True to its name, Big Bear is a big place. Between the mountain peaks, hillsides, the national forest and the lake itself, the supply of fun, energetic things to do in Big Bear, California is virtually limitless. When you also consider the fact that every season brings new and exciting attractions to Big Bear, planning perfect Southern California getaways grows even more daunting. Fortunately, the Big Bear Discovery Center is here to help.
Located just a few miles from our full-service resort at Big Bear Lake, the Big Bear Discovery Center is your one-stop-shop for education and information on how to get the most out of this incredible destination. What’s more, the Center is partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure that all events, activities and attractions may be enjoyed responsibly and with the preservation of this profound natural resource in mind.
The Big Bear Discovery Center offers numerous services:
- Adventure Outpost – this fun gift shop has plenty of personality.
- Adventure Pass – many recreation areas in Big Bear Valley require a general “use” fee for anything other than incidental thru-travel. Adventure Passes allow access to these areas and also covers parking. Be sure to consult Center staff to determine if you will need the pass before making the purchase.
- Amphitheatre – beautiful 300-seat amphitheatre hosts events like musicals, lectures and campfire programs all throughout the summer; also available for rent.
- General Information – from driving directions and local road conditions to camping restrictions, you can find out anything you need to know about Big Bear.
- Guided Tours – the Discovery Center hosts guided tours throughout the year with prices ranging from free to $35. A great choice for California family vacations. Tours may include:
- Nature Walks
- Mountain Mining Tours
- Canoe/Kayak Tours
- Snowshoe Tours
- Bald Eagle Tours
- Maps – a selection of free hiking and biking trail maps are available both online and on-site.
- Permits – along with the Adventure Pass, one or more permits may be required depending on your choice of activity, most of which are available free of charge. Possible permits include:
- Campfire Permits
- Wilderness Permits
- Woodcutting Permits ($20)
- Pinecone Collecting Permits
The Big Bear Discovery Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Center is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the winter and open daily throughout the rest of the year. For more information, visit their Web site here.
Choose the Northwoods Resort and Conference Center among other Big Bear hotels for a refreshing adventure to the San Bernardino Mountains. Learn more about our unique, Adirondack-inspired Big Bear resort guest rooms or check out our current Southern California vacation packages.