If your weekend plans involve camping, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or any of the other millions of things to do up at Big Bear Lake, make sure to include the stunningly beautiful Boulder Bay Park on the itinerary.
Located off of CA-18 (39148 California 18, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315) about one mile west of the Village, Boulder Bay Park sits on the south shore of Big Bear Lake. Newly renovated and re-opened in 2010, the park includes free parking (though limited and fills up quickly on the weekends), restrooms, a fishing and viewing dock, picnic benches, and a large, covered pavilion for big gatherings. The park itself is dotted with flat boulders and features paved, as well as sandy, paths overlooking one of the most picturesque views of the lake you’ll find. So, bring a fishing pole, a camera or a good book and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
For the more adventurous types, in addition to the nearby kayak rentals, rumor has it that Boulder Bay features one of the best swimming areas in the lake (though the weather is already getting a bit too frosty for most). You can rent cabins in the Boulder Bay area, and enjoy the hiking and biking trails that lead back into the National Forest (Castle Rock Trail is the best known of these trails, but it is not for the novice hiker).
It’s perfectly safe for the solo traveler, but more fun in a group unless your goal is a solitary retreat. The drive up to Big Bear Lake from Los Angeles is long (two hours if traffic and weather are with you) and a bit dicey when winter weather sets in. CA-18 is not a good idea at night if you don’t know the area, but pay special attention to upcoming road closures. From October 6-15th (10pm to 5am) the road will be closed from Snow Valley Ski Resort to Big Bear Dam to prepare for the winter season.