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Lake Big Bear Camping

Refreshing temperatures and a huge azure lake await you!



In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of Big Bear lake and the surrounding heavily-wooded hillsides, along with photos of the Serrano Campground popular with visitors to the area. Is there REALLY a huge metroplitan area nearby? You'd never know it when you're basking in the peace and tranquility of Big Bear!








Camping at the majestic Big Bear Lake

Would you like to camp at a 7,000 foot elevation, where there's a cool, refreshing breeze on even the hottest days in nearby Los Angeles? Would you like the convenience of camping near a town...and all of its helpful facilities...without feeling that you "stayed in the city?" Do you enjoy lake and water activities---boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, etc? If the thought of camping alongside all these terrific features "sounds like you," then camping near Big Bear Lake will be just up your alley.

Though there are a number of campgrounds in the Big Bear area, the focus of this page is the Forest Service's Serrano Campground on Big Bear Lake's north shore...plus 2 private RV campgrounds that are adjacent to Camp Serrano. All 3 are nice camp grounds, convenient to Big Bear City. The 2 private campgrounds sit on Lake Big Bear's edge, while the Serrano Campground is located just across the street from the lake.

Though mountains surround Big Bear, these campgrounds are at lake-level and the sites are relatively flat. Though getting to Big Bear Lake requires climbing the San Bernardino Mountains, once you're in the actual lake area, you'll find that driving along the north shore is smooth-sailing.





Lake Big Bear Camping at the National Forest

Serrano Campground

Photo of a campsite at the Serrano Campground at Big Bear


The National Forest Service's Serrano Campground features 132 camping sites that can be used by tents, RV's, pop-up campers, pickup trucks with camper shells, vans, etc.

RVer's should note that there are 29 campsites which offer electrical (30 amp), water and sewer hookups. There is an RV dump station.

The Serrano Campground has on-site campground hosts, and park rangers make round-the-clock security checks.




Picture of a Serrano campsite; camping area is across the street from Lake Big Bear



As you can see in the photos on this page, a camping site comes equiped with a picnic table and a fire pit. (There are no BBQ grills at the campsites.) Although each site has its own fire pit, that DOESN'T mean that you'll necessarily get to use it! When the danger of forest fires is high, you'll find that there's a ban on campfires here...not only at the Serrano Campground, but throughout the whole Mountaintop District of the San Bernadino National Forest, as well.

Be sure to bring along a camping cookstove packed in your belongings. A cookstove is what you'll need to use to do your camp cooking if you arrive when a ban is in effect.



Image of a Serrano Campground restroom building




In the photo to your left, you can see one of the restroom and shower buildings which are scattered around the camping area. Families will be glad to know that Serrano Campground's restrooms feature flush toilets...and the showers have hot and cold running water, as well! These features are often desired by parents camping with kids, as these amenities make taking care of the physical necessities of life much easier.







View Serrano Campground in a larger map



Besides lake-based activities, what other things can you do while camping at Big Bear? For one thing, you'll notice trail heads located on North Shore Lane (and in other spots around the Big Bear area.) Taking a family hike is one great way to get the kids introduced to the natural world.

Another fun idea is to visit the Big Bear Discovery Center, located only a few minute's drive from Serrano Campground. At the Big Bear Discovery Center, you can view interpretive exhibits, ask questions of the park rangers, or attend interesting nature-themed programs. (For more info about the Big Bear Discovery Center, you can view their official website via a link at the bottom of this page.)

The Serrano Campground phone number is: 909-866-8021.

The Serrano Campground address is: 40533 North Shore Lane, Big Bear City, CA 92314. You can view the location of Serrano Campground in the Google Custom Map to your right.

To read more about the Serrano Campground in their own words, use the following link to visit the Serrano Campground page of the BigBearLake.net website.

Camping map and reservations of Serrano Campground: To see a map of Serrano's campsites, you may view a Serrano campground map from the Reserve America website. You may make Serrano Campground reservations directly from this page. (Technically, the reservations will be made through the Recreation.Gov website, but Reserve America provides you with a handy link once you've picked your campsite.)

Serrano Campground website: Here's a link to the Serrano Campground page of the San Bernardino National Forest website, where you may find out more information about the campground. Other pages on the site can fill you in about activities within the national forest.







Lake Big Bear Campgrounds -- Private RV Parks

Photo of the entryway to Lake Big Bear's Lighthouse Marina and RV Park in California Across the street from the Serrano Campground...and directly on the shore of Big Bear Lake...are 2 RV-only camps that might interest you. These 2 RV resorts may be side-by-side, but they're worlds apart in their atmosphere and focus.

The Big Bear Shores RV Resort gives wealthy campers a luxury camping experience. If you stay at Big Bear Shores, you'll pay a pretty penny per night...enough to stay in a nice hotel in town. You'll expect great amenities, and you'll get them.

At the Lighthouse Marina and RV Resort, you'll find a more "traditional" camping experience. As you can see from the photo of the Lighthouse Campground to your left, the atmosphere is like a typical woodsy campground. You'll feel surrounded by pines here, and have direct access to the lake.

So, what are the details of these 2 campgrounds? Let's start with the Lighthouse Trailer Resort (which is its older name.)

At the Lighthouse, you'll find 88 campsites...all for RV's and all with hookups. Electric, water and sewer hookups; plus cable TV hook ups are available, as well. However, there are no telephone nor internet hookups offered. There are flush toilets and showers with hot and cold running water. The little camp store sells food and supplies so that you don't have to run into town for every little thing you need. As you can tell from these photos, the campground is loaded with tall, shady pine trees.



Picture of the Big Bear Shores RV Resort entrance at Lake Big Bear, California The Lighthouse Marina and RV Resort address is: 40545 North Shore Drive, Big Bear City CA 92314. The Lighthouse Marina and RV Campground phone number: 909/866-9464. The Lighthouse Campground does not have a website as of this update.



Next, we'll talk about the neighboring Big Bear Shores RV Resort. The buildings in this campground are more of an "urban elegance" style, rather than woodsy kitsch. Amenities at the 170-space RV-only Big Bear Shores include---

* Gated, guarded entry
* 40-slip marina
* Tennis courts
* Swimming pool and spa
* Health club and exercise equipment
* Laundry and shower rooms
* 50 amp electricity available
* Website with live "marina cam" and "RV Park cam" so you can check the weather and the appearance of the facility before leaving home

The resort also sells spaces; There is an "owners only" lodge which features a fireplace, pool tables and video theater room. (If you're thinking about buying, note that the lots start at around $150,000 and head upwards to over $600K! These are full-ownership lots, not time-share spaces.)

Camping Fees: Summer camping rates here begin at $80 and run up to $150 per night for interior spaces, and $200 for lakefront sites (rates current as of Summer, 2012). Winter rates are less. Extra fees add to the actual camping rate here; there is a $12/night "booking fee" added. Pets are allowed, but you'll have to pay a pet deposit. Rigs need to be a minimum of 26 feet long (to a maximum of 45 feet in length), and they should be late-model vehicles, and keep a well-maintained appearance.

The Big Bear Shores RV Resort and Yacht Club address is: 40751 North Shore Drive, Big Bear City, CA 92314. The Big Bear Shores telephone number is 909/866-4151. For further information, you may consult the Big Bear Shores RV Park official website.





Lake Big Bear Campgrounds -- Nearby activities

Photo of Lake Big Bear taken from one of the north shore marinas Here's some info about nearby attractions---

While you're camping at either the Serrano Camping Grounds or the 2 private camps mentioned on this page, you'll see an odd-looking white structure sticking out into the lake from a nearby pier. "What IS that? you might wonder. Answer: It's the Big Bear Solar Observatory! It's run by the New Jersey Institute of Technology for (of course) making observations of the sun. In fact, recent renovations have been made to the observatory...to accommodate and even bigger telescope!

To satisfy your curiosity about this strange-looking building and its functions...and to learn some interesting facts about the sun and solar observation...use the following link to visit the Big Bear Solar Observatory Official Website.


The Big Bear Discovery Center: There's always something new going on at the family-friendly Big Bear Discovery Center. It could be musical programs or informative talks. Or, it might be kayak & canoe tours...or ranger-let hikes and nature walks. Curious? You may use the link below to obtain more info at the Big Bear Discovery Center official website.



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