Big Bear was our third camping trip in three weeks – which was pretty ambitious for camping with a 2-month old, but somehow worked out with the help of a supportive Ganma and Gampy.
We camped at Serrano Campground in Fawnskin, which is just across the lake from Big Bear. The campground itself is pleasant with lots of shade from the pine forest, but it is important to get a good site, because some sites were very exposed.
Our site was on the very sunny side, so we spent most of our day across the road at Sweet Meadow, which was free with an adventure pass. There were lakeside picnic tables and BBQ grills, flush bathrooms, water, and plenty of shade in this day-use park.
At Serrano, in general, the sites on the outside of the Lake View loop are better than the ones inside. Almost all of the Evening Star loop is in the shade. Double campsites are popular at this campground. Sites 116, 117, 118, 119, 101, 95, 83, 88, 89, 91, 94, 71, or 72 would be ideal, especially if you wanted to stay a week. We highlighted the good sites on a campground map if you want to borrow it from me.
Besides the requisite lake time (water was great!), we also enjoyed the zoo, which is mostly rehabilitated mountain animals, and then stopping to eat yummy reubens at a local deli (I want to say it was called Grizzly Bear Deli??)
Serrano Campground is a good choice for Big Bear camping if you want to be walking distance of the lake. And it was less than two hours from Laguna Niguel.
P.S. Bathrooms were flush and well-tended, but the showers were what my b-i-l called “cruel” – you had to push a button continuously for a terrible spray of water. Luckily, I only bothered once. Better to bring a swim suit and take regular dips in the lake.
P.P.S. Joss’s photos of the same trip