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Kayaking and Canoeing in Big Bear

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HomeBig Bear Lake Things To DoKayaking and Canoeing in Big Bear

The beauty of a lakefront village, fresh mountain air, and a slower pace than a bustling beach city full of tourists are hallmarks of Big Bear, CA. You’ll find all that and more to make a fun and memorable vacation. Big Bear has many fun and exciting activities to make your stay one that will keep you coming back year after year, or season after season, to do everything. Make some of the water activities you enjoy during your trip serene canoeing or kayaking in Big Bear.

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If you’re just a short car ride from Big Bear and looking for a weekend getaway, you may have been able to bring your vessel and paddle along for the ride. For those visiting Big Bear from further afield, you’ll need to secure the right equipment. There are several companies in the area that rent everything you need for a serene paddle on the lake, including the canoe, kayak, or even paddleboard, paddle, and life vest you’ll need for a safe trip. Choose from single-person or tandem kayaks, which feature two seats. You can rent a vessel for an hour, all the way up to eight hours. You may even be able to rent a vessel for an extended period.

Big Bear White Water Rapids  Big Bear Canoe

Kayaking Permit

Much like with power boating or even piloting a sailboat, you need to know the rules and regulations for the water regarding Big Bear canoeing and kayaking. The Big Bear Municipal Water District provides the information and requires you to purchase a permit. The price is $15 for a single day pass, or $25 for a two-day pass. There are four public launch ramps where you can begin your kayak or canoeing journey.


While all powerboats should yield and stay clear of non-powered vessels including canoes and kayaks, it’s in your best interest to make sure you’re visible and not paddling across another vessel’s path. The “traffic pattern” on most lakes is counterclockwise, but the whole of the lake is seven miles long and half a mile wide, with a shoreline of over 22 miles! You’re bound to need to turn around or cut across the lake to get back to shore if you get tired, and staying alert keeps everyone safe.

Get to the “Point”

If you’re looking for your first places to explore, the lake has plenty. Glinder Point is a popular area for paddling and offers a more tranquil and secluded experience, as there’s not usually a lot of traffic. Lagonita Point offers a four-mile scenic round-trip that’s fairly easy yet takes you through beautiful forests and provides an image of the surrounding mountains reflected on the water. Take your fishing gear and stop and drop a line for a while! Windy Point is one of the busiest areas, but that just means it’s a great place to launch your kayak or canoe if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge. You’ll compete with powerful gusts of wind and get in a good workout. The water isn’t very deep, and the area is surrounded by trees that provide a bit of shade during your kayaking in Big Bear.

Big Bear State Park

The designated state park area has outdoor enthusiasts flocking to it daily, and that includes canoers and kayakers. You’ll find areas that are perfect for a serene paddle for beginners, and some tougher waters to negotiate for more experienced paddlers. The park also has features like waterfalls and views of Mount San Gorgonio to admire while you paddle around.

Stay Warm

Big Bear gets snow and ice in the winter, and it’s a major draw for winter sports enthusiasts. The lake is also known to freeze in the winter months. But when spring comes and the snow and ice melt away into the lake, the water gets extra cold. Before setting out on an extended paddle, check the water temperature. If it’s too cold for your liking, you may want to put your canoeing or kayaking adventure on hold until the water warms a bit more. Should you run into trouble on the water and end up in the water, hypothermia is a possibility if you can’t get to shore.

Kayaking and Canoeing Adventure in Big Bear

You came to the area on a journey full of fun and exciting activities and attractions to escape the stresses of everyday life, as well as to enjoy the lake and all it offers. Extend that fun to your accommodations by booking a weekend vacation rental with Big Bear Vacations. Fuel up before a paddle around the lake and prepare a meal or snack in your unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Gather together with loved ones on the couch and watch your favorite movie, or plan your paddling adventures, or spend some time outdoors with the many other outdoor activities. Choose a cozy one-bedroom for your small family or sweetheart getaway, all the way up to a sprawling five-bedroom for a large family reunion of kayaking or canoeing fun. Our premium units include upgrades like stainless steel appliances, granite counters, hardwood floors, flat screen TVs and more!

Contact us to plan a memorable kayak or canoe lake adventure today!