As soon as we turned out of the campground and approached the lake, we saw masses of people. Cars parked end to end along the streets, boat ramps so crowded they were closed, crowds of people on the beaches and in the water. We continued driving around the lake, looking for more open space. The lake was beautiful though, and we really enjoyed the scenic views. A gorgous setting with deep blue waters, pines and spruce trees, and steep cliffs.
Just outside of town, we found the forest roads and offroad trails. Now we are in for some fun!!
Our crazy crew is ready to rock and roll....
...and our fearless driver....
Beautiful look at the lake-
We loved the views as we wound higher and higher up the mountains surrounding the lake. It was so peaceful up there.
Driving along the shore was fun too!
And once we turned off the asphalt roads, and hit the trails, the drive really got exciting. We loved how the huge pine trees shaded us while we 4 wheeled through the woods. The weather was perfect, in the 70's and beautiful! What a difference from the 100-115 degree temps we left at home!
The wildflowers were so pretty too!!
4 wheel drive strongly suggested....especially if you plan on these water crossings! We didn't pass too many other people, but you do have to drive carefully, because there are some other off-roaders and dirt-bikers there too.
Only one of the trails was a little to scary for me, but the rest of the family LOVED the sheer cliffs and the views. Me....not so much. You can't tell just how high the trails are in the video, but I did cut out my sobbing and cursing (just kidding, just kidding...I wasn't THAT bad...out loud!)
Another thing we loved about these trails, were the many pull-off opportunities. The lookouts were spectacular, and lots of chances to rock-climb, play with sticks, look at birds with binoculars, or take a picnic lunch.
I loved the photo-ops, and the rest of the family scrambled over boulders in the background. The views from this lookout were amazing!
Katie had fun taking some scenery pics, and laughing at her little brother's crazy antics. He had almost fallen off the cliff here....not funny...but funny because he was fine...know what we mean?
Lots of places where it was ONLY us and the big, deep woods. Plenty of time for the kids to explore, and play in nature. I prepped lunch here, and we all enjoyed delish wraps while we sat in the shade of the pine trees. Beautiful!
The look on his face.... It's just perfection. I love how he expresses what most of us feel. He's good like that. Livin' in the moment!
It was pretty cool to see the ski lifts here while we were driving around.
Another lookout spot. We could see natural springs down below. Lots of mountain bikers up here too.
I love my little explorers!
Luke patiently waited for a spot with no trails below, no bikers below...just open space to throw his pinecone...
And AT LAST.....so much satisfaction!!
My favorite spot of the day. Top of the trails with a beautiful lookout of Big Bear Lake below.
And on the way back to our campground again.
At last, the crowds died down. We were able to get gorgous views of the lake as we drove by late in the afternoon. What a pretty lake! We can't wait to come back again!