San Bernardino National Forest and Big Bear Lake in southern California was a random, completely unplanned stop along the way that turned out to be one of my favorite places – ever. While in my car driving through the relentless heat of the desert I simply opened up my road map and spotted an extensive green blob with the words “National Forest” and knew I wanted to head to higher, more lush land. I ended up spending two days and nights here and had to practically tear myself away when it was time to go.
The park has many campgrounds to choose from. Those along the lake appear more crowded and family oriented while others, hidden up in the pine-covered mountains, are more remote and secluded. Heart Bar Campground, falling into the latter category of campgrounds, won my heart. Soon beer was opened and sausages roasted over a campfire before falling fast asleep under the moon and the stars in the crisp night air.
The next day was spent hiking, picnicking, and strolling along beautiful Big Bear Lake.
I felt so comfortable here and everyone I came in contact with – especially the campground attendants – were so friendly and welcoming. My camping site was clean, private, and an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Big Bear City was quaint and cute and had every amenity you could desire. I hit up Starbucks for my internet (and blogging!) needs and the grocery store for all my food. There were many hiking, biking, and horse trails throughout the park and great picnic spots along with boating and many other activities. All of this in an easy to maneuver area; big enough for everyone to enjoy their own private space but small enough not to feel overwhelmed. In the winter, Big Bear is a skier and winter wonderland destination. I couldn’t have asked for more from my quick desert getaway.
There’s really nothing left to say except that you should go. Go and fall in love like I did!