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Camping Trip Ideas & Tips

Camping in Big Bear

Take a break from the concrete jungle and escape to Big Bear Lake where you can enjoy all of the pleasures the great outdoors has to offer. One of the best ways to get in tune with nature is to go camping, also known as the great American getaway for families, friends, couples or individuals.

Get ready to pitch a tent in some of the most desirable campgrounds in Southern California. The Big Bear area is surrounded by millions of pine trees and other evergreens providing a relaxing forest setting that's ideal for camping.

Places to Camp:

  • In Big Bear you have the option to camp lakeside, near town or deep into the backwoods. There are campsite options for tents or larger sites perfect for RV camping. In fact, there are some campgrounds strictly dedicated to RV camping such as Holloway's Marina & RV Park. On the other hand there are some campsites that only allow only tent camping such as yellow-post campsites. Whatever your means are for overnight camping living quarters you'll find Big Bear's mountain setting with fresh alpine air a delight for rest and relaxation. 


  • Most campgrounds are equipped with tables, campfire rings, grills and trashcan bins. Most campgrounds have some type of restroom, and some even offer flush toilets and showers. Campgrounds maintained by the US Forest Service have a host on site that provides information about the campground and surrounding area. Also, the host usually has firewood and some other small camp items for sale. 

Popular Campgrounds:

  • The most popular campground in the Big Bear Valley is Serrano Campground. This campground is located on the North Shore just steps away from the lake. The campground offers over 100 campsites for both tent and RV camping. There are approximately 30 sites that provide full utility hookups for RVs and a dump station is located within the campground. The main reason why this spot is preferred by many campers is because of easy access to a wide range of recreation and activities. Big Bear Discovery Center is located just down the road making it easy to obtain US Forest Service permits, passes and typography maps needed for hiking, biking or off-roading adventure. During the summer Big Bear Discovery Center offers weekend campfire programs at the campground. Another advantage of Serrano Campground is it the Alpine Pedal path is right at the edge of the campground giving easy access for a sunset walk or a relaxing bike ride along the lake. If you need to make a trip to the grocery store no problem. Vons and Stater Brothers markets are only three miles away making it convenient to get those last minute morsels for the cookout, and don't forget the s'mores. 

  • Another campground that is close to the town of Big Bear Lake is Pine Knot Campground. This campground is located east of Snow Summit's base with 52 sites. This area is well-shaded with pine trees and has a very down-to-earth vibe. The campground has flush toilets and drinking water on site. Campers who enjoy outdoor activities highly recommend this campground because it is so close to Snow Summit which offers excellent mountain biking and hiking opportunities. In fact, Snow Summit is the home of the Scenic Sky Chair that takes passengers to the top of Snow Summit for a nominal fee. Here guests can take bikes to the top to enjoy a plethora of trails for both cross-country and downhill riding. The Scenic Sky chair is also great for sightseers and photographers who want to see some of the best panoramic sites Big Bear has to offer. 

  • For campers that want to get further away from the center of town should head out to the Holcomb Valley Campgrounds just north of Fawnskin. These sites are a little more rustic, but definitely closer to nature considering these sites are further into the woods. The campgrounds in the Holcomb Valley area include Hanna Flats Campground, Holcomb Valley Campground, Ironwood Group Campground and Crab Flats Campground. 

  • Another option for campgrounds near Big Bear Lake is the cluster of campgrounds along Highway 38 near between Lake Williams and Angeles Oaks. Some of the more popular campgrounds along Highway 38 include Heart Bar Campground, South Fork Campground, San Gorgonio Campground and Barton Flats Campground. 

We've put together a fun list of some camping ideas for your next camping trip to Big Bear. Call 800-424-4232 for questions on camping locations, tips and to purchase an Adventure Pass.

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