We Welcome You as Family.

Keep Big Bear Beautiful

Big Bear Lake is one of the most picturesque destinations in Southern California. Please enjoy your mountain lake escape and keep it beautiful and sustainable for everyone.

ALERT: Please stay off the lake ice! Big Bear Lake's ice is thin through the winter and not suitable for walking. Significant fines and your life are at risk.

During any season, a drive to Big Bear Lake through the San Bernardino National Forest is a wonderful experience. Winding roads cascade through hills that become mountains with amazing vistas of the California basin. Then, you arrive in a destination that’s totally unique and different from the bustling cities below. Wood-carved sculptures line the streets, the smell of fresh pine and clean air permeates, and a town decorated in rustic cabins and lodges welcomes your arrival.

The area of Big Bear has about 12,000 full-time residents through the entire valley. On average, close to 3,000,000 guests visit our destination each year, many of which come for snow and winter. Your vacation provides food on our tables and a place we can call home. There’s virtually no business in Big Bear Lake that isn’t impacted by tourism spending. For that, we graciously thank you for considering a trip to our slice of paradise!

Take Only Memories, Leave Nothing But Footprints Chief Seattle

Best Practices and Principles

With so many visitors compared to the number of residents, we ask that you kindly help us keep the destination pristine for all visitors and residents. Please practice the following sustainable actions that help keep the forest and town a positive experience for all:

Before You Go


Quick Maps

Driving to Big Bear Lake is beautiful, but the drivers need to be alert and prepared for bad weather. Heavy wet weather can cause rock slides and road damage. Please check Caltrans Quick Maps (downloadable on Apple and Android devices) before you begin you Big Bear Trip!

Chain Control

All routes to and in Big Bear Lake are under a chain control area. That means from Nov. 1 through April 1, all vehicles are required to carry chains. R1 chain restrictions mean chains, traction tires or snow tires are required on all vehicles except four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles. R2 restrictions mean chains or traction tires are required for all vehicles, except again four/all wheel drive vehicles. R3 mean chains are required on all vehicles.

Emergency Provisions

Be prepared for worst case scenarios. Make sure you have warm blankets and clothes in your vehicle, as well as food and water. Other items to include are flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, extra medication, jumper-cables, road flares and an ice scraper/snowbrush. If you get stranded, stay in your car, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until help arrives.

On you Way

Winter and Mountain Etiquette

Especially during the winter, driving up the mountain can be difficult for some drivers. Be aware of safe driving speeds and if traffic accumulates behind you, please use turn-outs to let traffic safely flow smoothly.Pulling off at these turnouts for snow play activity is not recommended. Turnouts help the flow of traffic, for safety and short stops, but if too many cars are parked for long periods of time, the route to Big Bear Lake becomes more dangerous! While Visit Big Bear recommends alternatives to sledding, such as snow tubing at Big Bear Snow Play and Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain, the U.S. Forest Service does have a list of sledding/tubing areas available in the San Bernardino National Forest.

During Your Stay

Treat Our house Like Your House.

One of Big Bear Lake’s charms is that most businesses, cabins and lodges are locally-owned. It’s one of the reasons why your stay means that much more to the livelihood of Big Bear Lake residents. Please kindly treat these spaces with the respect you should show in your own home and your neighbors’ homes. Do not sled or leave trash on private property. We practice the seven principle of Leave No Trace, and we encourage you do too. Every year, thousands of broken sleds and countless pieces of trash are left behind, please do not be a part of this statistic.

Please staff off the lake ice! You risk fines and your personal safety.

Enjoying Nature Responsibly

Enjoying Nature Responsibly

Think About light and Water Use

A mile closer to the sky and far away from city lights, no trip is complete without a nighttime star-gazing session! Pro tip: download a constellation app and enjoy exploring the stars more clearly than most other locations. For energy consumption purposes and for a better star-gazing experience, be sure to always turn off lights that aren’t in use.Like the rest of California, Big Bear Lake frequently experiences drought-like conditions. Try to conserve water usage and limit shower-time. And remember, a careless match can start a forest fire!

We hope to see you again soon!

We Hope to See you Again Soon

Check Out Spring and Fall Rates!

Winter is a wonderful time to be in Big Bear Lake. The area has even been called a gingerbread village come to real life! Once you’ve enjoyed the snow and ski resorts, come back during our spring for Adventure Season, when the lake opens up for business and outdoor recreation springs to life. Or, check out fall in Big Bear Lake for the best fall color in Southern California and the best Oktoberfest this side of Munich during the Falltacular!During Spring and Fall, the average rate of lodging accommodations is dramatically more affordable, and there are often deals on activities and dining as well!

A message from Big Bear Lake students