The year-round outdoor playground of Big Bear Lake is easily accessible from the crowded coasts of Southern California, so not bring the entire “family” and have Fido ride shotgun on your next visit? Boasting hundreds of miles of dog-friendly hiking trails, tranquil shorelines, and refreshing alpine likes, you and your dog will have an incredible adventure exploring Big Bear together.
Alpine Pedal Path
This 3.5-mile (one-way) paved path winds through the woods along the shores of Big Bear Lake and offers many side trails to explore. Perfect for walkers, joggers, and bikers alike, this easy stroll through the woods is a great walk for dogs. You and your fur babies will love the fresh air, the incredible scenery, and exploring the various side trails which drop down to the lake, offering your pup the chance to frolic in the water and enjoy the great outdoors. All of the beaches on Big Bear Lake and off Highway 38 welcome dogs as well.
One popular beach is the Boathouse Dog Beach, though the restaurant that operated next to the beach is temporarily closed. Still, your pup will enjoy frolicking in the water and exploring the rocks and grassy areas (even if he can no longer order a beer).
If you, the family, and the family dog are looking for something closer to a hike (but still relatively easy), the self-guided nature walk on the Woodland Trail is a surefire hit. Looping through the woods near the Stanfield Cutoff (an excellent wildlife viewing area), this dirt trail is well maintained and dog-friendly (leash required). Along the way it features signs with points of interest. Grab a pamphlet at the trailhead and learn about the area’s ecosystems, plants, and animal life teeming all around you. There is also plenty of parking at the well-marked trailhead on Highway 38.
Other hikes where dogs are welcome (check to see if a leash is required) include the Castle Rock Trail (1.6 miles, one-way), the San Gorgonio Trail (a difficult 16 miles), the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail (moderate, 7 miles), and the Little Bear Creek Trail (easy, 3.8 miles).
In addition to a wealth of dog-friendly hiking trails, the Big Bear area offers numerous dog parks if your pup needs to stretch his or her legs or meet some new friends. Some of the best include the Cedar Glen Dog Park at Lake Arrowhead, the Redlands Dog Park, and the Hound Town Dog Park in Moreno Valley.
With so many wonderful hiking trails, walking paths, and dog parks, Big Bear Lake is a haven for every member of your family, regardless of how many legs they have. So if you are planning a trip to this playground in the San Bernardino Mountains, don’t hesitate to bring your best friend with you!