Family hikes in Big Bear City are one of the best adventures you can experience with hikes ranging from easy to daunting–many that are perfect for a family. Big Bear lies in the heart of Southern California, surrounding the beautiful Big Bear Lake. It is a perfect destination for snowboarders, ski enthusiasts, and hikers–and to make it even better, it’s only a half hour or so away from our farm! That means that if you decide to stay with us you will be very close to this popular city and its surrounding mountains, deep forests, and valleys.
Big Bear is a paradise for hiking families. Here are a few of our favorite hikes in Big Bear that are perfect for you and your kiddos.
Hikes in Big Bear that your family will enjoy
1. Bear Lake Woodland Trail
One of the staple hiking trails in Big Bear is the Woodland Trail. It is an easy, meandering path of a 1.5 mile loop with a minimal elevation of about 300 feet. The 2.6 km long trail is particularly amazing for kids and while it is a decent workout as a hike should be, it will barely get you breathing harder. This great beginners path shows what San Bernardino National Forest offers with not only a varied range of Big Bear flora and fauna, but also a well done flyer and markers to guide you through recognizing what you see. This is the first trail we took our own kids on. *Dogs are allowed
2. Alpine Pedal Path
The hike is easy here in Alpine Pedal Path Trail and it really is. While it’s longer-the trail is 5.1 miles long-it’s paved and flat. It’s fun for families, picnics, walking, and riding a bike with great views of the lake. It is extremely young child friendly. The best time to take a trip here with family is from May to November, but really anytime of the year is great for this Big Bear hike. The location is right on Big Bear Lake and a great place for strolling, road biking, fishing, running and exploring. It will hardly take two hours to complete the trail. *Dogs are allowed
3. Castle Rock Hiking Trail
For the best panoramic view of the Big Bear Lake Valley, you must experience what I would guess is the most popular hike in Big Bear–the Castle Rock Trail. It is a 2.7 mile long hike with almost 250 meters elevation, which takes about 500 feet. With beautiful fir forest beds and local and seasonal flora, Castle Rock Trail is a one-of-a-kind trail for kids and families. The skill level is moderate, but honestly if I can do it, you can do it. Teenagers into hiking will love it. As for little kids, the first part of the hike is pretty easy so maybe just go on half of the Castle Rock Trail and then turn back when it starts getting steep.
If you stick with it though, the view of Big Bear Lake below is totally worth it. *Dogs are allowed
4. Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail
If Castle Rock Trail is bringing you so much joy that you want to keep going, it continues onto Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail. This is another fairly easy trail that’s great for a family BUT as it is a moderately rated trail so I would suggest this is a good hike for a family with teenagers and not young kids. It is one of the most popular hiking trails in Big Bear and definitely one of my favorite. The path surrounds the Champion Lodgepole Pine, the largest tree in the Big Bear Lake region.
However, there are a lot of caveats with this trail. Don’t try it if there’s snow on the ground as the trail can be icy and there are seasonal road closures. While I found this trail easy to navigate, I have heard of at least one person who got lost for a bit before getting themselves out so bring a map. I would stick to the other trails mentioned above if you don’t have experience with hikes in Big Bear or if you have smaller kids with less stamina. *Dogs are allowed
Hikes in Big Bear are the best
Big Bear Lake is one beautiful and fun place to stroll around and explore. You can enjoy hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and strolling around here with your family and kids. A local hiking trail around Big Bear Lake city of California is one of a kind for sure. As always, even with the easiest hike, you should tell someone where you’re going, get a map and prepare as if you are going to get stuck (e.g. water, food, warm clothing).
Learn more about Big Bear and things you can do while visiting Flip Flop Ranch!
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