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Fall Activities + Things to do in Big Bear Lake, CA

Big Bear Lake Shines During the Fall

Fall in Big Bear Lake

Beautiful picture of the mountains as seen from Big Bear Lake, CA

As summer fades into fall, the mountain air turns crisp and cool and golden hues emerge to cast a warm glow over Big Bear Lake in California. Dense forests of pine and fir create a deep green backdrop for oaks, cottonwoods and aspens splashed with brilliant amber, yellow and orange leaves.

A photographer’s dream, Big Bear Lake is the most popular location in SoCal to capture autumn's blazing beauty. Peak fall color is generally October 7 through October 21, depending on the weather.

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest


A beautiful German woman carries steins of cold beer during Big Bear’s Oktoberfest

Kick off the Fall season with a variety of craft, imported, and local beers, brats and of course, the world famous Chicken Dance at the 48th Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. Enjoy authentic German food, imported brews, Bavarian bands, traditional dances and competitions like the Queen Stein Carrying Contest and the Log Sawing Competition. Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is every Saturday and Sunday until November 3. Prost!

Fall Family Fun – Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, and More

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

A family carries pumpkins and rides horses in Big Bear Lake

Autumn in Big Bear is filled with fun for the whole family. From old-fashioned hayrides and a Sunflower Spiral at Bear Valley Farms to the newest high-flying fun at Action Tours, the ‘Pumpkin Smash’. Peek in on the animals at night with a Flashlight Safari at the Zoo at the Zoo and learn all about wolves at Wolf Awareness Day.

Fall hikes in the forest and mountain bike rides down the Alpine Pedal Path are spectacular at this time of year.

Fall Color Tours in Big Bear

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

Experience fall in its true beauty by watching the leaves change in Big Bear Lake, CA

Another way to see the beauty of Big Bear in the fall is with a tour. See the colors of the season splashed along the shore with a 90-minute tour on board the Miss Liberty or the Big Bear Pirate Ship. Fly over the forest with Helicopter Big Bear to get spectacular views of the colorful tapestry of leaves changing on the trees below.

Glide up the mountain on the Scenic Sky Chair and get a glimpse of fall colors before the snow flies. Take a guided 4x4 tour with Big Bear Jeep Experience or Action Tours - Segway special Fall Colors Tour and drive right through the autumn leaves.

Big Bear Scare and Halloween Activities in Big Bear

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

Haunted hay rides, haunted farms and haunted houses in Big Bear Lake are sure to draw a crowd!

Throughout October everything gets a little spookier with the Big Bear Scare. Check out the Haunted Hayrides when ‘Scare Valley Farms’ comes alive with the ‘undead’. Boo at the Zoo is perfect for little ones who want to parade around in their costumes and Halloween in The Village is a Trick-or-Treat tradition for the entire family… yes, even your pet.

Mountain Room Escapes will feature a scary ‘Cabin in the Woods’ escape room and you can catch ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ at The Cave. Find more wickedly fun activities at the Big Bear Scare.

Trees Change Colors In The Village of Big Bear Lake, CA

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

Trees change colors in Big Bear Lake, CA

The Village in downtown Big Bear Lake is lined with scarlet red maples and bright yellow cottonwoods. Quaint shops are filled with the warmer colors of the season and the menus switch over to heartier fare. In the evening, you can stroll through the lamplit Village and warm yourself beside one of the softly-glowing firepits.

The Big Bear Village Scarecrow Festival is mid-September through early November and features creative fall scarecrow displays throughout The Village, adding even more autumn charm to our central shopping and dining hub.

Autumn Hiking and Mountain Biking Adventures in Big Bear

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

A couple enjoys a hike in one of the many hiking spots in and around Big Bear Lake, California

For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of adventures to be had. Three of the best trails for hiking in Big Bear Lake and mountain biking to view fall color are on the South Shore; Town Trail, Pine Knot Trail and Castle Rock Trail.

You can drive, hike or ride up Mill Creek Rd./Skyline Trail (2N10) to Bluff Lake Reserve for a quiet walk through some of the prettiest autumn scenery in Big Bear. Hike the Siberia Creek Trail from the Champion Lodgepole Pine and see the forest floor covered with brilliant yellow and rust-colored ferns.

For the avid camper, Pineknot Campground is open until late October and Serrano Campground is open until the end of November.

Fall Fishing in Big Bear

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

A fisherman enjoys a nice fall day fishing on Big Bear Lake

Throw on your favorite plaid flannel, grab your Stanley thermos, find your lucky fishing pole and head up to Big Bear Lake. The fish are definitely biting this season. Set up your camp chair on the shoreline and settle in for a relaxing day of fishing in Big Bear Lake. Along the North Shore there are popular places to drop a line, especially close to the dam. The marinas close in late October, so try one of the local sporting goods stores for bait and tackle in November.

Fall Romance

Fall Outdoor Adventures Big Bear

A couple enjoys a hug on a fall day in Big Bear

Fall is a perfect time to surprise your special someone with an autumn getaway to Big Bear Lake. Book a rustic cabin nestled in the forest or a beautiful hotel suite with all the modern conveniences. Pamper yourselves with a romantic dinner for two followed by an in-room couples’ massage. Bring your favorite bottle of wine to share in front of a roaring fireplace. For romantic outdoor adventure, pack a picnic, grab a trail map and head out to Pine Knot Trail for a day of playing in the woods. Rent a bike or kayak for a day of leisurely pedaling or paddling along the shore.

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