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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 LakeWould 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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 ParksAcross 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.
* Gated, guarded entry
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.
Lake Big Bear Campgrounds -- Nearby activitiesHere'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.