I’ve stopped several times at Grout Bay on the north side of Big Bear Lake – and always want to come back. The last time was Tuesday morning where except for one person reading at a picnic table, and one person fishing, I had the place to myself.
What I like: There are hills to explore, great views of the lake, plenty of picnic areas, and no shortage of ducks and other wild fowl. This summer visit meant mallard ducks and coots, with babies in tow. There were folks kayaking, and fish jumping. I haven’t brought my kayak up, but there are places just up Hwy 38 where you can easily rent them. (see area boat rentals)
Easy to Find: It took me less than an hour from Redlands to get there. It’s right on Highway 38, on the north side of Big Bear (see photo below)
Trail across the road: For those wanting more hiking, there’s a great hike, Grays Peak, across Hwy 38 (easy walking up the road, or has separate parking). It’s moderate in difficulty because you climb a low ridge, but the views and feel of the forest are nice. Go a short distance or the whole thing (7 miles, about 3 hours). For more info see write-up.
Tip: You do need an adventure pass to park, which you can get at any forest service ranger office, the major stores in town or the Big Bear Discovery Center. Click here to find places in Big Bear. Note: a reader asked if America the Beautiful annual passes work – Yes, they do.