Woodland Trail and Nature Walk Big Bear California
Big Bear Lake sits in the mountains only a two hour drive from Los Angeles. But it could be a world away. A mountain resort with heavy winter snow and summer hiking and camping Big Bear is a year round resort area. The actual population of Big Bear is 5,000 people, however, over 100,000 may be here on some weekends per year. Big Bear Lake is located at 6,752 foot elevation which explains it winter snow and mild summers. Big Bear City is the center of commerce on Big Bear Lake but many of the resorts and activities are surrounding the lake at other areas. The Big Bear area is quite dog-friendly and can make for a great dog-friendly escape from Los Angeles.
Most of the dog-friendly lodging in the Big Bear area consists of small hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals. Pine Knot Guest Ranch offers you and your pet 2 acres of off-leash area and a five minute walk to the village. They also offer in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces in their cabins. Also pet-friendly are the Best Western Plus Big Bear Chateau, the Robin Hood Resort, Eagle's Nest Lodge and Majestic Moose Lodge. Pet-friendly vacation rentals can be arranged through Gold Rush Resort Rentals, Big Bear Cabins California and Access Big Bear Cabin Rentals. There are also other dog-friendly choices in the area. If you are camping in Big Bear in an RV, motorhome or travel trailer then you can stay with your dog at the Big Bear Shores RV Resort & Yacht Club or Holloway's RV Park. For dry camping with small tent campers, tents or backpacking the National Forests in the area have many campgrounds. Hanna Flat Campground, Serrano Campground and Pineknot Campground are some of these. Dogs are allowed in most parts of the National Forests in the area and in the camping areas.
For Winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or skijoring with your dog you can rent showshoes, skiing equipment or other items at Big Bear Bikes/Snowshoes at 41810 Big Bear Blvd (909-866-2224). You can cross country ski in many areas of the National Forests but for a well maintained trail you can visit the Forest Trail off Mill Creek Road. The rental shop can give you other suggestions for trails. For Summer activities you can rent boats which allow your dog to join you at Pine Knot Landing at 400 Pine Knot Avenue. This dog-friendly company rents pontoon boats and other boats. They have a paddleboat tour that will allow well-behaved leashed dogs or carried dogs if they are not too crowded and it is not a busy holiday weekend. There are other dog-friendly boat rentals at Big Bear Marina and Pleasure Point Landing. For electric boat tours of the lake try Captain John's Fawn Harbor and Marina at 39368 North Shore Drive which welcomes well-behaved, leashed dogs on its tours. Dogs are allowed on the Bear Valley Stage Lines horse drawn carriages at the village. Want to visit a ghost town? Belleville Ghost Town on Holcomb Valley Road is at the end of a moderate 2 mile long dirt road. Dogs are welcome to explore. As with all hiking in the area, be aware that there are many rattlesnakes around. For that reason, please keep dogs leashed at all times.
When in Big Bear many of the restaurants have seasonal patio seating in the summer that welcome leashed dogs. BLT's Restaurant at 41799 Big Bear Blvd offers a doggy menu for you dog where they can choose a hamburger patty, chicken fingers or more. Also with dog-friendly patios are Big Bear Mountain Brewery and Village Pizza. For a list of seasonal dog-friendly restaurants see DogFriendly.com's directory.
Some good dog-friendly hikes in the area include the Woodland Trail and Nature Walk, Hanna Flat Trail and Alpine Pedal Path. The Woodland Trail is a 1.5 mile self-guided nature hike. The Hanna Flat Trail is 9 mile moderate rated trail in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Alpine Pedal Path is a paved 4.5 mile round trip along the lake. There are many other dog-friendly hiking trails in the forests of the area. Rangers can give you more information. Please be aware of rattlesnakes during the summer months. In the Winter, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and skijoring can be done on most of the forest trails.
Nearby Big Bear Lake is Lake Arrowhead which is also a mountain resort with dog-friendly activities and lodging.