This is a great little campground tucked away behind rental town homes and right next to the slopes of Snow Summit. Very wooded and shaded, you'd hardly realize you're steps away from the hustle and bustle of Big Bear Village.
The campground is too small to have a ranger office at the entrance. Instead, a campground host comes around once you are settled in and checks your reservation. The campground was well maintained and clean, and each site had a large picnic table, fire pit and separate barbecue grill. All the sites seemed slightly sloped, so be aware when pitching your tent which direction your head will go, so you don't end up sleeping 'upside-down' :) Most of the sites we saw, including ours, were very large and could easily accomodate two tents... our tent was 10'x10' and we had room for at least another of the same size!
The restroom facilities are very basic, with a sink and only one toilet stall; however, there seemed to be lots of them spread out through the campground and there never seemed to be a wait to use them. They were relatively clean, but the 'mirror' consisted of a piece of reflective stainless steel bolted to the wall, and was pretty scratched up and useless. As is typical of campgrounds, no soap or hot water. I suggest bringing a roll of tp with you as the rolls seemed to run out pretty fast and were refilled barely in the nick of time.
There are no shower facilities at this campground. There are showers at Serrano Campground across the lake, about 10 minutes away. We were told $3 per person for the shower. Ugh.
The campground itself is potentially peaceful and quiet, but some the people who camp there are not. We've camped many many places over the years and there is a certain unspoken rule about noise and campgrounds. People who camp regularly seem to have a healthy respect for the camp experience of others. The 'campers' we encountered at this campground were a mixed bag. The first day we had neighbors who used a very loud commercial generator on their truck just to blow up their inflatable mattresses. Other neighbors pulled into the campground after a beer run with their radio blaring. The second night we had a group of 4 girls in the campsite next to us who made the noise of 20. They screeched and squealed and talked at full voice WAY past the 10pm quiet curfew. At 1am I finally yelled at them to keep it down, and they did. But I had hoped before that point that the camp host would have come by to reinforce the quiet curfew. At 8 months pregnant I should not have had to walk down the road to her site within hearing distance to ask her to do that, and I shouldn't have to be yelling at other campers at 1am just to get some sleep. I wear ear plugs at night and the screaming still kept me up.
In addition, you can hear the occasional ambulance pass by on the main road through town, and as Big Bear is under the flight path for the major LA area airports, there is jet noise overhead until the later evening hours.
This is a great campground with much better ambience than the seemingly more popular Serrano. We had a great time in spite of our neighbors. Make sure you make a reservation in the summer... it may seem like a 'casual' campground that will be easy to just show up and get a site, but both nights we were there were sold out, and walk-ins were left to drive by the campsites, looking for an empty one in vain.
- Also Known As:
- Pineknot Campground Hotel Big Bear Lake
- Pineknot Campground Hotel