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On the Road in Big Bear Lake, California

Featuring: Eddie Kirsch

Director of Marketing , Big Bear Visitors Bureau

Experience Big Bear's unique beauty and top hiking spots from a destination expert's perspective.

A short and scenic drive from major metro areas on the West Coast, Big Bear Lake, California is the perfect summer road trip destination. Rediscover America recently sat down with Eddie Kirsch, Director of Marketing for Big Bear Visitors Bureau. Come along for the ride as Eddie shares his favorite spots for hiking and inspiration and reveals a few hidden gems too.

#1 A Hike With A Payoff

What is your favorite trail for hiking?

Castle Rock Trail

Castle Rock is my favorite. There is a lot of uphill, but if you hike it in the spring there’s a really nice stream you get to cross and some small waterfalls too. In the fall it’s got really beautiful color. We like to take friends there and bring the dog along too.

#2 Try Something New

Which activity is in your backyard but still on your bucket list?

Fly Fishing on Big Bear Lake

I’ve really wanted to try and fly fish for carp. My dad is an excellent fly fisherman and I have yet to try, so I’d really like learn how. I just haven't had a chance to do it yet. Maybe this summer?

"Big Bear is surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest, so there’s a ton to explore and it's always changing. You never know what you’re going to see out there." Eddie Kirsch, Big Bear Visitors Bureau

#3 Catch A Sunset

Where's the best place to watch the sunset?

The Stanfield Cutoff

My favorite spot is the Stanfield Cutoff, where you can see the entire lake with the sunset dipping behind it and the solar observatory and the ski hills. I think that’s a beautiful vista.

#4 Pack A Picnic

What's a good afternoon activity for a family to explore?

Juniper Point

I would head up the Alpine Path, which travels down the north side of the lake and has excellent views. About mid-way, there’s a picnic spot called Juniper Point. It's the perfect place to hike, enjoy the lake, enjoy some lunch, and then hike back down to your car.

#5 Hit Historic Trails

Where do you go to feel inspired?

The Pacific Crest Trail

I recently accessed the Pacific Crest Trail by heading down the mountain toward the Lucerne Valley, and I ended up looking out at the Mojave Desert. So it was a totally different experience in terms of the types of scenery and plants. And you are also on a trail with a lot of history to it.

"Just the thought that you can be on the Pacific Crest Trail, and go for hundreds of miles and end up in a totally different place. I think that’s pretty special." Eddie Kirsch, Big Bear Visitors Bureau

#6 Pick Up A Souvenir

What else makes Big Bear so unique?

Small Businesses & Community Feel

We have all these people who live and work here and have opened their own businesses. People are encouraged here to find themselves and find their passion for what they enjoy doing. There are so many cool little stores. I like to stop by Mountain Witch Tea Company Old Country Store for their unique teas and honeys they make themselves.

Follow San Bernardino National Forest on Instagram for swoon-worthy shots.

More Local Tips

Getting to Big Bear

Driving Distances

Mileage from nearby cities:

Palm Springs - 89 miles
Los Angeles - 103 miles
San Diego - 145 miles
Las Vegas - 215 miles
See more . . .

Stay In A Cabin

Find a Cozy Place to Stay

Cabin rentals are a very popular choice for visiting Big Bear. Find the perfect cozy cabin for your getaway!

Take the Back Roads

Travel Via Highway 38

Drive to Big Bear on Highway 38, which is considered the "back way." You'll find uncrowded hiking trails along the Santa Ana River and cool spots like Jenks Lake.

Rediscover Big Bear, California Map
Learn More About Rediscover America

What Is A Destination Organization?

A destination organization is responsible for promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work.

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About the Contributor

Eddie Kirsch

Director of Marketing

About The Contributor

When he's not out spreading the word about Big Bear, CA, you will found Eddie Kirsch enjoying the trails with his family.