Southern California’s largest recreational lake is Big Bear Lake and it’s part of the San Bernardino National Forest. It is a popular destination for fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking with skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Camping offers many choices from Big Bear RV camping to the more primitive yellow post camping site. There are six campgrounds, under the supervision of the National Forest Service, for camping in Big Bear recreation area. Camping Big Bear has been a popular vacation idea for thousands of people over the years and Big Bear camping sites have grown to accommodate old and new campers alike with larger camping sites and more amenities and attractions.

The most popular Big Bear RV camping site is Serrano Campground. Serrano Campground is a prime camping site right on the edge of Big Bear Lake. This makes it a convenient location for fishermen and boaters and kayakers. Serrano Campground is also located close to hiking and mountain biking trails. If you’re camping in Big Bear, with your RV, Serrano is a reasonably priced and clean place to stay. The majority of camping sites have water and toilet hookups. A more exclusive destination for Big Bear RV camping is Big Bear Shores RV resort which is a gated community with private lodge that includes a spa, health club and swimming pool. It offers the ultimate in luxury in Big Bear RV camping.

If you’re a camper who likes to get closer to nature you can enjoy one of the many Big Bear camping sites under the supervision of the National Forest Service. There are six campgrounds for Big Bear Lake camping. Two of the more popular Big Bear camping sites are Pineknot and Holcomb Valley campgrounds. Pineknot Campground is about five miles from the lake and is an ideal spot for hikers, fishermen and people wanting to be away from it all but yet close enough to get supplies. Pineknot is a tent camping site that offers running water and flush toilets but no fire ring for cooking. You could bring a lightweight camping oven with you like the Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven.

Camp Oven

Easily cook your meals with this awesome camp oven!

The camping oven comes with two burners for cooking and an oven for baking and operates on a small propane tank which would be ideal for making meals. Holcomb Valley is another popular tent camping site, about five miles from the lake, but it does not have running water and only has portable toilets making it a little more primitive camping in Big Bear. Holcomb Valley does have fire rings as well but you could use the Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven here as well if you want meals other than grilled food.

Experienced campers or hikers might want to avoid the crowds associated with camping Big Bear and can opt to get a yellow post camping site. Camping in Big Bear yellow post sites is limited and for the more skilled camper. The camping sites are less developed and you might want to consider bringing a camping tarp instead of a full tent.

Camping Tarp

Easy to set up and tear down, this lightweight camping tarp provides shelter for your “off the trail” camp site.

A camping tarp such as the Equinox Egret Tarp is lightweight and will fit into a small tube taking up less room in your backpack. The camping tarp is also strong enough to protect you from the elements like rain and dew. You will also need a free California Campfire Permit if you are going to have an open flame campfire while camping Big Bear.

Camping in Big Bear can be as enjoyable as you would like. You can stay at more luxurious Big Bear RV camping facilities or simple and more primitive Big Bear camping sites. Whichever camping site you choose you’re bound to have a wonderful time relaxing in nature and getting away from civilization for a while.

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