by: David G. Hallstrom, Sr.
Less than two hours by car from Los Angeles sit the year round playgrounds Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City. Situated in the San Bernardino National Forest at approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, Big Bear provides activities for all four seasons. Whether you are into camping, fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, hiking, parasailing, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, bobsleding, playing in the snow, shopping or even just relaxing, you can do it in Big Bear and you can do it in clean fresh air, in gorgeous surroundings and in accomodations that range from unimproved campgrounds to top of the line hotels or spas.
Big Bear Lake is a freshwater lake, with approximately 22 miles of shoreline, set amoung forests of pine and oak. The lake is well stocked with trout, large and small mouth bass, blue gill, crappie, and catfish. There are several marinas and two public launches. You can rent sail or motor boats, or you can bring and launch your own boat. Meadow Park (800)448-5335, on the lake, provides a swim beach area as well as shaded picnic areas, barbecues, horseshoe pits, tennis courts, playground equipment, softball fields, and a sand volleyball court. Holloway's Marina and RV Park (800)448-5335, offers lakeshore RV camping with all the amenities including, large level sites, full hook-ups, cable tv, restrooms and hotwater showers, a full service marina, rentals of fishing boats, pontoon boats, jet skis, windsurfers, sail boats, canoes and kayaks, paddle boats, water skis, fishing gear and more, a complete bait and tackle shop, a launch ramp and more. You might also want to check out Big Bear Shores RV Resort (909) 866-4151, a gate guarded resort complete with a 16,000 square foot mountain lodge, forty-slip marina, boat launching ramp, tennis, swimming pool, spas and a fully equipped private health club, the resort offers all the refinements of an exclusive country club. There are also numerous hotels, lodges, cabins and condos for rent, on or near the lake.
Big Bear boasts two excellent ski resorts, Snow summit and Bear Mountain Resort. Between the two of them you will find 75 trails, 20 lifts, four high-speed chairs, and seven snowboard parks for all levels of skill. Big Bear also has numerous, beautiful, groomed, cross country ski trails. If you don't know how to ski, don't worry, there are plenty of instructors. If you don't have equipment, don't worry, there are plenty of places where you can rent or buy your equipment.
Big bear is not just a winter wonderland, it is a year round wonderland. At Big Bear, you will find beautiful scenery, clean mountain air, plenty of things to do, friendly people and much more.
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