Smaller than its Mammoth-sized neighbor, but certainly not lacking in charm and family-friendly vibes, Big Bear comes to life in the summer. There’s also a bustling lake recreation area that’s not to be missed.
Summer Dates: May 25-close.
Event of the Summer: Big Bear Chili Cook-Off, July 14. Calling all chili lovers! Over 40 chefs bring their best chili recipe to fruition during this day of tastings, prizes, and entertainment for kids and grown-ups alike, including a beer and wine garden, kids play area, arts and crafts, and more.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
• Hikers have access to two summer trails on Bear Mountain and an extensive network of Forest Service trails in the San Bernardino National Forest.
• The scenic Sky Chair lift takes visitors up a mile-long ascent to reach hiking trails, mountain biking, and splendid views of the mountains and lake.
• The Snow Summit Bike Park rules the mountain for all kinds of riding. All ranges of ability levels can take advantage of singletrack, cross-country, downhill, and multi-feature tracks that lead all over the mountain.
• Kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Big Bear Lake, or take a fishing tour. Or just spend time with your feet in the cool water of an alpine lake.
• The Bear Mountain Golf Course is more on par with the happy golfer: the 9-hole course is set at 9,000 feet with a stunning backdrop of the mountain.
• The base of the mountain features a 30-foot climbing wall, bungee trampoline, zip line, and free fall bungee-assisted jump for adventurers of all ages.