Summer in San Diego: Big Bear Lake / Holcomb Valley

Miles, Nick, and I headed up to Big Bear Lake for a weekend of camping and rock climbing. About three hours from San Diego, Big Bear Lake is located within the San Bernardino National Forest. The views were amazing driving in.

Big Bear Lake

We reserved site 79 at the Hanna Flat Campground in the town of Fawnskin the day before our trip. This campground has many amenities including a camp host, vault toilets, trash collection, and water spigots (to be used only for putting out camp fires). Each campsite has a picnic table and a campfire ring with a grill. The road leading to the campground is mostly dirt and gravel but our Nissan Altima rental car handled the bumpy ride just fine!

After we pitched the tent we drove into Fawnskin to pick up a $5 Forest Adventure Pass. The Forest Adventure Pass is needed in parts of National Forests for daily parking.

We also picked up firewood outside the campground at a local’s home. Some houses sell various bundle sizes between $3-$20 while the camp host sells firewood for $8/bundle.

Holcomb Valley

After waking up at the crack of dawn, we headed to Holcomb Valley. The drive took about an hour due to the dirt roads. There was plenty of parking when we arrived around 7am.

We used Mountain Project as our guide. We had some trouble finding the walls, but luckily two climbers were really friendly and pointed us in the right direction. By about 11am, Holcomb Valley was very crowded as there were two Meetup groups.

Fever Pitch (5.3), Gunsmoke Wall- This route was basically a ladder which made the first sport lead of the day a confidence booster. We also got Nick up on his first sport climb on this route.

Medicine Man (5.7), Thunderbird Wall- Miles fell while clipping in the third draw and I shot up about 4 feet into the air. I was freaked out but Miles felt comfortable continuing. Nick and I both followed on top rope.

View from above on Medicine Man (5.7), Thunderbird Wall

View from above on Medicine Man (5.7), Thunderbird Wall

Hidden Gold (5.7), Gold Wall- Miles sport lead this route easily. Once Nick and I followed, Miles top roped up to clean.

Climbing Hidden Gold (5.7), Gold Wall

Climbing Hidden Gold (5.7), Gold Wall

After a full morning of climbing and hiking we were ready to head back to camp. On our way back we stopped at the lake!

Miles and me at Big Bear Lake

Miles and me at Big Bear Lake

I was hooked on camping after this trip. Eating s’mores for dessert and breakfast definitely helped my camping experience 🙂

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