Boats and Charters

Pine Knot Landing Marina. This full-service marina rents fishing boats, pontoon boats, and kayaks and sells bait, ice, and snacks. You can take water ski lessons here or pick up some Jet Skis and parasailing equipment. On weekends, the paddle wheeler Miss Liberty leaves from the landing for a 90-minute tour ($20; times vary) of Big Bear Lake from late April through September. Refreshments are available on board. 439 Pine Knot Blvd., Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315. 909/866–7766.

Horseback Riding

Baldwin Lake Stables. Explore the forested mountain on horseback on a group or private guided trail ride (one hour to a half day) arranged by this outfit. The facility has a petting zoo for kids and offers pony rides. Reservations are required for private rides and suggested for all. 46475 Pioneertown Rd., Big Bear City, CA, 92314. 909/585–6482. $40 and up per person per hr.


Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Two distinct resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, comprise Southern California's largest winter playground, one of the few that challenge skilled skiers. The complex offers 438 skiable acres, 55 runs, and 26 chairlifts, including four high-speed quads. The vibe is youthful at Bear, which has beginner slopes (training available) and the after-ski hangout The Scene. Snow Summit holds challenging runs and is open for night skiing. On weekends and holidays it's best to reserve tickets for either mountain. Bear rents skis and boards.

The resorts are open in summer for mountain biking, hiking, golfing, and some special events. The Snow Summit Scenic Sky Chair zips to the mountain's 8,200-foot peak, where View Haus ($), a casual outdoor restaurant, has breathtaking views of the lake and San Gorgonio Mountain. Big Bear, 880 Summit Blvd., off Moonridge Rd., Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315. 909/866–5766. $60–$75.