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 experience. Winding roads through the mountains lead 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 invite visitors year-round but ask that you treat our home with care, pick up after yourself, and respect our wildlife and environment.
1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
- Know the rules and regulations for the area, particularly camping and fire restrictions.
- Prepare 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.
- To avoid the heaviest traffic, plan to travel weekdays and non-holiday periods.
- Dine out and support local restaurants.
- Make activity reservations if possible before you arrive.
2. Use & Maintain Campfires Responsibly
- Campfires are only permitted in established fire rings at open campgrounds. Check Restrictions
- Use local firewood. 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.
- 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.
- Camp 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.
- If you see areas where impact is beginning, avoid the area and let it recover.
6. Respect Trails & Leave What You Find
- Keep to existing trails. Do not create new ones.
- 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 human waste in holes 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.
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 and make them habits at home.
Reducing Energy Use Will Reduce Carbon Emissions
- Turn off unused lights
- Turn off unused outdoor lights at night to preserve our Dark Skies.
- Wear extra clothing instead of adjusting the thermostat.
- Unplug unused electronics
- Limit shower time
- Shop with reusable bags instead of single-use plastics or papers.
Be A Responsible Traveler
- Use public transportation wherever possible, or walk. Learn about Free Big Bear Trolley.
- Do several errands in one trip and carpool when possible.
- Be considerate of the environment in the communities you visit.
- Don't litter.
- Use reusable water bottles and food containers.