The Big Bear Lake Camping Guide for First-Timers


Big Bear Lake camping is a favorite activity for nature lovers across the country. You can choose from several affordable campsites around the lake or in remote mountain areas. Hike, ski, swim and go mountain biking or just relax and let the beauty of this stunning landscape seep in. BBOnline shows you around the best campsites in the area.

Pineknot Campground
Big Bear City
California 92314

Camp at an altitude of 7000 feet in the National Forest. You'll be right in the midst of tall firs, pines and oaks. For some water fun at the Nig Bear Lake, head to the marina 5 miles away. The Snow Summit Ski Area is adjacent and shopping is close by. Hiking trails are all around you. The campground is just a short drive away from your comfortable Big Bear Lake bed and breakfast.

Crab Flats Campground
Big Bear City
California 92315

Both beginner and expert off-roaders will enjoy this primitive campground near an extensive network of off-road trails. Tall pines, cedars and oaks will keep you company. The site has restrooms and drinking water. Valley Lake is about 6 miles away and the town of Arrowbear is nearby.

Hanna Flat Campground
Big Bear City,
California 92314

Tall pines, wild flowers and wild roses surround you at this campground at an altitude of 7000 feet, 3 miles from Big Bear Lake. Yet, you have the best of both worlds – urban comforts as well as rural delights and privacy. Fawnskin with its markets and restaurants is just 2 ½ miles away.  

Big Pine Flat Campground
Big Bear City
California 92315

Here at 6,800 feet above sea level, you can pick a site close to a lush meadow or desert-like terrain. It's a popular place for ATV and OHV users. Fawnskin is 7 miles away if you find yourself longing for a good meal in a restaurant.   
.
Serrano Campground
Big Bear City
California 92314

This massive ground is perfect for Big Bear camping, with plenty of spacious sites is just steps away from the Big Bear Lake. It's a beautiful well-equipped retreat amongst pine and cedar trees and the only one with showers. If you're camping here, you need not bring the food along as the Big Bear Village is just a five-minute drive away. Serrano is the most highly recommended by campers. Kids will like the Moonridge Zoo and Alpine Slide Area nearby.

Tips for First Time Campers

You'll need a tent for shelter unless you have an RV, a sleeping bag, a pad to place beneath the sleeping bag to cushion you on the hard ground, basic cooking paraphernalia, a propane stove and maybe a cooler. Most campsites have grills so if you have some charcoal, you're all set to cook.

You can reserve most of these campgrounds through the Big Bear Discovery Center at 40971 North Shore Drive. Call them at (909) 866-3437. The Big Bear Lake region is pretty cold in the nights, even in August, so carry some warm clothes along or dress in layers and don't forget the extra blanket. It'll be wonderful to get back to your cozy Big Bear Lake Inn after roughing it during Big Bear camping.