View Full Version : July 4th trip planning CA area

06-20-2010, 09:06 PM
The family is throwing around some different lakes to plan a 4th of July weekend trip. We'd like to go some place cooler than Phoenix. We would be taking the boat along, just wondered what you guys might suggest. Just browsing on the internet we checked into Big Bear, which looks pretty good,but have not heard much about. So, I guess what we are looking for is:reachable in 6-7 hrs from Phoenix area, hotels nearby,great firework shows and convenience. Any input would be appreciated.

06-21-2010, 10:15 AM
Not sure what kind of fireworks Big Bear and/or Arrowhead puts on. They're usually pretty dry by that time of year and in years past have been prohibiting any and all types of fires. Place seems to go up like tinder. Public fireworks may be different, but I'd check into it before making plans if fireworks are one of your main priorities.

I'd love to have something better for you, but Mission Bay in SD would be one of your best bets. However, if you're like me you'd never dunk your MC in the salt.

I'd be interested as well in what gets suggested. Maybe we'll see you out there.

06-21-2010, 10:57 AM
Nacimiento is always an option, but it will only be 100, instead of 115 in Phoenix!

For a cooler lake experience, we normally head up to the Eastern Sierra lakes and spend time cruising around Tahoe. The skiing sucks, but the temperature and surroundings are tough to beat.

06-22-2010, 12:20 PM
Well I can tell you don't come to Lake Mead. It's maybe not quite as hot as Phoenix, but still plenty hot enough. Not all that beautiful of a lake either. The fireworks in LV are friggin awesome though. Lake Powell scenery can't be beat. Probably the fireworks aren't any good though -- dunno. I've spent a combined 6 weeks on the lake during July, but it's been 25 years since I've been on the water there. I never thought it was oppressively hot. Obviously neither of those is in CA. I'm much more familiar with northern CA waters, but that's too far away from you.

06-22-2010, 07:39 PM
I think our plans are gonna change,not looking like we can make it around the 4th. Still curious about Big Bear Lake have always heard of the ski resort but never the lake itself.

06-23-2010, 11:15 AM
I think our plans are gonna change,not looking like we can make it around the 4th. Still curious about Big Bear Lake have always heard of the ski resort but never the lake itself.

Same here. I drive past that lake several times a year, but always in the winter headed to the resort. If you go, please post a trip report! I would love to hear about it.

07-03-2010, 06:44 PM
I have a cabin on Big Bear Lake, it's a nice lake to run around, can get weedy, there's a ski/boarding setup on one end of the lake and that area is usually pretty calm for skiing (opposite end from boulder bay). Good cruising lake, we have a couple jet skis also that we have in all summer with a ride-up dock - Arrowhead doesn't allow jetskids, which stinks). Major downside is getting up 7000 feet, it's a tough trailer pull (I obviously don't go up and down...up in the spring, down in the fall).

Nice area, too, for hanging out and you can usually grab a fairly cheap hotel (don't know about the 4th of July, though).

Here's a good website to check things out:

07-03-2010, 10:12 PM
We've actually just made reservations at the Marina Resort for the 18th-20th. So I'm glad to hear some positive feedback out there. I'll follow up when we get back.

07-04-2010, 09:38 AM
I've been out at Big Bear a dozen or so times. My take is that (1) it cant handle many boats before it gets pretty bumpy; and (2) it seems to always blow out by around 9:00. But it is a pretty lake and there is usually a fun scene down by the dam (boulder bay area). Just get on the lake first thing in the morning if you want some good water.

07-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Elway, great tip - early morning usually has a few fisherman trolling the bottom, so that's when it's best for skiing. Especially mid-week, if you can get out. And I'd agree, there are some floating bouys at the dam end, you can connect up, relax with the bimini up, and unwind. There's also a small beach near there, you'll see a few boats pulls up and folks hanging out on it. Lastly, they have some floating heads, you can run up to them and tie up and take a leak when nature calls.

07-21-2010, 10:58 AM
Just got back last night from Big Bear. We had an awesome time, weather was perfect. Around low 80's during the day and 50's at night. Sun is definately more intense there, sun screen is a must. We stayed right at the Marina Resort and could of got a slip for their docks out front,but chose not too(a little sketched out about leaving the boat tied up and the fact that 10 mins. into tying it up we were so kindly bumped by some drunks in a pontoon picking up other drunks on the same dock,but i digress. Early morning neighboring marinas open at 6 a.m., first boat on the water and had glass for about 1-1.5 hrs until other boats showed up and wind picks up. You can for sure get a solid couple of hours, but does get choppy from mid morning on from the winds. We found plenty of stuff to do throughout the day kids hung out in the pool, played ping pong and checked out a couple of sights nearby. The zip line is a must(big bear zip I think?)Then we'd come back out in the early evening and ride til the sun set. I nice break from Phoenix's 110 degree days!