Left the world of sales/marketing to raise my 4 energetic boys. I homeschool. I do natural birth. I cook, play piano, scuba dive. I love exploring new places, especially with my family.

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Camping at Big Bear Lake

One of my favorite things to do with my family is camping.  It could be that having four boys, it is their favorite playground.  Plenty of time outdoors where they can run around, be noisy, and get really dirty.  They are in heaven.  But I have enjoyed camping since I was a kid, so there is more to it than that.  I love being outdoors, with my family, hiking, relaxing, just getting away from it all.

We have already gotten started on our Summer Bucket List and spent Memorial Day Weekend camping with friends at Big Bear Lake.  We had a great time.  It’s only about 2 1/2 hours from San Diego, so an easy trip to make for a weekend or a few days during the week.

We camped at the Serrano Campground on the North Shore of the lake.  We had a view of the lake, and were a short ride or walk to the lake area. The campground has paved trails all through the campground that you can ride bikes, scooters, roller blades, or walk.  The facilities included bathrooms, free showers, garbage cans, picnic tables, and fire pits.

View from our campsite

One day we walked to the Big Bear Discovery Center.  This free visitor’s center has hands-on activities for the kids to touch and learn about the plants and animals native to the area.  A variety of rocks are on display plus a coloring area where kids learn about Smokey the Bear’s rules for fire safety.  Outside the center is a Nature Discovery Zone with more hands-on activities for the kids.  They made music, built structures with blocks, created art with shells and rocks.

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Activities in the Discovery Center

Another day we hiked the Cougar Crest Trail.  This hike was about 1.9 miles up to an overlook giving us a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding area.  The hike had quite a bit of uphill, but wasn’t too strenuous.  The 5-year-olds in our group got a bit tired, but older than that were just fine.

View from the top of the Cougar Crest Trail

The lake has many other fun activities including fishing, paddleboarding, and boating.  On our way out of town, we stopped and had a great time on the Alpine Slides.

The days were perfectly warm, without being too hot.  The nights got pretty cold, so we were glad we were prepared with plenty of layers.  We had a great time visiting with friends, hiking, relaxing, playing games, eating dutch oven meals and s’mores.  And the kids spent hours catching small lizards that could be found running around in the bushes.  If you are looking for a great camping location this summer, try out the Seranno Campground at Big Bear Lake.

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