Hiking and Stuff at Big Bear Lake (with Photos)

It’s not so much a “poor man’s Lake Tahoe” as it is the Lake Tahoe of a man who doesn’t want to drive all the way to, well, Lake Tahoe. For being within 2.5 hours of Orange County, the Big Bear/Lake Arrowhead area is pretty nice. If I get ambitious and bored — happens often enough — I’ll do some sort of comparison between Tahoe and Big Bear (Tahoe has more and better variety of hiking, for instance, while Big Bear is, as stated, *much closer*).

Meanwhile, photos:

 Cougar Crest Trail above Big Bear Lake

I hiked the Cougar Crest trail there. Not exactly challenging, but it delivers pretty well on what seemingly every hike at the lake delivers on: nice views of the lake. From the campsite to the spot on the Pacific Crest Trail (that the Cougar Crest Trail fades into eventually) it was maybe 7 miles round-trip.

bkdunn Hiking on the Cougar Crest Trail

 Evidence that I may have been there.

Big Bear Lake with Ski Resort and Hills

That has to be one of the trickiest golf courses in the country.

Baker Lake, Big Bear Lake’s Neighbor

 Across a causeway from Big Bear Lake, this is actually Baker Lake. Not sure they needed to give it its own name.

Westward View from Baker Lake at Big Bear — the “Marsh”

Another view of “Baker Lake”, including the walkway that goes across the marshes there.

Anyway. Again, for being so close — really pretty. Would never have suspected that an area as nice as this would’ve been up there given the dry brown death atmosphere of the Saddleback Mountains here closer to home. Definitely worth the drive up and anyone living the area should definitely go there once.



PS, I should probably stop with the search engine-bait post titles. I think Google’s punishing me for something I thought about last week.


  1. A few years ago a young man in our Ward was killed after a Scout bike trip to Big Bear. Since then, our YM have taken an annual bike trip there in October. Ammon goes on the “Trevor Trek” this weekend and will stay in a cabin on the lake and will bike the ski slopes. It’s not quite Mammoth, but it is fun and fairly close. Give us a call when you go next time (after soccer season and before baseball–so I guess that leaves one weekend in January).

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