Big Bear is a winter destination renowned for its two ski resorts that offer a ton of thrills and diverse terrain for groups of skiers and snowboarders alike. But don’t discount this Southern California destination in the summer. In the warmer months, Big Bear Lake is ideal for those looking to avoid crowds and enjoy an off-the-beaten-path vacation experience. Packed with lake activities, summertime visitors are treated to off-season pricing, a nice range of accommodation options, and near-perfect weather.

Big Bear Lake Water Activities

Stretching across seven miles with a shoreline of 22 miles, Big Bear Lake offers endless opportunities for aquatic adventures. Whether you’re seeking thrills, relaxation, or a combination of both, Big Bear has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the epic water activities that await you in this stunning alpine destination.

1. Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddleboarding

Two guys carrying stand-up paddleboards.

Paddling around Big Bear Lake is a distinct experience from whitewater kayaking and canoeing excursions, but if you want to get some light exercise while being up-close and personal with the water, it’s an excellent option. Big Bear’s many outdoor outfitter companies tend to offer kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals for their customers to choose from. So grab your preferred vessel and head out on the water.

2. Fishing around Big Bear Lake

Drone photography of Big Bear Lake and surrounding area.

Fishing is a popular activity in Big Bear Lake. The lake is known for its largemouth bass, catfish, trout, and bluegill. There are plenty of different fishing spots around the lake, so you can find one that’s perfect for your needs. You can also find many fishing tournaments in Big Bear each year.

If you’re new to fishing, don’t worry! There are charter outfits in Big Bear that can teach you the basics of fishing. You can also find fishing guides in Big Bear that can take you to the best spots around the lake where the fish are biting.

3. Big Bear Lake Boating

Different kinds of boats on Big Bear Lake.

Pontoon, motor, and sailboats are all available for rent at the various marinas in Big Bear Lake. Though boat owners and those who borrow boats from friends must be licensed in California, renters don’t require a license. Sailing is a bit more of a challenge than piloting a motorboat, though some marinas and rental outfits offer sailing lessons at Big Bear Lake.

Another fantastic alternative if your family isn’t keen on handling their own boats is to take a boat tour around the lake. There are also some quirky options available, including a 90-minute excursion around the lake in a pirate ship from Holloway’s Marina as well as the Miss Liberty paddlewheel ship. These are generally group trips, although you may charter these boats for private excursions.

4. Big Bear Water Sports

Jet skis for rent at Big Bear Lake marina.

For those craving high-speed excitement on the water, jet skiing Big Bear is an epic choice. Big Bear Lake offers ample space for jet skiing enthusiasts to zoom across the sparkling waters and feel a rush of adrenaline. Rent a jet ski and experience the thrill of speeding through the lake’s open expanses. Admire the stunning scenery as you navigate the waves, and don’t forget to follow the safety guidelines for a fun and safe jet skiing adventure.

Parasailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing are additional activities that may be done either with a guide or by renting equipment at Big Bear Lake.

5. Wakeboarding in Big Bear Lake

Young woman wakeboarding behind boat.

Big Bear Lake’s calm waters and favorable wind conditions make it an ideal destination for wakeboarding enthusiasts. Rent a wakeboard and get ready to carve through the waves, performing tricks and jumps as you go. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, wakeboarding on Big Bear Lake will provide an unforgettable experience.

Where to Stay in Big Bear During the Summer

There are lots of great vacation rentals on the lakefront and resort properties that bustle when winter’s over. Everyone wants to be close to the heart of the action when it’s warm enough for water-based activities. Check out the following options below:

Cabin Rentals

Many people choose to stay in one of the Big Bear cabins or lodges around the lake. If you’re looking for a cabin rental, there are plenty of different options to choose from. You can find lakefront cabin rentals that are right on the water or nestled in the forest. Imagine waking up to the gentle sound of lapping waves and stepping outside to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Many lakefront cabins come equipped with amenities such as private docks, BBQ areas, and spacious decks where you can relax and soak in the beauty of the lake.

Vacation Rentals

Big Bear boasts numerous vacation rental properties, ranging from cozy cabins to spacious mountain lodges. Vacation rentals are an excellent choice for families or larger groups as they provide ample space and often include amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, living areas, and outdoor spaces. Renting a vacation home allows you to have a home-away-from-home experience while enjoying the beauty of Big Bear Lake.

Resort Hotels & Lodges

If you prefer a more luxurious and pampering stay, Big Bear has several resort hotels and lodges that offer a wide range of amenities and services. These hotels often feature spacious rooms or suites, on-site restaurants, swimming pools, spas, and recreational facilities. Staying in a resort hotel ensures that you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable vacation, with the convenience of easy access to the lake and other attractions.

Big Bear Lake FAQs

The sun setting on Big Bear Lake.

As you explore the thrilling water activities offered by Big Bear Lake, you may have some questions in mind. Here, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to provide you with the information you need for a seamless and enjoyable experience. Take a look at the following FAQs:

What is the best time of year to visit Big Bear Lake for water activities?

Big Bear Lake is a year-round destination for water activities. However, the summer months, from June to September, offer the warmest weather and the most favorable conditions for water-based adventures.

What are some other attractions or activities to enjoy in Big Bear Lake?

In addition to the epic water activities, Big Bear Lake offers a wide range of attractions and activities. You can explore the scenic hiking trails, go mountain biking, visit the Big Bear Alpine Zoo, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the area.

Enjoy Big Bear Water Activities This Summer

Whether you’re fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, or wakeboarding, Big Bear Lake provides a playground where you can create lasting memories. So pack your bags, head to Big Bear Lake, and get ready for the trip of the summer!