Big Bear Campgrounds

Best Big Bear Campgrounds and RV Parks in California

Mar 05, 2024

Most weekends of the year, Big Bear Lake and the surrounding area attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, as temperatures remain pleasant enough at 7000 feet to persuade Coastal California's bustling city dwellers to leave their concrete jungle for a natural paradise. Big Bear morphs into a ski community in the winter, despite receiving little snowfall.

The grizzlies for which the area was named are no longer present, and the territory has become a playground for outdoor enthusiasts rich in history, including the world's second bus route.

Hot springs in the area encouraged developers to transform the area into a Dirty Dancing-esque resort backdrop, surrounded by velvety forests and the lake itself, and even as time wears away at our nostalgic notions of now-perhaps obsolete vacation locations, the overall atmosphere persists.

Big Bear Campgrounds

Best Campground Near Big Bear Lake

Big Bear, California, is the ideal location for anything outdoorsy. There are plenty of activities and places to explore, including skiing, horseback riding, and lakeside water sports. While many guests stay in local hotels or vacation rentals, we prefer to go camping.

There are numerous well-established and respected campgrounds to select from in the Big Bear area.

Still, every camper has distinct goals and demands for their trip, so we visited a variety of camping locations. For everything else, read on our list of fantastic campsites from our Big Bear camping guide!

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1. Heart Bar Family Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

Heart Bar Family Campground, San Bernardino National Forest

Heart Bar is located in the San Gorgonio Wilderness is the perfect place, about 30 minutes from Big Bear Lake.

Its handy location, only 25 miles from two major peaks, Sugarloaf Mountain and Onyx Peak, makes it an ideal starting place for those wishing to climb some summits. The famed Santa Ana River Trail is also nearby.

There are 86 tent and RV campsites available, but no full hookups. Each site is vast and spacious, making it an ideal destination for individuals seeking peace and quiet.

Because it is such a remote location, the only amenities available are drinking water, charcoal fires (campfire ring), vault toilets, and bear boxes.

2. Holloway’s Marina & RV Park

Holloway’s Marina & RV Park

Holloway's Marina and RV Park are ideal destinations for a lakeside retreat. Located in the middle of Big Bear Valley, this family-friendly RV park provides a variety of exciting ways to see Big Bear Lake. Rent a paddleboat, kayak, fishing boat, or SUP, or skip the hassle and take a chartered cruise instead.

The park has about 100 standard sites with full hookups and provides a variety of amenities.

Book your next family vacation here and enjoy hot showers, bathrooms, laundry facilities, a basketball court, picnic tables, barbecues, and much more. Do not stroll too far from your vehicle, let your walking distance be short.

3. Barton Flats Campground, Angelus Oaks

Barton Flats Campground, Angelus Oaks

Barton Flats is a beautiful place and also a family-friendly campground to be. It is hidden in a wilderness near the gorgeous San Bernardino Mountains.

Although it is around 25 miles away from Big Bear Lake, nearby Jenks Lake should satisfy the same fishing and boating desires!

The neighboring forests offer full with gorgeous pathways to explore. The trailheads for the Santa Ana River Trail, Rio Monte Trail, and Jenks Lake Trail are all nearby.

Baron Flats provides 51 reservable tent and RV camping sites hidden in this highly forested location. This area is also known as "the Rim of the World," so don't anticipate too many amenities! Each site has basic amenities such as showers, picnic area, laundry room, bathrooms, a picnic table, fire ring, and grill combo.

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4. Hanna Flat Campground, Fawnskin

Hanna Flat Campground, Fawnskin

The Hanna Flat Campground is located high above the Big Bear Valley in a mature pine forest featuring Ponderosa and Jeffrey pines.

This charming forest resort is ideal for reconnecting with nature and participating in fun activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, and off-roading around Big Bear Lake.

Hanna Flat offers 88 paved campsites, half of which can be rented ahead of time. There aren't many luxury amenities, but a distant forest hideaway wouldn't be complete without them!

Still, each camp will have potable water, vault toilets, and fire rings. Hanna Flat is also only 2.6 miles from the north shore of Big Bear Lake.

5. Dogwood Campground, Lake Arrowhead

Dogwood Campground, Lake Arrowhead

The Dogwood Campground is one perfect spot only open during the summer or shoulder seasons, but it's an excellent choice for families with children.

During the peak season, various interactive nature activities are available, and an amphitheater conducts regular campfire presentations.

The place is called after the numerous Dogwood trees surrounding the camp and frequently put on a spectacular display.

Stop visiting during the spring bloom or the fall foliage change to witness the campground come alive with seasonal hues!

The camp is big, with dozens of roomy spaces for tents and RVs. Approximately half of the sites have complete hookups, and the park itself provides flush toilets, showers, and potable water.

6. Holcomb Valley Campground

Holcomb Valley Campground

If you want to have the best camping experience, seek your fortune at the Holcomb Valley Campground, which was formerly known for the California gold rush.

Bellville, a historic ghost town, is located nearby. You may still see the few gravesites, mining shafts, and log homes that remain from what was once Southern California's richest gold mining community.

Holcomb Valley Campground provides secluded, basic camping for tents only. There are 19 single-family campsites available for first-come, first-served basis.

If frightening ghost towns aren't your thing, the grove of pine trees around the campground offers a variety of popular activities such as hiking paths and rock climbing.

7. Big Pine Flat

Big Pine Flat

Big Pine Flat is located in a mature pine forest about eight miles northeast of Big Bear Lake. The campground consists of 19 first-come, first-served campsites and a group equestrian camping area.

Sites can accommodate tents or RVs up to 30 feet long, however the roads going in may be soft and inappropriate for such large vehicles. Each campsite includes a picnic table, a fire pit, and running water.

Because Big Pine Flat is located away from the more heavily visited areas of Big Bear, it can be an excellent choice for last-minute vacations where other campgrounds may be full or booked. The paths around the campground are used for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

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8. Big Pine Flat Family Campground, Apple Valley

Big Pine Flat Family Campground, Apple Valley

Big Pine Flat is one of the remaining secluded camping places in BB that still allows you to escape the masses.

Big Pine Flat is tucked away on the edge of the San Bernardino National woodland, right in that wonderful spot where the woodland meets the meadow of wildflowers.

At over 7,000 feet in elevation, you'll find a wide, spreading campsite with plenty of space between sites.

The campground features 11 RV and tent sites that are first come, first served. While RVs are welcome, you must travel down a dangerous gravel road to reach the campsites.

Each site includes a picnic table, fire ring, and grill, and the camp provides drinking water and vault toilets.

9. Serrano Campground, Fawnskin

Serrano Campground, Fawnskin

The Serrano Campground is conveniently located between Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Discovery Center. If you prefer water sports, this is the ideal location for fishing, swimming, or boating because it is the only campground on the lake. 

The popular Alpine Pedal Path passes straight through the campground, providing panoramic views of Big Bear Lake and the San Bernardino Mountains in the distance. 

Serrano is BB's largest campground, with over 130 regular and double sites as well as group camping options.

RV campers will appreciate the full connections and neighboring dump stations, while all campers can enjoy amenities such as drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers, and picnic sites.

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10. Horse Springs Campground

Horse Springs Campground

Leave the forest behind and enjoy some peaceful desert quiet. Horse Springs is not your usual BB campground.

Located about 15 miles north of Big Bear Lake, you will find a spacious and remote desert campsite ideal for dirt bikes and off-roading. Many official green-sticker routes run through the neighborhood.

Each of the eleven campsites is first-come, first-served, so arrive early during high season. You may be in the desert, but the on-site drinkable water and vault (pit) toilets ensure that you are not absolutely roughing it.

11. Heart Bar Equestrian Campground

Heart Bar Equestrian Campground

Since many hiking paths in Big Bear enable horseback riding, there is sometimes a demand for campgrounds that accommodate horses and their owners.

Heart Bar Equestrian Group Campground can accommodate 65 guests and 46 corrals. Staying at this campground costs just under $300 per night and requires a reservation.

Showers, toilets, and potable water are among the available amenities. Backcountry horseback riding trails can also be easily accessed from the campground.

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12. Green Valley Campground, Green Valley Lake

Green Valley Campground, Green Valley Lake

Green Valley, located exactly between Big Bear Lake and Arrowhead Lake, is an angler's heaven! As if two lakes weren't enough, Green Valley Lake, located just a mile from the campsite, is well-known for its excellent trout fishing.

Surrounded by a typical Southern California alpine forest, there will be plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs in the woods. Climb to the summit of the Green Valley viewpoint for breathtaking views of the San Bernardino National Forest.

This lovely family campsite has 83 RV and tent camping spaces. Enjoy features such as vault toilets, potable water, and fire rings. Pets are welcome too!

13. Pine Knot Campground

Pine Knot Campground

Pineknot Campground is one of Big Bear's most popular campgrounds due to its handy position at the base of Snow Summit Ski Resort.

In addition to snow activities, there is a wide network of local hiking and mountain bike routes to explore, including a stretch of the epic Pacific Crest Trail. There's even a marina just five miles away!

This family-friendly campsite offers 48 RV and tent camping sites nestled in the heart of a typical California alpine forest.

However, the sites are small, hilly, and do not include RV hookups. If you're driving a large RV, be prepared for a challenge!

Pine Knot Campground is tucked away in the woodland, with 48 tent and RV sites. This is an excellent family campground with access to hiking and mountain biking trails.

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How to Choose a Camping Spot

There are plenty of camping alternatives in California, including the relative comfort of RV parks, National Park campsites, and even open forest property designated for walk-in campers.

Consider whether you want to hike into a location or whether you'd prefer to have your automobile nearby for some creature amenities. Do you prefer to tent or RV camp?

Do some web study to identify a place you enjoy. There are websites dedicated to giving images of campsites, and the National Park Service website also includes photos of numerous campgrounds.

Final Thoughts

There are so many beautiful camping locations in and around Big Bear RV Park that it was difficult to narrow it down! We hope our list has inspired you to leave the hustle and bustle of city life and head to this fantastic lakeside and mountain resort.

Despite its SoCal location, the BB area never feels overcrowded. You'll get plenty of fresh mountain air and lovely lakeside views to help you rest and refresh!

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