurious mountain getaway experience tucked amidst a sea of ponderosa pines. An expansive yard surrounds the back deck, which hosts a propane grill and round picnic table.
The inside boasts all the amenities of home – from AC to laundry machines to full-size kitchen with dishwasher – and maybe a few more, including two river rock fireplaces and a game room with flat-screen TV and pool table. The parking area can accommodate four vehicles.
|753 Villa Grove Ave., Big Bear, CA 92314
Shore Acres Lodge
Just off Route 18 about midway between the zoo and marina lies this historic lakefront lodge consisting of 12 individually appointed mountain-style cabins with kitchens and wood-burning fireplaces. Formerly a gentleman’s hunting and fishing camp, the two-acre property now hosts vacationers of all types along with the occasional wedding or reunion.
A boat dock, fishing area, swimming pool, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, ping pong table, picnic area with BBQ and kids’ swing set means there’s always something to do. Monitored pets are welcome for a small fee.
|41693 Big Bear Blvd., Suite A, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Lighthouse Trailer Resort & Marina
This family-owned property is nestled along the north shore of the lake across from the Alpine Pedal Path, a paved 5.2-mile out-and-back trail for walking and biking. The nearly 90 RV sites all have full water, power and sewage hookups. Their general store sells beer, ice and camping supplies and a fish cleaning station lets you prepare the day’s catch.
Guests can also rent bikes, kayaks, paddle boats and paddle boards. Boat services include dockage, shrink-wrapping, power-washing and off-season storage. Open seven days a week May through October.
|40545 N. Shore Ln., Big Bear, CA 92314
Serrano Campground in San Bernardino National Forest is a scenic oasis offering more than a hundred sites for RV and tent camping, each with its own picnic table and fire ring. A couple dozen of these sites also offer full hookups, and a dump station is on the property.
Toilets, showers and fresh water is provided free of charge and firewood is available for purchase. Pine and sagebrush line area trails, including Cougar Crest and Pacific Crest, and the lake is within walking distance. Big Bear Ranger Station is less than a mile from the campground, where rangers can provide maps and answer questions.
|40650 N. Shore Dr., Fawnskin, CA 92333
Things to Do in the Area
Big Bear truly is a nature lover’s Eden. Boat rental shops allow anglers to fish for carp, crappie, bluegill, trout and largemouth bass. Thrill-seekers can take up wakeboarding, waterskiing, speedboating and jet-skiing, while tour boats like the Miss Liberty Paddlewheel and Time Bandit Pirate Ship offer a more laid-back experience.
Rather stay on land? Castle Rock, Cougar Crest, Bertha Peak and Pine Knot Trails have been voted by hikers as some of the best in San Bernardino County. Bluff Lake Reserve Loop Trail is an easy two-mile loop around a scenic alpine lake in San Bernardino National Forest, located a short drive from Big Bear Lake. At nearby Big Bear Alpine Zoo, you may also glimpse flying squirrels, bearded dragons, leopard geckos and Arctic foxes.
Eagles and birdies more your thing? You can hit a few at the Bear Mountain Golf Course, a pastoral, par-35, nine-hole that weaves through rolling alpine backcountry. And come winter, head over to Big Bear Mountain Resort for a little skiing and snowboarding, where 55 runs and over 400 acres of fresh powder are sure to thaw out the doldrums.