Serrano Serenade

Serrano Campground Big Bear Lake

Marshmallows, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and ghost stories. Time to gather around the campfire at Serrano Campground. Located on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, this spot is hidden in the national forest just a few miles from the city of Big Bear Lake. Some of the 132 sites are sunny and framed by low brush, while others are nestled below tall pines. Try to score a spot on the quieter Lake View Loop (sites 102–132). A path next to site 116 provides easy access to the Alpine Pedal Path and a short walk to a beach on the shore of Big Bear Lake (next to the solar observatory). Be sure to stroll down to the lake at the end of the day to watch the sunset over the west end of the lake and see the city of Big Bear Lake and the mountains above grow rosy in the fading light.

HIKE BONUS: Set out for a big panorama at Bertha Peak, a summit above Big Bear Lake. From the entrance to Serrano Campground, take the pedestrian walkway that passes below North Shore Drive to the start of Cougar Crest Trail. From here it's a 7.5-mile (round-trip) hike, gaining 1,300 feet to reach 8,200-foot Bertha Peak. After 2.5 miles on Cougar Crest Trail, turn right on Pacific Crest Trail. Make another right on Bertha Peak Road and find your way to the top. The steep summit climb is rewarded by 360-degree views over Holcomb Valley to the north and snow-tipped San Gorgonio Mountain to the south. Below, Big Bear Lake winks your way. Can you spot your campsite?

Serrano Campground is located at 40650 North Shore Ln. in Fawnskin in an area between North Shore Dr. and North Shore Ln. Sites are $30 per night; reservations. The campground and trail are dog-friendly!

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