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Camping at Big Bear Lake Belongs on Every Traveler’s To-Do List

big bear camping

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Big Bear Lake is located in the San Bernardino National Forest, east of the Los Angeles area in Southern California. In addition to popular activities like boating, mountain biking, and stargazing, outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to know the site is ideal for all types of campers. Below we’ve highlighted some of the highest rated camping options available to help you plan your own Big Bear getaway.

Big Bear Camping California

North Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan, Arkansas… it turns out there are lakes and campgrounds with the same name located all over the United States. To be sure, we’re here to talk about all the tent camping and RV sites available at the Big Bear Lake situated in the San Bernardino Mountains of CA. Alongside all the lakefront activities visitors flock there to enjoy each holiday weekend, the Forest Service maintains quite a few hiking trails, making Big Bear an excellent choice for day hikers.

Big Bear Camping Sites

There are several single-site and family campgrounds located in the Big Bear area with standard features like fire rings, picnic tables, and drinking water, not to mention much-needed additions like bear boxes. Unfortunately, the majority of the area’s campgrounds aren’t located directly on the lake. Some popular family favorites hosted by the USFS include the following grounds.

For more information and/or to make reservations, visit recreation.gov.

Camping Near the Lake

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If you want to camp right on the lake, the Serrano Campground is one of your best and only options. Located on the lake’s north shore, Serrano is an official USFS campground and can be reserved at recreation.gov, just like those above. The Alpine Pedal Path runs right through the grounds. The Big Bear Discovery Center is just down the road, so you can imagine how busy and popular Serrano gets. The park is tent, RV, and camping trailer friendly, with quite a few more significant sites to choose from. As if that weren’t enough, it also has flush toilets.

RV Camping on the Lake

In addition to the Big Bear’s many trailer-friendly campsites, there are quite a few dedicated RV Parks in the area. The following locations are located close to the lake and have all the features you need, like full hookups and dump stations:

Dispersed Camping Options

Like most federal lands overseen by the USFS, dispersed camping is allowed in the San Bernardino National Forest. However, given California’s arid conditions, campfires are not permitted. For further rules, regulations, and permitting info, follow this link to the USFS’s website.

Got a favorite Big Bear camping spot we missed? Share your secret with worthy souls on our Wide Open Road Facebook!

READ MORE: 5 Family-Friendly Day Trips From Los Angeles

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