You’ve finally made it to a point in time when travel isn’t only restricted to your kitchen and living room (dramatic applause, please) and my, is your mind running wild. You are thinking of idyllic landscapes, lazy days out fishing in the lake, serene ambiances, and sceneries beyond belief. Good thing, we know just the place for you! Wipe that dust off your passport, pack your bags, rent a home with Wander Rentals and brace yourself for an adventure of a lifetime!

Here are the top natural attractions in and around Big Bear.

  1. Castle Rock Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Estimated Hiking Time: 1 hour plus

Trail Type: Loop

Drive time from Big Bear: 6 minutes 

Stretching through 2 miles (3.22 km) of some of the most spectacular attractions known to man, the Castle Rock Trail is your wildest hiking dream realized. We are talking of beautiful streams, eye-catching rock formations, towering trees, panoramic views of the Big Lake, and exceptional views of the San Bernardino Mountains.

You can try the trail by bike if you’ve got some nice leg muscles on you or horseback, because why not? We recommend carrying a nice pair of sunglasses, a hat, and lightweight shoes, because heavy legs should be the least of your concerns when hiking this trail.

  1. San Gorgonio Mountain

Drive time from Big Bear: 1 hr. 5 mins  

Breathtaking as it is, a hike up the San Gorgonio Mountain is not an easy undertaking for the unfit ones. The good thing is, cars are willing to do the hard work for you.

Sitting at approximately 11,503 feet (3.51 km), the San Gorgonio is the tallest mountain in Southern California. With the spot comes resplendent views of Southern California, a bird’s eye view of the desert flora in the far distance, as well as views of other mountains surrounding it. Other activities within the region include fishing, wildlife viewing, and hunting.

  1. Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Lake is the quintessential setting for just about every water activity one can reasonably imagine, including swimming, boating, canoeing, and fishing. Water junkies looking to have a great time will not be disappointed—with the marinas around the lake renting out kayaks, fishing vessels, jet skis, and pontoon boats all through the day.

Embrace the gorgeous scenery created by the lake by going out on family picnics, parasailing, and, for those bold enough, flyboarding.

A point to note: Avoid littering; local wildlife relies on the lake for its survival.

  1. San Bernardino Forest

Stretching a little over 3178 miles (5,114.5 km), the San Bernardino Forest is the largest natural attraction within the Big Bear region. From deserts to jagged mountain peaks and unique flora and fauna, there is a nearly endless list of activities to tickle your fancy here.

Visitors can indulge in hiking, horse riding, camping, fishing, and scenic drives that showcase the area in all its glory. What’s more, the forest also houses a generous amount of wildlife, some of which are seen during the hikes and nature walks. Take Caution! The bears might seem cute, but you will think otherwise when clutched between their jaws.

  1. Boulder Bay Park

Located about 2 km from the Big Bear Dam, Boulder Bay is ideal for all-year-round activities. There’s never a dull moment here, the park promising amazing picnics surrounded by picturesque views, hikes, canoeing in the dam, kayaking, and a string of other exciting water sports. What’s more, you can also spend time cycling around on bikes that are available for hire throughout the day. Your kids will thank you for this one!

  1. The Big Bear Alpine Zoo

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo started in 1959 as a rehabilitation center for animals that sustained injuries during a forest fire and hasn’t slowed down since. With the zoo comes a stunning array of over 85 bird and animal species, some of which include coyotes, owls, bears, bobcats, and wolves. Take your kids on guided tours of the zoo, learn a thing or two about wildlife, and learn about the effect of human activities on wildlife.

  1. The Alpine Pedal Path

The Big Bear never runs out of pleasant surprises, and the Alpine Pedal Path is a great example. Also located within Big Bear Lake, the Alpine Pedal Path is where walkers and cyclists alike converge. The occasional sighting of families or couples on strolls is also not rare.

So, what’s to love about this impressive spot? For starters, the path offers an incredible ambience for bird watching as well as benches where you can sit and enjoy great views of the lake. Not too far off the path is a place that offers delicious BBQs. The best part? The path is wheelchair accessible.

  1. The Cougar Crest Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

The Cougar Crest Trail also lies within the San Bernardino Natural Forest and is a stone’s throw away from the equally exceptional Big Bear Lake. Now, if the scenery around this trail isn’t stunning, we don’t know what is.

Showcased exceptionally are natural environments that boast incredible wildflower varieties and vistas you have to see to believe. Whether you choose to explore the area by hiking or bike riding, the Cougar Crest Trail will have you picking your jaw from the floor.

  1. Butler Peak

There is nothing like Butler Peak when it comes to quenching the wanderlust in you. Often used as a fire lookout station, Butler Peak lies within San Bernardino National Park. Showcased effortlessly is Big Bear Lake as well as other forests surrounding the area. This is where to go if you are looking for time away from the masses. Careful though, the area is quite difficult to access.


Unsurpassed in breathtaking panorama and natural wonders, it’s easy to see why Big Bear is a tourist favorite. We make the experience even more surreal by availing cozy and affordable accommodation options for you. Remember, a vacation is only as good as your accommodation. Make yours unforgettable by booking a rental with Wander Rentals today.

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