20 Things To Do In Big Bear

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Big Bear has long been known for its natural beauty and wonder and is a hub for snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and hiking in Southern California. Driveable from Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, visitors flock from many surrounding states (and often even further!) to enjoy the sights, sounds and scenery that make Big Bear a remarkable natural hotspot.

Home to a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities, things to do in Big Bear include watersports in the summer and alpine adventures in the winter. And visitors looking for a more relaxed trip will find much to love about Big Bear’s shopping and dining scene, as well as photo opportunities and jaw-dropping views at every turn. With so much to see and so little time, here’s a list of the top things you won’t want to miss during your next trip to Big Bear.

Big Bear, California

Top Tours

10 Things To Do In Big Bear In Winter

frozen lake and powder-covered trees
Big Bear Lake in winter.

1- Go Snow Tubing At Big Bear Snow Play

Big Bear Snow Play is the number one must-stop spot if you’re looking to enjoy light-hearted, snow-filled fun for all ages.

One of the most popular attractions at Big Bear Snow Play is snow tubing, which can be enjoyed with a mix of both natural and man-made snow.

There’s a convenient magic carpet up to the top of the hill for a magical wintry snow ride.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery while tubing during the day or a futuristic funky vibe during the night when everything lights up and your snow tubing becomes glow tubing.

If you want to bask in Big Bear’s beauty while having some adventure, you’ll enjoy the Big Bear Snow Play.

Big Bear Snow Play is at 42825 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

2- Visit The Alpine Slide At Magic Mountain

best things to do in big bear
Riding the Alpine coaster is one of the fun things to do in Big Bear.

One of Big Bear’s most popular attractions, the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain, is an iconic destination for year-round family-friendly activities.

The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain hosts a thrilling bobsled ride, notably being the location of Southern California’s only authentic bobsledding experience.

Begin your journey with a scenic chairlift to the top of the mountain, followed by a trip down the winding track where riders control their speed.

Some other exciting activities at Big Bear’s Magic Mountain include the year-round Mineshaft Coaster, California’s only mountain coaster, mini golf and go-karting.

Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain is at 800 Wildrose Lane, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

3- Take A Hike At Alpine Pedal Path

Natural beauty is everywhere you turn in Big Bear, and the Alpine Pedal Path is home to some of the finest winter views and wildlife.

Alpine Pedal Path is best known for being a great spot to view the impressive bald eagle population, who arrive in the area during late November and remain until early April.

The trail is paved and lying on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, where snow is more scarce during winter, making the trail significantly more accessible for visitors.

You’ll need an Adventure Pass to park by the Alpine Pedal Path, so plan accordingly and show up prepared for your hike.

Alpine Pedal Path is at 740 Stanfield Cutoff, Big Bear, CA 92314. You may like to join this family-friendly hike.

4- Go Skiing (Or Snowboarding) At Bear Mountain Ski Resort

a few skiers on the slopes
Going downhill skiing is a fun thing to do in Big Bear in winter.

Bear Mountain Ski Resort is a dream destination for skiing and snowboarding, considered the mecca of Southern California’s winter recreational scene.

This exciting spot offers over 700 acres (283ha) of winter terrain, with various lifts and trails to be enjoyed by visitors of all skill levels.

Bear Mountain Ski Resort prices are between $60 to $150 depending on age, with multiple options for renting equipment and booking lessons if you’re a beginner.

Don’t miss out on the best winter fun in the area, and stop by Bear Mountain Ski Resort on your next trip to the mountains.

Bear Mountain Ski Resort is at 43101 Goldmine Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

5- Try Out Snowshoeing At Big Bear Discovery Center

Snow-covered ski slopes form the backdrop for Big Bear, California with Big Bear Lake in the foreground.
One of the things to do in Big Bear is to ski down its snow-covered ski slopes.

There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Big Bear’s idyllic snowy landscape than through a good old-fashioned snowshoeing excursion.

Stop by the Big Bear Discovery Center for various guided snowshoe tour options, each of which will take you and your group deeper into nature!

Reservations are required, and a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate is highly recommended to fuel you during your trek.

Big Bear Discovery Center is at 40971 North Shore Dr/Highway 38, Fawnskin, CA 92333.

6- Soar Through The Sky On A Zipline With Action Tours

Couple in helmets is riding a zipline
One of the things to do in Big Bear Lake, CA is go zip lining in summer and winter. 

If you’re looking for a quick adrenaline rush and some breathtaking scenery, book with Action Tours for one of their exciting yearly zipline tours.

Action Tours welcome visitors year-round, but many would say that winter is one of the best times to swing through. 

There’s nothing more magical than flying above snow-coated hills and forestry.

The Big Bear Zipline Tour consists of nine zipline runs and a suspension bridge you can cross while enjoying impressive and elevated views.

Reserve your spot online for an average of $140 per person, with discounted group prices or exciting add-on packages such as the Zip & Sip tour for guests 21 and over.

Action Tours is at 40957 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

7- Warm Up At Big Bear Coffee Roasting Company

Coffee, cafe and hands of waiter with cup on table in restaurant
. Small business, cappuccino art or barista, man or server holding a fresh, delicious or hot mug of caffeine or espresso in shop or store.

There’s no better way to brighten a snowy winter day than with a cup of warm coffee, and Big Bear Coffee Roasting Company is the perfect place to grab your cup of pick-me-up.

Conveniently located near many popular wintry activities in Big Bear, this coffeehouse teems with small-town charm and big-city quality.

Staff are friendly and eager to help you get your coffee fix, whether you’re looking for brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes or more.

Big Bear Coffee Roasting Company also offers pastries and snacks to pair with your choice of drink.

Big Bear Coffee Roasting Company is at 41080 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

8- Stop By The Big Bear Alpine Zoo

Prepare for the unexpected at Big Bear Alpine Zoo, a spacious zoo and rehabilitation centre in the heart of Big Bear.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is one of only two alpine zoos in the entire U.S., and they rehabilitate and release local alpine wildlife back to their natural environment.

Animals at Big Bear Alpine Zoo include arctic foxes, grizzly bears, snow leopards and bald eagles.

General admission is from $10-$15, with free parking and group discounts, so bring everyone you know.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is at 42801 Moonridge Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

9- Stroll Through Big Bear Lake Village

Big Bear Lake Village is a quirky and charming hub of dining, shopping and entertainment you will not want to miss.

During the winter, The Village is decorated with twinkling lights that glisten in the snow, truly taking on the appearance of something out of a fairy tale.

While exploring The Village, you’ll find coffee and candy, pizza and pub fare, knick-knacks, and photo ops to entertain you for hours.

At Big Bear Lake Village, enjoy the unique experience of being surrounded by jaw-dropping nature yet still being able to wine and dine underneath city lights.

Big Bear Lake Village is at 583 CA-18, Big Bear Lake, CA 92314.

10- Go Horseback Riding

two women on horseback
Going horseback riding is one of the things to do in Big Bear this weekend, both winter and summer.

Visitors searching for a unique way to take in Big Bear’s impressive landscapes should check out the exciting horseback riding excursions through Baldwin Lake Stables.

Riders explore Big Bear’s east end on horseback, with year-round rides available for all experience levels.

You can book a ride between one and three hours, with the coveted sunset ride being incredibly stunning during the winter season.

Skip traditional tourist fare and head to Baldwin Lake Stables for an awe-inspiring and up-close look at much of Big Bear’s beauty.

Baldwin Lake Stables is at 46475 Pioneertown Rd, Big Bear City, CA 92314.

10 Things To Do In Big Bear In Summer

trees, lake and snow-covered mountain in the background
If all you want to do is sit back and relax, this is the landscape of Big Bear Lake.

11- Soak In Lakeside Beauty At Big Bear Marina

Big Bear Marina is a hotspot for summer fun in Big Bear, from daring watersports to boat rentals and paddleboarding.

Visitors looking to enjoy many of Big Bear’s finest water recreational activities can’t miss a stop at Big Bear Marina.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the water, try your hand at fishing, or even enjoy some thrilling water skiing, Big Bear Marina is sure to have everything you need.

No better place to be than on the water during a hot summer day, and Big Bear Marina is here to make all that and more possible.

Big Bear Marina is at 500 Paine Ct, Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315. Here are two tours to join:

12- Pan For Gold 

Not only a mecca of natural beauty in Southern California, Big Bear is also home to some of California’s richest history.

Notably, it was home to the area’s gold rush beginning in 1860.

Pay homage to the land’s history at the Gold Rush Mining Adventures interactive gold-panning attraction, perfect for the whole family.

You can pan for gold and other minerals or enjoy a guided tour to learn more about the land’s historical background.

Packages range in price from $49 to $150, depending on which activity you choose and how long you want the fun to last.

Gold Rush Mining Adventures is at 40016 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

13- Hike The Scenic Castle Rock Trail

things to do in big bear california
View of the forest near Big Bear lake in Southern California.

One of Big Bear’s most popular hiking trails, Castle Rock Trail, is a heavily-trafficked hike that leads to an impressive panoramic view of the surrounding scenery.

Coming in at 2.7 miles (1 km) round-trip, Castle Rock Trail is perfect for beginners due to its short length and appeal to the more experienced hiker with its incredible views.

During your picturesque hike, you will likely encounter tall evergreen trees and massive rock formations, with a gorgeous snow-fed lake visible from the top.

Castle Rock Trail is at Castle Rock Trail 38523 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. Find out more here.

14- Try Out Wakeboarding With Designated Wakesports

Designated Wakesports was established in 2004 and has provided top-notch watersports entertainment ever since.

They offer a wide variety of different water-based activities, from tubing to water-skiing to wakeboarding.

Designated Watersports also offer classes and demonstrations in the spring and summer, best for visitors new to wake sports.

If you want to make a splash and enjoy the beauty of Big Bear firsthand, head down to Designated Wakesports and get a glimpse of the lake’s wild side.

Designated Wakesports is at 603 Landlock Landing, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

15- Take A Day Trip To Deep Creek Hot Springs

Nestled along the infamous Pacific Crest Trail, Deep Creek Hot Springs is a natural oasis free to the public and sure to delight visitors with an adventurous spirit.

Located 46 miles (74 km) from Big Bear, Deep Creek Hot Springs can be reached via various winding hiking trails.

The most popular route is a 3.6 mile (5.7 km) out-and-back trail through desert foothills and deep into the San Bernardino National Forest.

Deep Creek Hot Springs themselves include geothermal pools, including a large pool for socializing and more reclusive pools hidden in the shade of the lush willow trees.

Deep Creek Hot Springs is at Pacific Crest Trail, Apple Valley, CA 92308

16- Go Biking At Summit Bike Park

close up of bicycle wheel
Going mountain biking is another of the top things to do in Big Bear in summer.

Big Bear is a well-known and well-loved hub for casual and professional mountain biking, among other outdoor recreational activities.

The most popular of all Big Bear’s biking destinations is Summit Bike Park, a lift-served mountain bike park with over 60 miles (96 km) of accessible downhill and cross-country trails.

Summit Bike Park includes both natural and man-made features, with beginner areas and advanced runs for a diverse range of skill levels.

Visitors to Summit Bike Park can rent equipment and take lessons, get professional biking repairs on-site, and more.

Summit Bike Park is at 880 Summit Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315. You might also like this cycling tour around Big Bear Lake.

17- Hang Out At The Bowling Barn

After a long event-filled day of outdoor adventuring, what better way to wind down than with drinks and games at Big Bear’s only bowling alley!?

The Bowling Barn is a hip, family-friendly establishment that hosts glow bowling, an arcade, and a laser maze for interactive, hands-on fun.

Visitors to The Bowling Barn will also enjoy the in-house Alley Oops Sports Bar, with all the drinks, bar food and billiards you can handle.

With reasonable prices, various activities, and nonstop fun, The Bowling Barn makes for a night of excitement and laughter, perfect for closing out a weekend trip.

The Bowling Barn is at 40625 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

18- Dine With A View At The Pines Lakefront

things to do at big bear lake in summer
Enjoy walks and activities around Big Bear Lake, California.

Upscale dining and an impressive lakeside view make The Pines Lakefront a can’t-miss dining experience right off Big Bear Lake.

The Pines Lakefront has been a staple in the Big Bear community since the early 1920s, with an old-fashioned aesthetic inside and out to transport guests back in time.

With an extensive dinner and lunch menu and a well-curated wine list, The Pines Lakefront has something that appeals to the high-end food critic in us all.

The Pines Lakefront can also be booked for private events and weddings, with a stunning gazebo, lakeside seating and top-notch catering staff that won’t disappoint.

The Pines Lakefront is at 350 Alden Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

19- Practice Stargazing In The Big Bear Night Sky

Big Bear is considered a top spot for stargazing in Southern California, with its altitude and remote location making it perfect for seeing what’s up there.

The Big Bear Valley Astronomical Society hosts regular meetings that are open to all levels of astronomers, as well as semi-regular events held during the new moon and quarter moon phases.

Visitors to Big Bear can also enjoy stargazing on their own time — with plenty of wide open spaces, there’s nowhere better to lay back and take in the wonders of the night sky.

Regular stargazers recommend climbing to the top of the popular Woodland Trail or Cougar Crest hike for the best and most astronomical sights in Big Bear.

20- Kick Back And Relax At Boulder Bay Park

Widely considered home to some of the best scenic views in Big Bear, Boulder Bay Park is a family-friendly and easily-accessible stop on Big Bear’s south shore.

Boulder Bay Park welcomes visitors to kayak or canoe on the lake or sit back at a bench or picnic table and enjoy the breathtaking landscape.

Picnickers, tourists and photographers do not want to miss out on Boulder Bay Park and its great lakeside scenery.

Boulder Bay Park is at 39080 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.

For more California ideas, see:

Previous article20 Cities in France
Next article20 Places To Visit On A Houston to Miami Road Trip
cropped layla hughes travel writer.jpg
Layla Hughes is a freelance writer and lover of travel, who is currently preparing to live the digital nomad lifestyle and see the US, Canada and Mexico through the windows of a converted camper van. She grew up on the Central Coast of California and attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where she worked on the study abroad committee and studied English. Her favourite travel destination is North Carolina, where she is considering settling down after her thirst for travel is satisfied.