Big Bear Lake

August 2, 2022
Big Bear Lake
Part 2 of 5: Vacation to the Lakes Basin, Sierra County
Total distance walked: 2.84 miles

Color and Serenity

Tuesday dawned warm and sweet as a rose. The mountain spirea (a shrub of the rose family) was in bloom. On warm summer days, it is just as sweet scented.

Mountain spirea on the trail.

With kids, snacks, water and fishing gear stuffed into backpacks, we headed out on the dusty trail to view the wildflowers. Sierra County has one of the longest seasons for wildflower viewing in California.

Heading out.

Along rocky paths, across lush meadows, dotted through wooded groves, the landscape was painted with colorful flora.

The trail led us past Gold Lake Lodge—a few miles north of where we were staying.

The trail descended along a rocky route rife with roots. We didn’t have to venture far to see the gorgeous wildflower display. Although it was mid-summer, bouquets of lupine, great red paintbrush and pretty purple fireweed fringed the path.  They painted a picture of color and serenity.

A half mile in, a trail marker pointed the way. Taking the path to Big Bear Lake, we came upon the exact opposite—a petite pond. This couldn’t be Big Bear Lake, I thought, a little disappointed.


We stopped at the pond and unburdening ourselves of our packs. Michael and Andrew skipped stones across the clear water while Luke tossed pinecones. Sarah fed baby James and Chris went off exploring.

Skipping stones.

Although small ponds may appear insignificant, they actually work with and for nature. They provide food, shelter and protection to the wildlife around it.

A bit later Chris reappeared and hollered to us, “Pack up! Come on, follow me!”

“Follow me!”

Once again, we shouldered our packs and followed him farther up the trail to Big Bear Lake.

Kicking up dust.

This is more like it, I thought. Trees and granite surrounded the water with impressive mountains as a backdrop.

We continued walking along the shore stopping occasionally to see the ever-changing view.


At a granite outcropping, we stopped to relax. The guys took turns fishing using a collapsible rod.

No luck at catching a fish.

We had planned to hike a four-mile loop route passing several lakes along the way. Considering that two people were carrying children, plus hubby is not a hiker, we decided to head back. With gear and kids repacked, we retraced our steps to the cars.

All packed up.

The warmth and joy of being with family that day plus the beauty we witnessed on the trail is a memory I will cherish.