Leave No Trace
Leave a positive impact on the environment by travelling green!
In any season, a drive to Big Bear Lake is a scenic and wonderful experience. Winding roads roll through hills and mountains leading you to a destination worlds apart from the bustling cities below. The smell of fresh pine fills the air and a town of rustic cabins and mom n' pop shops welcome your arrival.
We welcome visitors year-round to our community but ask that you treat our home with care and abide by city ordinances, pick up after yourself, and respect our wildlife and environment.
1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you're visiting, particularly camping and fire restrictions.
- Be prepared for weather hazards and emergency situations.
- Carry chains in your vehicle from November to April as well as a shovel and traction aids like cat litter or gravel.
- Travel with blankets and water should you become stuck or stranded on mountain highways.
- Schedule your trip to avoid peak visitation periods. Weekdays and non-holiday times are best.
- Pack food for your trip as grocery stores tend to be crowded on weekends.
- Better yet! Order out during your stay and support local restaurants.
- Plan your activities prior to your arrival and make reservations if possible.
2. Use & Maintain Campfires Responsibly
- Campfires are only permitted in established fire rings at open campgrounds. Check Restrictions
- Buy it where you burn it. Do not transport firewood into the Valley from other areas. Firewood Task Force
- You must obtain a CA Campfire Permit. Campfire Safety
3. Respect Wildlife
- Observe wildlife from a distance, do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and dangers.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
4. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
5. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Check open campgrounds first
- Durable surfaces include established trails and roads, campsites, rock, and gravel.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Do not alter a site.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches in the wilderness.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- Do not disrupt areas where the impact is minimal or nonexistent. Let nature be.
- If you see areas where the impact is just beginning, avoid the area and let it recover.
- Do not transport firewood into the Valley from other areas. Firewood Task Force
6. Respect Trails & Leave What You Find
- Keep to existing trails. Do not create new ones.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when the ground is wet or muddy.
- Do not leave trash on trails and pick up any trash you find.
- Do not take away rocks, plants, or other natural objects.
- Do not approach wildlife.
- Examine - but do not touch - cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Do not introduce or transport non-native species.
7. Dispose of Waste Properly
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods.
- Bury solid human waste in holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from the water, camp, and trails.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Community Leaders For Sustainability
Big Bear Valley Ecotourism Coalition
Visit Big Bear is a proud participant with the Big Bear Valley Ecotourism Coalition. BBVEC encourages ecotourism in the Big Bear Valley to support the local economy while honoring, conserving, and appreciating the beautiful and unique natural environment. The Coalition assembles information on local habitats, ecotourism activities, tours, events, recreation, and sustainably-run green business partners.
BBVEC is a project of the Friends of Big Bear Valley nonprofit (501(c)(3) organization that strives to protect, sustain, and preserve Big Bear's amazing natural surroundings through environmental education and advocacy about its value and community benefit.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo
The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is not only a home for alpine wildlife but a renowned facility for their care and rehabilitation. Approximately 90% of the animals brought to the Zoo for rehabilitation are released back into their native environment.
Big Bear Alpine Zoo is dedicated to educating its visitors on the impact we humans have on our environment. The wildlife residents of the Zoo are either too injured or have been imprinted by humans and cannot be released to care for themselves.
Tips To Travel Green
Visit Big Bear understands the importance of sustainable tourism and has taken steps to promote education and practices for low impact on the environment. Keep these points in mind when traveling or make them habits at home...
Reducing Energy Use Will Reduce Carbon Emissions
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Use a blanket or wear extra clothing instead of adjusting the thermostat.
- Limit air conditioning use.
- Unplug unused electronics (even your mobile phone).
- Limit shower time and hot water use.
- Recycle papers, plastics, and glass.
- Shop with reusable bags instead of single-use plastics or papers.
- Buy local!
Be A Responsible Traveler
- Use public transportation wherever possible, or walk. Learn about Free Big Bear Trolley.
- Plan ahead. Do several errands in one trip and carpool when possible.
- Use cruise control when possible. Sharp braking and accelerating are fuel guzzling habits.
- Be considerate of the environment in the communities you visit.
- Don't litter. Carry a trash bag for times when a trash receptacle isn’t available.
- Pick up trash you find, even if it isn't yours.
- Use reusable water bottles and food containers.