Castle Rock Trail – Big Bear Lake Natural Landmark
Castle Rock Trail is a natural landmark that can be seen all over the valley and is located 1 mile east of the dam in Big Bear Lake. Because Castle Rock Trail is one of the most popular hiking spots in Big Bear Lake, it can get crowded. If you prefer to hike in peace, early morning is best. The trail is off Highway 18/Big Bear Blvd, which is a very busy main road. Parking is available in the turn out next to the small wooden Castle Rock Trail sign. There are a few more parking spots across the street as well, but they are very limited. There is a small incline during the first part of the hike, about 1/3 miles in. Once you pass this incline, the hike becomes much easier. One thing to keep in mind, as with any high altitude hike, is to pace yourself so you don’t exhaust yourself early. Most of the trail is covered and shaded by trees. Castle Rock Trail is great for families with kids and dogs. During the spring, there is still typically lots of snow, so it can be a bit slippery. Come prepared with hiking shoes and you should not have a problem. When the the snow is melting, you can actually hear and see the water run off on the rocks. In total, the Castle Rock Trail hike takes about 1 hour round trip. When you reach the huge boulders, you can actually climb them, but be careful as it can be slippery. If you do decide to climb all the way up these boulders, the views are spectacular. You are surrounded by trees, boulders and incredible views of Big Bear Lake. Castle Rock Trail is a beautiful forest setting and is one of our favorite hikes in Big Bear Lake!
Big Bear Lake Activities
Lake activities are one of the most anticipated and popular things to do in Big Bear. Temperatures are warm and it’s a perfect place to spend the day either on shore or in the water. Whether you’d like to keep costs down or spend money, there are a variety of options when it comes to spending time at Big Bear Lake.
Boat rentals are one of the easiest ways to get out on the lake. There are 6 different marinas in Big Bear that offer a variety of services from renting a boat to guided tours of the lake. Some of them offer additional unique experiences as well, such as the Pirate Ship at Halloway’s Marina & RV Park and the Jungle Boat at Captain John’s Fawn Harbor & Marina.
Kayaking, canoeing, and paddle-boarding are all great ways to get out on the water and get some exercise at the same time. Guests staying with Village Reservations during the summer months can give it a try with free and discounted rentals from Getboards Ride Shop or a number of similar locations that offer rentals, lake tours, classes and lessons as well. With about 22 miles of shoreline, you can make it an all day experience or just paddle around for as little as an hour.
Swimming in the lake is allowed within 50′ of the shoreline and the best place to go is the north side of the lake for public access. There are two public launch ramps that have nice beach areas situated on either side of the facilities as well as access from the national forest picnic areas that line the north shore of the lake. Make sure you have your adventure pass for parking and make a day of it!
If you have your own boat, kayak or another water vessel, the Municipal Water District has two public launch ramps available that can help you with permitting and getting yourself into the water. The launch ramps typically open in early April and stay open all summer until the lake closes in late November, weather permitting. You can purchase all necessary permits at each location as well as take care of a variety of other needs as you prepare to get on the water.
If you don’t want to get wet, you can go shore fishing while you’re visiting Big Bear. Big Bear Lake is home to Rainbow Trout, Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, and Carp. Fishing licenses are required for those over 16 years old and most of the lake is available for fishing unless otherwise posted. Bring your pole and your favorite bait and relax as you wait for that first bite.
No matter what your reason for visiting Big Bear, you definitely don’t want to miss out on all the lake activities Big Bear Lake has to offer!
Want to find out which marina we go to or where our favorite swimming hole is? Give us a call and we can tell you all about it while we help you book a cabin for your “home away from home” Big Bear experience.