Big Bear mountain is a very popular area for camping in Southern California due to the numerous types of campsites in the region from comfortable RV sites to group sites to remote yellow post clearings in remote areas of the mountain wilderness about Big Bear, CA. Some sites require reservations in advance, while others are first come first serve. The cities of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City, as well as surrounding areas like Fawnskin host grounds that offer fishing, boating, hiking, rock climbing, biking, target practice, and even horse corals. May of the sites are close to shopping despite that they are private and feel remote due to the lush woods throughout this region.
Group Camping: the Big Bear mountain area is part of the San Bernardino National Forest. This area is home to dozens of group campsites maintained by the National Forest Service. Campers love these sites because they include large cleared areas – often big enough for groups of 10 or more, picnic tables, fire rings, and sometimes restrooms. These camps are not free, but the fees are inexpensive compared to private sites. Popular Big Bear group campgrounds include the following:
- Big Pine Flat Horse: Site with horse corrals, portable toilets, trash bins, fire rings, stoves, and target shooting offered. Limit of 60 people and 5 vehicles.
- Bluff Mesa: Pack-in, pack-out site. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles. Visitors must bring drinking water and garbage bags.
- Boulder: Pack-in, pack-out site with grills, rock climbing, and vault toilets. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles. Visitors must bring drinking water and garbage bags.
- Buttercup Group Campground: Pack-in, pack-out site with a barbecue grill, group fire ring, water for drinking, and rock climbing. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles.
- Deer Group Campgrounds: Pack-in, pack-out site with a barbecue grill, water for group fire ring, drinking, rock climbing, and vault toilet. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles.
- Gray's Peak: Site with a barbecue grill, pit toilet, fire rings, and tables. Limit of 40 people and 10 vehicles.
- Green Spot: Site with hiking trails (Sugarloaf National Recreation Trail), horse corrals, fire rings, tables, and a vault toilet. Limit of 25 people and 10 vehicles.
- IronWood: Grounds with biking trails, hiking and OHV trails, target shooting, barbecue grills, fire rings, tables, limited drinking water, and a pit toilet. Trash must be packed out. Adventure Pass required for parking anywhere outside of campground. Limit of 25 people and 5 vehicles.
- Juniper Springs: Area with hiking, biking, OHV trails, tables, a barbecue grill, fire rings, and a pit toilet. Fire restrictions vary throughout the year. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles.
- Tanglewood: Pack-in, pack-out site that has a barbecue rill, tables, fire ring, and pit toilet. No trash collection. Bring drinking water. Limit of 40 people and 8 vehicles.
Private Campgrounds are also a favorite in this area, as there is a lot of variety, space, and supplies on hand in town close by. Here are a few:
- Serrano Campground: A family favorite due to its north shore location on the lake in Big Bear Lake close to the Discovery Center, Cougar Crest Trail, and Alpine Pedal Path. Visitors have access to picnic tables, fire pits, restrooms, showers, and drinking water. RV sites and tent camping are allowed. Reservations are required.
- Pineknot Campground: Located near the popular Snow Summit ski resort in a beautiful wooded area. RV sites and tent camping are permitted. Reservations are required.
- Hanna Flats Campground: Located in Jeffrey Pine forest just north of Fawnskin. Visitors have access to water and restrooms. This site is popular for hiking and biking.
More information about the find these campground at Http://www.reserveusa.com . For experienced campers who prefer to venture further into locations more remote than the average campsite, the area around Big Bear, CA has locations for yellow post camping and self-contained campgrounds. Yellow post sites in this region include flat clearings, aa fire ring, and picnic table. (Note: Yellow post campers are required to purchase an Adventure Pass and campfire permit from the Discovery Center in Fawnskin.) In terms of self-contained campgrounds, hikers and drivers who want to venture into more remote locations, Cactus Flats and Holcomb Valley are popular destinations. In this areas, campfires are often not permitted, and visitors should be sure to camp out everything camped in, bring plenty of water, and notify others of their planned whereabouts – the depths of the forests in this region is vast.