Exploring the Wilderness: Grays Peak Group Campground in Big Bear Lake

Nestled 2½ miles northwest of Fawnskin and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest, Grays Peak Group Campground offers a rustic retreat amid the stunning landscapes of Southern California. Once surrounded by mature pine trees, the campground has weathered a recent forest fire, revealing a more rugged but functional site for groups seeking outdoor recreation. As you plan your camping adventure in this picturesque wilderness, here are essential tips, strategies, and gear recommendations to make the most of your stay at Grays Peak.

Map & Reservations

Top Tips for First-Time Campers

  • Water Wisdom: Given the absence of potable water at the campground, ensure you bring an ample supply of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. This preparation is crucial for a comfortable and hydrated camping experience.
  • Reserve in Advance: With only one group campsite accommodating up to 40 people, reservations are a must. Plan ahead and secure your spot, especially during peak seasons and holiday weekends when demand is high.
  • Dirt Road Drive: Anticipate a slow and bumpy drive on a dirt road for the last 2 miles to the campsite. Drive cautiously, especially if you’re bringing RVs or trailers, to ensure a safe and smooth journey.
  • Pack Out Your Trash: With no trash pick-up available, practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all your trash. Keep the campground clean and preserve the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  • OHV Enthusiasts Welcome: Grays Peak serves as an excellent outpost for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts. Bring your off-road vehicles for an adventure in the nearby trails and explore the rugged terrains.

Top Strategies and Tactics for Maximum Camping Enjoyment

  • Seasonal Considerations: Optimal camping months at Grays Peak extend from late April through late September. Aim for late spring or early fall for milder temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploration.
  • Early Arrival: Plan your arrival early in the day to ensure ample daylight for setting up camp. Arriving before sunset allows you to navigate the dirt road to the campsite more easily and settle into your camping spot with ease.
  • Explore Big Bear Lake: Take full advantage of the proximity to Big Bear Lake. Engage in water activities like swimming, boating, and fishing. Enjoy a leisurely meal by the lakeside and savor the picturesque surroundings.
  • Hiking Adventures: Embark on the Grays Peak Trail for stunning views of Big Bear Lake. Connect to various hiking trails in the area, including access to the Pacific Crest Trail, for a range of hiking experiences.
  • Adventure Beyond the Campsite: Venture beyond the campground to explore nearby attractions, from the Big Bear Discovery Center for comprehensive forest information to thrilling activities like ziplining at Action Zipline Tours.

Recommendations on Camping Gear for an Optimal Experience

  • Portable Shade Solutions: As the recent forest fire has altered the landscape, bring your shade with pop-up tents or portable canopies. Enhance your camping comfort by creating sheltered areas for relaxation.
  • Campfire Essentials: Pack firewood locally to prevent the introduction of pests to the area. Ensure you have reliable fire starters, and only use the provided fire rings for campfires, adhering to campground regulations.
  • Comfortable Seating: Bring comfortable camping chairs to relax around the campfire and enjoy the serene evenings. Lightweight and foldable chairs are convenient for outdoor relaxation.
  • Group Cooking Gear: Opt for portable and efficient group cooking gear, including a double pedestal grill, to facilitate enjoyable group meals. Check our gearlist account for precise recommendations on camp cooking equipment.
  • Explore Our Gearlist: Dive into our gearlist account for specific recommendations on camp cooking equipment, sleeping systems, overlanding setups, backpacks, and clothing. Accessing our gearlist ensures you are well-prepared with the exact gear we use, optimizing your camping experience at Grays Peak.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we use for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Immerse Yourself in Nature’s Beauty

Grays Peak Group Campground beckons nature enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of the San Bernardino National Forest. With careful planning, essential tips, and the right gear, your camping experience at Grays Peak can be a gateway to outdoor adventure and tranquility. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or embarking on your first wilderness escape, the allure of Grays Peak promises unforgettable moments amid the pristine landscapes of Big Bear Lake.